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Eli Lilly links global staff with ELVIS net

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Not only does the intranet allow us to communicate and collaborate across international borders, it gives us a way to maintain consistency of information and pricing throughout our offices. Elvis is alive and well -- and appearing on more than 25,000 corporate desktops around the world.

However, Eli Lilly Virtual Information Service, the corporate intranet for Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis, does more than entertain employees.

The 2-year old network links more than 25,000 employees in 30 countries and contains more than 12,000 pages of information ranging from employee benefits communication to sales and marketing databases.

MANY SERVICES AVAILABLE

Employees can access job postings, employee handbooks, corporate news bulletins, the daily stock price and a daily news feed on the pharmaceutical industry.

Senior management connects with an executive tracking system that maintains their schedules and an executive corporate information database.

UPDATED ANALYSIS

Organized by global brand unit, the marketing aspects of the network allows brand marketing teams and individual sales representatives to receive updated product information, market research, competitive analysis, customer lists and sales leads anywhere, anytime through desktop or laptop online connections.

Within the company's Central Nervous System (CNS) global business unit that markets Prozac and other high-profile drugs, for example, 500 sales and marketing representatives use ELVIS to stay in contact with colleagues around the world.

"The intranet has been critical to our development as a global associate in the CNS group," said Bryan Allison, marketing planning associate for the group

"Not only does the intranet allow us to communicate and collaborate across international borders, it gives us a way to maintain consistency of information and pricing throughout our offices."

Sales reps use the intranet to order promotional material for instant online delivery, for example.

"We had been spending about $30,000 a month just on information mailings to sales representatives," Mr. Allison says, "and by the time the information arrived to our global representatives and affiliates, it was usually out of date."

SAVING PRINTING AND MAILING COSTS

Now sales reps can get the latest information directly from the intranet, download the information into their laptop computers for mobile reference or presentation design -- or just print out product sheets at their customers' offices, he says.

The CNS database took about four months to design with the help of John Swartzendruber, Eli Lilly Internet services director. The development costs were more than offset by savings in printing and mailing, according to Mr. Allison.

ELVIS is still growing and evolving and is expected to exceed 6,000 pages of information next year.

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