Road at night with break lights

How SMBs ensure to maximize the full potential of their Veeva Vault investment

When small and medium-sized businesses invest in a multi-tenant cloud-based solution such as Veeva Vault they are often driven by a desire to optimize their business processes. But without the proactive and ongoing focus on continuous improvement, many fail to achieve the full potential of the system.

The decision to invest in Veeva Vault is often driven by a wish to better control or optimize business process as well as increase efficiency. This also counts for small and medium-sized pharma companies. And while there is no doubt that tools like Veeva Vault can do exactly that, agility and innovation do not emerge overnight even after a successful implementation. Especially for SMBs with limited recourses or even experience at hand, managing the Vault applications can be a challenging job:

- While large enterprises have huge IT departments, the picture is often different for small and medium-sized pharma companies. They often lack the IT organization to fully support the business and thus they do not have the same starting point for operating a platform like Veeva Vault. A one-man IT department naturally does not have the same resources, says Franciska Darmer, Advisory Director at NNIT.

This means that many SMBs are simply unable to achieve the full potential of the platform that in itself is often a huge investment:

- The challenge is that they lack both resources and expertise to maintain the system in the long run. They invest a lot of time and resources to get it up and running but may not have the in-house competencies to successfully manage the system afterwards. Activities essential in a continuous improvement journey, such as release management, is therefore often kept at a minimum, explains Franciska Darmer.

Documentation, validation, and risk assessment

Unfortunately, this is rarely enough. Especially not for a platform like Veeva Vault with three system releases per year.

- It’s no good to take an ‘implement-and-forget’ approach with Cloud-based platforms. You need to learn how to manage each release to get the most out of it. That means that you need to actively evaluate your documentation, level of validation and making a risk assessment every time there is a new system release. At the same time, it is important to review new functions and capabilities and consider the impact and potential for your business processes.

While some updates from Veeva happen automatically, others are auto-off, which means they must be actively implemented.

Risk of non-compliance

According to Franciska Darmer, many of the potential long-term possibilities lie in these updates:

- So, if you are not aware of how to actively manage each release, or simply lack the resources to do so, you miss out on features and functions that hold great potential for process optimization and efficiency improvement.

At worst, the consequences can be fateful:

- If you do not have experience with GxP systems and validation of Cloud-based tools, your system might suddenly no longer be validated, and you risk becoming non-compliant. It only requires one small slip, such as an administrator who changes a security setting or workflow by accident without knowing that it falls outside of official procedures, Franciska Darmer points.

Strong link between IT and business

To avoid this, it is all-important to have a sufficient governance model in place (i.e. SOPs and WIs) when you go live. One that takes into consideration the special nature of a multi-tenant cloud technology, and you need a strong link between IT and business to facilitate the ongoing assessment and implementation of new features and functions. This is not always the case in SMBs.

- It is not enough to just hand over the system to IT. Your organization needs an IT department that has GXP expertise and ongoing interaction with each relevant business area. When investing in Veeva Vault, ensuring that IT has the resources and get the necessary support to operate the system must be a priority, ends Franciska Darmer.

Looking to improve the ROI of Veeva Vault?

NNIT Veeva Core offers SMBs a tailored solution to implement and optimize Veeva Vault.

Contact our Advisory Director, Franciska Darmer at to book a meeting or start a conversation about how we can help you.