Microsoft partners and professionals with Ukraine connections express growing concern, dismay

February 25 2022

As the world watches Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the leaders of foreign businesses with employees and offices in the country have been sharing their reaction and efforts on behalf of their colleagues and partners.

Ukraine has been a popular locale for expansion among software and IT companies from North America and Europe for many years. In the Microsoft partner channel, a range of executives have noted their continued support for Ukrainian colleagues as well as frustration at the limits of their ability to help in the immediate crisis.

"Over the last 15 years, I've been working with our people in Ukraine and I've visited them more than a dozen times," wrote Michiel Schipperus, CEO of Sana Commerce. "I consider them my friends. These kind, welcoming, open, hard-working, innocent people. This is so unjust. I have no words. But I want to speak up and let everyone in Ukraine know that we support them."

Schipperus told MSDW that the company is offering colleagues in Ukraine financial support to relocate for those who want it, as well as practical support for those already outside of the country in need of assistance. For business continuity, he added, the company is shifting work to other locations following more generic plans.

Nils Peemoeller, CEO of Anveo Group, makers of EDI and mobile applications, reported that his firm has decided to halt the sale of their mobile apps in app stores in Russia and encouraged other businesses to consider similar measures. "I am the owner of a mid-sized company in the IT industry, and to be honest, we hardly make any sales to countries without basic democratic values," he wrote. "But still, maybe as a suggestion for companies with more potential: One click is enough, and your own app in App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store is OFFLINE in Russia. We can only stop this together!"

"We have 200 Team Members in the Ukraine, and they are in harm’s way," wrote Kevin Armstrong, global enterprise strategy lead at technology services firm Enavate, in a LinkedIn post on Thursday. "It’s a helpless and frustrating scenario when there are people that you care deeply about in crisis…and you can’t help them. I’ve been on calls with Team Members today who have had to leave the call because of emergency sirens and explosions in the area. There are no words that feel even close to being sufficient to support our Team."

On their company account, Microsoft partner SIS reported that the company "stands strong and proudly beside it's Ukrainian team. We are here to help in the ways necessary to maintain business continuity and support for each individual on our team."

Microsoft MVPs from Ukraine Oleksandr Olashyn and US-based Andrew Butenko have continued to retweet messages of support for the country and today joined others in calling on world leaders to enact further restrictions and actions against Russia.

Photo Copyright: olyasolodenko

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Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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