SAP executive board
SAP's executive team during a media briefing at SAPPHIRE NOW at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. yesterday. PHOTO: Dom Nicastro

ORLANDO, Fla. — SAP expanded its cloud partnership with Google with new certification of SAP technology and applications on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 

Company officials made the announcement this week at the company's 30,000-attendee SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference here at the Orange County Convention Center.

SAP intends to make the partnership, announced earlier this year, available globally and partner with Google in machine learning, IoT, data transparency, custodian services and workplace productivity.

Taking a Three Cloud Approach

Walldorf, Germany-based SAP is committing to a cloud strategy lately following claims from competitors that it was late to the party — a claim which Bernd Leukert, executive board member and head of products and innovation for SAP, admitted in an executive media briefing Tuesday morning. More on that later.

The Google news makes SAP a three-pronged cloud provider, offering customers cloud deployments through Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google.

"We have the big three infrastructure providers in the mix," Leukert said. 

Taking a shot at Oracle — whose co-founder Larry Ellison was the source of the cloud smack talk — Leukert added, "Yes, we neglect the smaller ones which will play no role in the future and Oracle is one of them."

The trifecta of clouds allows customers to easily migrate from one cloud platform to another and avoids lock-in, he added.

Specifically, SAP announced:

  • Certification of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform for GCP. Also, SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA, SAP Business Suite and SAP Business Warehouse can be run on GCP
  • SAP HANA certification on GCP for larger instance sizes
  • Scale-out capability with the general availability of SAP HANA for SAP Business Warehouse workloads
  • SAP Analytics Cloud (formerly known as SAP BusinessObjects Cloud) and Google BigQuery integrations for connections to Google’s data warehouse 

Google: Mission Critical Support

Google Cloud SVP Diane Greene, former founder and CEO of VMware, joined Leukert on stage during Tuesday's keynote. She called Google's cloud platform "mission critical" for organizations. SAP and Google, she added, have gotten an "unbelievable amount done."

She cited Google's support of an open source, hybrid environment working in tandem with the SAP Cloud. Greene also noted SAP's collaboration with Google around APIs to support advancements in speech recognition and language translation. 

This, officials said, combines SAP’s business process expertise with Google’s machine learning services and the open source library for machine learning, TensorFlow.

SAP, she added, will be the data custodian for any data on the Google Cloud Platform, calling it "game-changing" in the compliance and regulatory arenas.

Microservices Support

SAP's Cloud Foundry–based SAP Cloud Platform includes multi-language runtime environments, including Java, Node.js and SAP HANA extended application services. SAP also announced new APIs for S/4HANA, SAP Hybris solutions and SAP Ariba solutions.

Leukert said in the media briefing the world is consuming software in different ways. SAP, he added, needs to support this by providing flexibility and support for APIs in a "microservices-based architecture."

"We might have been a little bit late in our move to the cloud," Leukert admitted, "but we caught up by a tremendous effort of acquisition and are now leapfrogging how business software is consumed with microservices."

In other SAPPHIRE news ...

Extended Analytics Features

SAP also announced at SAPPHIRE NOW updates to its analytics portfolio: 

  • SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2 now include a Web Intelligence Unified Viewer and an enhanced SAP Fiori-styled BI Launchpad
  • SAP Analytics Hub is now available and is designed to help users find analytics content on-premises or in the cloud. SAP partnered with Zoomdata to update SAP's data visualization tool, Lumira 
  • SAP Predictive Analytics includes new features such as recommendation and clustering models, as well as model training services for automated regression and classification
  • SAP IT Operations Analytics 2.0 offers more business context to IT issues with new features to help IT prioritize responses based on business impact. Support for hybrid data centers also helps manage IT costs and optimize resources whether on-premises on the in cloud
  • SAP Analytics Cloud (formerly SAP BusinessObjects Cloud) includes new mobile support on iOS and new pre-built industry and line of business content

Digital Commerce Update

The SAP Digital Commerce portfolio now offers:

  • Packaged services for SAP SuccessFactors (human capital management) solutions. Formerly, this was only been included as part of larger service deals
  • WorkConnect web application recruiting solution update: SAP plans to build next month the site as the job board of choice for SAP skills  

SAP also announced the SAP App Center as a consolidated digital marketplace for partner offerings.  

Transformation Roadmaps

The SAP Center for Digital Leadership released version 2.0 of its Digital Innovation and Transformation Assessment. 

Version 2.0 offers a new interface, which SAP officials said will give leaders a "better understanding of their current digital maturity as a foundation to build a company-specific, digital-transformation roadmap."