The Embrace partnership between Microsoft and SAP will now refocus on customer choice after reports have emerged stating that Microsoft Azure will no longer be SAP’s preferred cloud platform. The German software giant now encourages its customers to explore cloud options in hosting SAP S/4HANA.
SAP introduced the Embrace project at SAPPHIRE NOW in May 2019, aiming to assist customers in migrating its latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) software SAP S/4HANA to the cloud — leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure as the hosting platforms.
However, in October of that same year, the Embrace initiative became a part of an alliance between Microsoft and SAP after forging an extensive three-year deal with a goal to further accelerate customer adoption of SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform with Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform.
The partnership also created a joint sales and support model, aside from collaborating on the development of migration roadmaps to help SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA customers move from on-premises to the public cloud. In the agreement, Microsoft will resell components of SAP Cloud Platform together with Microsoft Azure.
In an interview with Fintech Zoom, David Robinson, Managing Director of SAP’s Customer Success Office, has confirmed that the Azure sales component of the Embrace partnership will end on June 30, 2021 — more than a year earlier than initially planned. He said:
“Our customers made it really clear that the market wants to provide choice and optionality. Choice and optionality means all partners that provide cloud infrastructure to operate SAP workloads are great partners.”
Microsoft and SAP to Continue Delivering Product Innovation
Despite ending the Azure sales portion of the Embrace partnership, Microsoft and SAP’s alliance will instead refocus on giving customers more options when it comes to cloud hosting, according to SAP. Meanwhile, the German tech giant continues to promote its new subscription-based, Business Transformation as a Service milestone offering dubbed as RISE with SAP — which will be featured at the company’s SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 event this month.
RISE with SAP aims to deliver a complete digital transformation that goes beyond a technical migration to the cloud or the adoption of new technologies to accelerate organisations’ road to becoming intelligent enterprises. Jan Gilg, President of SAP S/4HANA, said that the partnership with Microsoft will continue “especially on the application layer.” He added:
“On the underlying infrastructure, Azure is a big partner for RISE, but we have expanded here our support for the other hyperscaler providers, AWS and Google and Alicloud.”
Last January, the two tech companies announced plans to offer streamlined solutions to customers by integrating Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions which include SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Customer Experience with the goal of improving productivity and overall business operations.
Simplifying processes and communication using SAP Sales Cloud with Microsoft Teams is one of the key benefits of the integration to customers. In this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW event, customers will share their experiences with the said integration.
Moreover, a spokesperson from Microsoft has told Fintech Zoom that the overall Embrace partnership is not ending early, as it is set to continue through Q3 2022:
“We value our partnership with SAP and look forward to continuing to innovate and serve customers together.”