Veeva relies on strong partner network, including several in Philadelphia area

Tom Paine

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Veeva Systems, the California startup that quickly established itself as a primary solution for life sciences applications and data in the cloud, announced jointly in August with HighPoint Solutions (East Norriton) an agreement which expands HighPoint's role as a Veeva partner.

While HighPoint had previously served as a Veeva partner for CRM installations, this latest agreement will expand HighPoint's role to generally more complex Master Data Management (MDM) solutions using Veeva MDM software.

Veeva, which is committed to a deep vertical focus on Life Sciences, has kept its aim on the things it thinks it does best, and relied on partners to help fill out the other spaces in its ecosystem. Meanwhile, its partners have an opportunity to flourish if Veeva solidifies its position as an industry standard.

Several partners in addition to HighPoint are based in the Philly area. These include Qlik Technologies (Radnor), LiquidHub (Wayne), Sparta Systems (Hamilton NJ), Medidata,  which is New York-based but has a Conshohocken office, Digitas Health (Philadelphia), San Francisco-based Giant, a healthcare communications agency which now has a Philadelphia office, Princeton-based Inventiv Health Clinical, Symphony Health Solutions (Horsham), Cadient Group, (Malvern), NexGen Rx Marketing (Bensalem), Vox Media (Philadelphia)  and CDM Princeton.

Veeva also works closely with Big Four firms and other descendants of the Big Eight as partners (Accenture, which acquired Octagon Research Solutions of Wayne in 2012, Deloitte, and PwC), each of whom have substantial healthcare practices in the Philly area. Another partner, Mavens Consulting, is a Salesforce application development specialist in Life Sciences which has worked with Veeva virtually from the start, although it doesn't have an office in the Philly area. Of course, its most important partner of all of is Salesforce, upon whose software Veeva's CRM offering was built.

“Veeva remains 100 percent committed to its life sciences customers so we are always driving to provide the niche technology products and service they need to remain in compliance and competitive in today’s demanding market,” said a company spokesperson. “If we see a functional gap, we either fill it directly with innovative technology applications or work with an expert in that area of specialty to fill it indirectly. For this reason, our partners are incredibly valuable to us and to our customers."

"Veeva OpenData, for example, is one of our new product lines that is experiencing success as a result of these strategic, regional partnerships. The product provides life sciences companies with complete healthcare professional and healthcare organization data, aggregated across all data sources and partners."

Veeva has its east coast headquarters in Radnor to be close to the conentration of life sciences firms in the area. The Radnor office has also aided in the development of other businesses, such as Veeva Network (its data business), and has orchestrated the building of much of its partner network from here.

As it has grown, Veeva has shied away from large acquisitions, having made only three fairly small ones. Perhaps its largest to date, AdvantageMS, was a Fort Washington-based supplier of life sciences provider data. It wss acquired for $10.5 million. I suspect that Veeva may make somewhat larger acquisitions in the future, but have found that its top management, who started off by turning only $7 million in outside capital into a company worth over $3 billion today, are independent thinkers who follow their own path in charting its future growth. CEO Peter Gassner and President Matt Wallach probably learned something about the negative consequences of some tech acquisitions by being with PeopleSoft and Seibel respectively, prior to their acquisitions by Oracle, and seeing what happened to them afterwards.

Veeva announced quarterly results in the last week of August. Revenue for its 2nd quarter 2016 (yes, they're on a different clock than most of us) was $98.1 million, a yearly increase of 30%. Net income was $13.4 million (GAAP), a 40% increase over the prior year. Its worth noting that revenue growth did drop from 54% in the first six months of the past fiscal year to 32% in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Veeva, which completed its IPO in late 2013 (NYSE: VEEV), currently has a market capitalization of $3.3 billion.