That’s a lot of eye-crossing product names, so we asked SAP for some clarification. A spokesperson explained:
- SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is SAP’s managed private cloud.
- SAP HANA is the company’s in-memory database.
- SAP S/4HANA is a suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which powers all day-to-day processes of an enterprise.
For Microsoft, in addition to running SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, it is transforming its internal systems and will implement the SAP S/4HANA finance solution running on Azure. Microsoft also plans to connect SAP S/4HANA to Azure AI (artificial intelligence) and analytics services for more efficient financial reporting.
For its part, SAP will move more than a dozen business-critical systems to Azure. Also, SAP Ariba — software that handles procurement functions within an enterprise — is currently using Azure, and SAP is exploring further use within its procurement applications.
“Building on our longtime partnership, Microsoft and SAP are harnessing each other’s products to not only power our own organizations, but to empower our enterprise customers to run their most mission-critical applications and workloads with SAP S/4HANA on Azure,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a statement.
Both companies will document the internal projects to provide customers with guidance and enterprise architecture for deployment of SAP applications on Azure.
Earlier this year SAP made its SAP Cloud Platform available on other public clouds via the Cloud Foundry open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Cloud Foundry allows companies to deploy applications to multiple cloud platforms, both private and public, as well as on bare-metal servers, with no changes to the application.
The SAP spokesperson said, “Just to be clear, [this week’s] announcement is of the availability of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Azure, not SAP Cloud Platform. But as with the news earlier in the year, it is in line with our commitment to meeting customer demand for choice and flexibility.”