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SAP continues to support Russian customers

Oracle and Microsoft remain silent on involvement in existing installations

SAP is continuing to support Russian businesses and government-owned organisations as war rages in Ukraine.

The German software giant has sold enterprise systems to Sberbank, Aeroflot, and other Russian businesses but, despite the widely condemned invasion of Ukraine, it continues to support such installations.

In a statement released late on Friday, SAP CEO Christian Klien said: "We will continue to serve our existing customers within the scope of our contractual commitments and as far as sanctions and export control restrictions permit, but we will not accept new orders or solicit new business."

The statement followed specific calls from vice prime minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov to end SAP's support of Russian organisations as well as software sales.

"This is not enough! Bloody invader's army continues to kill our civil population. We ask you to stop support of SAP products, as long as Russian tanks and missiles attack Ukraine," he said on Twitter.

In 2018, SAP said Sberbank had deployed its SuccessFactors HR software to a workforce of 230,000 employees, the largest completed cloud project in Russia, according to the EU's biggest software company. Sberbank is majority-owned by the Russian state.

Aeroflot, the leading airline in Russia, said it was deploying a range of SAP systems in 2012, including SAP HANA platform.

SAP has declined to confirm that it has ended support of these specific installations.

US data warehouse firm Teradata and analytics software company SAS have said they continue to support Sberbank.

Meanwhile, US enterprise software giant Oracle sold Sberbank a Siebel CRM system for 170,000 users, it revealed in January last year.

Oracle has posted on Twitter saying: "On behalf of Oracle's 150,000 employees around the world and in support of both the elected government of Ukraine and for the people of Ukraine, Oracle Corporation has already suspended all operations in the Russian Federation."

So far the $40bn-revenue tech giant has refused to respond to The Register's questions over whether it continues to support the implementations, including remote advice and software updates, following Russia's military aggression in Ukraine.

Microsoft has also failed to answer questions about its support for Russian businesses.

On Friday, Redmond said it would suspend all new sales of products and services in Russia.

However, Microsoft has not commented on whether it continues to support existing Russian deployments, including major food retailer Magnit. Last year, the business said it was implementing Azure cloud services, Microsoft 365, and Power BI from Microsoft.

In December 2020, Microsoft said it had worked with Sberbank to develop an AI system that it claimed teaches "robots to manipulate physical objects of unstable shape in almost the same way that humans do."

In current sanctions, the EU banned the supply or transfer of aircraft parts and equipment to Russia and all related repair, maintenance, and financial services. It also sharpened existing sanctions on "dual-use goods" to target Russia's military-industrial complex, limiting access to drones and software for drones, encryption software, as well as semiconductors and advanced electronics.

Meanwhile, the US has also hardened sanctions. It has placed restrictions on Russian banks – including Sberbank, which represents around 30 per cent of the Russian retail banking sector – such as preventing them from conducting transactions through the US system. The sanctions are designed to restrict Sberbank's access to US dollar transactions.

The US has also restricted exports of semiconductors, encryption software, lasers, and aviation equipment to Russia. Companies including AMD, Intel, TSMC, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and HPE are complying with the export controls. ®

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