REVIEWER: Linn Laak, chief operating officer for Eminent Research Systems.
BACKGROUND: Eminent Research Systems conducts government- required clinical trials for medical devices designed for humans.
PLATFORMS: Windows NT, Oracle database.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Large medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical and biologic companies hire Eminent Research to perform and manage clinical studies for product approvals and market launches. Each study must be reviewed and approved by physicians and researchers across the U.S.; but because the study forms can be up to 100 pages in length, they are impossible to send through e-mail. In the past, Eminent delivered studies via mail or FedEx, sometimes as many as 25 times before they were finalized. According to government regulations, all versions must be documented and saved. As a result, we stored multiple paper copies of every project. Our company needed a more efficient and cost-effective way to manage this cumbersome process. We also wanted a Web-based solution so researchers, physicians and Eminent employees working in different geographic locations could easily access the system through any Web browser. We chose Stellent Content Management an enterprise content management solution for business Web sites. It has helped us achieve quick return on investment ranging from time and cost savings to increased revenue and employee satisfaction.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Stellent Content Management is functioning extremely well for our business. It's the backbone of what we do, simplifying the entire clinical study approval and documentation process through a secure extranet. It has dramatically changed the way our business operates, saving us more than $500,000 in printing, shipping and employee salary costs. We've also increased the number of projects one person can manage by tenfold, which has increased overall company revenue by 40 percent.
STRENGTHS: Ease of use and scalability are Stellent Content Management's main strengths. Users do not need special technical expertise, software, hardware or a Webmaster to publish content to the extranet. The system enables users to contribute content in native formats and automatically converts it to common Web format, publishes it to the extranet. I'm also very impressed by Stellent Content Management's depth and breadth of functionality. Each time we think we need to partner with another company to enhance our process, we discover that Stellent can provide what we need.
WEAKNESSES: Because the Stellent Content Management system is so flexible, my staff wants to make continual changes to our current system. This can be a distraction.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Most solutions we considered were designed specifically for the medical industry. However, we didn't want to limit ourselves to those systems and potentially miss innovative technologies that can be applied to a variety of industries. Stellent Content Management was easier to use, more robust and more affordable than other solutions we considered.
DELIVERABLES: Stellent Content Management allows content to be contributed to clinical studies through the Stellent Content Server using a Web browser. The content is saved in its native format. The system then automatically converts the content to a Web form and publishes it to the extranet. Content can also be contributed through our clinical trial system, which integrates with the Stellent Content Management system and enables us to report and track study progress. The workflow function enables researchers, physicians and Eminent employees working in different geographic locations to log onto the extranet at any time and add comments to clinical study content. We can then view and approve the edits. Stellent Content Management's version-control feature ensures only the most current draft of a study is published to the extranet and enables us to easily document and store each version of a study, which is critical for government compliance.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Stellent is the most responsive organization with which I've ever worked. When we need assistance, the company's technical support employees spend whatever time it takes to find a solution. When we provide feedback about Stellent Content Management, Stellent quickly integrates our suggestions into the product. Their support staff goes above and beyond what you would expect, and they give us a lot of personalized attention.
DOCUMENTATION: The overall quality of the documentation provided by Stellent exceeded our expectations, and we could easily rely on it to run the product.
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