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December 31, 2019 02:00 PM

A warm embrace-Microsoft and SAP partner to bring you future-ready cloud migration offerings

Microsoft and SAP have come together as part of SAP's "Project Embrace", aimed at migrating SAP's customers to the public cloud.
Project Embrace includes a road map, reference architecture, and SAP services to support the migration of its customers to hyper-scale cloud providers. Microsoft was first off the block to support Embrace and has confirmed what it calls "an extensive go-to-market partnership".

This partnership will offer holistic bundles that provide customers with unified reference architectures, road maps, and market-approved journeys to illuminate a clear path toward the cloud & accelerate customer adoption of SAP S/4HANA® and SAP® Cloud Platform on Microsoft Azure.

“SAP’s decision to select Microsoft Azure as its preferred partner deepens the relationship between our two companies in a differentiated way and signals a shared commitment to fostering the growth of the cloud ecosystem,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft.

“Our customers are very clear about the business outcomes they expect to achieve when migrating to the cloud - and that includes operational excellence and innovation,” said Jennifer Morgan, president of Cloud Business Group and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “Working together with the hyperscalers and global strategic service partners, we’re in a unique position to shape our customers’ journeys to becoming intelligent enterprises,” she concluded.

Judson Althoff, Executive VP of Commercial Business at Microsoft, said: "Microsoft Azure is now SAP's preferred cloud partner to move on-premises SAP ERP and S/4HANA customers to the cloud."

Some of the expected customer benefits are - shorter negotiations, streamlined teaming and faster, risk-managed implementations.

Project Embrace aims to include the following components:

  • Solution: A set of foundational services running on SAP Cloud Platform to enable the integration, orchestration, and extension of SAP systems and third-party applications running in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Reference architecture: A jointly developed technical blueprint that incorporates the required SAP and hyper-scale components to run the customer’s applications.
  • Market-approved journeys: A jointly created and market-approved road map to SAP S/4HANA by industry - created with hyperscalers and global strategic service partners.
  • New SAP MaxAttention services and SAP ActiveAttention services: A newly launched set of services designed to support customers running a cloud or hybrid infrastructure on a hyper-scale.

Microsoft, SAP, and Adobe are also members of the Open Data Initiative, which is the idea to use a common data model to enable business intelligence across applications like Microsoft Office 365, SAP S/4HANA, and Adobe Marketing Cloud.

The SAP-Microsoft partnership came about so quickly because the majority of customers that SAP worked with to validate the SAP Embrace model were already leaning toward Azure, said David Robinson, SAP Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Cloud Business Group.
This was primarily because Microsoft had demonstrated that Azure provided a consistent enterprise degree of engagement and support beyond just the compute network and data store, such as support services and lifecycle management, according to Mr. Robinson.

"Microsoft understands the enterprise to speak the enterprise language, and has processes wrapped around their compute network and storage around Azure that are more aligned with what SAP customers need to be able to consume and drive their S/4HANA environment," he said.

What makes this a great partnership:

  • Both Microsoft and SAP use Azure to run mission-critical SAP applications. By using SAP solutions on Azure, customers have access to unified best practices and reference architecture for a more seamless migration to the cloud.
  • Microsoft has 110,000 internal users running SAP; SAP's 84000-member workforce uses Microsoft solutions. Both organizations have a shared vision to help customers innovate.
  • More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies run on Azure and 92 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 are SAP customers. Microsoft and SAP share a large partner network to support customers on their journey to the cloud.

As Microsoft Gold Partners, we at Web Synergies are excited about what the future holds for SAP and Azure specifically, and for cloud-based solutions to businesses in general.

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