Published on 05-Nov-2009
"This was a game changer. You run into that typical dilemma in finance organizations where you spend so much time aggregating data that you have very little time to analyze it. IBM Cognos TM1 went a long way toward solving that issue." - Sung Lee, Director, Financial Planning & Analysis, Gilead
The IBM Cognos solution was already familiar to Gilead’s Director, Financial Planning & Analysis, who knew that it is the best for overall functionality, flexibility and delivering business benefits, including highly intuitive analysis and reporting, and the ability to rapidly change budget models on the fly.
Create reliable, insightful budgets and forecasts for numerous stages of drug development, with no need for programming or traditional IT skills.
The IBM Cognos TM1 system provides unmatched real-time insight into, and analysis of, complex budget data, so finance managers can access important and fast-changing budgetary and operational data when they need it most.
High reliability with minimal maintenance needed; easy-to-read reports; increased access to consolidated data from multiple sources; near instantaneous downloads; rapid re-forecasting capacity to accommodate market changes.
Gilead® Sciences®, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet need. With each new discovery and experimental drug candidate, the company seeks to improve the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Gilead’s primary areas of focus include HIV/AIDS, liver disease, and serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.
Gilead’s portfolio of 12 marketed products includes a number of category “firsts” and market leaders, including Atripla® (efavirenz 600 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg) – the first single-tablet regimen for HIV infection. The company’s latest therapy, Viread® (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, was approved in August 2008. Chronic hepatitis B, a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus, is the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide and affects an estimated two million individuals in the US.
Headquartered in Foster City, California, Gilead has expanded rapidly over the past two decades, with annual revenues now exceeding $5 billion, operations spanning four continents and a worldwide staff of approximately 4,000 employees. The organization’s Research and Development (R&D) Unit represents about half of the company’s size.
Gilead’s R&D Unit, responsible for a highly active and innovative program aimed at identifying new compounds for the treatment of life-threatening diseases, has the constant need for reliable, accurate, up-to-the-minute data. This data not only shapes consolidated reports, but helps decision-makers make better-informed budgetary and operational decisions. Additionally, Gilead needed to access its data in a quicker and more structured manner so that finance could have more insight into various phases of drug development. To do this, the company needed to gain more insight into short and long-term costs and operations within its R&D Unit.
Gilead also wanted to cut down on the number of manual processes it conducted through error-prone spreadsheets within many of its budgeting processes. Manually created Microsoft® Excel® reports required a significant effort to create each month, and sometimes provided inconsistent results. These reports proved to be extremely time-consuming to create, not to mention the time lost from having to investigate data anomalies. On top of that, significant maintenance and support efforts were required to stay on top of data to reflect changing conditions.
Once the company was able to get away from manual processes with spreadsheets, finance employees could concentrate on more value-added functions in planning, budgeting and forecasting. Since the R&D Unit forecasts for multiple years, including weekly forecasts as needed, having access to the most up-to-date data in order to maintain efficient operations was paramount.
Gilead didn’t need to evaluate numerous financial analytics solutions from competing vendors because there was a strong familiarity with the IBM® Cognos® TM1 solution already. Based on Director of Financial Planning & Analysis Sung Lee’s prior experience and successes with an IBM Cognos solution at another company, he already knew the solution’s overall functionality, including its ability to provide highly intuitive analysis and reporting, and its comprehensive security and audit trails, was significantly better than competing products.
Gilead went live with IBM Cognos TM1 in early 2008, and embarked on a 6-week pilot project initially, followed by an 8-week implementation. As of August 2009, Gilead has eight licensed users in finance, six of whom are not advanced users, with plans to add a handful additional users by the end of 2009. The range of users spans from financial analysts to a director. Approximately eight hours of training in total was conducted during ramp-up, and this could be held to a minimum because of the solution’s ease of use.
Because of its diverse needs, Gilead turned to the IBM Cognos TM1 solution’s superior analytical capabilities and ease of use, especially as it related to overall administration. From an IT environment perspective, Gilead operates on Microsoft Windows® and uses JD Edwards for its ERP system. Now, the finance department can make its own changes to any data and do maintenance on the fly. In contrast, the company’s old environment forced users making any changes to call someone in IT to administer that change.
“With IBM Cognos TM1, we basically self-administer it within our group,” Lee says.
Gilead’s R&D finance department uses IBM Cognos TM1 practically every day for forecasting and budgeting data for the entire R&D organization. This covers data on the costs of drug development from inception to completion. The overarching goal – that finance continues to meet or exceed – is to provide decision-makers with the most reliable, up-to-date budget information possible. The R&D Unit started reaping benefits as soon as it was deployed.
“The benefits of the IBM Cognos system started the first day that it went live,” Lee says, comparing its time-saving capabilities to replacing a manually opening garage with an electric garage door opener. “It had that much of a dramatic impact.”
IBM Cognos TM1 enables Gilead to focus more on strategic analysis, reporting and budgeting functions that can enhance the bottom line. Non-technical users are able to operate the easy-to-use, intuitive solution with no snarls. The R&D FP&A group uses IBM Cognos TM1 to forecast long-term costs and weekly forecasts based on constantly updated data. All these complex budgeting and forecasting tasks are being completed far more efficiently.
“The biggest difference that IBM Cognos TM1 made for us is in how the work is produced,” Lee says. “For example, in the old environment you’d probably have to go through ten steps to generate something, but now, that’s down to two steps. It really makes a difference in workflow and work processing.”
IBM Cognos TM1’s features allow the R&D Unit to focus on process improvements as much as possible, and as a result, its financial analytics have become more efficient. For example, the amount of time it takes to upload budget data from 300 departments within R&D has been cut to seconds. That same task previously took two days to complete. Because of its speed, consolidated records are updated with changes up-to-the-minute, and are available for view in an easily readable format. This feature and others – which have significantly increased finance’s productivity – made choosing IBM Cognos TM1 “a no brainer,” Lee says.
“This was a game changer. You run into that typical dilemma in finance organizations where you spend so much time aggregating data then you have very little time to analyze it. IBM Cognos TM1 went a very long way toward solving that issue,” Lee adds.
About IBM Cognos BI and Performance Management
IBM Cognos business intelligence (BI) and performance management solutions deliver world-leading enterprise planning, consolidation and BI software, support and services to help companies plan, understand and manage financial and operational performance. IBM Cognos solutions bring together technology, analytical applications, best practices, and a broad network of partners to give customers an open, adaptive and complete performance solution. Over 23,000 customers in more than 135 countries around the world choose IBM Cognos solutions.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2009 IBM Canada3755 Riverside DriveOttawa, ON, Canada K1G 4K9 Produced in CanadaOctober 2009All Rights Reserved. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and Cognos are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such Trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. GILEAD®, GILEAD SCIENCES® and VIREAD®, are registered trademarks belong to Gilead Sciences, Inc. ATRIPLA® is a registered trademark belonging to Bristol-Myers Squibb & Gilead Sciences, LLC. Microsoft, Windows and Excel are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference in this information to non-IBM Web sites are provided for convenience only and do not in any manner serve as an endorsement of those Web sites. The materials at those Web sites are not part of the materials for this IBM product and use of those Web sites is at your own risk