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"As IoT continues to transform businesses by providing breakthrough insights and capabilities for connected assets, location is becoming an important aspect to consider", said Sam George, director, Microsoft Azure IoT. At that time, Microsoft officials said they were working with SAP to make Azure available as a deployment option for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, which is its private managed cloud service built around the SAP S/4HANA business suite.

Microsoft has roped in business-software vendor SAP as a cloud partner, its latest effort at using alliances to challenge Amazon's dominance in the fast-growing business segment, the Wall Street Journal reports. Microsoft plans to use SAP S/4HANA from Azure, replacing its existing SAP implementation, for tracking its internal financial operations.

The two companies agreed 18 months ago to work together to integrate Microsoft Office 365 productivity software into SAP, while SAP would run its HANA database software on Azure.

Microsoft and SAP said they will document their internal projects to help customers launch SAP applications. Additionally, SAP agreed to run its HANA in-memory database on Azure. However, Microsoft Premier Support doesn't help with the design and development of applications on Azure.

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"Building on our longtime partnership, Microsoft and SAP are harnessing each other's products to not only power our own organizations, but to empower our enterprise customers to run their most mission-critical applications and workloads with SAP S/4HANA on Azure", commented Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a November 27 announcement. "For instance, a department of transportation can now use Azure Location Based Services to analyze and improve traffic in congested cities, freight companies can provide improved fleet management and logistics, and all businesses can track the location of assets and be notified when their location changes". "Together, we will help companies win the customer-driven growth revolution". Microsoft customers will benefit from high-quality location data from TomTom's unique global community and its global partner network, whose users continually provide active and passive map and traffic data insights. The companies share customers such Coca-Cola Company, Columbia Sportswear Company and Costco Wholesale Group. In addition, SAP said it's migrating 12 or more of its "business critical systems" to Azure.

Over the past several years, Microsoft and SAP have made lots of partnership commitments.

According to SAP Chief Executive Bill McDermott, customers frequently ask the company which technology they should use.


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