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You have probably seen or heard about the recent joint announcement by SAP and Microsoft to “join forces to accelerate business innovation”. As a former SAP, now Microsoft employee this obviously is a huge announcement for me.

 

In this blog I quickly want to outline, why this is also a really big news for customer and partners.

Basically there were three big announcement in the press-release:

  • Microsoft will run SAP S/4HANA on Azure
  • SAP migrates internal applications to Azure
  • Microsoft and SAP will jointly offer SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Azure

Let me start with the last one. Back at SAPPHIRE we had announced to release support for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Azure. We are now able to do the next step and we will offer this to our customers. If you are interested in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and want to leverage the benefits of a hyper-scale cloud provider (maybe you have already other services running on “the Azure Cloud”, like Azure Active Directory, Office 365, … ) then this offer could be very interesting for you!

The next topic is that Microsoft will run SAP S/4HANA on Azure. I think this is also a very important message! Microsoft has a long tradition of running SAP Systeme — and really big SAP Systems — in a very high-availably manner. In my recent presentation at SAP TechEd I was not allowed to talk about the S/4HANA project yet, but I outlined what we are already doing today: how we are moving our SAP systems — currently running on Windows & SQL Server — to the Azure cloud: to be ready for the switch to S/4HANA. Next to experiencing how to run SAP on Azure “first-hand” we also are always sharing our experience and best-practices with customers. Microsoft IT is doing a really great job talking about what we are doing and also sharing information how to improve, how to avoid mistakes, how to save costs , … running these implementations. Expect a lot of more information on our project in the future! As Barry Simpson, senior vice president and chief information officer at The Coca-Cola Company is quoted in the press release: “The value of aligned engineering, sales and delivery between these two strategic partners will allow our system to accelerate our digital agenda. This is a very positive and exciting development for us.”

Finally SAP is migrating internal applications to Azure. When I was still at SAP working in the product management for SAP Cloud Platform I was a strong believer in the multi-cloud strategy. And I still am. Similar to the past, where SAP offered choice to customers to select their OS and DB, now SAP is offering choice which cloud provider you want to choose. With the recent announcement SAP does not deviate from this position: but I think SAP is making a very strong statement as well! SAP will migrate several internal business critical systems to Azure “for the optimal efficiencies, flexibility and innovation the platform offers”. In addition SAP will also document the internal projects to provide customers with guidance and enterprise architecture for deployment of SAP applications on Azure.

So on top of all the great information that is already available on running SAP

you can expect much more real-life implementation information from both partners!

 

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