Massive drive by businesses, consumers as well as governments to move to digital platforms due to the pandemic has created a new wave of opportunities for tech firms.

KULMEET BAWA, President and MD for the Indian Subcontinent at SAP, tells Bibhu Ranjan Mishra how the German software maker is coping with the new normal.

Edited excerpts:

How have enterprises responded to the new realities? What sort of traction SAP has seen?

The pandemic transpired swiftly across industries and required resilient leadership with the ability to make quick and bold decisions. Digital transformation was a line item on many business agendas long before COVID-19, but the pandemic catapulted it to the top of the priority list for every organisation in the world. We have provided customer with access to the benefits of integrated cloud technologies.

The next big challenge is how to deal with the data. What does this mean for your customers?

Just like oil, it needs to be gathered completely and accurately, and contextualised in the right manner to be refined. Our Data Management Solutions provides a trusted data foundation to reduce risks and simplify compliance. Our Data Intelligence provides intelligent data processing.

What about concerns around data protection? How do you manage it?

Data Protection and Privacy (DPP) is the DNA of SAP. We offer services across 65 data centers at 35 locations and 16 countries, and we are trusted global software partners with over 20 years of leadership in DPP. We are fully committed to complying with regulations – including GDPR – in all countries to strengthen our customers’ confidence and trust.

How are you enabling remote working?

We opened access to SAP solutions for various organisations who needed help in business continuity. For example, we have ‘SAP Ariba Discovery’ which offers both suppliers and buyers an open platform to post and solve their sourcing needs. SAP Qualtrics is helping in creating a free Remote Work Pulse, while SAP Litmos is empowering organisations with remote training capability.

Consumption of internet has seen a huge uptick. Since you work with large telecom firms in India, are you seeing any change in their business approach?

The lockdown led to the telecom industry to battle with unanticipated pressure. The good thing coming out of this is that by 2025, revenue from non-communication (i.e. digital) services is expected to overtake that of traditional communication services.

We believe that next generation telcos will move to be data brokers, digital transformation enablers, and cloud service providers.

Can SAP play a role in the massive vaccination exercise?

SAP is already offering solutions to support in Germany in areas including breaking of the infection chain with ‘Corona-Warn-App’. We have set up an SAP vaccine collaboration hub that can help organisations better manage supply distribution.

SAP wants to ensure that the pharma supply chain solution helps governments and their partners coordinate and successfully deploy mass vaccination programmes.

This article first appeared on Business Standard Newspaper.