Microsoft and SAP ‘embrace’ for the benefit of ISVs and customers

Helen Selvanathan
SAP’s Helen Selvanathan says that the ‘SAP PartnerEdge – Build’ initiative provides an avenue for ISVs to reach some 440,000 SAP customers across 180 countries

Microsoft Corporation and SAP SE’s ongoing joint Embrace Initiative aims to make the companies’ customers’ journey to an ‘intelligent enterprise’ one that is both successful and efficient, according to Sajit Nair, the Strategic ISV (independent software vendor) Lead for SAP in Microsoft Asia Pacific. Sajit manages SAP’s partnership in Microsoft across the region.

“We have 25 years of joint collaboration, joint offerings, and co-innovation engagements for our mutual customers, for which we have many references across the globe. In addition, we harness each other’s products to power our organisations; this includes SAP running 17 internal business landscapes on Azure, and Microsoft being the 6th-biggest customer of SAP globally,” said Sajit at the recent SAP virtual event entitled Forward Together 2020.

In October 2019, Microsoft and SAP publicly announced the Embrace project. This involved Microsoft and SAP working together and helping customers on their intelligent enterprise adoption, with Azure being the preferred hyper-scalar platform to run and operate SAP workloads.

Sajit Nair Microsoft

As Sajit (pic) notes, this is a result of the many customer conversations the companies have had globally.

Both SAP and Microsoft have over 100 joint customer references in every industry vertical for every form of SAP workload powered on Microsoft Azure as a platform.

“The Embrace engagement establishes a shared and consistent approach that reduces complexity, mitigates risk, and integrates Microsoft, SAP, and partner resources and roles. You have a consistent message on your journey. It allows you to rapidly establish a clear strategy as a customer, an optimal architecture, a clear migration plan, and a business case,” said Sajit.

The Eclipse Initiative combines reference architecture and industry-focused market-approved channels. There are 6 industry verticals that the two companies have focused on, where companies can build joint reference architectures to simplify and accelerate their S/4HANA move to the cloud, working in conjunction with their preferred system integrator.

“We can move with confidence and maximise your success on a tested and proven platform optimised for SAP. By accelerating your move with S/4HANA, you will be able to innovate quicker, transforming your business and creating a better experience for your customers and employees. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Azure-unique features to support your digital transformation initiatives,” Sajit highlighted.

On the Embrace Initiative, S/4HANA is procured directly from SAP, and SAP’s cloud platform together with Azure is procured from Microsoft, ensuring that support for the SAP cloud platform remains consistent with Azure support, with Microsoft being the single point of contact.

Sajit shared some of the details Microsoft’s partnership with SAP, including the FastTrack for Azure programme that supports SAP on Azure.

“FastTrack for Azure is a customer success programme that helps with effective design and deployment of cloud solutions. FastTrack engineers are usually engaged from the planning stage of the project, with the objective being to provide tailored guidance and proven practices in architectural designs and deployment for the partner and customer.

“In addition, we have additional playbooks developed for partners to leverage, covering solution briefs, technical architecture, guides, etc. We have invested a huge set of content through whitepapers, online Webinars, and technical eBooks for partners at every level of the organisation to leverage for their practice.”

This collaboration with Microsoft is reflective of SAP’s mindset when it comes to supporting its partners.

ISVs that work with both Microsoft and SAP, and are already operating on Azure, can further leverage SAP’s Software Partner Progression framework, which helps ISVs to scale by collaborating with SAP; starting from developing the application, identifying opportunities, and showcasing their applications on SAP’s global marketplace SAP App Center, which currently hosts over 1,800 applications.

According to Helen Selvanathan, Senior Director (Partner Go-to-Market) of SAP Asia Pacific & Japan, 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP System.

“By tapping into an engine that’s essential to global commerce, partners gain exposure to opportunities within every line of SAP’s business. That’s what ISVs want from a ‘collaborative partnership’ and a flexible partnership model, which we provide through the ‘SAP Software Partners Programme’.

“The partnership programme also provides an avenue for ISVs to reach 440,000 SAP customers across 180 countries,” said Helen.

Helen also said that the ‘SAP PartnerEdge – Build’ initiative enables ISVs with the ability to rapidly design, develop, integrate and commercialise their applications under a single, comprehensive partner programme.

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