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Veeva Systems’ Bold Leap Outside of Life Sciences

By Motley Fool Staff - Apr 4, 2017 at 8:42AM

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An insider’s take on Veeva’s audacious new strategy.

Veeva Systems (VEEV 3.06%) is known for its cloud-based software solutions for the life-sciences. industry. But now, the company is eyeing up other industries. In this clip from Industry Focus: Healthcare, Veeva's president gives investors insight into the company's strategy for entry into the quality management space.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on March 15, 2017.

Kristine Harjes: One of the most exciting parts of your latest earnings report and conference call was some caller on the expansion of the product outside of life sciences. What's the latest on that opportunity?

Matt Wallach: We took several months to figure out what the right opportunity would be. We realized, it's really a couple years ago that the Vault platform was going to be a unique asset, really unique, the ability to blend content management in the cloud with data management applications. To do that on a single platform was really unique. And other companies started hearing about us, so we were getting inbound from companies that were asking us, "Hey, I know that you guys just do life sciences, but we have this really bad problem, could you help us with this?" So, rather than bleeding into other industries in and uncoordinated fashion, last spring, almost a year ago, we decided to do it for real and to put together a small, targeted team to figure out what the right strategy would be. So we took time last year to figure out the strategy and just announced it recently on the earnings call, as you said. What we're going to go after is the quality management space. 

Quality management is something that we do within life sciences, who are big manufacturers. Quality management to us has two flavors. One is all of the documents that are stored and captured and utilized during quality and manufacturing operations. This is something like the document that gives you instructions for how to clean a machine between batches. It's a highly controlled document, you don't want people just going in and changing it, and you actually want to know every time it's printed or emailed or opened or downloaded. So it's all kinds of control around documents. So it's those quality documents in manufacturing, and actually, it's all standard operating procedure that the employees would access around the world. It's that read and understood functionality that we have in lots of regulated industries. The other side of quality management we call QMS, or quality management system, is all the data around what you have to do if something goes wrong.

The first thing is a deviation; something goes wrong. You have to document it and make sure the right people know. Sometimes you have to actually tell the regulatory authorities about it. Then you have to put together a plan, a corrective action or preventive action plan; we call those CAPAs in the industry. This is the plan for how you're going to make sure that doesn't happen again. Then you have change control, which is now, you have a plan to make sure that that deviation is not going to happen again, you have to go implement it. All of these things are heavily regulated. There's lots of approval processes, sometimes regulatory bodies associated. 

That's what we do in life sciences. But it turns out that across lots of discreet and process manufacturing industries, these things look pretty much the same. So we thought this was a perfect opportunity for us to go into a huge market, well over $1 billion in additional opportunity for us, but a huge market that has been underserved by technology providers, basically forever. If you're sitting in Silicon Valley, you're doing artificial intelligence and machine learning and internet of things and Big Data, social media. That's what Silicon Valley is excited about today. We're excited about quality management in big, old, slow companies everywhere around the world, because it's important and they've been underserved, and I think the Vault platform is a really unique platform, because we can do both those two pieces that I described, the document management part and the data management part. That's something we're really excited about. We're starting with a small, focused team to make sure we get the early adopters live and happy this year so that we can start reference selling in the future. But it's something that we think is going to be an important growth driver for Veeva over the long term.

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