IBM and SAP have announced a plan to co-innovate solutions that increase customer value through cognitive extensions, enhanced customer and user experiences, and industry-specific functionality — all enabled with SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA).

The companies intend to co-locate resources in Walldorf, Germany, and Palo Alto, California, deepening their long-standing partnership and delivering a distinct blend of capabilities. The companies will also showcase new solutions and thought leadership to clients in IBM and SAP innovation centers around the world.

“The future of business strategy and business value will proceed from the foundational elements of this announcement — cognitive, cloud and the design of consumer-quality experiences in every industry,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. “We’re formalizing a complementary set of capabilities to simplify and speed outcomes for clients evolving to become cognitive enterprises.”

“Today’s announcement builds on SAP’s commitment to enable strong, growing businesses that can seize the amazing opportunities of the digital economy,” said Rob Enslin, member of the Executive Board of SAP SE and president of Global Customer Operations, SAP.

The collaboration will cover a number of areas:

  • Cloud-based solutions: The companies will draw on the strategic partnership between IBM and SAP for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud services announced in October 2014 to scale the IBM cloud platform to meet the unpredictable demands of digital transformation. IBM and SAP will collaborate on industry-specific cloud solutions and expand current SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud services to include ongoing application maintenance and support services.
  • On-premise solutions: SAP and IBM will back client engagement for hybrid and on-premise offerings with SAP HANA on IBM Power systems, supported through the new IBM Power Systems Center of Excellence for SAP HANA in Austin, Texas.
  • Cognitive capabilities: IBM will develop cognitive solutions for SAP S/4HANA and line-of-business solutions that harness the power of IBM’s cognitive APIs to drive more informed decisions by business users and across all C-suite professions.
  • Customer and user experience: IBM Interactive Experience (iX), the world’s largest digital agency; SAP Global Design, the group behind the award-winning SAP Fiori UX; and the SAP Customer Engagement and Commerce team will work together on predesigned experiences that can be customized for clients’ customers and employees. The collaboration will also apply IBM’s iOS design skills for mobile user experiences.
  • Integrated services: The companies will develop collaborative consulting models drawing on agile services and support methodologies from both organizations.
  • Industry-specific road maps: IBM’s Institute for Business Value and SAP’s Value Engineering organization will co-create digital transformation road maps by industry and by C-suite role.


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