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Six reasons customers trust Azure to run their SAP solutions
By Talal Alqinawi Senior Director, Azure Marketing
6 min read
As global organizations across every industry adjust to the new normal, SAP solutions are playing an increasingly vital role in addressing immediate needs and paving a path to a resilient future. Now more than ever, companies are realizing the value of running their SAP solutions in the cloud. While some are using advanced analytics to process their SAP data to make real-time business decisions, others are integrating their SAP and non-SAP data to build stronger supply chains. Whether it’s meeting urgent customer needs, empowering employees to make quick decisions, or planning for the future, customers running SAP solutions in the cloud have been well prepared to face the new reality. Check out how Walgreens delivers superior customer service with SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure.
Many organizations running their SAP solutions on-premises have become increasingly aware of the need to be more agile and responsive to real-time business needs. According to an IDC survey, 54 percent of enterprises expect the future demand for cloud software will increase. As global organizations seek agility, cost savings, risk reduction, and immediate insights from their ERP solutions, here are some reasons many of the largest enterprises choose Microsoft Azure as their trusted partner when moving their SAP solutions to the cloud.
1. Running SAP solutions on Azure delivers immediate insights and increased agility
“Now that we have SAP in the cloud … we have a platform for digital innovation in the cloud … With Azure, we’ve lifted our entire IT landscape up to a higher level where we can drive experimentation with much less risk and much less cost.”—Sarah Haywood, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Technology at Carlsberg Group
Organizations running SAP solutions on Azure gain real-time and predictive insights that empower them to break into new ways of doing business. Azure offers the ability to tap into more than 100 cloud services, access SAP Cloud Platform, apply intelligent analytics, and also integrate with an organization’s existing productivity and collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Power Apps, and Microsoft Power BI.
With Azure, organizations can integrate their SAP and non-SAP data through an extensive portfolio of Azure data services and create real-time dashboard views of the current operations using SAP and Microsoft business intelligence tools. Using intelligent analytics deepens real-time and predictive insights to improve decision-making by responding dynamically as business conditions change, and how that change impacts your customers or products. Integration with Teams and Microsoft 365 improves team collaboration and enhances user experience and productivity. Using Microsoft Power Automate, Power Apps, and Power BI, organizations can create customized workflows, apps, and business insight reports without having to write any code.
2. An ever-evolving and growing set of Azure cloud services drives continuous innovation
“We are looking at drones, IoT, RFID sensors, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and every other futuristic technology you can think of to do mining better, and with Azure we have a broad foundation for exploring all that.”—Head of Enterprise IT Services, Rio Tinto
While Zuellig Pharma is building an app that uses Azure blockchain services and data from the SAP Business Suite on HANA to track and capture counterfeit products and illegal parallel imports in its region, Walgreens plans to use AI and machine learning to develop new customer offerings quickly and respond in real time to changes in the marketplace.
Customers such as Rio Tinto are using Azure’s secure and scalable IoT applications to pilot a solution to take real-time data from trucks, drills, smelters, and other equipment and analyze it to gain equipment health, preemptive maintenance, supply chain efficiency, and other operational intelligence. Additionally, with DevOps with GitHub and Azure Kubernetes Service, customers can build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive global network.
3. Running SAP solutions on Azure offers costs savings
“We chose to migrate to Azure for three main reasons: cost, strategy, and speed … We saw a big cost advantage with SAP HANA on Azure over the cloud we currently used”—David South, Director of Architecture at Coke One North America Services
A Forrester study showed customers achieved more than 100 percent ROI, a 50 percent reduction in data center costs, and a 100 percent reduction in SAP release delays by migrating their SAP systems to Azure. Moving to Azure not only eliminates capital expenditure and cost of underutilized hardware, but it also offers cost management tools such as on-demand scaling during peak usage periods, using cheaper storage, and optimizing disaster recovery environments.
By running SAP solutions on Azure, organizations replace expensive, manual, and error-prone processes with automated, flexible processes, and with a single ticket-to-solution experience, enterprises empower employees to focus on value-added activities by putting data in their hands.
