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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Pharmaceutical Leveraging Web 2.0 --In a Big Way

If you think Web 2.0 can't be used in your company because of legal or regulatory concerns, think about this...

Pfizer, the world's largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company, with its corporate headquarters located in New York, created Pfizerpedia (based loosely on Wikipedia) in 2006 and has been leveraging the interactive-community-based tool ever since.

The site started out as an online encyclopedia but has grown virally and morphed into something far more powerful than an encyclopedia. It has become a user-generated, centralized index of all things R&D across Pfizer's worldwide organization including people, projects, events, blogs, and discussion groups. Integration with the enterprise directory and other data sources greatly enable "people finding." With a simple search, users can quickly locate colleagues doing relevant work—and not only find their contact information, but also recent projects, publications, and seminars.

Pfizerpedia is resource-sharing Web 2.0 site containing information on mechanisms of action, employee and project profiles and Pfizer products and other information useful to researchers and sales personnel within Pfizer.

Pfizerpedia’s popularity has grown and it is fast becoming an on-line resource of first preference for R&D employees, seeking knowledge pertinent to their job role. Pfizerpedia now has over 2500 contributors creating over 5000 content pages. More than 3000 pages have received at least 1000 hits each. In total, there have been over 11 million page views and approximately 100,000 page edits since it was set up.

Bookmarks of interesting information from Pfizerpedia and other sources can be tagged at by individual employees. Those might be bookmarks of a favorite blog page or other information from an internal Pfizer resource and then they can be stored and viewed to determine the information of most interest across the organization. For those of you who wonder about regulatory and legal issues, even Pfizer's ultra-cautious regulatory affairs group is using the wiki to generate ideas.

According to one article, one clever thing that Pfizer did to promote the use of Pfizerpedia was to create a series of small slide shows to indicte how Pfizerpedia would work-so potential users of the site would understand its value. (as shown in the slideshow below.)

meet Jessica
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web_2.0 enterprise_2.0)

In the future…Pfizer plans to launch Pfacebook—a social networking site modeled after Facebook.

Here is an article from InformationWeek on the topic.

Here is an article from ON Magazine called Enterprise Collaboration 2.0: Is it time to jump in and swim? by Christine Kane which contains good information on the topic.

Another interesting article on the topic, Pfizerpedia: knowledge repository at Pfizer

Also see Pfizer launches RSS for R&D and eyes "Pfacebook" social network

Also see Pfizer Case Study.

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Professor Phelps said...

Karl, Thanks for sharing. This is a wonderful example of the power of collaboration that I will share with my team of e-learning designers.

In the slide show, Meet Jessica, I was particularly impressed with slides 28 and 29: "18 months ago my network looked like this...and I used these tools",(and slide 29)"Today my network looks like this and I use these tools." Those two images say a lot to me about where we are headed in learning. The teacher to student model has its place, plus we have to embrace new methods of sharing and learning to be effective as educators.

Thanks again!

Tony Karrer said...

Great post Karl. I've heard this discussed, but good to see this all pulled together.

Karl Kapp said...

Professor Phelps,

I really like the slide show as well. What a great way to give people an undestanding of the impact of the tools. As you indicated, those two images really do say volumes. Check out SlideShare for a number of similar slide shows.

Karl Kapp said...


Thanks. I had heard about it "in the background" as well and wanted to really dig in and see what they are doing. Neat stuff. It is nice to see Web 2.0 leveraged in such an environment and viewed so positively.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this post. I think we are going to continue to see the blurring lines of formal learning with informal collaboration. This is not new to the Learning world but I think the shift is going to be complex for learning organizations, as the content production is clearly shifting to value the wisdom of the crowds.

What is most impressive is the adoption approach that blends viral with first class collateral.

Looks like pretty flawless execution to me. I predict this trend will continue to gain momentum in the years to come.

- Meg

Karl Kapp said...


I agree the lines are blurring more and more every day and the better understanding organizations have of using Web 2.0 tools they better they will be able to leverage their own internal "wisdoms of crowds." Pfizerpedia does seem to be a excellent example of this technology working.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog~