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Google and SAP announced a key partnership last week week that will make SAP HANA available on Google’s public cloud platform for the first time.

The partnership, announced at the Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, means that SAP HANA is now available on the three largest public Cloud platforms: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

Business and Consumer Tech Closer Than Ever

The agreement underscores an uptick in interest among consumer-facing brands in the enterprise IT market and a further blurring of the distinctions between consumer and business end users. Like Apple which announced a wide-ranging development partnership with SAP last year, Google is a relative newcomer to the enterprise IT market but is keen to expand its footprint in this area.

This is “a tremendously important partnership for Google Next,” said Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google Cloud, at the opening of Google Cloud Next 2017, as she welcomed Bernd Leukert, member of the SAP Executive Board responsible for Product and Innovation, onstage.

“Today we are delighted to announce the general availability of SAP HANA on the Google Cloud Platform” said Bernd to big cheers and whistling from the audience. Moving forward businesses can get real time insights provided by SAP HANA, taking advantage of its built-in security, reliability and scalability.

For developers, SAP HANA, express edition is being offered in the Google Cloud Launcher Marketplace.  Bernd explained further, “Now with just a laptop it’s going to be easy to build SAP applications capable of instantly working with the largest possible suite of products – accessing data from the on prem(ise) and cloud worlds.”

SAP’s embrace of design thinking the development of its SAP Fiori software has made it easier for consumer-facing brands to partner with SAP. The SAP Fiori UX more closely resembles the user interfaces of Apple, Google or Microsoft – all known for simplicity. Also with SAP’s commitment to design thinking, its business solutions are human centered and focused on delighting users, like most consumer apps.

Maturing Public Cloud Requires Deep Business Expertise

But the key reason that consumer brands are now interested in partnering with SAP is because of the deep business expertise that SAP has accumulated throughout the years.

As Diane Greene pointed out, SAP has been around for over 40 years and continues to reinvent itself and innovate -- evolving enterprise technology from mainframe to client server, and now cloud computing. More importantly, SAP’s business expertise in over 25 industries from 345,000 customers cannot be matched.

Meanwhile, as the public cloud has matured and the pace of digital transformation increased, companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Google are moving quickly to reach business customers.

A recent study[1] by Industry analyst firm, IDC, shows “that worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure will reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4% over 2016.”  IDC forecasts public cloud spending is growing at a rate “nearly seven times the rate of overall IT spending growth.”

According to Greene on Wednesday’s keynote, cloud is no longer about storage. It’s revolutionizing industries from energy to healthcare. And while Google’s public cloud offerings rank behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, according to analysts, Green offered this perspective: “If you stacked up our servers one on top of another, it would create a stack 5,000 feet higher than Mount Everest.” Put another way, “88 billion Pokemon have been caught on the Google Cloud.”

Customers Are First

Google’s statistics were bolstered by customer testimonials from Disney, HSBC, Home Depot and eBay – all pointing towards Google as a trusted innovation partner that would help them accelerate their move to the cloud, get closer to customers and offer tools that appeal to the millennial workforce.

As for the SAP and Google partnership, perhaps the best explanation was from Mike Crowe, CIO of Colgate-Palmolive, who chatted onstage with Bernd and Diane.

“We rely on a small number of strategic partnerships for technology strategy. We chose SAP 23 years ago and chose Google last year. And we chose you both for the same reasons: you are both highly innovative and we see tremendous value from implementing your technology.”

Here’s to the continued success of SAP and Google’s joint customers.


Video: Google Next Keynote

Blog by Bernd: Flexibility, Scalability, Speed: SAP and Google Announce Strategic Partnership

[1] Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, IDC, 20 Feb 2017
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