Microsoft and SAP partnership aims to ‘drive more business innovation in the cloud’

Amazon won’t have the cloudy news agenda all its own way this week: Microsoft has announced a partnership with SAP which aims to ‘provide enterprise customers with a clear roadmap to confidently drive more business innovation in the cloud’, as the companies put it.

The move will enable organisations to run SAP’s private managed cloud service, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, on Microsoft Azure, as well as some internal use cases; Microsoft will deploy SAP S/4HANA on Azure for its internal finance processes, while SAP will move key internal business critical systems to Azure.

“Building on our long-time partnership, Microsoft and SAP are harnessing each other’s products to not only power our own organisations, but to empower our enterprise customers to run their most mission-critical applications and workloads with SAP S/4HANA on Azure,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a statement. SAP CEO Bill McDermott added that the companies were taking their partnership “to the next level with this new capability.”

SAP’s most recent financial results, published last month, saw the company raise its outlook with cloud subscriptions and support revenue and new cloud bookings up 22% and 19% respectively from this time last year. The company cited this quarter was all about ‘waiting for the big brands’ to come through, with Shell already on board and two ‘global brand[s] of massive significance’ in the near future.

From Microsoft’s side, there have been a couple of major customer wins in recent weeks. Energy provider Chevron signed a seven-year partnership deal with the company last month, while United Technologies, which owns brands such as Otis and Pratt & Whitney, signed up earlier this month.

In a separate announcement, Microsoft said it was ‘reinventing its supply chain’ by teaming up with SAP Ariba and Intrigo Systems. The company in a recent webinar explained how the collaboration helped scale and support the manufacturing of its most popular products, including the Xbox and Surface.