SAP “supports Ukraine” but has “no magical button” to make Russian software licenses disappear

SAP announced today “further steps” to “support Ukraine” and “plan Russia exit.” 

As announced in late March, the global enterprise software giant is in the process of shutting down its cloud services in Russia. As part of this process, “we have given non-sanctioned companies in Russia the choice to have their data deleted, sent to them, or migrated to a data center outside of Russia,” SAP stated. 

“For those Russian companies who choose the migration path, we will not renew their contract upon expiration of the current subscription term,” SAP specified, in an implicit response to its critics. 

Earlier this month, The Kyiv Independent characterized SAP’s migration offer as “hypocritical” with regards to the company’s “promises to stop providing cloud services to Russian clients over Russia’s war in Ukraine.” 

The Ukrainian online publication cited a letter in which SAP assured its non-sanctioned Russian customers it was “ striving to uphold [its] commitments to [their] business during these extraordinary times” — without, however, condemning or even mentioning Russia’s war against Ukraine.

In this letter, the German software publisher “appreciated” its partnerships with Russian customers “to achieve the greatest possible outcome” for them.

“No magical red button”

SAP also said today it will “exit the support and maintenance of [its] on-premise products in Russia.” 

“We are evaluating multiple options to execute this decision, each of which will ensure we continue to honor our obligations to non-sanctioned customers. It is also important to note that regardless of any SAP decision, existing customers in Russia using on-premise software will still be able to use their products.”

Reuters reported that “SAP is not providing any support or updates to sanctioned customers,” as stated by the company’s CFO Luka Mucic. 

However, “there is no magical red button that SAP could push to make these software licenses disappear from the computers.” 

SAP’s software is commercialized either as a licensed software or on a subscription basis through the cloud. Sanctioned customers in Russia include Gazprom, Rosneft, Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank, and VTB Bank, as noted by The Kyiv Independent.

On the humanitarian front, SAP recently announced “an additional contribution of €700,000 to support refugees in the region, bringing our total contribution to €3.7 million so far.”

The company also donated its Ariba solutions to an NGO that purchases medical goods for Ukraine’s ministry of healthcare. 

“We also enabled suppliers on SAP Business Network to declare their readiness to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Some 2,500 companies have already taken this opportunity and offered their assistance through the platform,” SAP stated. 

Topics: International, News, Software
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