Rite Aid signs major technology pact with Google Cloud

Rite Aid has entered into an extensive technology partnership with Google Cloud designed to provide the pharmacy, pharmaceutical and healthcare services company with a more flexible, data-driven and efficient platform for growth and operations.

Plans are for Google Cloud technologies to empower Philadelphia-based Rite Aid with more accurate information, more agility and improved customer experience, the companies said yesterday. Modernized apps for personalized digital experiences will also allow Rite Aid’s more than 6,400 pharmacists to spend more time interacting directly with patients.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Rite Aid is to migrate key applications to Google Cloud’s Anthos managed platform for application deployment. These applications will include Rite Aid’s vaccine planning tool, customer messaging infrastructure and digital engagement platform.

Google Cloud noted that Anthos provides Rite Aid pharmacies with on-premises cloud computing capabilities, enabling more resilient operations. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based tech giant said strategic business continuity will enable Rite Aid to continue to deliver top-quality care during natural disasters through trusted patient information, advanced prescriptions and the ability to offer recommendations without needing to be connected to legacy centralized central technology. .

Specifically, Rite Aid said, partnering with Google Cloud will help the company “achieve its vision for a modern pharmacy.”

“The power of pharmacies and the important role pharmacists play in the health of their communities has increased dramatically during COVID. Realizing this potential means making strategic investments in technology that can truly help our customers and maximize the capabilities of our pharmacists,” said Justin Mennen, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Rite Aid. “Google Cloud’s solutions are uniquely positioned to work in every pharmacy to empower our in-store teams to help our customers achieve holistic health for life.”

Ritual Aid

In late 2020, Rite Aid unveiled its “pharmacy of the future” concept which included an increased role for pharmacists and stores offering a wider range of products and services to promote well-being.

Additionally, Rite Aid has used Google Cloud to drive digital transformations in other parts of its business. These efforts include the following:

• Enterprise Data Migration: Rite Aid will migrate its enterprise data to Google Cloud using BigQuery. With the move, its pharmacies will have a better view of its finances, supply chain inventory and customer information, which will enable data-driven decisions for business operations.

• Improved Search: The Google Cloud Retail Search solution provides Rite Aid customers with more accurate search results when shopping on the Rite Aid e-commerce site and mobile app. The enhanced search experience leverages Google-quality search models to understand customer intent and leverages Rite Aid’s first-party data, such as promotions, available inventory and price, for product ranking results.

• PBM Application Suite Update: Elixir, Rite Aid’s Pharmacy Benefits Management and Services unit, will update its current PBM Application Suite for a cloud-first experience, with capabilities business logic based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google Cloud’s new data analytics and processing capabilities will help PBM better manage prescription benefits for health insurers, the companies said.

“As a healthcare company with a retail footprint, Rite Aid is at the intersection of two rapidly changing industries and is making strategic technology investments to meet growing customer expectations,” said Carrie Tharp. , vice president of retail and consumer solutions for Google Cloud. A declaration. “With these innovations, Rite Aid is defining modern pharmacy.”

The nation’s third-largest pharmacy chain, Rite Aid had total revenue of $24.57 billion in fiscal 2022. This included approximately $17.37 billion in its retail pharmacy business unit (initial sales of $5.22 billion and pharmacy sales of $12.15 billion) plus approximately $7.2 billion in sales from its Pharmacy Services unit.

Rite Aid tracks a range of companies in the food, drug and mass distribution sectors partnering with cloud and IT services giants in recent years. Companies teaming up with Google include C&S Wholesale Grocers, Albertsons Cos., Hy-Vee, and The Kroger Co., among others. Food, pharmaceutical and mass-market retailers are teaming up with Microsoft, its cloud and technology services rival, including Loblaw Cos., Kroger, Albertsons, Walmart, Costco Wholesale, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Giant Eagle. Amazon Inc.’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) subsidiary has also integrated food and grocery players into a cloud-based computing architecture, including Instacart, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, HelloFresh and, of course, Amazon .com and Amazon Fresh.

Norma A. Roth