IBM and SAP teaming up in the cloud

Services moving to the cloud need reliable infrastructure to run on, even if they’re owned by an industry behemoth like SAP. This week, the company announced that it has selected IBM as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for its business critical applications.

“We look forward to extending one of the longest and most successful partnerships in the IT industry,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “The demand for SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration. We anticipate customers will benefit from this collaboration and expansion of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.”

The partnership leverages IBM’s 32,000 SAP consultants worldwide, said Malcolm Smith, IBM Canada’s director of cloud computing. It will allow customers to quickly deploy SAP products in a pay-as-you-go model. SAP HANA and the SAP Business Suite are available now on the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

“It lets organization start small and scale up,” said Mr. Smith. “It’s an attractive model; it lets clients be more agile.”

“The unique point of the deal between IBM and SAP is its size,” noted Charles King, Principal Analyst, Pund-IT, Inc. “Both companies are major players in the enterprise IT space — some would say the biggest in their relative markets — and share numerous large customers that stand to benefit from the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Given the magnitude of the agreement, plus the ongoing success of its SoftLayer cloud infrastructure services, IBM can rightfully claim to be cloud platform of choice for global enterprises.”

For companies concerned about the location of their data, the companies plan to have one or two instances in every country IBM operates in, Mr. Smith said. IBM has already deployed HANA in the cloud, so the appropriate infrastructure is already built. “One of the attributes of cloud that clients like is the ability to act quickly, and to scale up and down,” he said. “It means that IBM must demonstrate value and commitment on a daily basis.”

He said that as customers start moving HANA into the cloud, they have the opportunity to invest in other SAP applications as well. It is, he said, a “watershed moment” for companies who aren’t sure about HANA in the cloud.

“If a CIO’s organization is already a SAP customer or has any interest in trying out HANA, the new service is probably a no-brainer,” Mr. King added. “That’s because it offers an easy way to experiment with HANA and get many SAP applications and other workloads up and running on HANA with far less risk and CAPEX costs compared to buying/deploying a dedicated HANA system. If a CIO isn’t already working with SAP, it would be wise to look into SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and see how its costs and benefits compare to his or her organization’s existing solutions.”

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/10/27/ibm-and-sap-teaming-up-in-the-cloud/?__lsa=e1b8-d1e8

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