Boehringer Ingelheim has always been a research-driven organization on the cutting edge of scientific innovation. More recently, they’ve extended beyond medical research into areas that focus on ways to use digital technologies to uncover customers’ needs in hospitals and doctors’ offices.


As a result, they’re improving capabilities to help their field force better anticipate their customers’ needs and improve the overall customer experience.

Boehringer Ingelheim wanted a business partner to help move its customer experience capabilities forward. To do this, the family-owned company needed a single cloud-native analytics platform that could scale globally yet meet the specific needs of local markets with varying health systems, regulatory structures, and customer contact preferences.


Data scientists, analysts, and other power users, for example, wanted model-ready data libraries to feed their machine learning efforts for an array of other sophisticated use cases. This meant Boehringer Ingelheim needed help to move to a digital platform that could handle multiple teams and scale with their ambitions.


The potential existed to link together more than 300 different data feeds to enable 60 known reporting and analytics use cases across 23 business teams—and be ready for even more for generations to come.


This included speeding up the delivery of advanced use cases that are only possible with a strong foundation. For example, marketing and sales leaders wanted to use a personalization engine to identify trend breaks or important events to guide communication strategies. Engines like these use engagement patterns to anticipate customer behavior and determine the optimal next best action to keep relationships growing in the right direction.


Carmen Profeta, the executive director of information management for Boehringer Ingelheim, saw an opportunity to advance the data strategy and create an environment that could make data more usable across the organization.


“We saw an opportunity to improve our environment that would allow us to build new capabilities turning data into meaningful, actionable insights,” she said. “A new platform with tools to curate, clean and better organize data could help us mobilize for faster, more advanced insights.” 

After a rigorous assessment, the Boehringer Ingelheim team chose ZS as a partner and ZAIDYNTM (formerly REVO and VERSO) for their digital platform.  


The team appreciated ZS’s ability to deliver a full analytics and reporting environment that is modular and scalable. The team could start with ZAIDYN Data & Analytics to use AI and machine learning to uncover and automate actionable insights. From there, they could activate ZAIDYN Customer Engagement to orchestrate customer journeys through capabilities like Omnichannel Next Best Action, which automates digital and personal engagement suggestions. 


According to Joe Devanny, director of IT for business intelligence and advanced analytics at Boehringer Ingelheim, “ZS felt like a trusted partner, a team we could work shoulder-to-shoulder with,” he recalled. “They excelled with deep industry knowledge, and we were confident they could assess our needs as both subject matter experts and platform providers.”


To bring the new solution to users, Boehringer Ingelheim deployed in the U.S. market first to understand the most complex cases at the start of the global roll-out. The team’s experience in the U.S. would also help them optimize roll-out plans for faster turnarounds in less demanding markets. 


Cloud services from Amazon Web Services (AWS) were important to the global roll-out plan. The scalability and extensibility of AWS meant the team would be less constrained by technology and could release the platform quickly by addressing a good set of use cases, while still having the freedom to add new use cases in the future.


To get up and running, the ZS team worked with Boehringer Ingelheim to rationalize legacy data sources and eliminate complexity that had become costly over time. They evaluated existing management reports, and where helpful, ZS redesigned them in the new platform to help visualize data in more insightful ways.


The ZS engagement team then worked with Boehringer Ingelheim to create an agile roll-out approach to show quick wins. As a result, teams from specialty and oncology therapeutic areas began using the platform within six months of its initial activation. Meanwhile, ZS’s team created workshops for business users to explore self-service capabilities and see how they might work differently with greater access to customer insights.


Months into the platform effort, ZS helped Boehringer Ingelheim retire several legacy systems, roll out new intelligent analytics apps and quickly move to use ZS’s Omnichannel Next Best Action for the field force. These field suggestions are served-up through Boehringer Ingelheim’s CRM platform that allows reps to take timely actions to drive performance or pivot if their call plans need to change.

To date, the Boehringer Ingelheim team has used the platform to accomplish big wins:

  • A platform that serves as one source of truth, configured for BI use cases. The result is a data-to-insights pipeline that underpins business KPIs and analysis so that users get quality insights.
  • Analysis work that typically took weeks now takes less cycle time, which enables the internal analytics services team more time for advanced analytics requests.

Pairing industry knowledge with AI-powered products has been a big factor in the team’s ability to increase the value of analytics by turning data into insights. “We had a strategic partner who came into the business as an expert, challenged our existing processes and demonstrated the value of the new approach to data and analytics,” says Joe Devanny.