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Champions 2.0


March 12, 2007

Eric PaternosterInfosys
Eric Paternoster
Life Sciences Business Unit head

How has your company adapted and responded to the changing economic climate in the past five years when so many others companies did not?

We have reacted to world economic changes in the last five years in two ways. First, since we are focused primarily in professional services, developing a robust people strategy involves building our capabilities in multiple geographies. Over the last five years we have developed alternative personnel sourcing locations in China, Eastern Europe, and Canada to supplement our historical sourcing base in India. We are hiring a portion of our systems engineers directly from U.S. campuses and will be rolling this initiative to Europe next year.

Second, we have grown our service mix to be able to serve our clients better with a greater number of capabilities. Over half of our growth now comes from service lines we did not have five years ago, such as infrastructure management and BPO. Over three years ago we invested in starting up a business consulting operation based in the U.S. and Europe to add to supplement our core strength in technology.

These changes have been implemented within a streamlined management structure, which has allowed us to react more quickly as macro economic changes occur. Our goal is to continue to supplement our traditional focus on outstanding client service with an increased flexibility to react to changes in the business environment faced by our clients and us.

What is your vision for the future of the life sciences market over the next several years?

New mindsets, technologies and business models will increasingly shape the market. The newer ‘biology-based’ discovery firms will grow faster than the traditional ‘chemistry-based’ ones, and as always, organizations that innovate and adapt quickly will be the winners. In order to make drugs safer and get them to market faster, life sciences organizations will need to focus even more on reducing clinical trial durations, and on cross-functional use of critical clinical data. Increasing concerns about patient safety will make pharmacovigilance an imperative rather than a “nice to have.” There will be a continued emphasis on cost reduction and product integration due to pricing pressures from both regulators and consumers.

To remain competitive in the face of such challenges, life sciences companies will need to use the vast amounts of information they gather differently. Better collaboration and breaking down of silos will become critical. There will be a blurring of boundaries between life sciences and healthcare companies as we know them today.

Naturally, these trends will force the IT industry servicing the life sciences market to focus more on interoperable platforms that make use of distributed data sets, rather than silo-applications servicing a specific operational area. We think life sciences organizations will increase their use of strategic outsourcing to improve competitiveness, outsourcing not just the development and maintainance of IT applications, but also business processes such as safety management and submissions. We also believe that emerging software delivery models such as SaaS (software as a service) will change the way the life sciences industry uses IT. More and more IT related tasks will be outsourced as an integrated hosted service.

Partnerships are an effective way to track life science advances and ensure that your company delivers timely products and services. Which life sciences companies or organizations have you partnered with or invested in and why?

Alliances and partnerships with industry leaders as well as niche product organizations are an important part of Infosys’ overall business strategy and apply just as much to our life sciences practice. Our alliance strategy is usually driven by the correlation of functionality gaps in available product spectrum and industry pain points.

Currently, we partner with the following companies to service our life sciences clients:

  • Oracle — using the HTB repository at the core of our health exchange interoperability platform.
  • Quovadx — using HL7 and CDISC compliant Cloverleaf integration engine for our Record Locator Service and clinical bus architecture.
  • Netrics — using their probabilistic matching engine to establish a crosswalk solution.
  • Microsoft — using Sharepoint portal technology and Windows Vista platform for developing a Scientific Workbench for R&D labs

What are your most exciting products and initiatives in development, and how will they improve life science research?

Infosys offers a set of targeted solutions that address pain points across the life sciences value chain. Some of these solutions are narrowly focused on small yet critical operational areas such as NPI incorporation, and some are quite broad in scope such as a centralized health exchange to provide one-stop-shopping for EHR/PHR.

We are very excited about our clinical trials solution that has the potential to significantly alter the drug development process. Not only does the solution allows a reduction in discovery timeframe through use of components such as EDC, phased DMR and eSubmission, but it can also act as a global cross-referential repository of compounds and subjects. The solution also improves cross-functional efficiencies across R&D and manufacturing organizations in the LS industry.

The SaaS-based pharmacovigilance solution brings together our domain, technology, and process expertise to significantly ease the burden of continual post-market monitoring and reporting. The solution can enable the drug-safety group of the organization to directly interact with the FDA and can establish trends using not only drug or organization specific data but also de-identified communal data.

Where do you see your company in five years?

Infosys’ vision is “to be a globally respected corporation that provides best-of-breed business solutions, leveraging technology, delivered by best-in-class people”. We expect to make this vision a reality for our life sciences practice as well, by developing and implementing a repertoire of targeted solutions, and by assisting at least 60 percent of the top pharmaceutical companies in elevating their outsourcing capabilities to a more strategic plane.

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