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Salesforce unveils tools to help companies safely reopen offices

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Salesforce.com Inc. has unveiled software aimed at helping companies and government offices safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Salesforce.com Inc. has unveiled software aimed at helping companies and government offices safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The applications, collectively called Work.com, will help organisations orchestrate shifts for when groups of employees can work in the office, as well as manage emergency response procedures and conduct manual contact tracing, the company said Monday in a statement. There's also a tool to let workers self-report their wellness.

Salesforce, the leader in software for managing customer relationships, said it wants to help organizations navigate a "complicated recovery phase" to the Covid-19 pandemic. The US government is keen to lift stay-at-home orders across the country to bounce back from an economic contraction, but it hasn't been able to provide mass testing or contact-tracing nationwide to give Americans confidence that they are safe.

San Francisco-based Salesforce has sought to play an active role during the pandemic, telling its workers to stay home even before it was mandated and encouraging other businesses to promise not to lay off employees during the crisis. At the direction of Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff, the company has procured 50 million pieces of personal protective equipment from China to distribute to US states and hospitals.

"The best thing that can happen for every business in the world is for the world to collectively navigate out of this crisis," Bret Taylor, Salesforce's chief operating officer, said in an interview. "We're doing this to contribute to the recovery."

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Salesforce will charge organisations to use this software, unlike its Care suite that debuted near the start of the pandemic to help organizations disseminate information to stakeholders and monitor social media chatter. Each capability in the Work.com platform will come with its own price tag, from US$5 per user per month for the Command Center with Employee Wellness features to US$50 per user per month for Emergency Response Management for Public Health and Public Sector.

Expert Information

The software will give customers information from experts on when it could be safe to reopen and data on coronavirus cases near their offices. The tools help companies manage which employees and guests are coming into the office, schedule worker breaks and logs procedures such as cleaning a space before a new group of people arrives.

Work.com also has a tool letting businesses train employees and manage grants and volunteer time. Salesforce, like some other businesses, has open-floorplan facilities and will be using Work.com to manage its own, unscheduled return to the office, it said.

Josh Bolten, president and CEO of the Business Roundtable, said in the statement that Work.com could help "establish the trust that everyone needs to feel safe."

The timely product line, which Salesforce devoted hundreds of employees to build over the past month, may help lift the company's revenue during the Covid-19 crisis. Many businesses have delayed large information technology projects because of their high cost and installation complexity.

Salesforce has sought to continually grow its deal sizes with large organisations and told investors in February to expect as much as US$21.1 billion in revenue this fiscal year. Other software makers with recurring revenue models, such as Microsoft Corp and ServiceNow Inc, have demonstrated resilience when reporting earnings this quarter.

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