Novartis Pharma

BPM Automation

Novartis is a global healthcare company based in Switzerland. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies by both market capitalization and sales. More than 125,000 employees address the evolving needs of patients at Novartis, 2,400 of them work in Russia.

BPM Automation
Pharmaceutical industry
2009 - present

The challenge

Novartis Pharma sets high business standards. Therefore, when automating business processes, it is necessary to consider many technological constraints, such as the use of technologies and products approved by the group of companies.

The solution proposed also required the mandatory presence of the testing environment and separate development and production environment and clearly defined procedures for project execution.

In 2013, the company’s management decided to equip the field stuff with tablet PCs to increase their mobility and efficiency. In this regard, it was necessary to support the full-featured system operation both on laptops and on new devices to perform the following tasks:

  • increase the efficiency of document management methods;
  • improve the quality of document movement control, eliminate the loss of individual parts of the approval chain, and provide control at each level of execution;
  • fasten bringing tasks to the executors;
  • reduce time spent on searching for needed information;
  • reduce the cost of processing documents and generating reports for specified intervals.

The Solution

Digital Design solution architecture for Novartis is based on Microsoft technologies. Microsoft SQL Server is used as the Database Management System, and user interfaces are implemented in the SharePoint environment using ASP.NET. This combination of technologies provides the required effect when supporting and developing solutions. At the same time, most of the settings can be changed independently by the Novartis team.

Lot of attention is paid to verification methods, reducing the number of user errors, informing of incorrect actions, etc. It allows new employees to start working in the system faster and it significantly helps the first line of support.

The most of solutions support remote work for users being out of office, e.g. via iPad.

The results

Since 2009, Digital Design has implemented the following solutions for Novartis Pharma:

  • iContractManagement – contract documents agreement;
  • iInvoicing – financial documents registration and payment tracking;
  • iPreboarding – submission and processing of applications for hiring new employees;
  • iFTP – for interaction with doctors as part of scientific and educational activities, covering the full cycle from contracting to payment;
  • iTravel – travel requests processing.


  • Contract documentation agreement automation
  • Contract documents archive creation
  • Performance control
  • 100 users working in the system
  • 10,000 documents processed in 2009-2013


  • Maintaining database and accumulating archive of primary documents
  • Calculation of the planned payment date using the payment calendar
  • Tracking the payment status of incoming invoices
  • Control of payment terms
  • Integration with SAP
  • Informing employees of the payment status


  • Optimization of hiring processes
  • Approval of applications for registering a new employee in HR, financial, administrative, IT and other services
  • Sending standard email templates as well as flexible mechanisms for changing them
  • Integration with 1C and SAP HRCore


  • Creating and storing contracts with doctors
  • Creating, approving and sending documents for payment as part of scientific and educational activities
  • More than 500 system users, most of them work remotely using iPad
  • Integration with SAP
  • Full automation of interaction with doctors, from contracting to payments for completed tasks, and creating the final personal income tax report


  • Creating travel requests with preferences for tickets, accommodation, transfers, and visa processing
  • Providing employees with access to system functions using iPad
  • Printing a business trip order from the system with the date of electronic approval
  • Built-in mechanisms for monitoring the company’s expenses and violation of the company’s business travel policy

Customer Review

Konstantin Smirnyagin
Pharma Russia CIO
“The automation made it possible to simplify the work of Novartis Pharma employees and to reduce the time spent on accomplishing everyday tasks significantly. The corporate portal made interaction with systems simple and convenient. We plan to continue developing automation and cover even more management and service processes”.