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Monitoring at Sanofi: a healthy collaboration is an article on strategic and competitive intelligence that appeared in the June partner supplement of Archimag (French title : Sanofi : Une veille bien traitée)

In the thirteen years that Actulligence has existed we have published very few testimonials from clients, with good reason. Business intelligence is an area where confidentiality is standard practice and we adhere to this as rigorously as possible.

This testimonial from Christophe Leclerc, interviewed by Michel Remize, looks at the state of play in the collaborative, cross-cutting monitoring systems implemented at the Sanofi Group with the active participation of Actulligence over the past five years.

We are hugely honoured to be involved in this project and to have the pleasure of working with the teams at this flagship of the global pharmaceutical industry.

Actulligence always strives to implement projects in which valuable information can be shared and made available to those who need it to fuel their thinking and decision-making so that ‘information is transformed into action.

Translate from French

As a global player in the healthcare sector, Sanofi has long recognised the importance of being able to depend on reliable and effective monitoring. For this reason, it chose to bring in Actulligence for what has proved to be a productive partnership that has gone from strength to strength over the years.

Christophe Leclerc, a pharmacist by training, Director of Product Lifecycle Management in the Operations and Access department of Sanofi’s Specialty Care Division, agrees:

‘I used to subscribe to a whole load of monitoring systems and online journals and I spent a lot of time reading—or missing—information.’

That was before Sanofi called in Actulligence, a French consultancy company that specialises in monitoring. Sanofi is an innovative healthcare company that carries out research and development in treatment and vaccines. It has a presence in most countries around the world and approximately 90,000 staff working to serve patients.

Collaborative monitoring with a shared database

Alongside its existing competitor monitoring service, Sanofi wanted to implement a system to monitor broader themes that didn’t function in a piecemeal fashion. With the two companies having worked together since 2017, Sanofi asked Actulligence to set up a truly collaborative monitoring system based on a shared database.

During a consultation phase to decide how the information would be extracted, Actulligence worked with Sanofi to draw up the specifications. The crawling tool selected was then developed further on an ad hoc basis to ensure it fully met Sanofi’s specifications. As Christophe Leclerc says, ‘a software producer would have struggled to understand all  aspects of our monitoring requirements; with Actulligence’s advice and guidance, we got the exact tool we needed.’


Once these elements were put together, Actulligence added the required filters to provide users with information presented by subject or theme. ‘This was a job that had to be done by people,’ says Christophe Leclerc, ‘although that doesn’t mean we mastered the content from the outset; it had to be refined over time.’ 

Actulligence therefore began working on search keywords and sourcing. This was done with the kind of rigour scientific users would expect, and in five languages, thus considerably extending the field of investigation. Several thousand relevant sites are now crawled. The monitoring generates a daily newsletter for users who were previously swamped by information, thus saving time and ensuring relevance.

Actulligence also continuously adapts the filters based on user needs. Christophe Leclerc, who is Actulligence’s key contact at Sanofi and also pilots the community of practice on the subject, is pleased with the high degree of customisation achieved.

The newsletter also acts as an alert. For example, it might contain information about a regulatory change and thereby trigger immediate discussions between departments about potential consequences.

Knowledge base

As information comes in, a user-friendly knowledge base is being built so that documents and files can be searched retroactively. This base is now shared across Sanofi’s nine entities that have progressively started working with Actulligence after the Speciality Care Division led the way.

‘We have worked with Actulligence to build the foundation on which to base our monitoring,’ says Christophe Leclerc. ‘We wouldn’t have been able to do this on our own because the issue cuts across too many business units and so we needed outside help. Once the system was up and running in one entity, this opened the door to others.’ Actulligence and Sanofi have signed a global framework agreement. The consultancy firm is paid an annual sum based on a certain volume of work.

Regular contact

Has Sanofi had to adapt and create monitoring jobs? No, this is simply done by designated

users. Within each stakeholder entity, a manager acts as the interface between Sanofi and Actulligence. He or she is the contact person for all requests concerning, for example, what  needs to be monitored or keywords.

These managers—nine people including Christophe Lerclerc—hold a quarterly follow-up meeting to discuss best practice. An expert from Actulligence is in charge of the Sanofi account and is in regular contact, visiting the company’s premises or holding video conferences or telephone meetings. ‘We exchange emails and speak at least once a week,’ Christophe Leclerc explains. ‘Actulligence is extremely agile.’

Actulligence provides training webinars in English to familiarise users with the settings, starting with the sources and menus.

Service package

While Actulligence provides a service package, which includes consultancy services and equipment management, Sanofi owns the software licence and the knowledge base. In the event of software failure, the knowledge base and all its content would remain intact. However, there is no danger of that happening as Actulligence anticipates any possible changes and works closely with Sanofi’s IT department. This also encompasses standard cybersecurity measures.

The Actulligence-Sanofi collaboration continues to progress as a partnership. A tenth entity will soon be signing up to Actulligence’s digital monitoring service.


Providing customised monitoring and support services to help implement, roll out or upgrade a monitoring platform is what Actulligence does.

As a service provider, it has no ties to any monitoring software publishers. It works with clients from all sectors and provides turnkey monitoring solutions.

How can you go beyond a few in-house monitoring initiatives when you lack the time, the skills or the right tools? You simply need to call in a specialised service provider.

Actulligence is just that. Based near Toulouse (Haute-Garonne, France), Actulligence was founded in 2012 and employs seven staff. It offers two types of service:

1 – customised advice and training for monitoring projects (project management assistance), such as changing a monitoring platform, with long-term follow-up,

2 – monitoring activities: a company uses monitoring software and wants to make it more efficient; it is given help to define and process the information better and use a larger number of relevant feeds.

There are three stages involved in a project to set up or change monitoring equipment. In the initial stage, before the software is chosen, Actulligence carries out a needs analysis, a skills assessment of users and defines the scope and aim of the project. In the second stage, Actulligence helps draw up the specifications, participates in the consultation process after tender and advises the client on their final choice. In the final stage, Actulligence trains the teams, assists with rollout and provides maintenance for as long as required.

Actulligence has no links to any monitoring tool provider and so its advice on equipment is entirely independent and objective.

We believe that no single solution is suitable for every situation. Each request needs to be studied to find the solution best suited to a company’s stated needs. Today, the SaaS configuration is the most common.

Competitive intelligence

Banks, insurers, construction, pharmaceutical, etc. Actulligence is able to provide support in any domain, for big or small companies, notably for competitive and market intelligence requirements. Actulligence has a multilingual team (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese) and operates in France, across Europe, and in the United States and Canada (1). In all assignments it takes on, Actulligence considers confidentiality primordial.

Actulligence brings a fresh external perspective that cuts across business units and is particularly appreciated by organisations that are vertical or compartmentalised. Each client has a dedicated Actulligence monitoring officer.

Actulligence services save time and improve performance. They are flexible and can be expanded to meet additional needs. Pricing and deadlines are transparent

(1) Due to contractual confidentiality, Actulligence’s references cannot be disclosed.

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