As safety and well-being issues dominate global news headlines in the wake of the spread of Covid-19, SAP on March 13 announced it is opening up free access to two of its leading applications to assist businesses grappling with the effects of the coronavirus.

According to Alicia Tillman, Global Chief Marketing Officer at SAP Africa, all businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as the impact on the global economy continues. "Business travel is restricted; events are cancelled, and supply chains have been weakened. It is not business-as-usual in any sense of the phrase. As a purpose-led organisation SAP is uniquely positioned to leverage its technology to support businesses at a time where supply chain and business travel disruption is a real concern."

SAP will open access to its SAP Ariba Discovery solution for the next 90 days to enable any buyer to post their immediate sourcing needs, and for any supplier to respond if they can deliver. The solution will be free to anyone to use for posting and responding to sourcing requests.

Tillman says this will help buyers and suppliers to connect quickly and effectively, minimising the disruption caused by shipment delays, capacity issues and increased consumer demand in times of crisis. "SAP operates the largest business network in the world, representing more than four million suppliers in over 190 countries and with $3.21-trillion in commerce via our Ariba network. By providing free access to Ariba Discovery we can help make the connections to keep the supply chain intact and ultimately minimise the impact on businesses and consumers."

The company has also announced that between March 13 and March 31st, any individual traveler can sign up for TripIt and receive the Pro version for six months. TripIt forms part of SAP Concur and processes hundreds of thousands of travel itineraries for people around the world, monitoring flights and alerting them to any changes or delays. Existing TripIt users will also get the premium service complimentary for six months.

"The SAP Concur portfolio offers a tremendous pulse into the travel industry," says Tillman. "We want to do our part to help those who must travel and face increasing schedule changes and cancellations stemming from Covid-19."

Tillman points to a prevalence of uncertainty and fear around the impact of Covid-19 around the world. "Opening access to SAP technology is one way we can contribute to addressing global challenges and aligns with our commitment to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals."