In the past, if you’d have said you were taking SAP to the cloud, your colleagues would tell you that you need a vacation. Today though, it isn’t a matter of if you’re taking SAP to the cloud, it’s when – and more importantly – how you’re going to do it.
As we just shared in a new perspective on cloud transformation with Accenture – we believe the best way to take SAP to the cloud is with Azure.
Times have changed. The cloud has gone from blue-sky thinking to cutting edge to mandatory, even for mission-critical applications like SAP. Over the past five years, we have seen some major companies challenge calcified thinking and start the journey.
Last year, building on the deep and long-term relationship that Microsoft has had for decades with SAP, we saw the announcement of support and certification for SAP on Microsoft Azure, not just for SAP R3, but also SAP’s newest and highest performing S4/HANA software. Now we see full support and certification of the largest enterprise sizes running both R3 and S/4 HANA, as well as huge momentum in the market. Just today, Microsoft has made more SAP announcements, exceeding what we thought would be achievable even a year ago, and underscoring why to bet on public cloud!
As someone who spends pretty much all day talking to companies that want to put SAP on the cloud, the good news is that the cloud argument is over. Business benefits are the real cloud driver, and I’m hearing three key reasons why organizations are choosing Microsoft Azure:
- Scalability and flexibility – Choosing Microsoft Azure means you get a flexible, integrated platform that can operate as a fully public or a hybrid cloud solution, providing a full set of infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service capabilities that extend SAP. Used by 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, Azure delivers the flexibility to easily scale up or down to meet demand, including expandable block storage volumes, which other public cloud vendors currently do not support. Azure also operates in 30 regions around the world with 8 additional regions coming soon, more countries and regions than the two other top public cloud providers combined.
- Productivity – Azure also offers access to a broad array of business-critical capabilities that drive ROI in ways that other public cloud providers are unable to match. From using Outlook to send email approvals to simplifying complex business processes with SharePoint, integration with Office 365 extends the SAP experience. With Microsoft Analytics and Insights for SAP software, businesses can use Microsoft Power BI to visualize SAP HANA data, make direct queries and surface that data in Power BI, or extract data from SAP into Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and apply predictive analytics tools for deeper business insights.
- Security and regulatory compliance – Microsoft leads the industry in its commitment to data protection and privacy, and Azure has the most comprehensive compliance coverage of any cloud provider. For organizations in heavily regulated industries, this commitment makes the move to the cloud possible.
As you look ahead at future innovation like IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Microsoft Azure could open the door to all new business scenarios using SAP.
Again, it isn’t a matter of if you’re taking SAP to the cloud, it’s when – and Azure provides the best approach to get there.