A new distribution partnership between SAP and Microsoft was announced during 2016 SAP SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida, which will see the SAP HANA platform deployed on Microsoft Azure to simplify the integration between SAP and Microsoft Office 365.

Specifically, the partnership will mean organisations with large workloads will be able to deliver critical applications and data analytics, including SAP S/4 HANA, as well as run development, test, and production workloads on Microsoft Azure.

At the same time, the integration of the two firms will see Office 365 communications, collaboration, calendar, documents, and other data combine with cloud solutions from SAP, including Concur, SAP Fieldglass, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Ariba solutions.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott said on Tuesday that the partnership signals the company’s ability to “empathise” with customer demand.

“What I see now is we both have very large workforces, and we both have very important customer relationships,” McDermott said. “I think the more the customer says ‘hey, I like what I saw I want to see more and more use cases for my industry, my line of business,’ you’ll see us continue to innovate and push the envelope on what’s possible; that’s the game plan.”

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“You’ll see HANA and S/4 HANA pick up even more steam because Azure will be another large channel for HANA and S/4 HANA in combination with Microsoft. We feel, right now, SAP has never been in a stronger position between the core, the cloud, the network, and the ecosystem,” he said.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who joined McDermott on stage, said the latest partnership brings together the best of SAP and Microsoft’s hyperscale cloud.

“What that means is SAP is certified on Azure, S/4 HANA is certified on Azure, SAP HANA is certified on Azure, and that’s a fantastic capability to be able to run your test/dev and production workloads,” he said.

In addition, SAP has announced SAP Fiori will be integrated with Microsoft Intune, the same management capabilities used by Office 365 mobile apps. It will allow SAP customers to build and deploy customer mobile hybrid SAP Fiori apps on SAP HANA cloud platform with an open standards plug-in framework, while being protected.

Both the Office 365 and Intune integrations will be available by the third quarter of this year, the company said.

McDermott and Nadella both confirmed this latest partnership is just the start of more to come between the two tech firms, which continue to build on their alliance of 20+ years.

The partnership follows on from another announcement SAP made with Dell this morning, where the pair announced they were deepening their partnership to make it easier for Dell shops to deploy SAP solutions in the cloud and quicken the pace for data analysis as well.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. SAP and Microsoft announced SAP HANA will be run on Microsoft Azure making it easier for integrations between SAP and Microsoft Office 365.

2. The announcement means organisations, particularly with large workloads, will be able to deliver critical applications and data analytics, as well as run development, test, and production workloads on Microsoft Azure.

3. SAP continues to closely align its business with Microsoft to give businesses the ability to speed up workload delivery and analytics processing.

Disclosure: Aimee Chanthadavong travelled to 2016 SAP SAPPHIRE NOW courtesy of SAP.