Microsoft, SAP Extend Partnership to Azure-Based HR

Longtime collaborators Microsoft and SAP deepened their partnership this week with the news that SAP's cloud-based human resources software will run on the Azure public cloud.

Previously, SAP's SuccessFactors lineup of human capital management (HCM) solutions was available only through SAP's cloud. The agreement with Microsoft will also make the solutions available on Azure over the next five years, according to the announcement Tuesday.

The deal marks the first time that SAP has opened SuccessFactors to another cloud vendor. The partnership with Microsoft promises to greatly expand SuccessFactors' user base from the current 42 million, according to SuccessFactors President Mike Ettling.

"In selecting Azure, we will be able to expand our reach even further, with the reliability that is required of these mission-critical applications, and continue to innovate and enhance services to meet client needs across additional environments," Ettling said in a prepared statement.

News of the SAP-Microsoft deal comes less than one month after Microsoft signed a similar agreement with Adobe to offer the Adobe Creative Cloud suite on Azure.

SAP is not the only provider of cloud-based HCM solutions to partner with Microsoft recently. Workday -- a rival to both SAP and Microsoft in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space -- entered a strategic partnership with Microsoft last month aimed at integrating Microsoft's Office 365 service with its own HR suite.

However, Microsoft and SAP's relationship has deep roots. Most recently, the two announced plans to integrate Azure and Office 365 with the SAP HANA data platform. They have also collaborated on integrating Microsoft's Power BI product with SAP's BusinessObjects BI solution, as well as on certifying other SAP products for Azure.

In 2011, the two companies launched a combined partner program called the SAP-Microsoft Unite Partner Connection.

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Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for, and