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Why HR Technology’s COVID-19 vaccine solution is key for the return to the workplace

It’s HR ready.

Jennifer Dunkerley

Technologist

Unleash the VaccineServiceNow’s swift move into vaccination workflow is an important milestone for the eventual return to the office.

  • The biggest vaccination campaign in history has begun. More than 71.3 million doses in 57 countries have been administered, according to data collected on publishing this article.
  • The latest rate was roughly 3.57 million doses a day, on average.
  • The US rollout fell short of federal projections as vaccinations proceeded unevenly across the states.

ServiceNow Inc. has joined the global coronavirus fight, offering its new workflow software to help with vaccine distribution.

Built in just six weeks the Now Platform and the Vaccine Administration Management solution has already been snapped up by North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (which alone will result in organizing a vaccine rollout for over 10million people), as well as more than 100 other organizations, including 5.5million citizens for NHS Scotland.

Anchoring themselves early as the digital backbone for rapid rollout of vaccines is a not just a savvy move for the worldwide pandemic fight, though. Their eyes are on the HR prize.

The vaccine management software and an accompanying digital platform doesn’t just integrate and digitize the administration process at scale for government departments and the wider population — it can also transition workflow around a safe workplace return. And it’s an important signal for how the eventual mass return to work could play out.

Who’s been vaccinated, who hasn’t.. who needs PPE, who doesn’t – you catch the drift.

Whilst the scientific advances to producing a life-changing vaccine was the world’s first challenge, the aftermath in implementing this logistical “new normal” is still very much a moving goal.

Speaking this week, Bill McDermott, president and CEO of ServiceNow, announced: “Distributing, administering, and monitoring vaccinations is the greatest workflow challenge of our time. ServiceNow is proud to help solve the complex logistics, coordination, and effective delivery to people that is required. We are harnessing the power of our Now Platform to provide the scale, speed, and flexibility needed. ServiceNow’s Vaccine Administration Management solves the last‑mile challenges of keeping people healthy and safe.”

ServiceNow claims their technology delivers “a modern, self-service experience across desktop and mobile devices.” It connects patient engagement with back-end inventory systems so organizations can easily schedule appointments and send reminders, notify patients when more COVID-19 vaccines are available, and communicate when a new segment of the population is being prioritized for the vaccination.

So while the software is currently capturing data around immunization history, vaccine inventory, and eligibility, it’s already perfectly placed to help tech-savvy businesses schedule staff who may or may not want to return to the office.

THE UNLEASH VIEW

Marc Coleman, CEO of UNLEASH says: “ServiceNow has swiftly stood this up based on their existing customer service management product. It provides all industries the ability to manage the vaccine rollout. To know how many doses they have, and to know how many people are actually vaccinated.

“And while it’s starting with distribution efforts it will absolutely play back into the HR world. There will undoubtedly be a vaccination status for employees in there. Organizations will want to know this in advance before they start inviting people back to a future in-person office environment. You’ll want a checklist for staff and those who are already in receipt of a vaccine might qualify for a phase one invitation to return, those who aren’t vaccinated might be put back to phase two or phase three.

“Then there’s the issue around employees who might not want to be vaccinated for whatever personal reason they have. How the software addresses and integrates this into the workflow is also going to be interesting. Will there be a PPE requirement scheduled? Will they be permitted back to the office alongside other people who are vaccinated if they’re happy to wear a mask?

“These are brand new experiences for HR leaders to tackle and it’s highly likely more issues will arise. But what we do know is that having the ability to manage this within a smart and existing workflow tool will be essential.”

WHY SERVICENOW?

Marc adds: “ServiceNow has been the ‘belle of the ball’ these past 11 months for the UNLEASH customer and the wider enterprise HR Tech community. The challenge of the safe return to the workplace is now spread across the C-Suite and led by the CEO and HR. You’ve only got to see how many CHROs have climbed the leadership rung to sit alongside the CEO on the org chart. 

“This is a game-changer in the HR tech service delivery market, from mid-market to enterprise. ServiceNow is now launching new products in as quickly as two or three months and products that are making a massive difference to the working lives of their existing customers – and future ones. As corporate America takes the lead in hosting vaccine centers across the country and struggles to mandate employee vaccinations for the safe return to the workplace, this means the Vaccination Status App from ServiceNow is a timely necessity for the future of work.

“On workforce delivery this suite of forward-looking vaccination apps is going to enable the C-suite to ramp up quickly and allow managers to support in tandem by identifying the skills needed, creating flexible work models, and driving work safety (wearing masks) across all current and future employee workflows. 

“In the words of a ServiceNow employee this week; COVID-19 has enabled ServiceNow to become more ‘purposeful in our charter.’ Small coincidence, it was big news when we announced on the morning of Day 2 at the UNLEASH World Main Stage in Paris that Bill McDermot was leaving SAP to join ServiceNow. Bill has done a stellar job leading ServiceNow into this next decade of digital transformation, with Q4 revenue jumping 31% supporting his claim that ServiceNow helps customers reimagine their business models as we move into a faster economy.”

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