Seven and a half years ago, in November, I was sitting in a conference room at Forte Research Systems®, Inc. and I was meeting our founder and CEO, Srini Kalluri, for the first time. In that meeting, Srini shared with me his vision for a face-to-face gathering of the OnCore user community, known as Onsemble. I was told that this event would take place somewhere warm (so in some distant state, not our home town of Madison, Wisconsin), for about 50 people, and in just under three month’s time. Was I up for something like that? I was.
Well, I got to meet 50 people from our customer community that next February. We learned a lot, not just about clinical research operations and how the OnCore® Enterprise Research system works but also about how to run a conference. For me, the key take away from that event — besides (1) have great food, and (2) keep the coffee warm and keep it coming — was that this community has a lot of experts with a lot to share.
At that event, I fell in love. I fell in love with the Onsemble community. I learned that Forte has the best customers in the world. I also fell in love with the way Onsemble conferences are created. The content is generated by the members. To this day, 75% of all the presentations are created and presented by Onsemble members, not Forte. It’s very American, “by the People for the People.” And, it creates terrific value for conference attendees.
At that first conference we focused on some key deliverables. We launched the Onsemble.net website with features such as a document repository and a membership directory, complete with contact information. Early on we also set up email ListServs with different lists for topic areas such as role-based discussions, specific areas of OnCore functionality, or special interests such as the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs).
But, we can only have two conferences a year and not everyone can come. We are often asked for ways to bring more of the value of Onsemble to the broader community.
So, what if we could all take a little piece of Onsemble with us and have it available all year long?
There is much that we have learned from Onsemble and that the members could contribute to the broader research community. Onsemble was a large part of the motivation for many of the changes Forte has made in the past six months. These changes include a move away from a quarterly newsletter that caters to OnCore users to a fully fledged Clinical Research Blog that caters to the broader community.
Forte also started creating more educational materials for people interested in improving their clinical research operations.
Specifically for OnCore users, Forte has expanded its offering of educational resources in order to:
- Assist with rolling out OnCore to new teams.
- Provide training to new staff or to refresh or update the knowledge about OnCore of existing team members.
Examples of the above include:
- Regularly scheduled “Explore” webinar series which give high-level overviews of OnCore functionality for people who may not be familiar with the system.
- Case studies and white papers.
- Traditional marketing materials to help explain the features and functionality available in OnCore.
Much of these improved resources are not be possible without the input and expertise of existing Onsemble members. The community has a lot to offer.
At the Onsemble 2013 Spring conference co-hosted last week by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Srini, my colleague Brian Wulff, and I shared a little bit about what we’ve been doing and we asked people in the audience to get even more involved. We ask that every member of the Onsemble community contribute to this effort and:
- Help Forte select the topics to cover in the Clinical Research Blog. Let us know what interests you.
- Share your experiences. Contribute to articles and eBooks by letting us interview you.
- Celebrate your successes. Share your stories for the benefit of others.
- Post job openings, now on Onsemble.net for broader reach.