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Published April 21, 2009
Volume 17, Number 4


Veeva Systems Serves the Growing Life Sciences Industry
Company's Award-Winning CRM Products are a Hit in the Emerging SaaS, MaaS Segments


Veeva Systems president and CEO Peter Gassner counts
biotech giant Genentech on his client list.


By Nicole Zaro Stahl
NETWORK Editor


Veeva Systems is growing up fast. Slightly more than two years old, the company has already undergone a move to larger quarters and a name change. Founded by a group of customer relationship management (CRM) industry veterans led by Peter Gassner, a former executive with Salesforce.com, the business started out as Verticals onDemand in a small office in downtown Pleasanton. Its principal focus is providing flexible, easy-to-use SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service CRM solutions for the life sciences industry.

This first vertical market target proved to be so fruitful that the fledgling company has made the logical progression to the next level, extending its expertise to “every facet” of the global life sciences industry. The new name, Veeva, a variant of the Latin word viva, which means “to live,” attests to the company’s singular commitment to the life sciences.

A volatile economy gives Veeva’s cost-efficient technology special appeal. “Enterprise software as we knew it is dead,” proclaims the company’s website, alluding to the drawbacks of high cost, complexity, and lack of flexibility that characterize the old computing model. “To prevent wasteful spending and to enable business agility, it’s critical for life science companies to adopt SaaS technology not just in sales but across the entire organization. And that’s exactly what we will enable them to do.”

Veeva’s flagship product, VBioPharma, incorporates several custom-tailored features that make it invaluable to users of Pharma CRM, functions like physician and account profiling, samples management, and data warehouse, analytics, and reporting capabilities. The application recently received Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 Global Product of the Year Award.

With a great number of pharmaceutical representatives out in the field, Veeva developed a next-generation product family for mobile environments, with versions for the iPhone, tablets, and PDAs. Representing the new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) model, the self-updating and -maintaining VMobile iPhone Edition brings full CRM functionality wherever there is cellular or WiFi coverage.

Like Gassner, the company’s President and CEO, Mitch Wallace,Vice President of Operations, is an alumnus of Salesforce.com. He proudly sports the badge of Veeva employee number two. “We had our first company meeting at my kitchen table, in February 2007, and that March we moved into office space downtown. We had about 1,200 square feet and thought we would never need more,” he recalls. But both customer and employee bases grew rapidly. “By the end of the first year we were cramped, and by the end of the second year we were literally bursting at the seams.”

The prospect of relocating to Hacienda was very attractive. “It’s a stellar location,” Wallace continues. “Our proximity to BART makes us an easy commute for, say, a software engineer living in San Francisco. Plus we’re close to restaurants, hotels, and freeways.” The 3,600-square-foot suite at 4637 Chabot Drive now houses 15 employees; dozens more work in offices in Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, New York, and Chicago. The company just launched international operations with a branch in Stockholm and a new partnership in Madrid. Veeva’s long list of industry leading customers include Genentech, Millennium, and Indevus. For more information, visit www.veevasystems.com.

 

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