SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Microsoft Corp. announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions. The companies also formalized an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA® on Microsoft Azure. This builds on a joint commitment by the companies to simplify and streamline customers’ journeys to the cloud.
“New ways of working, collaborating and interacting completely transform how we operate,” said Christian Klein, SAP CEO and member of the Executive Board. “By integrating Microsoft Teams across our solution portfolio, we will bring collaboration to the next level, jointly determining the future of work and enabling the frictionless enterprise. Our trusted partnership with Microsoft is focused on continuously advancing customer success. That’s why we are also expanding interoperability with Azure.”
Much has changed in the last year as work has become more virtual, increasing reliance on Microsoft Teams for meetings, communication and collaboration. To facilitate these business and societal changes, SAP and Microsoft are building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP® SuccessFactors® offerings, and SAP Customer Experience. This can enable innovation, increase employee productivity and engagement, deliver collaborative learning and support global growth. These integrations are planned for delivery in mid-2021.
“The case for digital transformation has never been more urgent,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Teams with SAP’s solutions, we will help more organizations harness the power of the cloud so they can more quickly adapt and innovate going forward.”
The companies also are expanding their endorsed cloud partnership announced in 2019, to introduce new offerings in cloud automation and integration for SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. Together, Microsoft and SAP are expanding the ability to run a mission-critical intelligent enterprise on Azure while helping customers modernize their enterprise applications. SAP and Microsoft will provide customers with:
- Simplification when moving on-premise editions of SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. In addition to the industry-specific journey maps to the cloud and reference architectures, SAP and Microsoft will continue to co-innovate around SAP S/4HANA on Azure.
- Expanded joint engagements with customers and partners. In addition to product integration work, SAP, Microsoft and system integrator partners will continue to provide digital enterprise road maps for customers. This includes immediate and actionable reference architectures and technical guidance to help customers on their journey to the cloud.
- Increased investments in platform and infrastructure. The companies will further develop automated migrations, improved operations, monitoring and security.
Customers broadly favor Azure when moving on-premise SAP S/4HANA to the cloud.
“As part of our overall transformation, we transitioned to SAP S/4HANA,” said John Hill, Carhartt’s chief information officer and senior vice president of Business Planning. “Running it on Microsoft Azure provides the velocity, availability, scalability and elasticity we need for more visibility and better efficiency across our business. The pandemic struck as we were in the middle of our SAP implementation, so by using Teams, we were able to continue to work on the project, stay on schedule and keep everyone informed. The combination of SAP and Microsoft was especially helpful during a challenging time.”
“SAP S/4HANA has given us real-time visibility into our inventory, which is crucial for us as a pharmacy and healthcare retail company during the pandemic,” said Francesco Tinto, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s senior vice president and global chief information officer. “We chose to run SAP S/4HANA on Azure because of its agility and flexibility to scale up and out quickly to meet our business needs. Now we have access to our data in one place so we can offer the best possible customer experience online and in our stores. Microsoft Teams coupled with SAP solutions helped us overcome business continuity challenges and enabled our employees to collaborate very effectively despite the shift from office to remote work.”
“When it comes to our customers delivering personal protective equipment, we can’t be late, so we rely on SAP and Microsoft to provide the digital backbone that’s essential to keeping our supply chain running smoothly,” said Helge Brummer, Coats’ vice president of Technical Infrastructure, Support & Operations. “The combination of Microsoft Teams with our SAP solutions has given our employees the ability to work from anywhere while ensuring orders are delivered on time to our customers, supporting the people putting their lives at risk working on the front line.”
SAP’s endorsement of Azure for ERP cloud migration is reflected in positive customer feedback on the collaboration between the companies. SAP and Microsoft will continue to make migration simpler and increase customers’ confidence in running their digital enterprises in the cloud. At the same time, many customers express a desire to maintain multi-cloud environments. SAP continues with its long-standing policy of supporting choice for those customers who request alternatives based on business requirements.
SAP and Microsoft recently announced an update to enable customers to design and operate intelligent digital supply chain and Industry 4.0 solutions in the cloud and at the edge.
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