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Businesses continue to face monumental challenges with many forced to completely re-imagine their operational models, revenue streams, and supply chains. As we begin to look to the ‘new normal’, I want to share how Salesforce is continuing to support our communities at this time and how our partners are preparing their workforce for the future.
Salesforce teams continue to focus efforts on finding ways to support all stakeholders affected by the pandemic. By procuring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare providers and other essential professionals across the globe, we’re delivering equipment to those who need it most.
Last week, in partnership with the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK, we delivered 102,000 surgical masks and 50,000 coveralls to National Health System (NHS). Our teams are now focused on connecting those in need with those who can help and we are aligned to the priorities and efforts of government emergency management agencies. We’ll continue to do our part to protect those keeping our communities safe and healthy.
Preparing for the ‘new normal’
At this time, it’s crucial that business leaders step up and support the efforts of government in whatever way we can and do the right thing for our employees, customers, and communities. This crisis is going to fundamentally change our society; how we work, how stakeholders perceive companies and what they expect of them. And businesses are going to have to change accordingly – how they behave now will shape the way they, and business in general, will be viewed after this pandemic.
As part of Salesforce’s Leading Through Change virtual fire-chat series, I recently spoke to Philip Jansen, Chief Executive Officer of the BT Group, about how he has led his organisation during the pandemic and his plans to lead BT and its customers through uncertainty. At the outset of the crisis, BT’s Executive Committee made a statement of intent, which was: ‘We are going to stand by our customers, stand by our country, and stand by our colleagues’.
They’re certainly delivering on this pledge. Philip has donated his salary to health charities for at least the next six months and guaranteed that none of BT’s 100,000+ employees will lose their jobs due to the pandemic over the next three months. Beyond the company’s pledge to pay salaries in full and raise wages for frontline colleagues, where teams have seen their workloads negatively affected they’re grasping opportunities to re-deploy and re-skill. Frontline teams usually based in BT’s high street stores, for instance, have switched their roles entirely to provide product and technology expertise from call centres.
Eurostar is another example of a business standing by its employees. Whilst a huge proportion of the company’s crew and operational staff went from working at full capacity to being under-deployed, hundreds of Contact Centre colleagues were inundated with passenger requests for refunds. Rather than letting people go, Eurostar has trained employees to master Salesforce Service Cloud to deal with customer queries, a huge team effort to maintain their high customer service standards.
The ‘new normal’ requires a readiness to adapt and to invest in bridging digital skills gaps. This is why globally more than ever individuals are looking to re-skill from home. Since March, we’ve seen a 25% increase in Trailhead registrations and a 307% increase in traffic to Trailhead LIVE content. Together with Tableau we’re addressing the training and re-skilling imperative – equipping people with tools to take on jobs that the digitally transforming economy demands.
Looking to the future
We cannot know how this pandemic will evolve over the coming months, but it is encouraging to see businesses stepping up, earning the trust of stakeholders, and adapting more sustainable work practices. As we look to the future, together we can support government to get our economies back up and running, better equip our workforce for the future, and shape a society which benefits everyone.
The following was the previous post in this series of updates:
April 10, 2020
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has challenged all of us in many ways, in our work and personal lives. Our hearts go out to all those affected either directly or indirectly. At Salesforce, our commitment to our stakeholders is unwavering; indeed, the urgency for businesses to give back to our communities has never been greater.
Today we’re expanding our support for those affected by donating a further $1.5 million to support the hardest hit regions globally, with a focus on mitigation and direct relief for vulnerable populations.
Extending our philanthropic efforts
In the US, we’re donating $500,000 to the New York COVID-19 Emergency Fund, part of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, to support healthcare workers and essential staff as well as families, youth, and other vulnerable New Yorkers.
In Italy, we’re giving $250,000 to the Italian Red Cross to support critical projects, including delivering food, medicine, and basic necessities to the most vulnerable. In Spain, we’re respectively giving $166,000 to the Madrid Food Bank and $84,000 to the Barcelona Food Bank to provide food to individuals and families in both cities.
In Germany, $125,000 will go towards supporting the German Red Cross. Another $125,000 will support Tafel Deutschland e.V., the umbrella organisation for Germany’s food bank network. In France, $125,000 will support the French Red Cross immediate relief efforts focused on support for vulnerable and isolated people, protection of caregivers, and frontline responders. In addition, $125,000 will assist Samusocial International, a French social service organisation committed to supporting immigrant youth as well as homeless and vulnerable individuals and families.
Our donations aim to benefit populations disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. We will continue to look at where we can extend this investment to support the most vulnerable.
Salesforce International initiatives
Across all regions, Salesforce teams are collaborating with governments, nonprofits and many partner companies to provide critical support in areas where we can make an impact.
In the UK, Salesforce volunteers have joined a task team with organisations including Ocado and Fresh Direct to create an app built on the Salesforce Platform, enabling National Health Service (NHS) emergency staff working long, unpredictable hours to order and pick up the food essentials they need where they work. In France, among a range of initiatives, we’ve helped the government to set up a Digital Service Hotline on Service Cloud, guiding quarantined citizens to essential online resources through partnership with French startup Aircall.
Beyond the pandemic’s devastating impact upon our communities, many businesses are having to navigate their way through disruption. With war-time urgency we’re seeing our customers around the world applying technology to address challenges that the pandemic has created in their businesses – innovating not only to serve and stay connected with customers but also to ensure their safety.
In Italy, for instance, a number of supermarkets have introduced platforms to assist with in-store queue management, providing customers with the capability to reserve a slot to do their shopping. With the help of Community Cloud and Service Cloud services this is helping to facilitate ‘social distancing’.
In Australia, alongside Datarati, we’re helping Virgin Group to support its customers by launching its first-ever AI chatbot – a fully integrated guest relations solution, assisting customers who rapidly need to make or reschedule travel arrangements, self-manage their bookings, and receive up-to-the-minute flight departure information.
In France, leading laundry company Wartner Group is a great example of how SMBs are leveraging the power of technology to benefit their communities. Providing a personalised laundry service for medical staff at 60 hospitals, the collection and delivery cycle can be followed live on a mobile app with the help of RFID digital tracking and Salesforce Field Services.
Putting our values into action
Salesforce was founded on core values of trust, customer success, innovation, and equality. Whatever the circumstance, whether there is precedent or not, our values will guide everything we do. All businesses have a responsibility to step up for their communities and governments; to use their technology, resources and influence for good. With collaboration, compassion, and perseverance together we will get through this exceptional time. Putting our values into action is more important than ever.