Microsoft and SAP are two 2nd Platform technology players that are leaving no holds barred as they attempt to carry their dominance onto the third.
Cloud, big data and mobile are three big components of that next wave (social is the fourth, but it seems to be morphing from a platform to a feature in enterprise applications) and both companies need to be ready when their clients begin to make the leap — or, needless to say, they’ll lose business.
Extending the Partnership
This morning Microsoft announced that it’ll be extending its partnership with SAP and that it'll focus on giving enterprise customers increased flexibility and better insights — in the cloud and on mobile devices.
Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, cloud and enterprise marketing, said that by the end of June, SAP will certify a number of its business applications to run on Microsoft Azure, including SAP Business Suite software, SAP Business All-In-One solution, SAP Mobile Platform, SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (SAP ASE) and the developer edition of the SAP HANA platform.
What this means for the companies, each of which dominate the Enterprise (86 percent of the Fortune 500 are Microsoft customers, Windows sits on more than a billion desktops) is that they will own mobile and the cloud if they can convince their customers to follow them to the 3rd platform.
Speaking of SAP customers, Numoto wrote in a blog post it will be "able to move existing applications and services, or deploy new ones in minutes using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library tool, to Azure and benefit from nearly unlimited computing capacity.”
Earlier today, Microsoft’s Power BI team announced the general availability of Power BI connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects BI.
Customers who have invested in both Power BI stacks will now be able to discover SAP data driven insights via Microsoft’s powerful and friendly UI via tools like PowerQuery for Excel.
This cording to Microsoft will provide:
- Seamless access to trusted enterprise data – connect to the latest, accurate, and trusted data from an SAP BusinessObjects BI Universe including SAP BW and SAP Business Suite
- Business friendly semantics in familiar business tools – easily work with data by navigating dimensions, measures, and business views from an SAP BusinessObjects BI Universe directly in Excel
- Combining data from within and outside your organization – discover and combine SAP data with public, corporate and big data sources such as Microsoft Azure HDInsight
- No hassle data refresh on-premises – refresh your data without a manual process on premise
- Deep interactive analysis and visualization – explore and present your data from an SAP BusinessObjects BI Universe visually through charts, graphs, and a 3D map experience
Insights without access and easy application are useless. That’s why the companies are partnering to provide industry-specific mobile apps for retail and banking, as well as updated versions of the SAP Mobile Platform with SDK’s for Windows and Windows Phone 8.1. Previews are expected to be out before the end of 2014 with general availability anticipated in 2015.
Windows Intune and SAP Mobile Secure will be leveraged to manage and better secure all of these applications giving enterprises the flexibility and control they need.
This strategy falls in line nicely with Microsoft’s mission of Mobile and Cloud and certainly serves as testimony to SAP’s Cloud commitment which we expect to hear more about either when Bill McDermott is (expected to be) voted in as SAP’s sole CEO or at SAPPHIRE NOW user conference in early June.
Is this a significant announcement? It’s certainly a power play by two 2nd platform players who want to dominate computing’s 3rd platform.