Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why channel management is gaining increased focus

This is a guest post from IACCM CEO and President, Tim Cummins.

Insight on channel management
from IACCM's Tim Cummins
Businesses face a confusing array of challenges. To meet them, they must increase brand awareness, ensure market coverage, guarantee product availability, and safeguard regulatory compliance. Marketing and distribution channels are key elements of the solution, but also represent a significant threat to business controls. Successful businesses are focusing on how to streamline their channel management.

Agents, distributors, remarketers, sales representatives, consultants -- the array of third-party relationships is extensive and has provided reach and range, local market or industry intelligence, and reduced cost and risk for centuries. Today’s global markets have driven a steady increase in the volume of these interconnections, with many companies engaging in a variety of channel relationships. Yet for all the benefits, there are some very real drawbacks -- and these appear to be increasing.

First, channel conflict can be very hard to manage, and businesses run the risk of losing loyalty and creating price wars that commoditize their products. Yet attempts to control prices may lead to problems with increasingly vigilant competition authorities. Another challenge is that regulators also monitor many of these intermediary relationships for potential bribery or corruption. There are many instances where an agent, consultant, or representative is either a front for bribery or used to disguise corrupt actions. Finally, there are frequent instances where third-party representatives take legal action against their principal for various forms of damages or compensation -- and in many jurisdictions, the law is weighted in favor of the channel partner.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Campaign-to-cash: The value of optimizing process cycles

This is the second post in a four-part series on campaign-to-cash.

Benefits of optimizing pieces
of the campaign-to-cash puzzle
Very few processes or systems truly impact your entire organization, and even less impact tactical and strategic employees from finance to sales. However campaign-to-cash is an overarching process that actually does impact an entire organization. The reason campaign-to-cash has such a broad reach is because it’s all about building and fulfilling demand.

In the first post in this blog series, I spoke about the high-level processes that make up campaign-to-cash. This second post will focus on the value of optimizing your campaign-to-cash process cycles. Campaign-to-cash is comprised of a number of sub-processes that affect a company-wide process framework, like I alluded to above. While no vendor can impact your entire campaign-to-cash process (and if they claim they can, slowly back away), organizations can achieve significant benefits from optimizing each portion of the process.

But why is optimizing portions of the process so important? A small change can make a huge impact. For example, most organizations experience the last minute rush to hit their monthly, quarterly, and yearly sales numbers, making these some of the busiest times your organization can experience. However, sometimes the influx of activity is simply too large to handle, especially for contract, legal, and administrative teams. These teams simply aren't big enough (or efficient enough) to handle the ebbs and flows of sales. Since these rushes only happen for short, intense periods of time, adding headcount isn't feasible.

But what happens to all of the potential revenue that slips from one month, quarter, or year to the next? Revenues are delayed. Sales numbers might be missed. Investors might be upset. All because your organization can’t handle the influx of activity. However, by simply optimizing this aspect of your campaign-to-cash process -- specifically your contracting process -- you can mediate this huge issue. With streamlined contracting processes, organizations can author, negotiate, review, approve, execute, and proactively manage all of their contracts in a significantly shorter amount of time. Optimizing this seemingly small portion of campaign-to-cash enables organizations to accelerate deal cycles and ultimately shrink the amount of time required to execute contracting activities.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cloud is top of mind at Collaborate 14

Migrating to the cloud brings
questions and concerns to IT teams
This is the latest post from The Revitas Exchange.
Last week, Revitas exhibited at Collaborate 14 in Las Vegas. Collaborate is the Oracle user group meeting that brings together the entire Oracle ecosphere to meet and share ideas. It’s put on by three independent user groups -- IOUG, OAUG, and Quest -- making it a great opportunity to meet members of the larger Oracle community and discover firsthand what’s happening with users.

The hottest topic at this year’s event, by far, was the cloud. Whether companies are already there, making the shift, or just starting to think about the move -- cloud technology is top of mind for IT teams.

Oracle was a pioneer in the concept of accessing applications on demand, a precursor to today’s cloud technology. Now, Oracle has a full portfolio of apps in the cloud, leaving customers to decide which functions and applications they should move to the cloud, and which will be compatible with their Oracle systems.

