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Salesforce partnered with two groups to enable COVID-19 vaccine distribution through its platform. The moves will likely increase its footprint among government users in the short term. In time, it could also serve as a blueprint for private companies to track employee vaccinations while maintaining health data privacy.
Salesforce partner MTX Group built Chicago's vaccine management platform, GetVaxChi, on Salesforce. The system, designed for state and local public health agencies, allows individuals to sign up for appointments, send appointment reminders and QR code check-ins for appointments. It also manages data all the way to inventory management, distribution, analytics and data visualization at scale, as well as follow-up communications with patients after they receive vaccinations.
"Cities, states, counties and companies are all definitely looking for [vaccine data management]," said Constellation Research founder, chair and principal analyst R "Ray" Wang. "MTX has done a great job in the public sector, and this is all about bringing it to Salesforce customers."
Deployed over Salesforce Work.com, the vaccine management system builds on contact tracing tools Salesforce introduced earlier this year that eventually caught on among state government users, after Rhode Island worked with Salesforce to connect contact tracing with COVID-19 testing data. MTX Group's system, which is currently available, can also be used to manage outbreaks of other diseases such as measles, mumps and seasonal flu. MTX's system also interfaces with patients' electronic medical records.
Accenture, Simplus and Mphasis also in the mix
MTX Group also partnered with Google Cloud to build vaccine distribution systems for public health authorities. The Salesforce version utilizes components from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Health Cloud and MuleSoft, among others, said Tyler Prince, executive vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Salesforce. Accenture, Simplus and Mphasis are also working to deploy COVID-19 vaccine management tools on Salesforce.
R 'Ray' Wang Founder, Constellation Research
"For government agencies and healthcare providers, there are pretty significant complexities, and each state or municipality may be thinking a little bit differently how they will roll it out," Prince said. "Our partners understand Salesforce, they have years of Salesforce capabilities, and they also bring domain expertise working with governmental agencies."
Salesforce can expand its footprint among government users with this vaccine distribution system at first, Wang said, but a bigger prize might be commercial adoption. As employers determine how best to proceed with reopening offices and healthcare providers struggle with wrangling the data involved in vaccinating patients, Salesforce could be an attractive option for technology buyers. Other CX technology vendors, such as Twilio, offer contact tracing technologies.
Salesforce released tools earlier this year to aid the reopening process, including those for shift management, employee wellness and content distribution for COVID-19 safety and social distancing policies. Salesforce hosts them on a relaunched Work.com, a long-dormant site previously used to host employee-rewards tools in the early 2010s. Wang said employers need a means to protect employee health information yet keep their offices safe.
"[Salesforce CEO Marc] Benioff doesn't want to build a Work.com that's going after HR, but this is going after some of the big issues that companies face -- what they will need to get back to work," Wang said.
Gavi partnership to speed international vaccinations
Salesforce also said it will collaborate with Gavi, a 20-year-old nonprofit committed to distributing vaccines to low-income countries. Gavi's goal is to facilitate manufacturing, price negotiation and distribution of two billion COVID-19 vaccination doses to 190 countries by the end of 2021, including donor-funded vaccines to 92 of those nations through its COVAX Alliance announced last June.
The Salesforce partnership involves hosting Gavi's COVID-19 country portal, where government-level users can exchange data, prioritize need and manage the logistics of vaccine distribution. Gavi is an existing customer of Salesforce, but some of the services Salesforce provides for this project will be pro bono.
Groups like Gavi work to overcome disparities such as 10% of the world's population consuming 90% of the pharmaceuticals produced internationally, said David Ragones, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.
"This simply cannot be the case with this global pandemic," Ragones said. "If we're going to get a handle on the pandemic and get beyond it, we need to make sure that all of the world's population has access to the vaccine."