ORLANDO, Fla.—SAP Cloud Platform, the business software maker's platform as a service (PaaS) offering for business applications and the company's in-memory database technology, is now generally available on the Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, the company announced during its SAPPHIRE 2018 conference here in Orlando. SAP announced Amazon Web Services support in 2017.
In the world of business software, cloud interoperability is increasingly gaining momentum, allowing businesses to tailor their application environments based on where their data is processed, the location of their development teams, regulatory concerns and other factors.
The essential factor in this vision is being able to place cloud applications where it makes the most sense for a particular organization and move them when circumstances change.
"It's SAP Cloud Platform above the infrastructure of the hyperscalers," Dan Lahl, Global Vice President of SAP Cloud Platform Product Marketing, told eWEEK. This enables customers to "pick-and-move" their SAP application workloads or deploy them on different clouds while SAP provides "the abstraction for all of that."
Microsoft, after having made room for bigger SAP HANA instances on Azure, is now welcoming more SAP-based cloud workloads starting in Europe.
"The SAP Cloud Platform offers developers a choice to build their SAP applications and extensions using a PaaS development platform with integrated services," stated Girish Bablani, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure, in a separate announcement. "Developers can now deploy Cloud Foundry-based SAP Cloud Platform on Azure in the West Europe region. We're working with SAP to enable more regions in the months ahead."
SAP also announced that it had partnered with IBM on a private cloud edition of SAP Cloud Platform. Delivered as a joint solution, it primarily targets businesses in regulated industries like finance, transportation and health care.
The company’s new blockchain as a service offering, SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain, helps businesses get up to speed on their own distributed database applications using Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain.
Already, more than 60 companies are contributing to an SAP blockchain initiative focused on blockchain applications that improve safety and lend transparency to supply chains in the food, pharmaceutical and transportation industries. Lending further support to the latter, SAP established a consortium, including Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise that will focus on adopting blockchain best practices in transportation.
Customers will also be able to extend their own enterprise systems with blockchain technologies using the new SAP HANA Blockchain service as part of the SAP HANA Data Management Suite, the company announced.
The suite "provides easy data management with a unified view on all transactional enterprise data — no matter if it resides in core systems or in the blockchain," SAP executives Torsten Zube and Gil Perez explained in a blog post. The service also “allows customers to run powerful analytics on the blockchain data to make quick and well prepared decisions."
The company also announced that SAP Analytics cloud users now a have a new conversational AI feature called "search to insight" that they can use to explore business data and glean new insights. Using machine language and natural language query technology, it allows users to pose natural-language questions and get results on PCs and mobile devices.