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SAP Cancels Sapphire Now And Partner Summit, Plans Digital Events

Software giant promises online programming in place of the conference, scheduled for mid-May, which last year drew 30,000 attendees.

SAP has cancelled its annual Sapphire Now customer and partner conference due to the coronavirus pandemic and, like many other IT vendors who have canceled events this spring, will provide online programming in its place.

Sapphire Now 2020, which was scheduled for May 11-14 in Orlando, also included the one-day SAP Partner Global Summit and the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) events. Last year the events, collectively, drew some 30,000 attendees from more than 100 countries.

SAP announced the cancellation in a statement issued Thursday.

[Related: Coronavirus Will Change Tech Landscape In A ‘Radical’ Way, Solution Providers Say]

Sapphire and the connected activities are among many IT industry conferences, shows and events that have been cancelled in the U.S. and around the world because of the coronavirus outbreak. Cancelled events include the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February, the Dell Technologies World event scheduled for May 4 though 7 in Las Vegas, and the Intel Partner Connect partner conference that was scheduled for May 19 through 21 in Grapevine, Tex.

“Due to the global health crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions that have been imposed on travel, group gatherings, and business operations, SAP and ASUG must transform the 2020 Sapphire No and ASUG Annual Conference from an in-person event to an online experience for customers, partners and guests,” the statement said.

The company also said that to ensure the health and safety of attendees, supporting staff and vendors, as well as comply with all applicable mandates, “SAP will not hold any in-person customer events scheduled to occur in April, May and June 2020.” The company also said it was cancelling its planned attendance at industry and third party-led events during that time.

The company also said information would be forthcoming about obtaining refunds for Sapphire conference fees, hotel bookings and other expenses.

“At SAP, we have colleagues and customers in every corner of the world. Our thoughts are with all those affected and the many communities that continue to face extreme measures as we work to slow down and contain the spread of the virus,” said SAP co-CEOs Jennifer Morgan and Christian Klein in a separate statement. “We also want to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to all the healthcare workers, first responders, police officers, emergency workers, and all others in essential functions and on the front lines caring for the sick and keeping us safe.”

SAP said the virtual events will include company executives speaking about SAP’s vision and strategy, how companies are using SAP software and how partners are working with SAP. Company spokespersons said more details will be offered in coming weeks.


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