How is your Support Department handling sanctions on software?


I'm curious to know how others are handling sanctions on software and how it impacts service delivery? Has there been proactive reach to Russian customers? Is there a flag on the contact or account, so an agent knows not to support them?

Thank you!


  • Edly Villanueva
    Edly Villanueva Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Hello @MikeBaum,

    Thank you for leveraging the TSIA Exchange to address your question around handling sanctions on software.

    To get started, let me pull in a few support services leaders to weigh on your question.

    Hi @Alexander Mundorff @Daniel Coullet @Justin Nuzum @JosephReifel @SumitBhat @SteveCloughesy @Lane Giles @Paul Olsson is this something your organization is also grappling with?

    Best regards,


  • Jaakko

    We have not proactively communicated to those customers that are under sanctions. However, our volumes in support are generally such small for such customers that we actually haven't yet seen any requests by those customers at all.

  • Neal Hatton
    Neal Hatton Member | Enthusiast ✭

    It's certainly challenging, especially in the first half of 2022 as the sanctions are being updated and expanded often. We are using commercially available sanctions screening software to manage it, due to the the complexity. I think utilizing a software tool is the only way, because the sanctions can come in different varieties, such as country, company, individual, and product end-use. And there are multiple countries involved, each issuing these four major types of sanctions.

    Account-flagging is a common, low-cost, way of ensuring support agents don't service sanctioned entities. This requires a ticketing system with a flagging capability, along with training for the agents to be alerted to the flags and to take the correct action. Close coordination between the support operation and the legal team is strictly required. This area is too sensitive and complex to handle without solid legal advice from professionals who are experts in trade compliance. More sophisticated approaches involve automation between the support ticketing system and the sanctions screening software/service, but this will be more costly to implement and maintain. The complexity of the sanctions landscape also make it somewhat risky to try to completely automate out the human expertise in the workflow. The consequences of getting it wrong are potentially severe.

  • Samir Bhargava
    Samir Bhargava Member | Enthusiast ✭

    To add to Neal's point -- it is a major investment of time and effort to monitor it if it is not automated to a large extent. Depending on geographies and industries served, this can become a very consuming activity.

    One other thing we have noticed is that even for support this may require more than simply training the support engineers. The communication and training what to do or not do, need to extent to all who may or can contact customer. This may include development engineers working on defects or product managers who may be dealing with enhancement requests.