Intelligent Issue 05 | Page 49


Aspen Technology ( AspenTech ) is a global leader in asset optimisation software , helping companies better utilise their operation . For years , the company has served various industries – such as oil and gas , enabling innovation for its clients . Recently , though , the enterprise decided to establish itself in the pharmaceutical space , once it noticed the interest that had been generated within this sector .

In order to meet interest , the company acknowledged the industry ’ s unique position : while it was so far advanced , technologically it was behind . So , initially , its offerings were product-heavy .
It also noticed that employees tended to jump between different industries , which aligned with the company ’ s primary mission ; to provide industrial software to businesses in multiple verticals . As such , it knew how to leverage its expertise across the various verticals to enable many pharma companies to undergo Digital Transformation journeys .
To better understand pharma , AspenTech asked 400 industry professionals across the US and Europe about the future of Digital Transformation and manufacturing . The report found that data silos were derailing the efficiency of cross-functional collaboration in organisations . The report also sought to discover the future of pharma and what direction it was heading in regard to Digital Transformation .
Here , Raman Bhatnagar , Vice President and General Manager at Aspen Technology , speaks to us about the recent report , Aspen ’ s offerings and the future of pharma . . . .
What does your average day look like at AspenTech ?
I think it ’ s easier to say what my average week looks like at AspenTech ! Having a global responsibility at AspenTech means I ’ m constantly following up with teams in different time zones . For example , I had a call at seven recently with a client in the APAC region about the latest pharma trends and what ’ s happening there . Our head offices are based out of Boston , USA , which is six hours behind my office in Norway , so it ' s common to have calls late at night ( usually at midnight ). Due to the nature of the job , I also travel a lot !
I frequently take part in discussions about where we currently are in the market and how we can expand our reach . I am also a huge proponent of frequent interaction with my team whether it ’ s regarding career guidance , general help or just a quick catch-up – your people are important !
Can you tell us more about your recent research and the key findings from it ?
For us to be perceived as a key player in this space , we need to keep close connections with pharmaceutical companies and the industry . Only by doing that are we able to match our offerings with what customers are looking for – and our research reflects this .
I ' m constantly connecting with senior executives from various pharmaceutical companies , with most of our discussions touching upon the key pain points of the industry . This feedback allows us to offer better solutions to them . So , we specifically asked the respondents what is hindering the progress of their digitalisation . Ultimately , trying to understand why pharma ’ s progression is so much slower within this area .
Pharma is around 10 years behind with leveraging digital technology – which the industry has recognised . So , our questions focused heavily on what is actually happening in this space and why things are not progressing more quickly .
Why are pharma businesses more likely to see data silos hinder internal collaboration efforts ?
Throughout our survey , we discovered that the value chain of the pharma industry is very broad . It has lots of different divisions that don ’ t always consider themselves to be part of the same industry . This complicates things and makes sharing data difficult .
If you look at drug discovery , for example , you have the discovery itself , where scientists are figuring out how to resolve the challenges that humankind is facing . However , you also have production and accessibility , which includes everything from availability to pricing to distribution . Lots of companies are multinationals .


Content-wise I am involved in everything from customer calls to market research .
They have their development sites in one region and their production and distribution channels elsewhere in the world . Historically , these sites do not communicate incredibly well , especially when it comes to sharing data .
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