Aizon Briefing Note
By: Sandra K. Rodriguez, Senior Market Analyst
Axendia was recently briefed by the Executive Team of Aizon (formerly Bigfinite.) With headquarters in San Francisco, CA and Barcelona, Spain, Aizon has recently expanded its leadership team with the addition of John Vitalie as CEO and David Merino as CFO, as well as other veteran leaders serving across Customer Success, Alliances, Product Strategy, and Sales. The company is positioning itself as a driver of transformation in the Life Sciences industry by offering the ability to seamlessly integrate unlimited sources of structured and unstructured data on its AI platform thus enabling real-time visibility and predictive insights in a GxP compliant manner with end-to-end data integrity. Aizon’s direct sales channel is focused on pharma manufacturing, reflecting the deep expertise of the team in this space.
Aizon rebranded from Bigfinite at the beginning of Q4 2020. “Aizon was not just a name change; it’s really a brand strategy change. We want to denote what we actually do for customers right from our name. We immediately agreed that “AI” should be at the core of the brand name because of the necessity of AI methods to derive insights from the complexity of data, which is simply underserved by classical statistics. A big part of our deep expertise is grounded in applying AI to pharma processes in a qualified manner, so yes to “AI” in the name and the domain. The “zon” is actually from “horizon”… the horizon of maximum value of digital transformation in pharma and other regulated industries,” explained Vitalie.
What’s New at Aizon
In addition to launching its own innovation lab, the company has also quickly evolved from being 100% platform focused, to also offering (full-stack) applications. This supports the growing demand from its customers to bring together data, functionality and UI/UX to drive faster and better performance. “The other focus we refined over the last six months, is having a customer business case and outcomes orientation to everything we do,” said Vitalie. In addition to adding applications, Aizon has added co-development partners to its ecosystem, is building teams to bring applications to market and is offering AI Consulting and other professional services delivered independently or jointly with other ProServ organizations.
Towards the end of January 2021, Aizon will launch a turnkey Smart Manufacturing bioreactor application with predictive analytics, root cause analysis, deviation predictions, etc. Moving forward, the company expects to release at least one application per quarter.
Avoiding POC/Pilot Purgatory
Through its “Fast Forward” program, Aizon’s services team conducts a 1.5 day workshop with a focus on any significant production issues customers are facing. Next, and to avoid POC/pilot purgatory situations, Aizon is offering a blueprint for customers that lays out the maturity strategy of how to deploy AI with a focus on the highest ROI opportunities and having a strategy around it. Next, carefully selected production pilots are activated with a custom blueprint for each customer. “We help customers identify where they are in this journey and meet them where they are rather than saying where they should be,” explained Vitalie.
“We have been applying tiers to the platform to better match the maturity level of our customers, following the BioPhorum Digital Plant Maturity Model,” noted Pep Gubau, Co-Founder and CTO at Aizon. “Through templates, we are accelerating the building of applications for our partners and customers and then providing a framework for them to build applications by themselves,” continued Gubau.
Why Compliance at the Core?
Aizon preserves GxP compliance. Compliance as a core focus, both technologically and with support from its consultative services, is a call-out differentiator for Aizon – complete with Cloud Security: ISO 27017; ISO 9001, validation according to GAMP 5 best practices for Category 4 (custom applications), taking into account regulatory requirements for computerized systems and data integrity requirements; 21 CFR Part 11; EU-cGMP Annex 11; audit-ready and GxP compliant, lowering the risk of audits. All of this accelerates and reduces implementation costs for customers in terms of validation and security. According to Aizon, it’s also a big reason why DIY projects are partnering with external providers more and more, and Aizon has differentiated strength in this area.
Moving Beyond Minimum Viable Data (MVD)
“We knew from the onset of forming the company that we were working with an industry that often relies on – what I refer to – as MVD (Minimum Viable Data). Our thought was, let’s make data available in a compliant manner so customers can use it and avoid the hesitance in using more and more data,” recounted Gubau.
Petabytes and terabytes of data are sitting in systems, flat files, documents and being lobotomized, cut from the other data systems, equipment, and fusion teams that could all make use of the data in new, value-generating ways. Companies are sitting on gold mines of data that they cannot access from silos or could not access historically because once on a flat file or a piece of paper – they were unable to retrieve the data. Now, with AI, natural language processing and being able to bring data across multiple systems, that’s where Axendia sees the value of a solution like Aizon. A dimension of Aizon’s power is, it is AI-powered, GxP compliant connective tissue for systems that serve across the pharma value chain.
Aizon is a SaaS-based solutions company, and with its highly adaptable platform, the company is transitioning to building native applications along with the platform suite to better meet customers where they are. By bringing disparate data together to make it compliant and then to gain actionable intelligence and predictive insights from that data, the company is not only solving the problems its clients are facing today, but also those that they don’t yet know they have.
Aizon offers its platform in three seamlessly upgradable platform levels (core, advanced, enterprise), which map to the BioPhorum Digital Plant Maturity Model. Attempting to solve problems with minimum viable data is ineffective and the market will increasingly demand the value generation and cost/risk reduction afforded by a digital strategy that maximizes the use of data.
Aizon’s deep industry expertise (referencing their Innovation Lab, leadership of CPV of the Future initiative with PQRI, PDA, FDA, and more) and its focus on customer success are reflected in their technology, which appears to be building a swell of interest and confidence in the market. We will continue to monitor Aizon’s platform and applications and provide periodic updates.