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Microsoft, SAP Plan Teams Integration, Expand Cloud Migration Pact

Native Teams integration is coming to SAP business apps this summer.

Jeffrey Schwartz

January 25, 2021

3 Min Read
Microsoft Teams Group Display and Mobile
Shutterstock/Microsoft

SAP will embed Microsoft Teams into its business solutions, the upshot of an expanded alliance by Microsoft and SAP. Microsoft Teams will start to appear natively in SAP’s core line of business applications, starting this summer.

The Microsoft Teams integration is a key deliverable in an expanded partnership between Microsoft and SAP. Customers have pressed SAP to embed Microsoft Teams into its business solutions, according to senior VP and managing director David Robinson.

Robinson said the companies are enabling Microsoft Teams controls from SAP business processes, and SAP workflows within the Teams experience.

Robinson-David_SAP.jpg

SAP’s David Robinson

“The ability to have these communications embedded inside an SAP process is one of the things that we’re planning to deliver,” Robinson said. “And in other cases, there is the ability to deliver SAP processes — an approval process or a learning delivery process inside a Teams experience.”

SuccessFactors

SAP posted some key scenarios that include initiating Teams communication and enhancing remote sales. Among the first capabilities planned is the ability to view SAP SuccessFactors learning content directly from Microsoft Teams, Robinson said. From SAP’s business apps, users can launch the Teams user interface or a Teams process, such as a calendar view.

“The idea is to continue to get customer feedback and prioritization around how do we deliver that joint experience,” he said.

Some of the base integration will surface at the beginning of the third quarter. Around that time, SAP will reveal enhancements based on those initial scenarios, Robinson said. The integration of Microsoft Teams and SAP business apps follows last month’s $27.7 billion agreement by Salesforce to acquire Slack.

Robinson denied the deal to acquire Slack was an impetus for Microsoft and SAP Teams integration.

“We all sat back for 30 seconds, when we heard the announcement and said, ‘Oh, we must be on the right track,’” he said.

Fast-Tracking Cloud Migration

Besides integrating Teams, Microsoft and SAP have broadened their October 2019 initiative to help simplify cloud migrations. The companies are broadening that alliance to simplify migrations of SAP’s S/4 HANA and SAP Cloud Platform to Microsoft Azure.

The expansion of that agreement adds more clarity and provides more tangible deliverables, according to Robinson.

“Customers don’t want marketing. They don’t want a lot of good messaging with a lot of great intentions; they want to see very clear alignment of portfolios,” Robinson said. ‘In this case, that means interoperability between two of their key flagship enterprise applications.”

Also, the expanded pact follows SAP’s announcement that it is fast-tracking its investments in moving its on-premises customers to the cloud. During that announcement in October, CEO Christian Klein said SAP will modernize its legacy solutions and enable better compatibility.

Consequently, SAP now emphasizes consistency with its partners, Robinson said. SAP has “aligned” with its partners “so that there is a single view, a consensus view, with our GSSP partners, and with our hyperscale public cloud partners, and our other ISV partners, so that customers are not getting conflicting recommendations or opinions that introduce a lot of risk and uncertainty into their plans to migrate their plans to move to S/4 HANA. We’ve tried to take a lot of that uncertainty and risk away, frankly through this these types of alignments.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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