Prescription for Success: Medtronic’s mobile solution empowers the sales force with real-time information.
by Alison Weiss
The increasing ubiquity of mobile devices led managers at Medtronic, the world’s largest innovator of medical technology solutions, to conclude in 2010 that tablets could greatly benefit their enterprise—if they were coupled with the right mobile applications.
“We immediately saw benefits from the iPad’s long battery life and being able to use its large screen real estate to tell our story and talk about our products and therapies,” says Jim Freeland, senior principal IT mobility analyst and Enterprise Mobility Team lead at Medtronic, recalling the company’s decision on a mobile strategy. “But we wanted to move beyond productivity and efficiency gains to mobilize sales order fulfillment, inventory management, and centralized content management delivery.”
Since then, Minneapolis, Minnesota–based Medtronic has purchased nearly 13,000 iPads for team members and created an internal app store to support the devices. The store, which is hosted on Oracle WebCenter solutions, has more than 100 mobile applications. One of the most revolutionary is the mobile content management system (mCMS).
Working with another Minnesota-based company, Oracle partner Fishbowl Solutions, Medtronic’s IT staff extended the company’s Oracle WebCenter content-based system, enabling mobile management and distribution of documents. Now, an mCMS for iPad links to Medtronic’s back end, enabling field sales staff to provide current, accurate, and targeted product and therapy information to customers.
We wanted to move beyond productivity and efficiency gains to mobilize sales order fulfillment, inventory management, and centralized content management delivery.
“The solution provides our sales representatives with real-time access to marketing and sales materials—both on- and offline—and enables our business units to apply controls and monitor the use of content globally,” says Freeland.
In addition, Medtronic’s managers can monitor which files are being used and with whom they are being shared. This produces metrics that enable company executives to comply with government regulations. Additionally Medtronic’s marketing team can leverage these numbers to decide what collateral to produce and which use cases to discuss with the company’s sales reps.
To create Medtronic’s mCMS, Fishbowl Solutions, which holds Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized status in Oracle Enterprise Content and has 12 years of experience integrating and supporting Oracle WebCenter content implementations, worked with iOS interface development firm InFuse Medical. Together, the teams built the application’s navigational structure and an API to integrate Oracle WebCenter with Medtronic’s Apple iOS–native app. Specifically, the API enabled security authentication, the downloading and synchronization of content, and application of content management rules.
Since its launch, the mCMS has been a success for Medtronic’s sales force. Now in 2012, Medtronic’s managers expect other departments within the company—such as engineering teams, IT staff, and internal talent organizations—to access and manage content with the mCMS. “IT has put a solution in the hands of our business units here at Medtronic to drive how we use the mCMS, and people are finding creative ways to use it,” says Freeland.
Alison Weiss is a regular contributor to Profit.