German software and cloud giant SAP SE is stepping up its push to meet growing demand for cloud computing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed its long-term commitment to the China market.
The move came as SAP is implementing its "China Accelerators "initiative, a five-year plan that started last January to strengthen input in the country and to bolster business growth.
SAP Greater China President Mark Gibbs said that in challenging times, communication is key and the company aims to leverage its technological prowess to help companies accelerate digital transformation.
"China is our second home," Gibbs said, adding that the company hopes that the speed and agility that cloud services bring can help its Chinese customers better survive the outbreak and emerge stronger.
In the first quarter, SAP has helped Mindray, a Chinese medical equipment provider, establish a dealer management ecosystem with its SAP Commerce. The service is designed to boost operational efficiency and transparency as Mindray saw a jump in orders for its products amid the outbreak.
It also inked a deal with Anta, a leading Chinese sportswear company, which went live on SAP S/4HANA, a next-generation, intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) business suite designed specifically for in-memory computing.
"In times like these, technology needs to be viewed as a business enabler to improve agility and responsiveness," Gibbs said, adding that "successful companies of tomorrow would be the ones that have invested and will keep investing in technologies to stay agile, adapting to the day's market".
Daniel Sun, research vice-president at Gartner, said the resilience of business models is pivotal to continuity of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese companies' experience shows that they are better at reacting to the crisis through embracing digital innovation rather than pure cost optimization, Sun said.
To address massive disruptions impacting global supply chains, SAP opened free access to SAP Ariba Discovery, a platform where any buyer can post immediate sourcing needs and any supplier can respond－all free of charge.
As the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, the demand side is heavily impacted, but "from the supply end, China has done an excellent job", Gibbs added.
Amid the outbreak, SAP has donated software worth 15 million yuan ($2.1 million) to help small and medium-sized enterprises in hard-hit Hubei province to better enable their digital capabilities.
"SMEs are an important part of the global supply chain, which is only as robust as the weakest link: the smallest suppliers," Gibbs said.
The senior executive said he is impressed with China's recent emphasis on new infrastructure including 5G and data centers. "That reflects China's long-term view and willingness to invest ahead of the curve. The influence is transcending way beyond the borders," Gibbs said.