SAP and Google Cloud showcased their increasingly deep and customer-centric partnership this week as Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian joined SAP CEO Christian Klein’s Sapphire keynote to discuss how businesses are benefitting from the intensifying collaboration between the two companies.
At Sapphire, I walked past a massive AWS booth with plenty of customers checking out what the world’s largest cloud-infrastructure vendor is offering for the world’s largest provider of enterprise applications. The SAP-AWS partnership was launched way back in 2011 and continues to be going strong.
But to an objective observer — and I’d like to think I’m one of those — the Google Cloud relationship with SAP was the star of the Sapphire event. Sure, Microsoft and SAP made a very big announcement about infusing generative AI capabilities into SAP apps, starting with SuccessFactors, and yes, Satya Nadella joined Klein’s keynote via a recorded video conversation.
But it was Google Cloud that SAP chose to launch a massive data-cloud initiative that will unleash the potential of SAP’s unmatched level and depth of business data (you can read all about that in SAP and Google Sign Blockbuster Deal to Create Massive Data Cloud).
From that article, here’s how Klein described that new data cloud:
“Bringing together SAP systems and data with Google’s data cloud introduces entirely new opportunities for enterprises to derive more value from their full data footprints. SAP and Google Cloud share a commitment to open data and our extended partnership will help break down barriers between data stored in disparate systems, databases and environments. Our customers not only benefit from the business AI already built into our systems, but also from a unified data foundation.”
So that is clearly a massive endorsement by SAP of Google Cloud’s technology, vision, and customer-centric capabilities. And it’s far beyond the stage of an idea: more than 300 customers are already using the new SAP/Google Cloud data cloud.
And when Kurian joined Klein on the Sapphire stage this week during Klein’s keynote, the intensity of the SAP/Google Cloud relationship became even more clear.
“Google Cloud has had an amazing collaboration with SAP going back five years,” Kurian said, noting that the partnership is built around three core elements.
First, Kurian said, is the collaboration on powerful customer programs such as RISE, in which Google Cloud is a key hyperscaler option for customers.
Second, Google Cloud’s parent, Alphabet, runs the entire corporation on S/4HANA. Kurian offered a big smile as he said that in the 11 quarters that Alphabet has been powered by SAP, “there has never been a single second of downtime.”
And third, the engineering teams of SAP and Google Cloud continue to expand the scope of their collaborations.
Klein and Kurian then discussed the significance for customers of the data-cloud partnership, with Klein noting that it allows customers to, at long last, break down the data silos that have shackled businesses and inhibited innovation for decades.
Kurian said, “Bringing data together is an essential part of digital transformation, and this partnership addresses that. If you’re a big retailer or a CPG company, you need to be able to plan your inventory more precisely, and you need access to search trends on Google because they’re a great predictor of demand, and that complements what SAP applications do.
“Then there are the capabilities that Google Earth Engine can offer for sustainability, which is a major SAP initiative,” Kurian said.
Addressing the challenges businesses have faced in trying to gain access to and the ability to analyze and act on all their data, Kurian used an interesting word.
“Working with SAP, we have made it trivial for customers to be able to move data from Datasphere to BigQuery,” he said. “For customers to move and act on data, this partnership makes it faster, simpler, easier, and more secure while also giving customers access to more data than they’ve had in the past.”
To hear practitioner and platform insights on how solutions such as ChatGPT will impact the future of work, customer experience, data strategy, and cybersecurity, make sure to register for your on-demand pass to Acceleration Economy’s Generative AI Digital Summit.