Global CIO: SAP Preps For Cloud Future Via New Intel Partnership - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/19/2009
08:19 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: SAP Preps For Cloud Future Via New Intel Partnership

SAP's enhanced research alliance with Intel will accelerate its move into cloud computing and SaaS and strengthens the set of SAP partners trying to shape the future of enterprise software.

Oh, the company you keep: yesterday, as we were making the case that SAP is outpacing Oracle in forging key strategic alliances, SAP got closer to another key partner by joining with Intel to open a new laboratory focused on cloud computing and sustainable IT.

Was the Intel agreement really a big deal? Well, big enough that Intel CTO and senior fellow Justin Rattner, who is also director of Intel's Corporate Technology Group, wrote about it glowingly on the [email protected] blog. More on that in a moment.

This extended alliance gives SAP a lineup of top-level strategic partners that now includes Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. Oracle, in the final stages of acquiring Sun, made public peace last week with Salesforce.com and reinforced its affinity with Dell; plus, in recent weeks, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has said he and HP CEO Mark Hurd remain on good terms and work together on many efforts in spite of their heightened competition on a number of other fronts.

In laying out those strategic alignments yesterday, I argued that they should not be confused with some sort of superficial popularity contests. Rather, they help define the capabilities and the momentum that each company has behind it in their competition for the hearts and wallets of global CIOs in enterprises around the world: which enterprise-software giant's deep alliances will help it extend its capabilties beyond the current limited model and into more-advanced, more-nimble, and more-capable platforms?

Here's what Intel tech visionary Rattner said about his company's newly extended relationship with SAP:

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I was in Northern Ireland today to announce the opening of a new joint laboratory with SAP focused on Cloud Computing and Sustainable IT. The SAP and Intel Collaboratory, as it’s called, will be located at SAP’s research center at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. . . . The Collaboratory represents the natural progression of the research relationship between SAP and Intel. Its charter is to understand and drive enterprise computing in Europe such as Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. . . . The implications of this shift touch almost every aspect of our products from the silicon microarchitecture through the software/solution stacks.

Here's what Rattner is saying the extended effort between SAP and Intel underscores:

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