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Top Quotes from the Salesforce Government Summit

On Thursday, Salesforce held its first ever Global Government Summit, a virtual online event highlighting governments’ leadership roles in keeping people safe, helping our economy, and addressing current challenges. The event featured government and business leaders, industry experts, and included opening remarks from Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff.

Topics included governmental emergency response strategies during the COVID-19 crisis, and governmental transformation in providing care, communications, coordination, and reporting to citizens and customers.

Here is a selection of memorable quotes from the event:

“In this pandemic, every company has an opportunity to show that business can be the greatest platform for change. And it’s never been more important for government and business to partner to improve the state of the world.” – Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chair and CEO

“As we go forward, work is going to be different — PPE, taking people’s temperatures, enforcing social distancing standards, testing and contact tracing, and wellness assessments to mitigate interaction with the virus. Organizations are going to need a command center to monitor return-to-work readiness; shift scheduling; tools for emergency response management. They’ll need perspectives from renowned experts and from our incredible ecosystem and tools for workforce reskilling.” – Marc Benioff, Salesforce Chair and CEO

“If one person is spreading the disease to 400 other people, you’re not going to get a lid on it. So we saw that we had to embrace technology at scale, and fast. And a big part of our approach was to lean on Salesforce, which has technology that has made our contract tracers that much more effective.” – Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island Governor

“We’re doing things faster now, and in a way that’s going to help. The good news is that if we embrace technology, people will have a better experience with government. Responses will be more streamlined, effective and efficient.” – Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island Governor

“It’s very important to have a public-private partnership. I think that in this time of crisis, that’s paramount, and really as governments look to also modernize their systems, they need these partnerships. During COVID-19, the government was faced with a crisis of scale and complexity that they’ve never seen. We had supply chain disruptions, hospital capacity issues, exploding unemployment, emergency business loans, we had to do scheduling, we had limited tests, we had to do contact tracing. And this all happened at once. I think this perfect storm really required technology that had to get deployed fast, to scale, be available 24/7, and be secure.” – Dave Rey, President of Global Public Sector at Salesforce

“When you need to innovate fast, you should not have to compromise quality or security. When your volume goes up by 700 percent, you shouldn’t have to worry about the system breaking. When you need to add multiple languages or new form factors or new functionality to your systems, it should not take months or years. These are just some of the aspects that are important to keep in mind when you’re thinking about scale, and building world class applications for managing essential emergency services.” – Sarah Franklin, EVP & GM of Platform, Trailhead, and AppExchange at Salesforce

“I think one of the great learnings is the premium there is right now on getting everyone together. We set up a war room. That’s where coordination happens, every morning at 7:30. We actually put the personnel in the same room so that we are talking in the same place and we call that the Operations Center. That has been instrumental because it enabled communication, and activation that is really fast. Ordinarily, otherwise, people tend to do their own thing.” – Victor Dominello, Minister, New South Wales

“It’s just a whole new world of data, and things you have to manage that you’ve never had to manage in such incredible detail before — so we’re doing that with, which has been built on the Salesforce platform to help both Salesforce, but of course so many of our customers now as many companies start to manage this process of coming back. And it was built very quickly, which you can do on the Salesforce platform … our teams had a lot of input into this product, so that’s how we’re doing it. For example, as you start to come back to work — I’ve gotten this myself — every day on your phone you fill out a daily wellness survey y. It says ‘I haven’t tested positive for COVID-19, I haven’t been around people in hotspot areas.’ You fill out the questions. You hit submit and then is going to give you a staggered arrival time.”
Elizabeth Pinkham, EVP Global Real Estate, Salesforce

“I think one of the great things that the Florida Division of Emergency Management has done in the last four months is engaged across this platform to see what we can do. We’re helping our community through logistics … we’re helping our community through the self-reporting app that you have for temperature checks … We have to continue to engage technology to help us keep our communities safe. That’s where I want to make sure we focus as we move into the future, because this is a new time for all of us. It’s a new time for the private sector, it’s a new time for government. How can we continue to evolve and get to a point where we are engaging technology and database management moving forward, to help protect citizens across the country?”
Kevin Guthrie, Deputy Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management

“I’d advise public servants and government service agencies to work towards agility and drop their bureaucracy. You need to focus on the service and you need to use your resources, create partnerships, in order to face the challenges that will continue to arise and in order to face what we think is going to be a very different future of work and government service.” – Sue Anne Athens, CIO, Dept of Workforce Solutions, State of New Mexico

“We all know that governments have been working harder than ever before. Whether you’re a city government supporting all the different needs of your citizens, or a specialized agency like those focused on human health services, or workplace services, you’re protecting your communities against what we’re facing today, and also preparing us for any unknowns that may come our way. And we have tools that can help. Your work has inspired us to evolve our solutions to better support public sector needs.” – Sarah Patterson, EVP Product Marketing, Salesforce


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