Microsoft and SAP announced that many SAP applications will run on Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure, and that both new and existing SAP customers will be able to consume these applications in the Software-as-a-Service, pay-as-you-go manner.
German software giant SAP is a dominant presence in enterprise software and the ability to run its applications on Azure gives Microsoft a boost in the contest among cloud service providers to capture share of the enterprise market.
"Microsoft and SAP have a great history together, and we are committed to meeting the diverse needs of our enterprise customers," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft. "Our expanded partnership with SAP demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver the applications and services our customers need — in their private clouds, service provider clouds, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office."
Many of SAP’s applications will be certified to run on Azure by the end of the second quarter. The German company’s Business suite, Business All-in-One solutions, Mobile platform, Adaptive Server Enterprise and the developer addition of HANA in-memory database are slated for Azure availability.
Besides certifying business-critical SAP applications for Azure, the partnership focuses on better integration and connectivity between SAP back-office applications with Microsoft Office and SAP BusinessObjects with Microsoft’s Power BI.
Microsoft’s recent Azure moves -- such as offering private network connection to the cloud through multi-tenant data center providers like Equinix and TelecityGroup -- are targeted squarely at enterprise cloud usage. In another example of the push for the enterprise market was Oracle making its apps available on Azure last year. While SQL is the dominant database on Azure, Oracle’s heavy-duty options expanded variety. The trick is tuning these applications for multi-tenancy, something SAP and Oracle used to be reluctant to do.
SAP’s initial foray into SaaS, billed as a trial version for its on-premise applications, took place around 2008. The company has changed tact, increasing focus on SaaS, following a battle on the Customer Relationship Management front with Salesforce.com. Today, SAP already runs on Amazon Web Services and Verizon Terremark cloud services.