In yet another high-profile win for SAP, Microsoft announced that it would begin leveraging RISE with SAP. This news comes exactly one year after it was announced that Microsoft Azure would be one of the cloud infrastructure options available to RISE with SAP customers (the others being Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, and IBM).

While SAP and Microsoft have a long and collaborative partnership, this news is just one of the latest high-profile wins for SAP. Last year, Alphabet—Google’s parent company—announced that it would cease using Oracle’s finance software for its operations, and instead begin leveraging SAP solutions running on Google Cloud Platform. Additionally, Microsoft began using SAP SuccessFactors for its employee central implementation last summer.

“Microsoft sees the importance of making sure that customers are contracting with SAP,” Joshua Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting,” said. “They want to put a stake in the ground indicating they will support the initiative.”

According to Jon Reed, ERP analyst and co-founder of Diginomica, this latest news is significant, as SAP has been trying to make the case that RISE with SAP is relevant “not just in the mid-market but in the large enterprise, with companies that already have sophisticated hyperscaler relationships.” With this announcement, SAP not only deepens its relationship with Microsoft, but it also can now point to a large-scale enterprise that has adopted RISE with SAP.

“This is further confirmation that RISE with SAP is a holistic service offering that is resonating with our customers. It also demonstrates that customers of all sizes and industries are seeking opportunities to simplify, accelerate, and de-risk their business transformations,” Jason Schaps, senior vice president and head of cloud for RISE with SAP in North America, told ASUG. “They are seeking opportunities to partner with strategic providers who are willing and able to be more accountable for the success of their investments. Last but not least, this announcement also validates that RISE with SAP offers much more benefit than simply lifting and shifting on-premise workloads from one data center to another.”

What Exactly Is Happening? 

In a statement detailing the announcement, Charlotte Yarkoni, president of commerce and ecosystems at Microsoft said the organization’s goal with leveraging RISE with SAP is to “simplify and accelerate our own journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.” Moving forward, Microsoft will be using RISE with SAP to help transform some of its internal SAP ERP deployments. This will make the organization’s eventual implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud easier and more streamlined.

“For Microsoft, RISE with SAP allows us to leverage the opportunity to adopt RISE to accelerate our own transformation into a modern SAP S/4HANA environment, while at the same time co-innovate with SAP to further enhance the RISE value proposition for large customers with new integrations and automations that will benefit all our customers,” Joao Couto, vice president for SAP Business Unit at Microsoft, told ASUG via email.

Why Is This News Important?

When it was announced last year, RISE with SAP was hailed as a new, streamlined way for SAP customers to not only implement SAP S/4HANA—a project most SAP customers have to consider as SAP is ending maintenance of SAP Business Suite 7 in 2027—but also migrate to the cloud.

Microsoft’s commitment to RISE with SAP is a significant and noteworthy endorsement of the business transformation offering. In fact, Microsoft is the first public cloud provider to adopt RISE with SAP for its internal ERP deployments.

“This is a major endorsement of SAP’s cloud software by one of the world’s largest software companies,’ Greenbaum said.

Not only does this commitment to RISE with SAP help differentiate Microsoft from its cloud competitors—such as Google and Amazon—but it also indicates the technology company’s desire to be a trusted and favored platform in the SAP ecosystem. Greenbaum underlined the fact that Microsoft is committing to the customers it shares with SAP by putting its business on SAP and “walking the walk.”

ASUG will be talking about RISE with SAP and SAP S/4HANA more during our in-person ASUG Best Practices: SAP S/4HANA - Chicago conference on April 20. You can register here. 

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