The software giants have formed a "preferred partnership" to deliver Project Embrace.

Jeffrey Schwartz

October 21, 2019

3 Min Read
Cloud migration

SAP and Microsoft are adding to their string of alliances with what they call a “preferred partnership” focused on simplifying migration of SAP’s on-premises, ERP applications to the public cloud.

While not exclusive, the latest pact between the two companies, announced Monday, sets Microsoft up as the first of the three large cloud providers to deliver on SAP’s Project Embrace. Revealed at the SAP Sapphire NOW conference in May, Project Embrace aims to simplify and accelerate the migration of S/4 ERP and S/4 HANA in-memory database business applications to the three largest public clouds. Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, respectively, said they are working with SAP on Project Embrace.

Microsoft will resell SAP Cloud Platform modules with Azure that include bundled services and reference architectures delivered with select global systems integrators.


Microsoft’s Judson Althoff

“The new go-to-market agreement ensures our customers can choose a cloud migration strategy to SAP S/4HANA on Azure that reduces complexities, minimizes cost and leverages the best-in-class technologies and expertise of both companies,” according to a post by Judson Althoff, executive VP of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business.

Project Embrace provides a reference architecture developed by SAP, its global strategic-service providers (GSSPs) and one of the three cloud providers. With today’s announcement, Microsoft is working with SAP and its GSSPs to provide co-developed technical reference architectures, services that provide integration, orchestration and extension of SAP’s on-premises solutions and ISV applications to Azure.

As part of Project Embrace, SAP launched Max Attention, a set of services that include discover workshops, evaluations, technical architecture design, migration planning and implementation.

Earlier this month, Infosys said it is aiming to become the first SAP GSSP to deliver on Project Embrace. Infosys announced Innov8, an alliance with SAP aimed at helping its clients implement digital business transformation initiatives based on SAP technology.

“The Infosys SAP alliance aims to enable Infosys to become one of SAP’s first global strategic service partners for project Embrace, designed to drive enterprise customer adoption of cloud and digital technologies from SAP,” according to the Infosys announcement.

Infosys said it has earmarked 70 use cases that are ready to deploy that include artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, IoT and analytics that simplify the transition of business models based on operational costs. DXC Technology told Channel Futures it is working on combined road maps to the digital enterprise with recommended solutions and reference architectures for customers.

Elizabeth Ebert, an advisory executive with Avanade, a joint venture of Accenture and Microsoft, said in an email that the latest partnership is important for the creation and migration of industry-specific process models and reference architectures.


Avanade’s Elizabeth Ebert

“Products like SAP and Microsoft Azure are so robust and have such amazing capabilities that our clients struggle to manage the full scope and scale of what they’ve licensed,” she said.

SAP’s other GSSPs include Atos, Capgemini, Cognizant Deloitte, EY, HCL, IBM, LTI, NTT Data, PwC, TCS, T-Systems and Wipro.

SAP, among the largest providers of ERP and enterprise business software, has pushed aggressively of late to simplify migration of S/4 and S/4 HANA customers to migrate. At last month’s SAP TechEd Barcelona conference, the company released its new SAP HANA Cloud services as an integrated platform. It includes SAP Data Warehouse CloudSAP HANA Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud.

In its third quarter earnings report, released Monday, SAP said cloud revenue rose 37% while software license revenue declined 1%. Earlier this month, SAP issued a preliminary earnings report when it announced longtime CEO Bill McDermott is stepping aside, replaced by co-CEO’s Christian Klein and Jennifer Morgan.

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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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