In the playbook, Salesforce outlines a path to the “next normal” by leading organisations through three key steps – stabilise, reopen and grow. And within each one of these steps there are a number of areas where Salesforce can assist – and all of these focus on ensuring employees and customers are at the forefront of every response.
Commenting on how the company’s clients have responded to the pandemic, Salesforce Executive Vice President, Head of Strategy & Planning, Asia Pacific Dan Bognar, says many companies have followed the three key steps as the year has played out.
In the first instance he says it was “really just about stabilising the operations” and ensuring staff and customers could continue in a fast-changing world.
“To help with that, we launched Salesforce Care – a suite of free rapid response solutions aimed at helping healthcare providers, small businesses and other customers stand up a digital footprint and navigate through the crisis,” Bognar says.
By the end of April and early May, Salesforce were beginning discussions about the second reopen phase. To do this the company launched Work.com – a suite of applications designed to help employers plan and reopen as “quickly and safely as possible while protecting their number one resource which is their people”.
Around the end of the financial year, the company introduced Salesforce Anywhere which “recognises the fact that work today can be conducted anywhere”.
“It can be in the office, at home, a local café or even down at the local beach but really Salesforce Anywhere is designed to be able to help ensure that teams remain connected, and engaged with each other,” Bognar says.
“And importantly that they’re collaborating and particularly using mobile applications to do that.”
With the nation now starting to open up further in the coming weeks, Bognar expects we’ll lead into the third “growth” phase.
“It’s where organisations will start to turn an eye to the future and say: “OK, well what could this look like for us and how do we start to plan for that? And particularly, how do we take approach the crisis so that we emerge stronger than ever,” he says.
Driving many organisations’ approach to all three phases has been a strong focus on data which ensures every decision made in a constantly evolving world is based on solid research.
According to Bognar, getting the data proposition right is essential and “we speak to customers a lot about the collection of data”.
“As we have seen globally, this virus is continually changing shape and the economic implications of it are changing constantly. What we’re encouraging organisations to do is build a central command centre – a single place where they can aggregate data from a variety of external sources, form a view of what’s actually going on in their local communities and the places in which they work and then start to plan accordingly.”
Moreover, part of that planning involves ensuring employees receive scalable training and development for the new world of work “because if we don’t address both the technology needs and the skills gap, we’re going to have a significant portion of workers that are going to be left behind”.
Bognar says many Salesforce customers rapidly transitioned to remote working and cites Telstra Enterprise as one local example who were able to launch a new Customer Community, in a week, where customers providing essential services such as GPs could quickly log issues and enquiries.
“It’s a great story which reinforces how quickly some of this technology can be stood up,” and according to Bognar is just one of many similar stories including a local hospital group which rolled out an app to assist with patients and customers in record time across nearly 100 hospitals.
Both are great examples of how “quickly business is now changing” as a result of the pandemic.
Work.com solutions help you review workplace readiness and keep employees, customers, partners, and communities safe and informed during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.