When the current round of troubles between terrorists and the Israelis broke out I remembered back a few years ago when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Haifa and I asked one of my colleagues, who is Israeli, here in Palo Alto about that city. He looked at me and in a rather somber and unemotional way said “you know I used to live in an apartment just above that cafe”. Not only did his stoicism make an impression on me if nothing for the fortitude but it also made me sad that someone I knew could be accustomed to violence as to be just as disconnected from it as those who thankfully never had to experience it. Such is the reality in that part of the world and hopefully the current actions will finally deal with the root of the problem rather than the just the effects.
My second thought in response to the current wave of violence was to wonder how my Israeli colleagues were managing their day-to-day activities while a war is raging and their cities are under attack. SAP Labs Israel is located in the Ra’anana, a northern suburb of Tel Aviv, is if the news reports are accurate, could be within the radius of potential missile attacks. SAP operates a truly global development organization and that means that any disruption in one part is felt around the world, but at this point it appears that has not been the case.
The northern part of Israel is home to Technion University and many multinational companies, including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and KLA-Tencor, with R&D and manufacturing facilities. According to news reports, Microsoft and Intel have moved their employees to shelter locations and many companies are temporarily relocating to other parts of the country.
Not being on the ground I can only offer you what I have read in e-mails and inquired about, but it appears that SAP is taking 2 courses of action in Israel at the moment. The first is ensuring business continuity by backing up our core data center and then backing up the backup location. The more important part is ensuring the safety of our employees, and to that end SAP is, predictably, discouraging travel to the north, ensuring that all our people are up-to-speed on safety regulations and in touch with local government officials.