American drugstore chain Rite Aid and Google Cloud have signed a new, multi-year technology agreement that will enable Rite Aid to "realize its vision of a modern pharmacy" through Google Cloud technology.
Announced at Next '22, the new partnership will see the drugstore chain migrating key applications to Google Cloud's Anthos, a managed platform for application deployment. These applications include Rite Aid's vaccine scheduling tool, customer messaging infrastructure, and digital engagement platform.
Approximately 2,350 Rite Aid pharmacies will have cloud computing on-site, enabling them to have access to robust patient information, advanced prescription management, and the ability to offer recommendations without the need to connect to centralized mainframe technology.
"The power of pharmacies, and the important role pharmacists play in the health of their communities, greatly expanded during COVID. Realizing that 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 run at each pharmacy location to allow our store teams to help our customers to achieve whole health for life."
Google Cloud will also fuel Rite Aid's digital transformation across other areas of its business, including complete enterprise data migration, and enhanced search capabilities.
To make data-driven decisions for business operations, Rite Aid will migrate its enterprise data to Google Cloud via BigQuery and gain better insights into finances, supply chain inventory, and customer information.
In addition, Google Cloud's Retail Search solution will provide customers with more precise search results on Rite Aid's eCommerce site and mobile app. The search engine will take into account customer intent and Rite Aid's first-party data, such as promotions, available inventory, and price, to show better product results.
Rite Aid's benefits and service company Elixir will transform its current benefits management app suite to a cloud-first experience with AI and machine learning capabilities. Data analytics and processing capabilities powered by Google Cloud will help the pharmacy benefits managers handle prescription benefits on behalf of health insurers.
"As a healthcare company with a retail footprint, Rite Aid is at the intersection of two quickly evolving industries and making strategic technology investments to meet rising customer expectations. Through these innovations, Rite Aid is defining the modern pharmacy," said Carrie Tharp, Vice President of Retail and Consumer Solutions, Google Cloud.In 2021, CVS Health formed a similar partnership with Microsoft to leverage Microsoft's Azure cognitive services to automate tasks and further expand cloud services.