Microsoft has hardened ties with SAP, the business application vendor which the company has several partnerships and collaborations with. The latest agreement between the enterprise software providers will see SAP's HANA in-memory database made available on Microsoft's Azure public cloud platform.
Specifically, HANA will be available for machines with dense RAM configuration, while Office 365 will now have Ariba, Concur, SuccessFactors, and Fieldglass (all from SAP) integrated. Speaking to VentureBeat, SAP's chief Strategy officer, John Torrey, said along with Microsoft the company is embracing an open market:
“We're not simply focused on finding new ways to work together or incrementally extending that partnership. I think that we're focusing on changing the tone of our open approach to the market.”
Microsoft has been working hard to open its doors and work with more providers, even those who could accurately be called rivals. The level of collaboration with SAP is another hint that Microsoft sees its cloud first strategy as only workable if it is an open Azure platform behind it.
“At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering organizations to advance their digital transformations,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with SAP, we are bringing new levels of integrations between our products that provide businesses with enhanced collaboration tools, new insights from data and a hyper-scale cloud to grow and seize new opportunities ahead.”
Along with SAP services integration in Office 365 and HANA support for Azure, the two companies also revealed that enterprise customers using SAP's Firoi user platform will be able to manage mobile applications through Microsoft's Intune mobile device management (MDM) software.
Office 365 integration of SAP services will include the ability for administrators to use Outlook in Fieldglass to manage job postings, hiring, and timesheets. Concur users will also be able to use Outlook, with the service allowing them to manage travel plans, while Ariba users can use Word and Excel to collaborate remotely on work.