Microsoft, SAP Tout Collaboration Around Cloud ERP

Microsoft this week gave a progress report on its partnership with SAP, particularly their joint efforts to run SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, SAP S/4HANA, on Azure infrastructure.

Microsoft shared these details during SAP's Sapphire Now event in Orlando, Fla., this week. During the conference, SAP also announced its next customer relationship management (CRM) product, SAP C/4HANA, which integrates with SAP S/4HANA for ERP.

The new CRM solution also works with SAP's Internet of Things (IoT) solution, SAP Leonardo, and the SAP HANA Data Management Suite for orchestrating structured and unstructured data. The combination of these technologies can be used to add consumer information into supply-chain operational planning, according to SAP's CEO Bill McDermott.

"We recognize that every part of a business needs to be focused on a single view of the consumer," McDermott said in a released statement. "When you connect all SAP applications together in an intelligent cloud suite, the demand chain directly fuels the behaviors of the supply chain."

SAP C/4HANA consists of a number of SAP's solutions. The company also has folded its SAP Hybris-branded products into the new CRM system. The technologies included in SAP C/4HANA are:

  • SAP Marketing Cloud
  • SAP Commerce Cloud
  • SAP Service Cloud
  • SAP Customer Data Cloud (including the acquired Gigya solutions)
  • SAP Sales Cloud (including the acquired CallidusCloud solutions)

Microsoft used the occasion of Sapphire Now to outline recent partnership progress in supporting SAP HANA products on Azure datacenters, particularly its support for the SAP S/4HANA ERP solution, which is typically used by large enterprises for finance, procurement, human resources and supply-chain tracking operations.

Back in November, the two companies expressed mutual partnership love as Microsoft announced the adoption of SAP S/4HANA on Azure for tracking its financial operations. At the same time, SAP announced it had moved many of its critical business systems over to the Azure platform. The two companies also support customers that use SAP S/4HANA on Azure.

Quite a lot of their recent partner support efforts have focused on providing larger-capacity SAP HANA-certified virtual machines (VMs) on Azure infrastructure. Azure now supports "26 distinct SAP HANA offerings from 192GB to 24TB," according to a Tuesday announcement by Microsoft. That number has increased from 16 configurations announced back in May.

Organizations can use the certified M-Series Azure VMs, which will be available at a 12TB maximum size. There's also a 24TB bare-metal offering that's currently available on Azure infrastructure. The 26 SAP HANA offerings are currently available in "12 regions with plans to increase to 22 regions in the next six months," according to Microsoft's Tuesday announcement.

Microsoft also announced on Tuesday the "general availability" or commercial availability of the SAP Cloud Platform on Azure. It's a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that application developers can use with SAP solutions to build extensions. SAP Cloud Platform on Azure is currently available in the West Europe Azure datacenter region, but Microsoft is working with SAP to expand regional availability. A free trial is available here.

Additionally, SAP's Hybris Commerce Cloud solution is now available as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution from Azure, Microsoft announced.

Some customers that are currently using SAP solutions on Azure infrastructure include automaker Daimler AG, oil and gas production company Devon Energy, and mining company MMG, according to Microsoft's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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