SAP Cloud Platform In Use For Tourist Return Service
(According to an article by Christopher Lixenfeld on SAP News)
The programmes existing in the ministry were not suitable for the retrieval campaign to Germany by the Federal Foreign Office for several hundred thousand stranded holidaymakers worldwide after the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. The requests for registration on the so-called Elefand-List (electronic registration of Germans abroad), which exploded in mid-March, quickly overtaxed the app, which was only intended for individual emergencies. "Server unavailable" was what the people seeking help from South America to the Philippines saw before the platform collapsed completely at some point.
In the early evening of March 17, the German Foreign Office asked SAP to build a platform. SAP CTO Jürgen Müller instructed Rui Nogueiras, Chief Product Expert for the SAP Cloud Platform, and he assembled a team of around 40 experts from three time zones for the implementation.
The first virtual meeting started at 19:30. The core team, eight colleagues, one of them from the USA, brought on board additional SAP specialists for individual tasks. The solution was ready within 24 hours.
(Screenshot homepage German Foreign Office) A Microsoft Teams room was opened for collaboration throughout. The German Foreign Office was also able to participate in the development of the solution. In addition to the new development, the app was to run securely and scalably on the SAP Cloud Platform. Taking data protection into account. Nogueira: "People inevitably post personal things on the platform to describe their situation. This information must of course be protected." Data protection experts tried to crack the application and vulnerabilities found during their tests could be eliminated before release. The app is available worldwide under the domain "rückholprogramm.de".
Under Lessons learned, Nogueira refers mainly to interpersonal issues. That everyone actually acts in concert when it counts. And that a worldwide network is more important than ever in such phases: "Around three o'clock at night we had a problem we couldn't solve. We turned to colleagues in India who helped us quickly and without complications."
An SAP team is currently working on making the solution available to other countries. As happy as everyone involved is about the project and its results in the end, CTO Jürgen Müller does not want to overestimate SAP's contribution. "Of course, the real work only starts now when it comes to getting people home."