SAP on Azure Better together

Feb 14, 2018
  • IT
  • Microsoft
  • SAP

For almost 15 years I have focused on bringing together the Modern Workplace with enterprise applications. Integrating SharePoint with OpenText, Documentum, Salesforce, Dynamics and SAP to name a few. The modern workplace has been changing for several years, and it now includes not only SharePoint/Office 365 but also Azure and the very wide range of services offered by Azure.

I cannot help but think about how much better together SAP is with Azure. Next, to the cost savings and scalability and control that Azure provides companies. The real business value comes from integrating your SAP premier business applications within the Microsoft ecosystem. For this post, I thought I would discuss the value of having a unified ecosystem and then back that up with a few use cases that demonstrate the value the Microsoft cloud brings.

The value of an ecosystem:

The often-unsung story of Apple is how they maximized on past innovation. Part of the Apple story is the ecosystem of services from vendors and partners. By consuming these services, Apple leveraged their expertise in a just-in-time fashion that allowed them to focus on the innovation of their products. Other companies provided the manufacturing know-how, capacity, expertise, and skills associated with topics such as supply chain management.

Now think about the innovation potential of the ecosystem of Microsoft services and tools offers to SAP. Office 365, Azure IoT, Azure Machine learning, Azure AD for single sign-on, Azure Data Analytics, Power BI, Skype, Delve API. Tying all of this together and then you are creating an ecosystem that extends the value beyond its discrete components. Consider a few examples;

  • Engage customers more effectivity, enhance the customer experience of your SAP Retail solution with Skype for Business and Microsoft cognitive services. Cognitive services can be used to gauge the sediment of the client by monitoring the mood and engage human personal based on the level of frustration allowing companies to improve customer satisfaction.

  • Improving operational efficiency, and transform SAP powered manufacturing. By providing data analysis and a visualization framework, you can incorporate real-time, streaming analytics to production lines using Azure IoT. Using historical data companies can predict future outcomes using Azure Machine Learning to act before a problem arises.

  • Break down organization information silos, information within SAP is typically locked away and not accessible for all knowledge workers. Bridge the gap between SAP and Office 365 and the Modern Workplace by extending SAP processes to your organization or customers. For example, integrating SAP and SharePoint can allow organizations to create Customer Portals where customers have a 360 view on invoices, purchase orders and various KPI based on SAP data.

What does success look like in the future?

Companies that master the orchestration of the services contained within their major ecosystems and create solutions will lead the disruption wave. Success will depend on more than just creating better digital-enabled products; or better Apps. Success will depend on organizations building ecosystem-level strategies that encompass the many moving pieces of the enterprise information landscape and bring these items together to create the new value proposition.