By Douglas Busvine
BERLIN (Reuters) – The customers of software group SAP <SAPG.DE> are suffering severe declines in revenue and earnings while at the same time facing intensifying pressure to hike IT spending to go digital, a survey showed on Monday.
The poll of SAP’s German-speaking user community found that nearly three-quarters were experiencing sharp drops in revenue. At the same time, over four-fifths said the coronavirus pandemic made digital transformation a more pressing task.
“At the centre of this crisis is the need for businesses to do more with less,” said Marco Lenck, chairman of the German-speaking DSAG user group that commissioned the survey.
The DSAG, which represents 3,700 businesses, is an influential lobby that has called on SAP to make it easier to upgrade systems traditionally hosted on site to run in remote datacentres.
Such cloud hosting makes it easier for firms to scale up or pare back their business process operations in line with need. But the initial cost and difficulty of making that move deters many.
SAP’s new CEO, Christian Klein, welcomed the DSAG survey’s findings, which he said were representative of how the group’s global business was performing.
Klein told a joint briefing with the DSAG that SAP had taken on board calls to improve integration between its four main processes: sales, procurement, human resources and supply chain management.
Work on creating a common data model, user interface and consistent security and identity management in these four areas was now 57% complete, he said. By the end of the year, 90% of the job will be done.
Klein also said that, given the cost pressures that some clients were facing, for example in the airlines sector, SAP was offering flexible payment terms to help ride out the economic slump.
“We expect the transformation in the
The Technology 202: Facebook’s new ad limits highlight pressure to prepare for chaotic election aftermath
The social network says the move is intended to limit misinformation and abuse of its service, following broad criticism that it has not done enough to stamp out falsehoods on its platform. Facebook hasn’t said how long the ad suspension will last, but in an internal memo to its sales staff that was obtained by the Washington Post, executives told staff to tell advertisers the ban would last a week.
The changes less than a month before Election Day underscore how tech companies are scrambling to address a fast-changing political environment.
Tech companies have been making key changes to rein in disinformation since Russia used their platforms in 2016 to divide and sow discord among Americans. But critics say many of those steps to limit foreign influence haven’t gone far enough to address disinformation emanating from within the United States – often from the megaphone of the president.
Social media companies have been trying to game out possible election outcomes to prepare.
Facebook has also been considering more than 70 different election scenarios, such as what it will do if Trump or other politicians use social media to contest the election results, Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told Elizabeth. The company plans to partner with Reuters to send out notifications on election night on Facebook and Instagram with the latest results. Facebook has previously said it would apply labels to posts where a presidential candidate or other party declares victory prematurely, saying the count is ongoing.
Twitter has also been planning, gaming out nearly a dozen scenarios involving both foreign and domestic disinformation starting on election night and afterwards. The company’s scenarios included situations where people try to deter voting by saying the lines at the polls are too long, or a foreign power hacks documents and leaks
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