SAP and Microsoft expand partnership

By:  Jamie Davies

Microsoft and SAP have extended a long-standing partnership to deliver broad support for the SAP HANA platform on Microsoft Azure.

The extended partnership will focus on greater integration between the two portfolios to simplify work-through integrations between Microsoft Office 365 and cloud solutions from SAP. The new team also claim the combined proposition will provide enhanced management and security for custom SAP Fiori apps.

The announcement builds on a previous relationship which was debuted in 2014, allowing SAP customers to build HANA applications in the Microsoft cloud platform, taking advantage of public cloud scalable resources, though the new partnership now incorporates more of the Azure security and management capabilities.

“This partnership is perhaps one of the broadest things we’ve done together,” said Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. “Take the cloud. We’ve taken the best of SAP and the best of our hyper-scale cloud. It means SAP certifications are now certified on Azure, HANA is certified on Azure and S/4 HANA is certified on Azure.

We’ve taken our hyper-scale cloud and made it real for customers. Every application which SAP run is now compatible with Office 635 meaning we now have seamless integration. This recipe is going to accelerate the growth which our customers seek, by combining two product portfolios which are customers probably already use.”

As part of the new agreement, there will be a new deployment option for SAP HANA on the Azure cloud. The updates will certify SAP HANA to run development, test and production workloads on Microsoft Azure, including SAP S/4HANA, and will enable customers to run larger and more demanding workloads than previously possible. New integrations will also enable customers to combine Office 365 features (including communications, collaboration, calendar etc.) with SAP cloud-based applications including Concur, SAP Fieldglass and SAP SuccessFactors.


New developments which can be expected towards the latter end of the year also include the ability to deploy custom mobile hybrid SAP Fiori apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform with an open standards plug-in framework, which will enable Microsoft Intune capabilities to be embedded within the app itself. The team believe these integrations will be available in Q3.

“We believe the IT industry will be shaped by breakthrough partnerships that unlock new productivity for customers beyond the boundaries of traditional platforms and applications,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott. “SAP and Microsoft are working together to create an end-user experience built on unprecedented insight, convenience and agility. The certification of Microsoft Azure infrastructure services for SAP HANA along with the new integration between Microsoft Office 365 and cloud solutions from SAP are emblematic of this major paradigm shift for the enterprise.

The news follows another partnership announcement from SAP with Apple made in recent weeks. Apple has made multiple moves over the last 24 months to improve its position in the enterprise IT space, partnering with Cisco last year, to optimise iOS device performance across Cisco’s suite of enterprise communications services, and IBM in 2014, bringing IBM’s strengths in big data and analytics to Apple devices.