It wasn't if, but when. Who would try to steal the thunder from Salesforce and its Dreamforce glory?

It was SAP. And IBM. Together.

The enterprise software giants joined forces today.  SAP announced its HANA Enterprise Cloud service is now available through IBM’s cloud in a move officials from each company claim expands major markets with the addition of the IBM cloud data centers. 

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement the demand for SAP HANA and SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA in the cloud is "tremendous and this global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration."

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty called it a "significant milestone in the deployment of enterprise cloud” and added that IBM's "secure, open, hybrid enterprise cloud platform will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by big data, mobile and social.”

Who's Next?

In May 2013, SAP debuted the HANA Enterprise Cloud and HANA powered OpenText for SAP Solutions.

For SAP today, IBM's addition brings enterprise depth and the open architecture of IBM Cloud Managed Services and SoftLayer, officials said.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president of Constellation Research, called it a "a win-win-win for joint customers, SAP and IBM."

"Customers," he said, "get an enterprise friendly cloud infrastructure with a high number of geographical locations."

SAP adds a partner in building out Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and can focus more on enterprise software investments, he added, while IBM gets a key load for its cloud on a worldwide scale.

"Going forward," Mueller said, "we need to see how attractive this partnership will be for customers that are not already IBM customers, if there is a net takeaway from other hardware vendors both on premise and potentially in the cloud."