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Author's profile photo Joseph Zarb

Ugh, not another SAP “Intelligent Enterprise” Blog post! Hint – Its not….

In my first post about the experiences of SAP’s Global Technology Partners (GTPs), you read about SAP’s relationship with Dell and the 360 relationship we share as customer, suppliers, co-innovators, co-developers, and go-to-market partners.

Here I’ve had the pleasure to speak with Mike Harding, SAP CTO & Sr. Director Portfolio Management, Virtustream (a Dell Technologies business). Virtustream has a long and deep relationship with SAP which most recently, includes a new application on the APP Center to help our joint customers manage SAP Data Hub.

Read on about how Virtustream is helping SAP realize the Intelligent Enterprise.


1. What’s your elevator pitch – introduce your company, please.

Mike Harding: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about Virtustream. We at Virtustream partner with our customers to help them address the challenges they face, transforming their core mission critical applications to compete in a Multicloud world. Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business, has a long and deep relationship with SAP, resulting in multiple first-to-market milestones with SAP. We were the first to host production SAP systems in a multi-tenant cloud, the first to run production SAP ECC on SAP HANA in the cloud, the first to run product S/4HANA in the cloud and is one of five global premium suppliers of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

And there are real proof points of our achievements. We have done more than 2500 SAP migrations to date and more than 250 clients running production SAP applications in the cloud. Our long-standing SAP expertise allows our customers to run their SAP applications faster in the cloud with reduced risk and lower TCO.


2. Please discuss your experience drinking SAP’s “champagne.”

Mike: Based on more than 10 years of experience migrating and managing with SAP applications, we helped Dell Technologies operate one of the largest ERP systems on the planet. It supports over 60,000 users for employees and partners, and spans numerous core applications and 13 business tools. For example, it uses SAP Business Warehouse for hosting Dell’s customers’ mission-critical data such as orders, shipments, and so on.

Additionally, the Dell Digital team has migrated over one hundred servers to support its mission-critical SAP Business Warehouse across multiple on-premises, public and private environments to our Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. As a result, Dell Digital mitigated its capacity challenges, and now has the flexibility to easily scale resources and storage, and update mission-critical data sets in real-time to meet fluctuating critical business demands throughout the year.


3. How do you prioritize certified solutions for the SAP ecosystem?

Mike: Our focus has always been to help our customers run mission-critical SAP application workload by reducing complexity while offering predictability and cost savings. Our unparalleled SAP expertise and assurance is reflected by our SAP certification as a global SAP Outsourcing Partner which include the following services: First, our hosting operations where we operate and maintain SAP applications and offer complete hosting packages tailored to the customer’s SAP product portfolio. Next, because of our ability to deliver high quality operational services, we are certified in SAP HANA Operations. Finally, our infrastructure and cloud services portfolio are tailored to SAP customers, and we are certified in SAP Cloud and Infrastructure Operations.


4. Who cares?  I mean really – why should customers care about our partnership?

Mike: Joe, as I mentioned earlier, we have a very long and deep relationship with SAP. This experience of working together over the past 10 years has resulted in many first-to-market milestones with SAP in the cloud.

Take for example our latest offering on managed service for SAP Data Hub. We provide customers with a frictionless experience for purchasing and operating the solution, ensuring shorter time to value and providing excellent service quality that SAP customers expect. This new offering from us institutes partnered innovation with SAP’s world class technology. In addition to the service, we can provide SAP Data Hub license to customers as a service, something which is typically not available with SAP products.

With our partnership we have simplified the process of moving to the cloud, and modernizing your applications – with fewer providers, suppliers, and partner to manage you have a more cost-effective solution, simpler operational processes, and all the while delivered with clear and simple service level guarantees.

One last point I want to make is our “single hand to shake” approach which delivers the least complexity and highest value, reducing the business risk inherent in operating mission critical applications such as SAP.


5. As a trusted partner, when should SAP customers consider contacting you?

Mike: We are an SAP Outsourcing Operations partner for SAP HANA Operations, Hosting, and Cloud and Infrastructure, as well as a Premium Partner for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. SAP has recognized us as a finalist for a 2019 SAP® Pinnacle Award in the Infrastructure category and honored Virtustream as the recipient of an SAP® North America Partner Excellence Award 2019 for ISV Innovation in recognition for outstanding contributions to driving digital transformation and – in partnership with SAP – helping businesses adopt innovation easily, gain results rapidly, grow sustainably and run more simply. We have expanded our partnership with SAP to become one of the first global cloud providers to offer the SAP Data Hub solution on the cloud.


6. Please discuss how SAP drinks your “champagne.”

Mike: Dell Technologies is the essential infrastructure company – the only company that can help its customers across all parts of the modernization journey spanning the gamut from edge to core to cloud. We, as part of Dell Technologies business, have significant relationship with SAP. Consider VMware, a part of Dell Tech ecosystem, which has enabled SAP to become a software-defined data center for the digital era on the VMware platform.

Here’s another example, Joe. Given SAP’s global presence, it requires multiple datacenters at various locations, and these must be backed up efficiently and at scale. Dell’s Data Domain helps SAP IT to backup petabytes of data faster and more efficiently with space saving technology. As you can see, we can provide the broadest range of solutions to address the challenges you face as you move forward SAP workloads to the cloud.


7. As an SAP ecosystem ally, how do you educate SAP customers on our joint potential to digitize & transform their business?

Mike: We have been committed to the SAP Ecosystem through various sponsorships. For example, we have been Onyx sponsor at SAPPHIRE, Gold at SAP TechEd, and many more premium level sponsorships at other events. Through these and other forums, we are looking for ways to keep SAP customer educated and engaged on what the partnership of SAP and Virtustream can offer.



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