On Tuesday, SAP and Dell announced new combined efforts in cloud, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) at the 2016 SAP SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando, Florida. The deepened partnership could make it easier for Dell shops to deploy SAP solutions in the cloud and quicken the pace for data analysis as well.
For SAP customers looking to manage their deployment in a virtualized data center, Dell is releasing Dell Automation and Cloud for SAP Software, a new Dell architecture that will make it easier for users to "deploy virtualized SAP solution environments on a VMware-based cloud platform," according to a press release.
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This new architecture builds on the Dell Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture with VMware, enabling it to work with SAP products such as SAP HANA. The Dell Automation and Cloud for SAP Software also allows for automation in terms of provisioning and management of these virtualized SAP deployment and better visibility into the systems through vRealize.
In terms of IoT developments, Dell revealed a new IoT architecture that can leverage both the SAP HANA in-memory analytics platform and Cloudera Hadoop. The primary use case for the architecture, which leans on Dell Edge Gateway technology, is the collection and analysis of sensor data.
Dell's new IoT architecture working with SAP is part of its IoT Solutions Partner Program, which the company launched with SAP, as well as GE, Microsoft, OSIsoft, PTC, and Software AG back in April 2016.
Of course, it wouldn't be an SAP announcement without some nod to analytics. As part of its partnership with SAP, Dell will be the first vendor to offer customers the repackaged Edge editions of SAP HANA and SAP Predictive Analytics on its Dell server platform in the North American market.
In the third quarter of 2016, Dell is also planning to offer an integrated appliance known as the Dell Engineered System for SAP HANA, Edge edition, to help speed up data analysis and reporting.
Dell's architecture announcements extended to specific industries as well, with a new architecture optimized for SAP Foundation for Health, a collaboration between SAP and Intel. This platform, built on SAP HANA, is focused on processing unstructured healthcare data for healthcare organizations. Utilizing Dell PowerEdge servers, the goal of the architecture is to speed deployment of SAP Foundation for Health and improve data-centered healthcare.
The pair also announced that Auritas, an information lifecycle management consulting firm and SAP partner would be joining Dell's partner program and that Dell SAP Services is launching an innovation lab for SAP S/4HANA in Plano, Texas designed to assist SAP customers in leveraging the capabilities of S/4HANA.
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In a press release announcing the news, Jim Ganthier, vice president and general manager of Dell Engineered Solutions, HPC and Cloud, noted that SAP and Dell have been working together for the greater part of a decade, and these releases are simply the latest in a long line of collaborations.
Some have argued that SAP has struggled to stay relevant in the cloud age, but the company's recent push for deeper partnerships with vendors like Dell and Apple could point to SAP seeking to position itself as the de facto analytics platform for the enterprise.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Dell and SAP announced new, integrated platforms for IoT, big data analytics, and virtualized environments which will make it easier and faster to deploy SAP tools in the cloud and leverage data analysis for companies using Dell products.
- The announcements focused primarily on new architectures, or updates to existing architectures updated to better run SAP products. As expected, Dell is providing the hardware component almost exclusively and SAP is bringing the software and services.
- SAP's push for stronger partnerships with enterprise stalwarts like Dell, and other vendors like Apple, could signify the company looking to establish itself as the go-to analytics provider for enterprise products.
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.