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Pinnacle Solutions steers BioMimetic in the right direction

BioMimetic Therapeutics, a company that develops and commercializes drug-device combination products, sought to take advantage of existing SAS® solutions while implementing newer technologies to analyze clinical trial data. The company also needed to better understand the benefits of SAS on both the technical and business sides of the company. Pinnacle Solutions, a 12-year SAS partner, provided the clarity and answers that guided BioMimetic through SAS strategy and implementation.

Pinnacle Solutions began as a consulting firm with a focus on health and life sciences (HLS) IT and developed a strong FDA, pharmaceutical and clinical trials background. Later, the group branched out into other industries like manufacturing, retail, banking and government. What has remained core, however, is their process for new client engagements. The SAS partner offers these three best practices:

1) Do your homework and listen
When Pinnacle Solutions approached BioMimetic, the team prepared by researching the company, its history and potential industry issues or trends that may affect it. They then met face-to-face to get a better understanding of BioMimetic’s business model and technology needs.

“We focus on a client’s needs by understanding their challenges and where they’re going as a business,” says Ken Scales, Pinnacle Solutions Vice President of Business Development, about the first step of engaging with a client. Pinnacle Solutions President D.J. Penix adds that doing research and asking several questions ahead of time saves time at the initial meeting and shows a commitment to a client.

The meeting with BioMimetic began with the life sciences firm delving into primary concerns, such as how to make a new tool conform to an old system and how to set up a client server mode. “I said, ‘Let’s stop a minute. Let’s talk about what your business challenge is first and lay out the platform – because there are a hundred ways to configure this, but let’s figure out the best way for you,’” says Penix.

2) Be a counselor
Many BioMimetic departments were represented in this first meeting, from business to technical areas. All parties understood the basis of the analytics solutions, “which is always the easiest thing with SAS,” Penix says. But as the discussion dove deeper into polarizing issues from both sides of the company, Penix broke down the individual needs.

“It’s about how each individual in the room uses SAS,” he says. “We asked, ‘how do you implement it and what’s the impact for each of you?’ We identified the conflicts and then came up with solutions. We just try to be their counselor – their therapist.”

With such strong expertise in SAS – and in FDA regulations and the HLS industry – Pinnacle Solutions addressed the varying issues in a way that BioMimetic understood. “It’s almost like [the business side] needed a friend to go to IT. Someone who could understand their needs and ‘speak the language,’” Scales says.

Pinnacle Solutions keeps close ties with the SAS user community as well, allowing the group to further appreciate different user perspectives.

“Our main connection to the SAS community is through the user groups. We like to go from the bottom up and get involved in as many of the regional groups and user group conferences as we can. It gives us a direct pulse on what’s going on, who the top SAS users are and what new work they are doing,” says Penix.

3) Keep the future in mind
Pinnacle Solutions ensures that every recommendation considers what future markets might bring – and whether they are flexible to change accordingly.

“It’s more than just understanding the current challenges. One of the things we always try to do is make sure client processes are going to be able to grow and go where they want to go as a company,” says Penix.

In addition, Penix realizes that the job isn’t finished once the sale is closed. He goes on to make a simple analogy to echo this point. “If you go to the store and buy a toaster, immediately put a piece of bread in and don’t get the toast you want, you’re going to throw it in the ‘garage sale pile’ and never use it again. SAS is at completely the other end of the spectrum with regards to its complexity and that makes it even more challenging for us.
“If clients have just one bad experience and they don’t know what to do with it and how to utilize it, then they’re going to question whether it was worth the money. So we’re constantly thinking of that scenario when we’re in the pre-sales, the implementation and post-sale cycles.”