SAP had two priorities when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011: Contact its 1,000 employees there and ascertain their needs.
Given the sheer scope of the devastation, and the subsequent nuclear crisis, the task would seem herculean. But SAP leaders quickly connected with their Japan-based workers, most of whom had mobile devices, either company-issued or their own.
The next step, says SAP executive vice president and CIO Oliver Bussmann, was getting back to work, even though the company had to temporarily close its Tokyo office. With redundant systems and its global reach, SAP was able to shift some workload out of Japan while its employees there were able to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops to access corporate assets.