4. Running SAP solutions on Azure offers immense flexibility and scalability
“Moving to Azure gives us the scalability we need … running SAP on Azure gives us the agility and flexibility we need to disrupt the healthcare industry in a way that improves our customers’ access to the products and services they need.”—Dan Regalado, Vice President of Global Technology Transformation and Strategic Partnerships, Walgreens
Customers across every industry run their largest production SAP landscapes on Azure because it is a proven cloud platform certified by SAP to run their most mission-critical SAP applications. Azure offers the industry’s most performant and scale-able cloud infrastructure—offering 192 GB to 12 TB SAP HANA certified VMs in more regions than any other public cloud provider along with support for both Linux and Windows OS. Azure offers on-demand scalability and agility that reduces the time to market —customers can spin up or spin down resources as needed. For instance, Daimler AG reduced operational costs by 50 percent and increased agility by spinning up resources on-demand in 30 minutes with SAP S/4HANA and Azure.
Azure also offers access to more than 1,000 pre-built integrations, out-of-the-box business services, SAP HANA services, and apps built by SAP and our partners. Customers such as Tate and Lyle appreciate that with Azure, they get access to compute, network, and storage resources preconfigured for SAP HANA that they didn’t have to build, install, or manage.
5. SAP solutions on Azure offer best-in-class security, compliance, and business continuity
“If you go to the Microsoft Trust Center, you can see the tremendous investment Microsoft makes in security certifications and compliance. It would have been very costly for Kennametal to implement that level of security within our own environment. Instead, we get to inherit it from Microsoft.”—John Johnston, Senior Manager, Global Information Security and Compliance, Kennametal
Azure’s intelligent security services are backed by a $1 billion annual investment in enterprise-grade security and compliance offers and 3,500 cybersecurity professionals. Azure has the most compliance offerings of any public cloud. Azure offers the best-in-class security services such as Azure Sentinel for SIEM, Azure security center for threat monitoring, and Azure Active Directory for identity management. Additionally, customers can leverage built-in availability and recovery options such as Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery to ensure business continuity and data protection. Microsoft teams work closely with partners to ensure that critical systems remain online during migration and offer a robust set of joint planning workshops, migration programs such as FastTrack, POCs, and training and certifications.
6. Organizations benefit from the trusted partnership between SAP and Microsoft
“We needed a provider that enjoys a close partnership with SAP, understands our needs, and can accelerate our migration and expand our capabilities. Azure answered every need.”—Joshua Sefchek, Manager of Cloud and Enterprise Services, Toyota Material Handling North America
After decades of working together to serve our customers, SAP and Microsoft deepened their relationship by signing the Embrace initiative. As part of Embrace, SAP will lead with Azure to move on-premise SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA customers to the cloud through industry-specific best practices, reference architectures, and cloud-delivered services. Our engineering teams co-residing in Germany and Redmond, Washington work together to develop joint reference architectures, product integration roadmaps, and best practices; our industry teams are jointly developing industry-specific transformation roadmaps, and our support teams have developed collaborative support models.
SAP and Microsoft have been partners for more than 25 years and are also mutual customers. Microsoft is the only cloud provider that’s been running SAP for its own finance, HR, and supply chains for the last 20 years, including SAP S/4HANA. Likewise, SAP has chosen Azure to run a growing number of its own internal system landscapes, including those based on SAP S/4HANA. Microsoft IT and SAP IT generously share their learnings from running SAP solutions on Azure with our customers. Check out the latest MSIT webinar and SAP IT webinar for some best practices.
More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies run their business on Azure. Our experience and history give us a powerful understanding of the needs of enterprise customers. Together with SAP, customers have trusted us with their most critical workloads for decades because we understand what it takes to support our customers in their journey to the cloud.
We look forward to seeing you this month at the virtual SAPPHIRE and ASUG events. Learn more about SAP solutions on Azure and read today’s announcement about new offerings to help our SAP customers optimize costs and increase agility.