Rite Aid signs major technology agreement with Google Cloud

Rite Aid’s comprehensive technology partnership with Google Cloud aims to provide the pharmacy, pharmacy care and health services company with a more flexible, data-driven and efficient growth and operations platform.

The companies said yesterday that plans call for Google Cloud technology to provide Philadelphia-based Rite Aid with sharper insights, greater agility and an enhanced customer experience. Modern applications for personalized digital experiences will also allow Rite Aid’s more than 6,400 pharmacists to spend more time directly interacting with patients.

Under a multi-year agreement, Rite Aid plans to migrate critical applications to Google Cloud’s Anthos hosting platform for application deployment. The applications will include Rite Aid’s vaccine scheduling tool, customer information infrastructure and digital engagement platform.

Google Cloud noted that Anthos provides on-site cloud computing capabilities for Rite Aid pharmacies, enabling more resilient operations. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based tech giant said strategic business continuity will allow Rite Aid to continue to deliver recommendations through robust patient information, advanced prescription management and the ability to deliver recommendations without connecting to centralized legacy mainframe technology , providing a higher level of care during natural disasters. .

More specifically, Rite Aid said the partnership with Google Cloud will help the company “realize its vision for the modern pharmacy.”

“The power of the pharmacy, and the vital role pharmacists play in community health, has greatly expanded during COVID. Realizing this potential means realizing this potential,” said Justin Mennen, executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer at Rite Aid. customers and make strategic investments in technology that maximizes our pharmacists’ capabilities. “Google Cloud’s solutions are uniquely positioned to run at every pharmacy location, allowing our store teams to help our customers achieve lifetime health. “

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In late 2020, Rite Aid launched the “pharmacy of the future” concept, which includes enhancing the role of pharmacists and stores, offering a wider range of products and services to promote health.

Additionally, Rite Aid has leveraged Google Cloud to drive digital transformation in other parts of its business. These efforts include:

• Enterprise data migration: Rite Aid will use BigQuery to move its enterprise data to Google Cloud. With this move, its pharmacies will gain a better understanding of their financials, supply chain inventory and customer information, enabling data-driven decisions for business operations.

• Enhanced Search: Google Cloud’s retail search solution will provide Rite Aid customers with more precise search results when shopping on Rite Aid’s e-commerce site and mobile app. The improved search experience leverages Google-quality search models to understand customer intent and Rite Aid’s first-party data (such as promotions, availability, and price) for product ranking results.

• Updated suite of PBM applications: Elixir, Rite Aid’s pharmacy benefits management and services division, will update its current suite of PBM applications with a cloud-first experience and business logic infused with artificial intelligence and machine learning. The new Google Cloud data analytics and processing capabilities will help PBMs better manage prescription benefits for health insurers, the companies said.

Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer solutions for Google Cloud, said in a statement. “Through these innovations, Rite Aid is defining the modern pharmacy.”

Rite Aid, the third-largest U.S. pharmacy chain, had total revenue of $24.57 billion in fiscal 2022. That includes approximately $17.37 billion in its retail pharmacy business unit ($5.22 billion in front-end sales and $12.15 billion in pharmacy sales), and approximately $7.2 billion in sales from its pharmacy services segment.

In recent years, Rite Aid has tracked a range of food, drug and mass channel companies’ collaborations with cloud and IT services giants. Companies working with Google include C&S Wholesale Grocers, Albertsons Cos., Hy-Vee and The Kroger Co., among others. Food, drug and mass retailers working with cloud and technology services rival Microsoft include Loblaw Cos., Kroger, Albertsons, Walmart, Costco Wholesale, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Giant Eagle. Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) subsidiary has also brought food and grocery companies to cloud-based computing architectures, including Instacart, Ocado, Sainsbury, HelloFresh and, of course, Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh.

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