How Is The UK Bringing The Power Of Co-Innovation To Help Tackle The Covid-19 Pandemic?


In the fight against coronavirus, frontline and key workers in the UK have demonstrated outstanding resilience, compassion and determination to tackle this virus head on.

With 5,000 former staff leaving retirement to reassume their positions in the NHS; 15,051 nursing and midwifery students opting to join the NHS frontline staff and over 750,000 UK citizens volunteering to support, it is clear that frontline workers are an exceptional group of people.

Their unwavering dedication to come together to care for the people of the UK is nothing short of outstanding.

Companies across the world are also stepping up to do what they can to support the fight against coronavirus. From manufacturing ventilators to providing free technology to enable remote work and education, it is evident that solidarity in times of crisis supersedes business acumen.

However, while these acts of corporate goodwill are indisputably commendable, they often struggle to address the needs of those who we couldn’t survive without.

In the UK, the headlines throughout this pandemic have been dominated by stories exposing deficiencies in the resources supposedly fuelling the fight against coronavirus. Shortages in PPE, panic buying and stock piling are just some examples of endangering those frontline staff we so desperately rely on.

At SAP, our purpose from day one has been to help the world run better and improve people’s lives, and this has never been more important that in this current moment. While we have globally reacted to the crisis and provided support to our customers, employees and communities – including offering free technology and monetary donations – we need to think locally too.

Inspired by frontline workers and disturbed by the hardships they were encountering, SAP UK committed to designing solutions to these problems…fast.

But, we couldn’t do it alone.

Channelling SAP technology into viable market solutions addressing these problems is entirely feasible. Turning them around within a matter of weeks? Not so much.

The thousands of NHS staff and key workers who have sacrificed so much to unite with their colleagues on the frontline have taught us many lessons. The power of collaboration – working together where we wouldn’t normally – really stood out to us.

Empowered by this lesson, we reached out to our partner ecosystem.

We challenged our partners to join us in a social collaboration to develop solutions to help tackle the current Covid-19 challenges faced by the NHS and other key workers during this pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, the response from our partners was exceptional. With over 21 ideas submitted from our partners, we were amazed with the ingenuity of the ideas.

Laura Atkinson, Head of Partner and Alliances at SAP UKI commented: “I am absolutely delighted to see so many of our partners getting involved with this initiative and the spirit of collaboration. I passionately believe at SAP that we are better together with our ecosystem of incredible partners, and the responses we have had certainly illustrate this.”

We asked our partners to design a solution that would have a tangible and sustainable impact on the lives of key workers. The solutions proposed were required to operate on SAP technology and demonstrate an embedded maturity, so that they could be launched in accordance with the urgency by which they are required.

Umar Khan – Centre of Excellence, Platform & Technology, SAP EMEA North – remarked: “The diversity of submissions was incredible. With solutions targeting a broad range of challenges facing key workers, I was truly blown away. The ideas submitted will have an unparalleled impact on the lives of frontline workers, and have massively exceeded our expectations.”

From identifying instances of non-compliance of PPE usage, to ensuring surplus food is delivered to those who need it most, the solutions designed almost perfectly match to those headlines highlighting the areas where key workers are most vulnerable.

Sohail Mohammed – Principal Architect, Platform & Technology, SAP UKI – celebrated: “The collaboration between SAP and our partners will support the tremendous work of key workers throughout the crisis, but it will enhance their experience after the crisis too. Whether it be through mitigating the risk of a second peak or ensuring supply chains are never disrupted again, the impact of this collaboration project will be long lasting.”

To view the showcase of all solutions created, click here.

With 9 solutions created and powered by SAP technology this collaboration will change the way the UK deals with coronavirus and transform the lives of key workers.

Most of all, we have echoed the lesson that coming together to help, works.