Google picked as yet another 'strategic partner' for SAP's RISE, Microsoft still lingers on the scene

German software giant's relationships are anything but exclusive


SAP has linked arms with Google in the latest dosey doe with the cloud infrastructure market.

Google Cloud and SAP have stepped forward claiming they would "help customers execute business transformations, migrate critical business systems to the cloud, and augment existing business systems with Google Cloud capabilities in artificial intelligence and machine learning."

It's a shame the pair couldn't have squeezed quantum computing into their commentary - The Reg could have called full house in the game of bingo buzzword.

The German application giant branded Google Cloud a "strategic cloud partner" for RISE with SAP, a lift-shift-and-transform package offered with SIs and other partners which is yet to set the dancefloor alight.

The pair said together they would "accelerate customers' cloud migrations and business process migrations."

Google and SAP might be strategic partners – whatever that means – but their attachment is far from exclusive. The ERP stalwart also hooks up with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba, should it suit the music.

In fact, those with long enough memories will recall that less than two years ago SAP "partnered" with Microsoft for "first-in-market cloud migration offerings" which included "holistic bundles" that provide customers with "unified reference architectures, road maps and market-approved journeys" to illuminate a clear path toward the cloud.

In January, SAP and Microsoft said they had "formalised" an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to speed the adoption of SAP's ERP system S/4HANA on Azure. The partnership included business collaboration software, with the two vendors saying they were building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Customer Experience.

So how can a partnership with Google be strategic if so many other deals are also strategic? It's a multi-cloud world and SAP likely realises a one-vendor-fits-all strategy doesn't work for all customers.

Perhaps SAP is cosying up to Google because Microsoft has its foot in the business application market, where Google is largely absent, but that might be reading too much into it. In truth, the fight for dominance among application and infrastructure software vendors is more like no-holds-barred naked mud wrestling than a neatly choreographed dance.

A spokesperson at SAP told us:

"We drive such partnerships to best serve customer needs. Our motto: openness, choice, flexibility. Our partnership with Microsoft continues to be very strong. In January, for example, we had announced MS Teams integration with enterprise software." ®

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