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Microsoft Inks Deal To Support SAP ERP on Azure

In a deal announced this week, Microsoft and SAP said they will work together to optimize SAP's cloud and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for Microsoft's Azure platform.

The collaboration represents an expansion of the two companies' 20-year partnership. As part of the deal, the companies will jointly provide technical support for customers using the integrated ERP solutions. They also are working on co-marketing efforts.

The deal entails SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud being supported on Azure, which permits SAP S/4HANA to run on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. SAP S/4HANA is an ERP system designed for large enterprises. This system can be used to support various enterprise activities, such as finance, sales, procurement, human resources and manufacturing supply-chain tracking.

Organizations currently can move their SAP licenses to Microsoft Azure, according to Microsoft's FAQ. Using Azure infrastructure to run SAP's solutions entails paying for Azure virtual machine time and any other Azure services used.

Under the partnership, SAP and Microsoft provide support for their respective products and services. For customers of Microsoft Premier Support, "SAP is able to engage Microsoft on behalf of the customer," per the FAQ. However, Microsoft Premier Support doesn't help with the design and development of applications on Azure.

In addition to partnering on ERP from the cloud, Microsoft and SAP also are using each other's products. Microsoft plans to use SAP S/4HANA from Azure, replacing its existing SAP implementation, for tracking its internal financial operations. SAP is doing the same. Moreover, SAP is moving 12 or more "business-critical systems to Azure," including its Concur travel expense tracking software.

Microsoft has additional plans to "connect SAP S/4HANA to Azure AI and analytics services," which aims to drive "more efficient financial reporting," according to the announcement.

The announcement included customer testimonials from businesses using SAP solutions from Azure. They included Coca-Cola, Columbia Sportswear, Coats and Costco.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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