SAP and Microsoft announce major Cloud alliance

SAP CEO Bill McDermott and Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaSAP CEO Bill McDermott and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a major alliance between the two software companies.

Microsoft and SAP will be deploying each other’s cloud solutions internally. The companies will co-engineer, go to market together with premier solutions and provide joint support services to ensure the best cloud experience for customers.

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud — SAP’s private managed cloud service — on Microsoft Azure will allow customers to run SAP S/4HANA in a managed cloud.

Microsoft will deploy SAP S/4HANA on Azure to run its own internal finance processes, and SAP will move its key internal business critical systems to Azure.

SAP Ariba is currently utilizing Azure and is exploring further use within its procurement applications. Together, SAP and Microsoft will help companies make the most of running SAP applications in the cloud.

“Microsoft and SAP are harnessing each other’s products to not only power our own organizations, but to empower our enterprise customers to run their mission-critical applications and workloads with SAP S/4HANA on Azure,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

According to research firm Gartner, two-thirds of all business leaders believe that their companies must pick up the pace of digitalization to remain competitive.

“We are taking our partnership to the next level with this new capability to run SAP S/4HANA in the Microsoft Azure environment,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

SAP and Microsoft both will run SAP S/4HANA on Azure for their internal operations. Microsoft is transforming its internal systems — which include legacy SAP finance applications — and will implement the SAP S/4HANA Finance solution running on Azure.

Microsoft plans to connect SAP S/4HANA to Azure AI and analytics services for more efficient financial reporting and more powerful decision-making.

SAP is migrating more than a dozen business-critical systems to Azure for the optimal efficiencies, flexibility and innovation the platform offers. This includes the SAP S/4HANA software supporting Concur, an SAP company.

Both companies will document the internal projects to provide customers with guidance and enterprise architecture for deployment of SAP applications on Azure.

With SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Azure, customers get the best of both worlds: application management and product expertise from SAP and a global, trusted and intelligent cloud from Microsoft Azure, including the range of Microsoft cloud services.

Enterprise customers such as The Coca-Cola Company, Columbia Sportswear Company, Coats and Costco Wholesale Corp., count on SAP and Azure today for their businesses.

The Coca-Cola Company CIO Barry Simpson said: “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.”

Jim Rutherford, senior vice president of Information Systems at Costco Wholesale, said that SAP and Microsoft are key partners with Costco, and this alliance will help drive our cloud strategy and digital business forward.

Columbia Sportswear Company CIO Mike Hirt said Microsoft and SAP are strategic partners helping us grow our wholesale and direct-to-consumer businesses. Their close alignment is an integral part of advancing our technical architecture and cloud strategy to better serve our customers.

Hizmy Hassen, chief digital and technology officer of Coats, said that the Microsoft and SAP alliance provides us with the assurance we need for our innovation in the cloud.

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