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When most customers think of SAP, they recognize our focus and commitment to delivering, and supporting customer success. And when those same customers think about partnering within the SAP ecosystem, they typically think of our global network of systems integrators and VARs.

In that spirit, I’d like to highlight an extraordinary partnership we share with SUSE. SUSE is a German-based, multinational, open-source software company that develops and sells Linux products to business customers.

Not all our customers are aware that SAP’s transformation into a cloud company has led us to become one of the most ubiquitous business application platforms on earth. SAP® Cloud Platform and the SAP HANA® database have become unifying platforms for our customers across the SAP data center, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform as well as a variety of on-premise deployment options for compute, network, and storage from an amazing ecosystem of global SAP technology partners including the likes of HPE, Lenovo, Dell Technologies, Cisco, Fujitsu, and of course – SUSE.

SAP’s “customer choice” partnership philosophy is designed to provide our customers with a plurality and diversity of options for cloud, core, edge, and hybrid deployments. With so many deployment options, our customers can consume SAP applications that best meet their unique needs. Plurality and diversity also lead to competition, which increases customer experience while driving down costs.

Managing a quality experience for our customers, given the myriad of deployment options, SAP applications, and architectural use cases, is no easy task. That’s why SAP created the “SAP Linux Lab” where together with Linux vendors and technology partners we develop, test and certify SAP solutions on Linux in physical, virtual, cloud and hyperconverged infrastructures. This lab helps to assure our customers that their underlying technical platform supporting SAP’s business application platform is resilient, high-performing, predictably configurable (through sizing tools), and supportable – on a global basis.

Within this ecosystem of global technology partners, SUSE has managed to thrive and exemplify how SAP’s “customer choice” strategy creates value. As one of the first members of SAP’s Linux Lab, SUSE has been the “tip of the spear” of SAP’s open strategy. For nearly 20 years, SAP and SUSE have been driving co-innovation to adapt and innovate faster, continually co-developing and co-innovating, and coordinating substantial joint teams to win, service, and support a global customer base.

From a co-development perspective, SAP Cloud Platform is based on Cloud Foundry, the popular open source platform-as-a-service – a core asset of both SUSE’s and SAP’s cloud platform offerings. Together with other partners in the Cloud Foundry community, SUSE and SAP are closely collaborating on making sure Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes, the de facto standard in container orchestration, work well together. Key areas of exploration and investigation include projects like Eirini and the SUSE-initiated project Quarks, which aim at providing Cloud Foundry on top of Kubernetes as a universal container platform abstraction.

From a partner and customer co-innovation perspective, SUSE is a global sponsor of SAP Co-Innovation Lab. SUSE provides SAP Co-Innovation Lab computing centers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (SLES). This support enables co-innovation across the SAP ecosystem of partners and customers to the tune of over 100 projects per year.

There is great diversity of deployment options and scenarios, and a large number of SAP customers run their SAP applications and SAP HANA workloads on SLES. These accomplishments are the outcome of years of collaboration focused on improving scalability and high availability of SAP HANA, streamlining SAP HANA operations, as well as improving performance and stability. With thousands of customers globally, SUSE is clearly doing it right.

Moving forward we hope to amplify these results by expanding our partnership with ongoing co-development and co-innovation, new joint go-to-market programs, and a commitment to emerging markets including technology showcases in South Africa as well as mature markets like Europe and the United States.

SAP’s “customer choice” strategy is a winning approach for SAP, our global technology partners, and our joint customers. Few partners exemplify the success of this strategy better than SUSE.



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