The group has grown in 7 years from five people focused on healthcare worldwide at Microsoft; now there are more than 700.  This group is for responsible primarily for the enterprise space (in biopharma and medical devices), so these are the largest customers in the U.S.image  I have provided a few clips from this interview that hit the high points.  They are looking at releasing information soon relative to the Scripps Research Institute and what they are doing with respect to high-performance computing on HPC Server.

imageMuch of the focus with Pharma is helping with technology to enable product pipelines to be filled at a faster rate. 

As he mentions the selling model has changed from being directed at physicians to rather a group to include all the factors that physicians deal and work with daily, HMOs and prescription management to name a couple.

In the not-so-distant future there are plans to provide the BioIT Alliance with code being working on – live code around data visualization for partners from the industry.  Amalga for Life Sciences will also be represented in the line of hospital and clinical software. 

This is a very well written interview and gives some real good insight as to how Microsoft and technology fit in to the scheme of Biotech and Life Sciences.  BD 

Oct. 9, 2008 | Many folks wonder what Microsoft’s eventual play in the life sciences will be. Clearly biomedical research looks more and more like an exercise in digital content integration, management, and mining. Within the last few years, Microsoft – and others – awakened to opportunities in healthcare writ large, and to biomedical research as a key piece of that enterprise.

JR: Let’s start with the mission of the U.S. Health & Life Sciences (HLS) Group. What is it, and what’s your role? 

Naimoli: Well, it’s a group that’s run by Steve Aylward (general manager), and he has vertical directors for three groups: providers, plans, and life sciences. I’m the director of the life sciences group. Overall, the life sciences unit is responsible for providing vertical messages around the Microsoft platform. So, for instance, my group in particular focuses on pharma, biotech, and medical device companies. We take the Microsoft suite of products and we work with partners to build solutions themselves, or we work directly with customers and their internal developer organizations and help them build solutions that meet their needs in the enterprise.

Microsoft offers a lot out-of-the-box and the office platform and our servers, but one thing we don’t want to lose sight of are developers who are working within these organizations. (These are) developers that for long time have been writing applications on our competitors’ platforms. They are often fans of open source software. We do provide standards-based solutions for the industry.

We have them look at Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), for example, and we’re working to have them think, “I’m going to write to WPF or I’m going to learn about WPF.” Or we have them look at HPC Server 2008 and say, “Maybe high-performance computing on a Microsoft platform is something that we have to look at and consider writing applications to it.” That’s becoming a bigger part of my group’s focus.

The traditional selling model is not so much selling direct to physicians anymore but, how do you develop a sales force that can also sell to prescription benefits managers and (healthcare) plan organizations? Patient adherence is another.


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