Scalability Is Key for Pharmaceutical Company’s Migration with Apps Associates

A biopharmaceutical company, developing novel drug candidates aimed at stopping the growth and spread of certain forms of cancer, had traditionally relied upon a lean team of scientists and researchers to support core operational functions that included finance and procurement, with Oracle’s NetSuite ERP solution. However, when the company’s flagship drug candidate began to show promising signs in late-stage drug trials—putting it on track for FDA approval and a promising commercial launch—the company knew it needed to refresh its infrastructure. The R&D focus that had long been the core of the company’s operations now had to be supplemented with capabilities that could support inventory management, manufacturing, and supply chain operations for its leading drug once it was launched as a commercial product. Additionally, the company also needed to equip its team with the necessary tools that could better support rapid organizational growth and potential global distribution—something its current solution could not provide. In addition to a new system to support the company amid these significant advancements, it also needed a partner who could implement and help manage the new technology. With a proven track record in the biopharmaceutical space, both managing and overseeing critical transitions to the cloud, Apps Associates was chosen to lead the company’s ERP migration.


When the company learned that their flagship drug was outperforming expectations in phase 3 regulatory trials, their timeline for commercial launch was significantly expedited—exposing the need for new software. Until that point, the company had run on NetSuite, which unfortunately lacked the wider functionality required to successfully support upcoming needs for inventory and manufacturing, and the impending rapid, global growth which loomed on the horizon.

After evaluating two of the leading ERP systems—Oracle Cloud ERP and SAP—as well as consulting with Apps Associates, the company decided that Oracle Cloud ERP was best fit to support their rapidly evolving business needs. While the company’s leadership remained focused on bringing their drug product through final stage approvals and preparing for commercial launch, Apps and the company’s internal IT team took the lead in implementing Oracle Cloud ERP, establishing a strong foundation for short-term wins and potential future module implementations following project completion, as needed.

Reevaluating Tech Capabilities for Fresh Go-to-Market Approach

Historically and by design, the company had always maintained a feasibly nimble IT team. However, when faced with the new challenges brought on by the imminent commercial launch, the company knew there was an urgent need for more support. “As we’ve been growing so rapidly over the last year or two, our in-house resources for supporting major developments have been stretched to their limit—something that was abundantly clear with the large-scale migration to Oracle Cloud ERP, said the company’s internal IT Director. “It truly called for a third-party partner to ensure the project made it across the finish line.”

Having previously worked with other organizations who made the same transition from R&D to commercial, Apps had a deep knowledge of traditional pain points and process restructuring that often arose alongside critical milestones in the biopharmaceutical industry. Understanding exactly the challenges faced by the company as they prepared for rapid growth and commercial launch, Apps experts put their unmatched skillset in Oracle ERP Cloud to work.

Well positioned with strong subject matter experts, onshore expertise, and offshore talent to make it cost effective, according to the company’s IT Director, “Apps’ experience made it possible to scope the right size for us at our stage—what was right for where were now and what will be right for the future.”

Finding a True Partner, Rather Than Just a Vendor

Apps Associates immediately went to work migrating the company’s existing on-premises NetSuite system to Oracle Cloud ERP. Armed with a detailed and collaborative project roadmap and expert team, Apps worked closely with internal stakeholders, maintaining constant communication to ensure transparent workflows, process updates and deadline progress.

Following the successful implementation of the new Oracle Cloud ERP and FDA approval of their flagship drug, the company again tapped Apps to lead the implementation of the company’s Oracle Cloud SCM. “At that stage, there were a number of conversations happening internally about the best way to approach supply chain, and Apps proved themselves to be a true partner here. They provided the insight and know-how to help guide us in the right direction so we could successfully lay the foundation for future growth,” said the company’s IT Director.

Journey to the Cloud

Since migrating both its ERP and SCM systems to Oracle, the company continues to partner closely with the Apps Associates team, who today serves as core support and a strategic advisor. “In working with Apps, it was clear that the entire team was very knowledgeable. They know the product and they operated as if they had done these projects before—because they have,” said the company’s IT Director. “It’s a powerful combination that ensured Oracle Cloud ERP would do what we needed it to, in order to achieve our goals.” Thanks to Apps, the company can focus on new and additional drug candidate approvals that are ready to hit the global market—a goal that would not have been possible were it not for the growth support that Oracle Cloud ERP affords them.

Key Results & Benefits

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About Apps Associates

Apps Associates is an enterprise application services leader with a customer-first focus. Apps Associates has more than two decades of experience helping organizations innovate through digital transformation initiatives. Customers such as Brooks Automation, Hologic Inc., Edwards Vacuum, and Take Two Interactive Software turn to Apps Associates for strategic counsel, system integration and the services required to solve their most complex business challenges – utilizing experience in analytics, application modernization, process automation, digital systems, technology and operations.

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