Another week, another Microsoft announcement about extending the strategic reach of Teams.
This time, the company revealed that it’s working with long-time development partner SAP to integrate Microsoft’s collaboration software into a SAP business packages including SAP SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Customer Experience. Expect the integrations to arrive by this summer.
The Teams integration is in line with Microsoft’s focus on the technology since the beginning of 2020 — and it’s also part of a long game to increase market share for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
Simultaneous with the Teams announcement, the companies said they will focus on features to integrate SAP/HANA (SAP’s cloud-based ERP software) on Microsoft Azure.
The move is an important one to bring Azure up to par with Amazon’s AWS cloud platform, which has certified SAP’s core business software since 2011. It’s surely no coincidence that the week before the product announcement, Microsoft Azure product marketing chief Julia White is joining SAP’s executive board as Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer.
Meanwhile, on the SAP side, the tighter integration with Microsoft in general and Azure in particular is being driven by new SAP CEO Christian Klein, who is moving aggressively to unshackle SAP from its legacy as an on-premise software provider.
As Protocol reported, “Klein is banking his legacy on turning SAP into a power player in the cloud industry, with the ultimate goal of its tech underpinning all operations within an enterprise, with the data from each flowing seamlessly between applications and AI-backed tools layered over the top.”
As SAP doubles down on a “land and expand” sales model to encourage existing customers to buy its whole product, it’s highly motivated to increase its cloud functionality on Azure.
So what does that mean for your buyers? Both Microsoft and SAP are eager for this partnership to thrive and expand; after all, SAP is already among the most lucrative workloads on Azure.
If your customers are weighing the advantages of cloud platforms or enterprise software solutions, Microsoft and SAP are looking to give them a lot of new reasons to invest in both Azure and the SAP cloud suite.