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Vikas Anand
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 |  September 02, 2020

Google Cloud AppSheet extends COVID-19 support to December 31, 2020

With disruptions related to COVID-19 still rippling across the globe, enterprises need to reimagine how business gets done. No-code development is emerging as an important tool in many organizations’ efforts to become more resilient, helping them extend the ability to create much-needed line-of-business apps and to optimize business workflows outside of traditional IT. 

By enabling those closest to challenges to build apps or workflows without programming, no-code platforms can free up IT to work on more sophisticated strategic initiatives while also eliminating the backlog of line-of-business apps in IT’s queue. With more people able to harness a company’s valuable data for new uses, no-code platforms help accelerate the development of new apps while still maintaining administrators’ control over how and by whom data is accessed and used. 

Earlier this year, Google Cloud offered AppSheet, our no-code platform, at no cost for any use cases related to COVID-19, and we’ve been inspired by the thousands of apps that have since been built and are in active use. The AppSheet team collaborated with app creators to create a multilingual app, for example, that supports more than 100 languages and can serve as a baseline for creators around the world. 

Having heard from our customers and the market that no-code solutions are a pressing need, we are extending the COVID-19 promotion through the end of the year. These are uncertain times and like so many others, we are grateful to be in a position to help.

There are, of course, countless other examples of how app creators have leveraged AppSheet’s no-code platform to respond to the pandemic, and while we cannot cover them all, here are two that illustrate the innovative ways in which app creators have risen to the tasks at hand.

Tracking and managing critical medical equipment

Under the guidance of USMEDIC, a provider of comprehensive equipment maintenance solutions to healthcare and medical research communities, AppSheet, along with other companies collaborated to build and deploy a  medical equipment tracking and management solution that would support healthcare organizations in their COVID-19 response. During the course of its work with various healthcare organizations, USMEDIC realized that hospital staff were often spending many hours a day trying to locate vital medical equipment which was often redistributed due to surging patient volumes. Traditional tracking options, while available, took months to develop and were expensive to implement. The challenge? Building an alternative solution that could be launched in days, without system integration or the need to purchase expensive equipment.

Thus began a cross-functional collaboration and within two months, this team built a solution that can be used by hospitals that have not already implemented a comprehensive equipment management system or to augment existing ones. An app built on the AppSheet platform is what hospital personnel would use to manage and track emergency assets and we all hope that this solution will provide relief for hospitals struggling to locate much needed equipment

Supporting needy individuals in the form of digital aid

During the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa has been in some form of lockdown now for some 137 days, preventing people from working and earning an income for basic necessities. It is estimated that 47% of households ran out of money to buy food in April coupled with a rising  fear that the traditional method of delivering food parcels would be overwhelmed. Enter the Mthunzi Network, a not-for-profit organization that delivers much needed assistance in the form of digital food vouchers directly to those most impacted populations: assisting mothers of young children, the homeless, refugees, and those not receiving support from the South African government.

To manage this effort, Mthunzi built a simple, easy-to-use AppSheet-powered app that automated the beneficiary registration and digital aid redemption process. Development organizations in local communities would register individual households in need of support through the app and specify the type of aid needed — food vouchers redeemable at beneficiary selected corner shops or retailers. Mthunzi would then send those digital food vouchers to the registered beneficiaries and using the app, the development organizations would support beneficiaries with the redemption of the aid. To date, Mthunzi has helped over 25,000 beneficiaries with digital aid and expects to see this number grow to 60,000+ within the next three weeks.

Lifting up app creators

It is safe to say that every one of us across the global community has experienced a roller coaster of emotions as we come to terms with everything that has changed. But I hope that you, like me, are able to also see the helping hands that are doing their best to lift us up. We are so very proud and grateful for the help that our AppSheet creators have provided and we look forward to continuing to support them.

To learn more, go to our COVID-19 support guide.

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Vikas Anand

Vikas Anand heads Business Application Platform Product Management in Google. In the past he led overall product management, strategy & GTM for Oracle's Integration and API management Cloud products. He held various positions in product development, product management and strategy positions in different geographies. Prior to Oracle, Anand worked in product & project development, and IT in Fortune 100 firms. In these roles, he worked across diverse domains like Supply Chain Integration, Sales & Marketing Automation, Global Marketplaces & Industry verticals. He speaks often at conferences, and Thought Leadership forums on topics related to innovation in No-code/Low Code, Integration, and API Management.

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