When it comes to migrating enterprise software applications to the cloud, functional users and technology teams alike have a lot to say, and a sizeable amount of concerns. Questions like:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Revitas marks 25 years of technology innovations

Founded in 1989, Revitas has gone through a number of changes over the years, but our commitment to creating innovative technology solutions for our customers has remained constant. For the past 25 years, Revitas has been the recognized leader in revenue and contract management, serving customers in complex and highly regulated industries.

Our technology innovations have marked important milestones for pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers when it comes to managing revenue. Revitas delivered the first solution for manufacturers to manage invoice processing, rebate calculations, and compliance for the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP), as well as the first commercial rebate and chargeback processing solution -- the industry-standard-setting CARS.

Our customers leverage Revitas solutions to transform contract, revenue, and compliance operations and outcomes within their organizations, and each has a unique story of success. Check out what a few of them have to say about how Revitas has improved their day-to-day lives:

Over the years, Revitas continued to set the industry standards for revenue management and compliance solutions by extending the solution offering to include innovative modules for managing government pricing and compliance for several government prescription drug programs, advanced membership, state Medicaid rebate management, and 340B compliance.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What coffee, contracting, and rebate management have in common: Part 2

What to look for in a contract and
rebate management system
Thinking back to the coffee journey I shared in my previous post, it would have been great to have known upfront what my real coffee needs were. However, even if I had known, it’s unlikely that I would have been willing to pay a few hundred dollars for a coffeemaker at the beginning. But I probably would have been willing to pay $30 for the basic machine, and then as my needs changed, add extra components to the coffeemaker, such as a timer and an integrated grinder.

While this isn’t possible with coffeemakers, it’s a real possibility with contract and rebate management systems. Companies can start with a SaaS-based solution, such as RevitasNOW, and pay for the necessary solutions to meet their initial needs. Then as a company grows, the solution scales with it. In addition, companies can decide to bring the solution in-house too. The key is finding an integrated solution that allows an organization to add in the functionality that it needs without having to reinstall the solution.

With this type of solution, companies can start with just a contract management solution and then add rebate management, giving them the ability to manage contract prices and back-end rebates and incentives. Better yet, since the solutions are built on an integrated platform, terms and conditions entered into a legal agreement can be used to automatically create rebate structures, called price groups. This translates to big benefits. Instead of having two different groups creating and maintaining the same information, organizations only need to enter data once, creating one source of truth for contracts. In addition, as contracts are amended, the system can keep rebates in sync with contracts to ensure that only the most accurate information is used when validating and creating payments, rebates, and incentives.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Revitas welcomes new CEO Brian Madocks

Introducing Brian Madocks,
Revitas's new CEO
The demand for a highly effective contract, revenue, and compliance system is more prevalent than ever as companies in the world’s most complex industries increasingly rely on channel sales and incentive programs to drive business. As more companies choose Revitas as their Enterprise Revenue Dynamics (ERD) solution of choice, we continue to grow our solution offerings by extending our presence in long-time partner industries, expanding into new markets, and developing innovative product platforms.

In support of this growth, we’re pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Madocks as the new CEO and President of Revitas. A seasoned executive in the enterprise software industry, Brian brings to Revitas a long history of driving sustainable business growth, with a proven ability to grow market share and expand products into new or underserved markets -- and will lead Revitas on its trajectory of growth.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring has sprung at Revitas! Check out our blossoming list of events.

April showers bring May flowers ...
and Revitas events!
April showers might bring May flowers, but the month also ushers in a new wave of Revitas events, with a full line up of webinars, conferences, and tradeshows. We’ll be discussing everything contracts, revenue, and compliance, and tackling some of the hard-hitting topics facing the high-tech, life sciences, and manufacturing industries. You won’t want to miss a single event, so check out the highlights below and mark them on your calendars!

