Hot out of the SAPPHIRE NOW conference this week is the joint announcement from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and SAP CEO Bill McDermott that SAP and Microsoft will deliver broad support for the SAP HANA platform deployed on Microsoft Azure. The stated goal is to simplify work through new integrations between Microsoft Office 365 and cloud solutions from SAP, and provide enhanced management and security for custom SAP Fiori apps.

“Together with SAP, we are bringing new levels of integrations between our products that provide businesses with enhanced collaboration tools, new insights from data and a hyper-scale cloud to grow and seize new opportunities ahead,” said Nadella. While McDermott said, “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.”

New Deployment Option: SAP HANA on the Microsoft Azure cloud

Working together, the companies are certifying SAP HANA to run development, test and production workloads on Microsoft Azure, including SAP S/4HANA. These new offerings for SAP HANA are built to handle customers’ largest and most demanding workloads.

Early adopters of this new offering – Coats, Rockwell Automation and Nortek – are already said to be experiencing the benefits of deploying SAP HANA on Azure. According to Sujeet Chand, senior vice president & chief technology officer from Rockwell Automation, “The Microsoft Azure platform provides us the scalability, security and level of services needed to confidently run our most demanding SAP HANA and Big Data applications. We are excited to be an early adopter of running SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure since it is an important capability in helping us realize our vision for The Connected Enterprise and advanced data analytics.”

Cloud Services Integrations: Public Cloud Solutions from SAP and Office 365

New integrations between the companies will combine Office 365 communications, collaboration, calendar, documents and other data with cloud solutions from SAP, including Concur, SAP Fieldglass, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Ariba solutions, helping employees improve productivity. These new capabilities will be available starting in third quarter of 2016, with plans to release additional integration features soon afterwards.

Flexibility in the Cloud: Management and Security of Custom SAP Fiori Apps

SAP will enable its customers to build and deploy custom mobile hybrid SAP Fiori apps on SAP HANA Cloud Platform with an open standards plug-in framework. As part of this framework, customers can build apps that can be managed, deployed and better protected with Microsoft Intune. Using the cloud build process as part of SAP Fiori, cloud edition, app publishers will be able to embed Microsoft Intune management capabilities in their apps, leveraging the same capabilities used by Office 365 mobile apps. The integration is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2016.

What do you think? How significant is this announcement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Dylan Griffiths, Digital Director, K2 Partnering.


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