By Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP, SAP User Enablement & MD, SAP Labs India
The widespread hue and cry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic propelled the tech-shy Indian masses to adopt technology at an unprecedented scale. From contact tracing to booking hospital beds and scheduling vaccination on Aarogya Setu, technology transformed the way we approach a crisis of this magnitude. At SAP too, we have been leveraging the power of technology to find solutions to immediate problems and help support our colleagues, governments, and local communities.
Just days into the second wave of the pandemic, our teams at SAP Labs India partnered with Government of Karnataka (GoK) and multiple NGOs like Reap Benefit, Mercy Mission, and Labournet to create a live directory to help citizens find verified information on COVID-19 test centres, ambulance services, doctor teleconsultation, oxygen concentrator suppliers and medical and food supplies. Cognizant that time is of the essence in a dynamic crisis like this, we leveraged Google Apps Script to make the application live and accessible to all within a matter of 5-6hrs on April 25. Over the last few weeks, the platform has enabled thousands of distressed users across the state of Karnataka to access verified information on emergency supplies.
Parallelly, we also relaunched the #KarnatakaFightsCorona Sankalpa portal with new features to help manage the COVID-19 second wave. The platform has facilitated over 4,300 volunteers to contribute to the state’s fight against COVID19 while also empowering various industry leaders and corporate companies to expedite their support. The platform is leveraged for donations to the CM’s Office and also carries COVID19 awareness material in multiple languages. Additionally, our Labs India colleagues are also supporting the GoK COVID19 war rooms by catering to over 1,600 distress calls every day.
In an unfolding crisis like this, knowing how and where to acquire emergency resources is vital. Therefore, when the Indo German Chamber of Commerce approached us to build a marketplace to help facilitate the easy exchange of COVID resources among member companies, we leveraged SAP JAM as a collaboration platform to onboard over 400 organizations in less than a week and help bridge the demand-supply gap, thereby accelerating the process and saving crucial time.
At SAP, our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. As the leading innovation Labs in the country, we’re blessed with some of the finest tech minds who recognise the responsibility to step up during a crisis and offer solutions for the entire population. The overwhelming number of tech solutions proposed by our colleagues over the last few weeks has led to the creation of SAP’s first-ever COVID-19 Tech Committee. It will accelerate the development of these solutions and connect with the relevant stakeholders in government and external agencies to help mitigate the situation at hand. One of the first projects under the initiative targets streamlining oxygen supplies across the country with an efficient supply chain model leveraging in-house technology. Our teams are working with the national task force and central government agencies to take this initiative further. The solution integrates directly with the Oxygen Digital Tracking System (ODTS) and will help in increasing the availability of Oxygen, streamline the distribution and strengthen oxygen storage infrastructure in India.
I would also like to take this opportunity to call out the extraordinary, round-the-clock efforts from our Crisis Management Team (CMT) to extend support to SAP in India’s 14,000+ colleagues and their families with the desired medical attention and emergency medical supplies. In order to scale and to ensure a faster response, we built SAPMitra, an AI-powered COVID19 support Chatbot. A Cloud Foundry-based application designed using SAP Conversational AI platform, SAPMitra assists our colleagues with COVID-related resources and services offered by SAP, like Emergency Hotline, Quarantine Facility, Insurance coverage, financial assistance, doctor teleconsultation, post-COVID Care, etc. The bot not only offers the first line of response to our colleagues but also enables CMT to cater better to emergency situations at hand.
Earlier this year, before the second wave of COVID19 took us all by surprise, we started the phased reopening of our campuses to facilitate teams who wanted to work from the office. And we wanted to do this without compromising the safety of our colleagues. Therefore, our SAP Smart Labs team leveraged in-house technology to develop the AppaNE App to book office visits and to ensure everyone’s safety on the campus with AI-based mask detection and contact tracing. Our campuses were closed once again at the onset of the second wave.
We, at SAP, firmly believe that technology and innovation should benefit society at large, especially during a pandemic like this. There are innumerable scenarios where timely tech intervention can help save lives and improve the overall situation with efficient solutions and systems. We’re very proud that we’re able to do our bit.