Choice is almost always a good thing. But too much choice—what’s often referred to as choice overload—can be problematic, especially with a weighty decision looming over your head.
As more customers begin their cloud plans and designate where cloud-based SAP workloads will make strategic sense (and, of course, where they won’t), the choice of hyperscaler has become very weighty. In North America, the term “hyperscalers” refers to the big three cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. Those are SAP Project Embrace key partners, and they all want your business, as I wrote at the end of last year.
I was thinking about this as I was leaving the SAP Field Kick-Off Meeting (also known as FKOM) in Las Vegas last month. Though the annual event is not familiar to most SAP customers, what happens in Vegas actually affects customers throughout the year: It unleashes the go-forward plans for SAP salespeople and the vast cadre of partners—you know, those people who will appear at your virtual doorstep and inbox throughout the year.
Conflicting Messages, Confused Customers
What SAP customers need to know about this troika of hyperscalers is that each offers multiple, proprietary paths into the cloud. And that can be a problem. It’s not so simple to determine which vendor’s cloud wares and platform make sense, especially when you are hearing conflicting messaging from the hyperscalers.
For better or worse, this is the new normal for enterprise technology buyers eyeing the cloud: Lots of choices, lots of competing marketing messages, and lots of opportunity for choice overload.
ASUG believes that there is not one single path for how SAP customers will move their software and workloads to a cloud environment. Nor does ASUG believe that there should be only one destination (a.k.a. platform) for customers.
Who’s on Top…Now
Market data shows that AWS is maintaining its lead among the pack, followed by Microsoft Azure and GCP. In late 2019, SAP endorsed Microsoft as its “preferred cloud provider,” and recently, Azure appears to be gaining ground, according to a Goldman Sachs survey of CIOs.
Nevertheless, SAP Co-CEO Jennifer Morgan says SAP is already realizing benefits from the Embrace program. “We’re off to a fast start,” Morgan said during the SAP Q4 earnings call. “We’re also seeing our partners and other hyperscalers create their own move programs to help SAP customers accelerate their journey into the cloud.”
ASUG has been and will remain impartial in our approach to helping our members on their respective journeys to the cloud. We are committed to facilitating connections and sharing information to answer critical questions and minimize the risks of moving SAP software and workloads into a cloud environment.
In case you missed it, SAP stated that its goal is to more than triple cloud revenue by 2023. And you can bet that the hyperscalers also have similar targets in place. I’d love to know what SAP customers are hearing or if you have any questions. As always, you can email me your thoughts.