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February 11, 2019
A powerful shift in capability: Cloud transformation with SAP on Microsoft Azure
By: Karthik Amirtharajan

Organizations make significant investments to transform their business practices and modernize their ERP landscapes with critical investment decisions cutting across functions, such as finance, manufacturing, and supply chain. The decisions are driven by a business’ need to reduce operating costs, increase cash flow, and position itself to react quickly on new opportunities as well as respond faster to competitive threats. These drivers are causing many organizations to look towards running their core operational processes in the Cloud – more specifically on SAP’s intelligent ERP platform, SAP S/4HANA, in the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

It’s scalable.
The Azure platform enables the best of the SAP S/4HANA digital core in terms of faster transactions, simplified business processes, and data integration across legacy and transactional sources. Azure offers capabilities in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

#SAP-on-Azure, innovation making the #cloud a force for creating business value.
 
 

Azure has distinctive ability to bring out the best of SAP S/4HANA landscapes with Microsoft’s enterprise-grade security, global data center availability, impressive service levels, uptime, scalability, and elasticity. The Azure platform can support increasing volumes of SAP and non-SAP workloads with ease and on demand.

It is a frontrunner in cloud engineering supported by world class R&D.
Accenture and Microsoft have invested several million dollars in their DevOps automation for SAP on Azure to manage operations, provide automation, and orchestration of SAP and non-SAP workloads. Avanade, a joint, Accenture and Microsoft venture, brings large-scale capabilities and skills in implementing Azure infrastructure for some of Accenture and Microsoft’s largest enterprise clients. Azure has the largest scale-up instance of 20 TB for transactional systems like SAP S/4HANA and largest scale-out of 60 TB for analytical needs. Accenture engineers manage these large Azure S/4HANA instances for Microsoft, and there is deep collaboration in cloud engineering and innovation across the two organizations.

It supports security and compliance needs.
Enterprise security and vulnerability is a significant priority for our clients and is certainly in the top three priorities for all our CIOs involved with SAP S/4HANA on Azure journeys. Microsoft invests significant amount of effort and dollars on cloud security every year. Enterprise-grade security and privacy are built into the Azure platform, providing world-class protection to the SAP and non-SAP applications and workloads in the cloud.

Azure is suited to cover the most stringent security and regulatory requirements in the market. The benefits of public cloud architectures like Azure—in terms of multi-tenancy, economies of scale, flexibility, scalability, and innovation capabilities—are paramount.

Azure has the largest compliance portfolio of any cloud with more than 72 international and industry-specific compliance certifications.

It has enormous reach and reliable architecture.
High availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR) are built into Microsoft’s cloud architecture solution to enable business continuity and offer infrastructure uptime of 99.99%.

The core SAP and non-SAP apps in client landscapes can fail over in a matter of minutes and hours instead of over weeks or months, and the business reaps the benefits of global hyperscale cloud economics. Our clients can co-locate data close to users; Azure’s 1,500+ peering points for express routing ensure reliable high-speed connectivity combined with the global coverage of 28 Azure regions.

It lays the groundwork for broader innovation as a Hyperscaler.
Organizations today have investments in traditional data center assets with legacy infrastructure hosting providers. Hosting providers and hyperscalers, or public cloud platform providers like Azure, AWS, or Google are fundamentally different and cannot be compared in terms of capabilities or cost. Hyperscalers like Azure provide significant elasticity and scalability, and combined with SAP Leonardo’s SAP Cloud platform hosted on Azure, it sets the stage for innovation. The long-term viability of on-premise or hosting provider capabilities through acquisitions or otherwise are significantly challenged compared to the scale, enterprise security, agility, speed, and capability of platforms like Azure. Generational upgrades of Azure data centers and the migration of customer infrastructure occur automatically. There is complete transparency with clients in the event of data center relocations, etc. It’s business as usual; there’s no need to worry about administration or operations

It supports a variety of workloads at high volumes
As the number of workloads across SAP and digital applications increase over time and move to Azure, economies of scale prevail and unit cost for a workload or application decreases. Our experience confirms a positive business case for our clients to create and capture value over the three-to-five-year period of an Accenture cloud management services engagement.

To learn more how about the journey with Accenture and Avanade to migrate SAP workloads to Azure, contact Karthik Amirtharajan.

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