The SAP community received an open letter from the then co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein reassuring them that even at these unprecedented times, the company’s focus remains on its people, customers, and the communities they serve.
Almost halfway through 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has changed many ways of how we live our lives, conduct businesses, and engage with each other in the New Normal. For SAP, several initiatives have already been implemented globally (mostly at zero cost) to help the SAP community thrive in the time of COVID-19. In the Asia Pacific and Japan region alone, the German company’s 20,000 employees are at the receiving end of the community-based relief efforts done by SAP.
Scott Russell, SAP President, APJ has stated:
“Empathy is what drives us as a company.”
“It’s not just governments that are fighting COVID-19, because every single one of us has to confront the challenge as well,” he added.
Global Initiatives for the SAP Community
On a global scale, SAP has opened free access to select solutions that would be essential for the employees, companies, communities and governments at these challenging times. Specific to COVID-19, EY, SAP, and Qualtrics have released some tools and resources to help governments address the pandemic needs. These are:
- Healthcare Workforce Pulse
- COVID-19 Dynamic Call Center Script
- COVID-19 Pre-Screening and Routing
- Critical Care Protocol Solution
To ensure business continuity for the SAP community, SAP made the following solutions available at zero cost on a certain period:
- Remote Work Pulse by Qualtrics
- SAP Ariba Discovery
- Massive open online courses (MOOCs) available on the openSAP platform
- TripIt Pro
- SAP Litmos
- Qualtrics Supply Continuity Pulse solution
- Planning as a service with the SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain solution
As for the ASia Pacific and Japan region, SAP APJ President Russell shared with People Matters how his team responded to the outbreak, being the first to be affected by the now global crisis. He emphasised that being proactive, working with the local governments, and understanding SAP’s role as an essential service provider worldwide were the key factors that made SAP APJ operate effectively while safeguarding the health of its employees. He explained:
“And in doing so, we actually protected our customers, because overnight, we were able to move from a workforce that was quite mobile but still had a large number of functions operating from offices, to having 95 percent of our workforce in the Asia Pacific able to work from home.”
“What that meant was that our employees were able to provide a continuity of service to our customers, be they government agencies or businesses, so that they in turn could keep providing necessary services to citizens. Whether in agriculture, healthcare, retail, utilities, or other sectors, we were able to continue supporting that,” he further stressed.
COVID-19 Local Initiatives
SAP APJ’s initiatives in the region are spread across its employees, enterprise customers, governments, and the front line health workers. Russell enumerated the local efforts implemented in the region to aid in these unpredictable times.
Creating a local Pandemic Task Force. The region created a task force that meets daily, then weekly in the early days of the pandemic to come up with a framework that is tailor-fit to a country’s regulations and needs.
Leveraging the global solutions of Qualtrics. The region uncovered that its customers’ priority is the safety and well being of its employees. Qualtrics tools are then made available for free to the customers.
SAP APJ in partnership with Qualtrics has broken new ground with Bridge-IT, an app that would provide employees and customers accurate real-time facts on COVID-19 and personalised guidance on how to cope with the virus.
Providing an uninterrupted supply chain. COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain of goods most especially the medical supplies for front liners and patients.
SAP Malaysia together and EY Malaysia in cooperation with the Government-Linked Companies (“GLC”) and Government-Linked Investment Companies (“GLIC”) Disaster Response Network (“GDRN”), came up with a cloud solution, delivered within a week to GDRN, to provide optimum logistical support and response to organisations assisting the Ministry of Health in Malaysia. EY Malaysia implemented SAP Customer Experience solutions, including SAP Sales & Service Cloud for the supply of ventilators and protective equipment to hospitals and other health-related organisations in the country.
In India, facing the same concern on dwindling supply of healthcare essentials including high-quality ventilators needed in treating COVID-19 patients, SAP collaborated with NASSCOM Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and HelpAge India.
Collaborating with local authorities and organisations. Aside from keeping close coordination with local governments, SAP APJ also collaborated with global organisations, nonprofit and social enterprises to support COVID-19 initiatives.
In Japan, SAP partnered with Operation Blessing Japan to supply over 50,000 masks and 6,000 liters of disinfectant to 300 care facilities including hospitals and homes for the elderly.
In South-East Asia, SAP volunteers are assisting UNICEF using social media to amplify COVID-19 response efforts, while 60 SAP volunteers are virtually mentoring underserved youth for Head Held High in India.
Russell shared how he foresees the future for SAP:
“The silver lining, at least to me personally, of the way we run our business is to be able to stay connected, on a more timely basis, to all parts of the region. We’re running 30-plus offices in 20-plus countries and they have diverse expectations and needs.”
“And I think that companies like ours will really embrace that going forward, because we’ve proved that we can understand the needs of our customers in a timely manner and accelerate some activities, whereas before we may have been artificially constrained by the need for face to face connections,” he added.