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The CTO of SAP explains how it helped build a tool to help the German government bring tens of thousands of stranded citizens home faster amid the coronavirus crisis (SAP)

Tech giant SAP is working with the German government to help bring home tens of thousands of stranded Germans amid the coronavirus crisis.

SAP has built a mobile-ready site for the German Foreign Ministry that would make it easier for roughly 120,000 Germans stranded overseas to make arrangements to fly back home. Germany, which has urged its citizens to return home immediately, has set aside 50 million euros for the return campaign.

German citizens can use their smartphones to go to the site to register by including their passport number and other personal information, SAP Chief Technology Officer Juergen Mueller said.

“You can say where you are and where you want to go in Germany, but it’s not guaranteed that you end up exactly there,” he told Business Insider. “The German government has made deals with private companies like Lufthansa and they will organize flights from certain cities to other cities in Germany.”

The program is geared primarily to German citizens travelling in countries where the crisis has already led to travel restrictions, including Egypt, India, the Philippines, Mexico and New Zealand. Registered citizens will be notified via email, text or a phone call about charter flight arrangements made by the German government.

German citizens travelling in countries where travel has not been restricted can still register which would make it easier for the government to reach them in case the situation changes.

More than 42,000 German citizens have already registered, with each registration representing multiple family members, SAP said.

The citizens will be asked to pay the equivalent of an economy ticket for their return flight.

Mueller said SAP created the tool in a day after getting a request from the German government which was looking for an efficient way to bring its citizens home.

Mueller said SAP has already had conversations with other governments about making the technology available to them to help their stranded citizens.

The situation in Germany is “challenging, like everywhere in the world,” he said.

“Like other companies, we’re trying to help,” Mueller said. “The best thing we can offer is software, its enterprise applications.”

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