IBM and SAP have announced their latest strategic partnership, building on a deal struck in 2014 between Big Blue and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.
Described at the time as “SAP’s biggest news sitting on one of IBM’s biggest investments”, the latest announcement offers cloud-based solutions, with IBM and SAP collaborating on industry-specific cloud operations, as well as on-premise capabilities and improvements to the customer and user experience. The proposals include an expansion of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud services for ongoing application maintenance and support, as well as scaling of the IBM cloud platform.
The two companies will also set up shop together in Germany and California, as well as showcase the fruits of their labour in global innovation centres.
“The future of business strategy and business value will proceed from the foundational elements of this announcement – cognitive, cloud and the design of consumer-quality experiences in every industry,” said Bridget van Kralingen, SVP IBM global business services in a statement. “We’re formalising a complementary set of capabilities to simplify and speed outcomes for clients evolving to become cognitive enterprises.” Rob Enslin, SAP president of global customer operations, said: “Today’s announcement builds on SAP’s commitment to enable strong, growing businesses that can seize the amazing opportunities of the digital economy.”
The news continues a long-standing partnership between the two tech giants, who have outlaid significant resources on pushing its brand into the cloud. IBM officially rebranded as a cloud-first organisation in March 2014, while SAP took to branding itself as ‘the’ cloud company in the same year, Naturally, the turnaround of the two companies’ major on-premise software revenues towards cloud has not been a painless process – IBM’s latest job cuts amount to up to one third of its total workforce according to reports – yet the long term vision is clear. The Armonk firm acquired Microsoft based software as a service (SaaS) provider Optevia last month.