Microsoft and SAP are deepening their partnership with new integration between Office 365 and SAP's cloud products, as well as a plan to bring HANA to Azure. The announcements arrived on May 17 as part of SAP's 28th annual Sapphire Now conference.
The two companies will deliver broader support for the SAP HANA platform on Microsoft Azure so businesses can run demanding SAP HANA and big data apps while maintaining enterprise-level security and compliance.
SAP HANA, and S/4 HANA apps, will be certified to run development, test, and production workloads on the Azure cloud so users don't have to download the SAP software on their servers to use it.
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Customers will be able to start using SAP HANA on Azure by the third quarter of 2016, the companies promised.
Some of Tuesday's announcements will create deeper integration between SAP software applications and Microsoft's Office 365 suite. The communication and collaboration tools, documents, calendar, and other data in Office 365 will be combined with Concur, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors, and Ariba from SAP.
For example, employees using Office 365 to plan trips and keep track of their travel expenses will have access to flight, hotel, and transportation information in Microsoft Outlook. They will be able to book reservations based on these suggestions using SAP Concur directly from within Outlook, explained VentureBeat.
Another integration affects SAP Ariba, which has been integrated with Microsoft Word and Excel so several people can collaborate on the same documents, whether they're on desktop PCs or mobile devices. They will also be able to chat with one another via Skype for order reconciliations.
Administrators will be able to approve job postings and timesheets using SAP Fieldglass via Microsoft Outlook, now possible with a new Office add-in. When days are noted as "time off" in SAP SuccessFactor, the app will automatically enable Out of Office messages in Outlook.
In addition, SAP will enable customers to create and launch mobile hybrid SAP Fiori apps on the SAP HANA cloud platform using an open standards plug-in framework. This means customers will be able to build apps and manage, deploy, and protect them using Microsoft Intune.
By using the cloud building capabilities in SAP Fiori, app developers will be able to integrate the management capabilities of Microsoft Intune within their apps. Like SAP HANA on Azure and the Office 365 integrations, this will be available in the third quarter of 2016.
The idea behind the expanded partnership is to improve cloud adoption among businesses and make it easier for workers to manage their day-to-day tasks, discussed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and SAP CEO Bill McDermott at the conference on Tuesday.
"We believe the IT industry will be shaped by breakthrough partnerships that unlock new productivity for customers beyond the boundaries of traditional platforms and applications," said SAP's McDermott in a statement.
"The certification of Microsoft Azure's infrastructure services for SAP HANA along with the new integration between Microsoft Office 365 and cloud solutions from SAP are emblematic of this major paradigm shift for the enterprise," he continued.