Webinar: Reaching Your Revenue Potential: The 5 Essential Steps 
Monday, March 31, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
In this free webinar we’ll discuss how implementing effective revenue management can help companies extract maximum value from their revenue streams. We’ll identify and dig in to the five basic principles of achieving a company’s true revenue potential:

  • Automate contract management processes 
  • Develop high-impact incentives and channel initiatives 
  • Streamline channel management activities 
  • Maximize IP and royalty revenues 
  • Implement data-driven operations

Conference: SPA's 2014 Annual Pharma Conference 
April 1 to 3, 2014 in Orlando, Fla.
Revitas, a gold sponsor at SPA’s 2014 Annual Pharma Conference, will be showcasing our contract, revenue, and compliance management solution suite for specialty pharma companies. We’ll meet and collaborate with other leading professionals that design, develop, manufacture, and market drugs, devices, and products in the life sciences industry.

Tradeshow: Collaborate 2014 
April 7 to 11, 2014 in Las Vegas
Revitas will be exhibiting at Collaborate 2014, the only event to offer the full spectrum of Oracle applications and technology education. Stop by our booth 635, where we’ll be discussing how Revitas works with Oracle to improve contract lifecycle management and customer relationship management.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Why campaign-to-cash?

Demystifying campaign to cash
This post is part one of a four-part series on campaign-to-cash.

The business environment as we know it is rapidly changing. At times it feels like it is evolving on a daily basis. However, no matter how volatile the environment becomes, organizations need to adapt to survive -- the business equivalent of survival of the fittest.

A number of factors drive change, including rapidly shifting market demand and global competition; significant changes in distribution, logistics, and routes to market; and the global adoption of new business models and product propositions. The business world is changing at a pace faster than ever before.

Organizations are responding by going back to the basics, evaluating processes and procedures that impact building and fulfilling demand -- otherwise known as campaign-to-cash. Campaign-to-cash isn't a new concept, in fact, without even knowing it your organization is probably utilizing the philosophy whether you are calling it campaign-to-cash or not.

Traditional campaign-to-cash processes start at the beginning of the sales cycle by identifying and generating demand for your organization. To generate greater demand, organizations conduct processes, such as market planning, price management, and incentive creation and management. These processes need to be optimally managed and constantly evaluated to ensure that your organization is functioning at peak performance (sound familiar -- I told you that your organization was probably doing this already).

Friday, March 21, 2014

What coffee, contracting, and rebate management have in common: Part 1

The similarities between coffee and integrated
contract and rebate management
I didn’t drink coffee until 15 years ago when my oldest daughter was born. At that time, I didn’t own a coffee maker. Instead, due to sleep deprivation, I purchased a cup of coffee each morning from my company’s cafeteria. This went on for a while until I started to calculate just how much money I was spending on coffee each workday. At the price of a $1 per cup each day, I was still spending about $260 each year just on coffee. It was at that point that I decided to invest in a coffeemaker and figure out how to make coffee myself.

Since I wasn’t a coffee expert, I purchased one of the cheaper machine options because I wasn’t willing to commit a significant amount of money for something that was new to me. However, the chosen machine didn’t have any fancy bells or whistles, like a timer, and as a result, each morning I had to turn on the machine, pour the water into the back, scoop the coffee grinds into the filter, and wait for the coffee to finish brewing before I could imbibe. At first, I was happy because I was saving money. But as time went by, I started to hate waiting for my morning coffee. Eventually, I decided to upgrade the coffeemaker to one that had a timer so that I could prepare everything the night before and have the coffee waiting for me in the morning.

This worked for a few years, but as all coffee lovers know, over time, my coffee taste matured. I began to see coffee as more than a quick buzz to start the day. As a result, I started to buy the whole beans and grind my own coffee. While the coffee tasted better, this new process added extra effort, time, and cleanup to my morning routine. In time, I realized the error of my way and invested in an integrated machine that would allow me to store and grind the beans right in the coffee machine. After years of trial and error, I finally had a coffee machine that gave me everything I wanted.

So why am I telling you about my coffee history? The saga of my morning coffee ritual mimics what a lot of companies go through with their contract and rebate management process. Many companies rely on indirect channels to distribute goods, and therefore need to pay chargeback and ship and debit to the wholesaler or distributor. Unless you work for a company with a history of processing these transactions, it is unlikely your company has the people or systems to process these transactions, and it doesn't want to invest money in hiring people and implementing a solution. As a result, companies like these hire a third-party provider to validate and pay the transactions for them.