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In the fast-paced world of innovation, companies are constantly seeking new ways to collaborate and leverage cutting-edge technologies. Merck Group, a global leader in the life science industry, has achieved a significant milestone in open collaboration and innovation with its first-ever open-source library, in partnership with Palantir Technologies.
Not only does this venture foster internal collaboration among Merck’s developers but also aims to serve as a blueprint for boosting productivity and quality for software developers outside of the company, all while leveraging the powerful Palantir Foundry ecosystem.
Impact of the Analytics COE on the business
To gain further insight into this achievement, Analytics India Magazine spoke with Subbu Iyer, the head of the Analytics Center of Excellence at MilliporeSigma (Merck KGaA Germany). With four years of progress under his leadership, Iyer emphasised the positive impact of the Analytics COE on the business.
“We have gained valuable insights to support our colleagues and customers while driving revenue generation,” he added. Expressing his enthusiasm for the future, Iyer looks forward to continuing this journey with his exceptional global team and partners.
Naturally, we were curious to learn how the partnership between Merck and Palantir Technologies came to fruition. Iyer shed light on the origins of their collaboration: “In 2017, Merck Healthcare and Palantir Technologies joined forces to accelerate research efforts for Syntropy, a technology company aimed at providing comprehensive analytics approaches to help researchers gather, analyse, and exchange data from diverse sources.”
Iyer said that the shared goal of making a positive contribution to healthcare inspired Merck and Palantir to combine the scientific expertise of EMD Digital Inc, a Merck subsidiary, with Palantir Foundry’s unique technology. Together, they developed software solutions for data administration, governance, and stewardship, among other critical areas.
This collaboration laid the foundation for further joint endeavours between the two companies, including the creation of a secure collaborative data analytics platform for the semiconductor industry, known as the Athinia platform.
What does Merck want to achieve with the Library?
The open-source library created by Merck in partnership with Palantir Technologies serves as a crucial component of their digitalisation strategy.
Iyer articulates the significance of this library, stating, “This open-source initiative exemplifies how data and a robust code base can enhance Merck’s quality, responsiveness, and productivity, both internally and externally.
By leveraging Palantir Foundry, developers outside of Merck can access practical value from data and analytics, ultimately boosting the Developer Experience (DevX) for Foundry programmers.”
The primary objective of this library is to democratise data provision by eliminating complexity and providing a standardised set of developer tools. Merck aspires to lower the barriers to entry for data teams, empowering them to deliver enhanced output and quality.
This milestone project, born from a customer-driven and open-source approach, not only reinforces Merck’s commitment to open collaboration but also paves the way for increased productivity and innovation throughout the industry.
How secure are the Foundry APIs?
Addressing concerns about security in the context of the Foundry APIs, Iyer assures that the Palantir platform prioritises security as a fundamental principle of its development. Palantir’s track record of collaborating with highly regulated and secure industries for over a decade attests to its commitment to data protection.
While acknowledging the potential risks associated with APIs, Iyer emphasises the importance of user vigilance. Safeguarding API keys or tokens is paramount, as any accidental exposure should be treated as a breach of data security. In such cases, immediate action should be taken to disable the tokens, followed by prompt notification to the organisation’s information security staff.
Palantir’s Information Security team has implemented an automated tool that helps identify and revoke tokens inadvertently leaked in source control on GitHub.com. If a token is exposed in a public GitHub repository, the GitHub token revocation service is promptly alerted and will make every effort to automatically revoke the token on behalf of the user.