SAP and Microsoft are delivering on some key components of their recently expanded partnership agreement.
On May 19, the companies announced that as part of a joint deal to deliver new business cloud services and mobile solutions, SAP would give Microsoft Azure its seal of approval. Now, the companies have made it official.
"Azure is now certified by SAP for SAP Business Suite, SAP NetWeaver, and SAP HANA Developer Edition, with full support available from both Microsoft and SAP," Steven Martin, general manager of Microsoft Azure, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's cloud division, announced on May 28 in a company blog post.
In addition to the certification, the deal includes connectivity between SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) and Microsoft's Power BI, Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 support, and data interoperability enhancements between SAP applications and Microsoft Office.
While rivals at first glance, the companies are enduring examples of tech industry coopetition, according to Microsoft's Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of cloud and enterprise marketing.
"This is an expansion of a partnership we've had for over 20 years," Numoto told eWEEK's Darryl K. Taft. Combined, the companies serve roughly "75 percent of the enterprise customers out there," he revealed, before pledging to have "multiple SAP assets … certified to run on the Azure cloud" by the end of June.
It's a sentiment echoed by SAP's Steve Lucas, president of Platform Solutions. "For our customers, SAP and Microsoft are among the top strategic vendors relied upon to drive their business' success," he said in a May 19 statement.
It's not a one-shot deal, added Lucas. The companies plan to continue developing "innovative new programs focused on the cloud, mobility, analytics and interoperability that we expect will provide unparalleled value for our customers."
Some of those assets are ready now. "Starting today, customers who have SAP licenses can use them to deploy SAP software in Microsoft Azure," said Martin. "This enables them to maximize the value of their Microsoft and SAP investments and take advantage of on-demand resources in the cloud."
A key selling point of SAP on Azure is rapid deployment, simplified management and lower costs versus on-premises implementations, Martin continued. "They can deploy virtual machines to create the infrastructure needed for SAP solutions in just a few minutes."
The move signals that Microsoft is rolling out the welcome mat for enterprise-grade cloud workloads, regardless of the underlying software. The Microsoft-SAP partnership, asserted Martin, is an example of his company's "ongoing commitment to support the applications and services our customers use to run their business on Azure, and provide a robust enterprise-ready platform for customers looking to leverage the power of the cloud."
In a Microsoft-supplied FAQ concerning SAP certifications, the company describes a handover process "for service requests regarding SAP applications." SAP HANA Developer Edition help is provided through SAP community support.