HCL slashing the cost of IT services

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Clinical data management

As pharma companies tighten their belts, they are expecting more
and more cost savings from their outsourcing providers. IT services
company HCL Technologies spoke to Outsourcing-Pharma.com at
Interphex in New York to explain how it is providing major cost
savings to its big pharma companies and manufacturers around the

The company, specialising in value-added IT solutions, BPO and infrastructure management services, has recently shifted its life sciences focus to four key areas; clinical data management, medical devices, regulatory services and manufacturing engineering services.

Through the recent alliance with India's leading contract research organisation, Synchron, HCL is now providing clinical data management services to customers in the US, Europe, Japan and the Asia Pacific at a fraction of the cost that US and other Western companies charge.

"By offering these services from our facilities in India, we can charge much less than our main rivals such as Oracle and Phase Forward,"​ said Pradep Nair, vice president and head of life sciences, HCL.

"In the first year our customers can save up to 50 per cent on what they are currently paying for clinical data management and over the next three years we can offer them savings of 20 per cent more on top of this,"​ he said.

The company expects to see a great demand for these services due to the huge cost savings it can offer and its placement in India, where the number of clinical trails being run continues to skyrocket.

HCL hopes that this clinical data management business will repeat the success it has been seeing in its medical devices design and manufacturing segment, which has been doubling each year since it was started four years ago.

This business segment focuses on medical devices that are engineered specifically for sale in emerging markets such as India and China, particularly Class II and III devices that involve a lot of electronics.

The design features focus on the specific considerations that devices in these markets need, such as low cost and low energy consumption, durability (particularly as devices are often shared between patients) and the level of intelligence required to use the device.

HCL expects its business in this segment to double again this year.

After spotting room for further competition in the IT outsourcing market, HCL is also now nurturing two new business segments that it believes will soon take off.

The first of these is HCL regulatory, providing IT services such as FDA compliance, including software validation, which are currently very expensive, said Nair.

"We now offer software regulatory services for only $30 per hour compared to $200 per hour that US companies such as Teratec charge,"​ said Nair.

The other promising new segment is HCL manufacturing engineering services (MES), which involves the procurement of parts, warehouse management, cGMP and customised software systems.

"Many customers are now looking to automate their manufacturing services and we can do this for 50 per cent the cost of other providers,"​ he said.

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