Software stalwarts Microsoft and SAP are combining their resources in a joint push to expand their respective public cloud footprints and attempt to capture a bigger slice of the growing percentage of enterprise workloads moving outside the corporate firewall. The firms will target both business users and developers as part of the collaboration, which was announced this morning and builds on an already extensive partnership between the two that dates all the way back to 1993.
The arguably most significant aspect of the alliance is that SAP will make the bulk of the applications in its business intelligence (BI) portfolio available on Microsoft’s Azure platform-as-a-service by the end of June. That includes its core resource planning and relationship, supply chain and product lifecycle management lineup as well as the Sybase family of data management tools and, perhaps most notably, the developer edition of its in-memory HANA database. Oracle disclosed plans to make its own flagship database available on Azure last June.
Developers will be able to deploy pre-prepared SAP configurations on Azure using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library tool, the companies said. As for business users, Microsoft will make it possible for organizations to hook up their cloud infrastructure and Office 365 deployments to their BI apps through a new version of the SAP Gateway for Microsoft that is also scheduled to launch available sometime this quarter.
Of equal note is that workers will receive the ability to load data from Excel directly into BusinessObjects via Microsoft’s Power BI offering, which is available as an add-on for Office 365. That should go a lot way towards clearing the spreadsheet clutter still plaguing many traditional organizations and allow analysts to dig into their information much quicker than before.
A cloud announcement involving Satya Nadella’s Microsoft wouldn’t be complete without a touch of mobility, so the software maker is tapping SAP to develop applications for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. Customers will have a choice between using the BI vendor’s Mobile Secure or Windows Intune to manage and secure the apps, which have yet to leave the drawing board but will no doubt deliver yet more integration between two companies’ portfolios.
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