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SAP Confirms Additional Steps To Exit Its Russia Business

As it shuts down the cloud services it has provided to Russian companies, SAP is working through the question of how to hand back data owned by those customers.

SAP confirmed Tuesday that it is taking additional steps toward what the German software giant called “an orderly exit from our operations in Russia,” following that country’s brutal invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

In a statement SAP provided more details about the process for shutting down its cloud services in Russia – now underway – and announced the company’s intent to “exit the support and maintenance of our on-premises products in Russia.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24, SAP has made several announcements about its withdrawal from Russia. Shortly after the invasion SAP said that it was pausing all sales of SAP software and services in Russia and Belarus, Russia’s ally, followed by a March 25 announcement that it would cease providing cloud services to Russian customers.

[Related: Taiwan PC Maker Acer Suspends Russia Business]

Last week Hasso Plattner, SAP chairman and co-founder, said in an interview with German media outlet Handelsblatt that the company was looking to make a “structured withdrawal” from Russia, including winding down technical support operations and providing for the company’s 1,300 employees in Russia.

“We continue to believe that coordinated inter-governmental sanctions offer the best way to end the war in Ukraine, and we have implemented them without exception,” SAP said in the April 19 statement. “In line with our responsibilities as an employer and provider of business-critical software, we have also gone beyond sanctions. For example, we halted sales in Russia and Belarus and are in the process of shutting down all cloud operations in Russia.

“Today we are announcing further steps toward an orderly exit from our operations in Russia, where we have operated for more than 30 years and have built an excellent team. As we wind down our operations, we will focus on responsibly managing the impact on these employees,” SAP said.

The company, in the statement, noted that customers own the data used in SAP’s cloud services. As part of the cloud service shutdown, SAP is giving non-sanctioned companies in Russia the choice to have their data deleted, sent back to them or migrated to a data center outside of Russia. For companies that choose the migration plan SAP is not renewing their cloud contract upon expiration of the current subscription term.

SAP also announced its intent to “exit the support and maintenance” of its on-premises products in Russia. The company said it is evaluating multiple options for carrying out that decision in a way that honors its obligations to non-sanctioned companies. The company noted that Russian customers that own on-premises SAP software can continue using those products.

SAP, meanwhile, said it continues to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, recently announcing an additional contribution of €700,000 (approximately U.S. $755,000) to support refugees in the region, bringing the company’s total contribution so far to €3.7 million (approximately U.S. $3.99 million).

The company also has contributed its software to relief efforts, including providing the SAP Ariba procurement and supply chain management application to a non-governmental organization that is working with the Ukraine Ministry of Healthcare to purchase medical supplies.

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