At Merck & Co., Inc., one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, corporate terms can be mind–boggling. That's why Mike Heck, a member of the internal communications team, has a FileMaker Go database for employee iPhones and iPads. "Things can get confusing when communicating across departments," he says. "There are a lot of terms and acronyms that need to be defined. With FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad, employees can access the lexicon whenever they need clarification. It saves time and makes us more productive."
Clarifying complex terms at Merck with FileMaker Go for iPad and iPhone
Pharmaceutical giant saves time and boosts productivity with 5,000–entry dictionary of terms for employees' iPads and iPhones
- One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world needs to define and clarify terms and acronyms across departments
- Healthcare/Medical Services
- Medium–Large Business
- Created a hosted FileMaker database accessible and editable by all used on iPad and iPhone by mobile employees
- Greater productivity
- Easy to deploy
When Heck's internal communications group formed a few years ago, there was no easy–to–use internal resource for company terms and acronyms."
Merck is a huge, complicated company that makes complex medicines and vaccines, and there are countless terms and acronyms," says Heck. "Even people who've been with the company for years need a reference. So I built a database in FileMaker Pro for my small group. Since then, it's been downloaded thousands of times and used throughout the company."
Merck employees used the database heavily. Then they started adding to it. "Different departments have different terms, so they would add them to the database," says Heck. "It got out of synch very quickly." So Heck loaded the database to an internal server so it could be updated by multiple users. "That worked well. Today we have about 5,000 entries in the database and it's growing."
We were looking for a powerful database solution on the iPad," he says. "FileMaker Go is FileMaker Pro in almost every way. We decided to test it out by porting the lexicon over. It worked out extremely well.Mike Heck — FileMaker Developer
Productivity gains thanks to the iPad and iPhone
To give Merck employees access to terms on the move, Heck deployed FileMaker Go.
"A large number of Merck workers are on the go and rely on their mobile devices for e–mail and other productivity applications," says Heck. "More and more, the iPhone and the iPad are the devices of choice. So it made sense to let employees access the dictionary on those devices. FileMaker Go gives them the full experience of the content, such as images and links to other resources, when they're in meetings and other remote locations–making them more productive."
Making the database of terms available to iPad and iPhone users took mere minutes, says Heck. "It was seamless. FileMaker Go is FileMaker Pro in almost every way," he says. "I tailored the interface for the iPad–made some text fields and buttons larger and easier for the touch screen, and loaded it up."
Form and function
The resulting FileMaker Go database is very functional, says Heck. "Having the native application on the iPhone and iPad gives you a much richer experience. We have some graphics, some large text fields. They all display perfectly on the iPad with FileMaker Go."
Future of FileMaker Go at Merck
Heck hopes to use FileMaker Go for other projects in his department and introduce it to other divisions of Merck. "A lot of people here are already using iPads and iPhones," he says. "FileMaker Go could be used by the HR department during interviews, or in the research lab to log data. We've only touched on what FileMaker Go can do for us. FileMaker Go on the iPad or iPhone could revolutionize the way we handle information at Merck."