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For many enterprises modernizing ERP systems is key to achieving their digital transformation goals. At Microsoft we are committed to supporting our customers by offering the single best infrastructure choice that exists for SAP HANA, bar none. 

In terms of raw capabilities we not only have the largest number of SAP HANA-certified offerings (25 configurations that span virtual machines and purpose-built bare metal instances from 192GB to 24TB), but also the widest footprint of regions with SAP HANA certified infrastructure (26 with plans to launch 8 more by end of 2019). We also support some of the largest deployments of SAP HANA in the public cloud, such as CONA Services.

We, in partnership with SAP, are very happy to announce multiple enhancements to SAP on Azure at SAPPHIRE NOW. We will offer our customers even more choices in infrastructure giving them greater VM memory, even more options around bare metal instances and business continuity.

In addition to this we are announcing deeper integration between SAP and Azure around AI, data protection and identity integration. These integrations will help our joint customers accelerate their digital transformation with the power of the cloud.

Here’s what’s new:

  • 6 TB and 12 TB VMs for SAP HANA: Azure’s Mv2 VM series will be available on May 13, offering virtual machines with up to 6TB RAM on a single VM. This is by far the largest-memory SAP HANA-certified configuration offered on any virtual machine in the public cloud. 6TB Mv2 VMs will be generally available and production certified in U.S. East and U.S. East 2 regions. U.S. West 2, Europe West, Europe North and Southeast Asia regions will be available in the coming months.

    In addition, 12TB Mv2 VMs will become available and production certified for SAP HANA in Q3 2019. With this, customers with large-scale SAP HANA deployments can take advantage of the agility offered by Azure Virtual Machines to speed SAP release cycles by spinning up dev/test systems in minutes and simplify operational processes with Azure’s integrated tools for automated patching, monitoring, backup and disaster recovery.

  • Largest Bare Metal Instance with Intel Optane for SAP HANA: In Q4 2019 we plan to launch the largest Intel Optane optimized bare metal instances in the cloud with our SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances, including general availability of a 4 socket, 9TB memory instance and a preview of an 8 socket, 18TB memory instance. These instances enable customers to benefit from faster load times for SAP HANA data in case of a restart, offering lower Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a reduced TCO. To learn more, please get in touch with your Microsoft representative.
  • Integration of Azure AI in SAP’s digital platform: SAP’s machine learning capabilities will leverage Azure Cognitive Services containers in preview for face recognition and text recognition. By deploying Cognitive Services in containers, SAP will be able to analyze information closer to the physical world where the data resides and deliver real-time insights and immersive experiences that are highly responsive and contextually aware.

    SAP’s Machine Learning team is working with Microsoft Azure Cognitive services team to augment its own portfolio of home grown and partner services by leveraging the containerized Vision and Text Recognition services for solving identity validation and text understanding use cases.” – Dr. Sebastian Wieczorek, VP, Head of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation

  • SAP Data Custodian on Microsoft Azure is now available: In September 2018, we announced our intent to make SAP Data Custodian, a SaaS offering, available on Microsoft Azure. We deliver on that promise today. Together, SAP and Microsoft offer unprecedented levels of data governance and compliance for our joint customers. Additionally, Microsoft will be a beta customer for SAP Data Custodian for our implementation of SAP SuccessFactors on Azure. For more information, you can read this blog from SAP.
  • Managed business continuity with Azure Backup for SAP HANA: Azure Backup support for SAP HANA databases is now in public preview. With this, customers can manage large-scale SAP HANA implementations with no infrastructure for backup. For more information, please refer to the Azure Backup for SAP HANA documentation.
  • Simplified integrations with Logic Apps connector for SAP: Today, the Logic Apps connector for SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA is generally available for all customers. Azure Logic Apps is an integration platform-as-a-service offering connectors to 250+ applications and SaaS services. With this, customers can dramatically reduce time to market for integrations between SAP and best-in-class SaaS applications. For more information, check out our Logic Apps SAP connector documentation.
  • Boosted productivity and enhanced security with Azure Active Directory and SAP Cloud Platform: Today, Standards-based integration between Azure Active Directory and SAP Cloud Platform is in preview, enabling enhanced business security and experience. For example, when using SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning and Identity Authentication Services, customers can integrate SAP SuccessFactors with Azure Active Directory and ensure seamless access to SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA, improving end-user productivity while meeting enterprise security needs.

Customers benefiting from SAP on Azure

With more than 90% of the Fortune 500 using Microsoft Azure and SAP, our 25-year partnership with SAP has always been about mutual customer success. We are confident the announcements made today will help customers using SAP on Azure grow and innovate even more than they already are: Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study found that SAP customers on Azure, on average, can realize an ROI of 102% with a payback in under nine months from their cloud investments.

Here are five reasons SAP customers increasingly choose Azure for their digital transformation, and some customers who are benefitting:

  • Business agility: With Azure’s on-demand SAP certified infrastructure, customers can speed up dev/test processes, shorten SAP release cycles and scale instantaneously on demand to meet peak business usage. Daimler AG sped up procurement processes to deliver months faster than would have been possible in its on-premises environment. It powers 400,000 suppliers worldwide by moving to SAP S/4HANA on Azure’s M-series virtual machines.
  • Efficient insights: Dairy Farmers of America migrated its fragmented IT application landscape spread across 18 data centers, including mission critical SAP systems over to Azure. It leverages Azure Data Services and PowerBI to enable remote users easily access SAP data in a simplified and secure manner.
  • Real-time operations with IoT: Coats, a world leader in industrial threads, migrated away from SAP on Oracle to SAP HANA on Azure several years ago, enabling Coats to optimize operations with newer IoT-driven processes. With IoT monitoring, Coats now predicts inventory, manufacturing and sales trends more accurately than ever before.
  • Transforming with AI: Carlsberg, a world leader in beer brewing, migrated 80% of its enterprise applications to Microsoft Azure, including mission critical SAP apps. By leveraging Azure AI and sensors from research universities in Denmark, Carlsberg’s Beer Fingerprinting Project enabled them to map a flavor fingerprint for each sample and reduce the time it takes to research taste combinations and processes by up to a third, helping the company get more distinct beers to market faster.
  • Mission-critical infrastructure: CONA Services, the services arm for Coca-Cola bottlers, chose Azure to run its 24 TB mission critical SAP BW on HANA system on Azure’s purpose-built SAP HANA Infrastructure, powering 160,000 orders a day, which represents an annual $21B of net sales value.

Over the past few years, we have seen customers across all industries and geographies running their mission critical SAP workloads on Azure. Whether it’s customers in Retail such as Co-op and Coca-Cola, Accenture and Malaysia Airlines in services or Astellas Pharma and Zeullig Pharma in Pharmaceuticals, Rio Tinto and Devon Energy in Oil & Gas, SAP on Azure helps businesses around the world with their digital transformation.

If you are at SAPPHIRE NOW, drop by the Microsoft booth #729 to learn about these product enhancements and to experience hands-on demos of these scenarios.

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