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Salesforce Revamps Work.com to Help Businesses Address Pandemic

By Richard Adhikari
May 6, 2020 8:35 AM PT
salesforce has introduced a new version of work.com to help businesses reopen safely during covid-19 pandemic

Salesforce on Monday announced a new version of Work.com designed to help businesses and communities function safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Features include the following:

  • Work.com Command Center, a hub providing a 360-degree view of return-to-work readiness across multiple locations, employees and visitors. Users can create and disseminate employee communications at scale, and surface public data through Salesforce's Tableau COVID-19 data hub. As an add-on, Salesforce's MuleSoft integration platform can integrate additional data sources and Tableau for more custom data visualizations;
  • Contact tracing;
  • Emergency Response Management;
  • Employee Wellness, to create employee health surveys, monitor wellness trends, and use data to make informed decisions on the return to work;
  • Shift Management;
  • myTrailhead for Employees, which delivers content for training, learning and wellness programs; and
  • Volunteer & Grants Management.

The new Work.com resource center also includes expert commentary and advice from experts.

"Work.com is a completely new initiative using an existing domain name that we previously owned," said Salesforce spokesperson Joel Steinfeld.

"Our focus is on speed and moving as quickly as possible to help our customers, and Work.com is an optimal way to do that," he told the E-Commerce Times.

The solutions contained within Work.com "are new, built in the field in bespoke ways for our customers to help address COVID-19," Steinfeld continued. "Now, we are offering these new tools to any company that's looking to reopen safely."

Work.com "gives Salesforce a presence on every desktop -- a pretty significant step for it in the enterprise apps battle," remarked Rebecca Wettemann, principal at Valoir.

"A key part of any reopening is going to be managing how employees work together in previously open work environments -- with shift scheduling, and identifying and limiting areas of potential contagion so an entire building doesn't have to be cleaned, for example, if an employee is found to have the virus," she told the E-Commerce Times.

Partners, Pricing and Availability

Work.com is available in Salesforce Classic in most organizations, as well as in Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited and Developer Editions.

Most Work.com features require the Work.com add-on, but some are available for free to Sales Cloud users.

Command Center and Shift Management are scheduled for general availability in June as add-ons to Platform Starter, for US$5 per user per month.

Employee Wellness is included with the Command Center.

Emergency Response Management, which includes Contact Tracing, will be generally available later this month. It consists of Health Cloud, Service Cloud, Lightning Scheduler and Salesforce Maps. It also includes a new product, Emergency Program Management, which is an add-on to any Health Cloud or Service Cloud in Enterprise Edition or above, priced at $50 per user per month.

New Employee Learning and Well-being content on myTrailhead will be generally available in June, included with myTrailhead for Employees, which is priced at $25 per user per month.

Playing in the Enterprise Sandbox

"With this announcement, Salesforce has demonstrated its ability to pull together a range of capabilities from across its portfolio -- including, in particular, Tableau and MuleSoft -- to create interfaces for specific needs," said Nicole France, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

"If you've already got a lot invested in Salesforce, it probably makes sense to give this a try," she told the E-Commerce Times.

Something Old, Something New

Work.com was previously part of the Salesforce Sales Performance Accelerator, together with Data.com and the Salesforce Sales Cloud.

However, the latest version "is pulling together worker scheduling from field service, organic and from the ClickSoftware acquisition; employee organizing and volunteering capabilities from Philanthropy Cloud; employee training capabilities from Trailhead and Health Cloud; as well as organic development," Valoir's Wettemann said.

Salesforce's strategy "is far more focused now under functional clouds centering on Sales, Service, Marketing and Commerce clouds with wide-ranging suites of connectors and enhancements that help functions connect to one another in a more cohesive manner," observed Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Its pros lie in the centralization of resources on top of the socially powered employee management functions it has had at its core since 2012, she told the E-Commerce Times. The cons "lie in how well these tools connect unless you're a full Salesforce shop."

Other Players

Most of the major HR solution vendors soon will offer competitors to Work.com, suggested Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Workday, for example, is helping its customers with things like critical staffing and resource management as well as connecting with employees to provide guidance and support, Constellation's France noted.

SAP "has announced a number of offerings addressing a number of similar areas as well that are free for a limited time, and Zoho has packaged a range of free capabilities specifically for sectors most hard-hit by the pandemic," she added.

ServiceNow offers "similar COVID-19 projects that enable people to return to work," said Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

"Our clients see Work.com and the ServiceNow capabilities as two good examples of how to jump-start a post-pandemic playbook," he told the E-Commerce Times.

Privacy Issues

Privacy concerns are not going to be an issue "if added to the work done by Apple and Google on Bluetooth and with opt-in," Wang remarked.

"The focus here is really on the data visualization," he explained. "Also, HIPAA, GDPR and CCPA will play a role in providing guardrails."

The level of concern "will largely be tied to how the contact tracing is conducted and the stability and security of the app itself," Miller suggested.

Reopening the Economy

The Work.com platform helps users in California conform to the guidelines for reopening that Gov. Gavin Newsom has articulated, Enderle told the E-Commerce Times, but it still "needs to transcend one tool and address the various concerns surrounding information sharing."

There are "very high security and data sharing requirements that are currently in conflict," he explained. "That all needs to be resolved. We really need better government guidance here, because the requirements are a moving target and these systems have to interoperate to be effective."


Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.


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