As coronavirus and COVID-19 became household words, an outpouring of support began to emerge. With Apple, Microsoft and Facebook all announcing large financial contributions that will go toward response efforts, the tech industry has been a major relief resource during this time of uncertainty.
At the same time, Google is using its SEO powers to provide useful information while protecting people from being served misinformation. In an effort to further enable productivity for remote workers and students, Google also rolled out free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all global G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until July 1.
Tech giant Salesforce, which is known for its top-of-the-line customer relationship management (CRM) systems, has been another key player for providing coronavirus relief. The company is donating money toward the cause as well as leveraging cloud-based tech resources.
5 ways the Salesforce CEO says his company is helping to combat COVID-19
Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff has a history of philanthropy in the health and science arena. Here are a few notable causes he has supported.
- In 2019, he gave $35 million for microbiome science. Of that $25 million went toward creating the UCSF Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine and $10 million went to back the Stanford Microbiome Therapies Initiative. (Source: philanthropy.com)
- In 2016, the Salesforce CEO and his wife, Lynne, launched the Benioff Ocean Initiative at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to study marine life. (Source: businessinsider.com)
- In 2010, the Benioffs gave $100 million to UCSF children’s hospital and another $100 million to Oakland Children’s hospital. (Source: philanthropic-giving.com)
As the coronavirus situation became more serious, the Salesforce CEO sent out a response letter that outlines specific ways the company will work toward helping others get through the global health crisis.
1. Qualifying medical professionals have free access to the Salesforce Health Cloud
The Salesforce Health Cloud is a patient-focused CRM. Among its vast features, it helps health care professionals to:
- Coordinate post-acute care
- Quickly connect patients to the right care
- Deliver 1-to-1 care to members who need it most
- Engage members throughout their health care journey
The Salesforce CEO announced his company will grant free access to the software for qualified emergency response teams, call centers and care management teams for health systems affected by coronavirus.
2. Salesforce company Tableau provides free real-time coronavirus data
Salesforce bought software company Tableau in 2019 for $14.6 billion. In response to COVID-19, the company developed a free data resource hub that provides real-time information surrounding coronavirus. The data comes from John Hopkins University, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
3. Existing Salesforce customers gain access to the company’s video conferencing tool
The Salesforce CEO announced free access to Quip Starter for the company’s existing customers through Sept. 30. Like Google Hangouts, it allows team members in different locations to work together virtually.
Normally, the service costs $10/month per user. The features include:
- Documents, spreadsheets and slides
- Basic live apps
- Group chat and 1-to-1 messages
- Desktop, tablet and mobile access
- Team management and secure productivity
4. The Salesforce Trailhead website offers practical advice for remote workers
The Salesforce Trailhead website is dedicated to helping people learn in-demand skills. COVID-19 has created a situation where some employees are working remotely for the first time. In response, the website now features a free compilation (or Trailmix) of advice that focuses on working from home and maintaining personal wellness.
Some of the headlines include Tips and tricks for telecommuting success, The value of sleep and Healthy eating with Salesforce’s executive chef.
In addition, Salesforce (which employs around 50,000 people), announced it is strongly encouraging all of its global workforce to work from home.
A March 16 tweet from Salesforce News stated:
Given the escalation of local governments’ guidance in some communities, we are moving to a “hard close” of our offices in North America & EMEA through at least April 15.
5. The Salesforce CEO announces financial commitments
Details about financial contributions were not included in the letter from the Salesforce CEO. However, a March 11 tweet from Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff announced it would give $1.5 million toward local and global relief efforts
The UCSF COVID-19 Response Fund will receive $1 million from the Salesforce CEO, and $500,000 will be given to the CDC Emergency Response Fund.
The bottom line
With COVID-19 making its way across international borders, all industries have been affected. With the ability to provide sizable financial donations and access to digital tools, big tech has stepped up to the plate to help soften the blow.
As a tech software company, PowerSync is dedicated to helping businesses succeed in the face of adversity. Ensuring all systems are functioning optimally at all times allows businesses to make the best and most up-to-date decisions.
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