As part of the expanded partnership, IBM said it is migrating to SAP S/4HANA, SAP’s latest ERP software, to perform work across more than 120 countries, 1,000 legal entities and numerous IBM businesses supporting software, hardware, consulting and finance. SAP’s ERP platform for large enterprises, SAP S/4HANA is the successor to SAP R/3 and SAP ERP and is optimized for SAP’s in-memory database SAP HANA.
More efficient data sharing, real-time access to data
As part of the project, the company says it will ultimately move more than 375 TB of data to IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud, an advantage that IBM now gets to enjoy by being a premium supplier of SAP technology as part of the expanded partnership. The company noted this business transformation will eventually move more than 300 SAP instances and consolidate 500 servers with the RISE with SAP solution on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud. The migration to SAP S/4HANA is already in progress across the company’s software business unit. The initial deployment is focused on IBM’s software-as-a-service and billing system, and is already benefiting clients and IBM business partners through simplified billing and payment systems while enabling orders and contracts to be processed quickly.
Driven by the need to modernize processes and deliver better insights to support clients running in the cloud, RISE with SAP is helping IBM centralize and standardize data worldwide. With access to the SAP HANA database, IBM says data can be accessed in real time and shared more efficiently among business units and teams.
In addition, the expanded partnership will help with improved decision-making supported by AI and automated workflows. Once the transformation is completed, nearly all of IBM’s US$58 billion in revenue will flow through SAP software, the company noted.
“We’ve had a long standing partnership with SAP. So we have thousands of clients today that run SAP with the help of IBM from a consulting perspective and running on IBM platforms like IBM Power and Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” said Rob Thomas, senior vice-president of global markets, IBM. “Why is this different? This is taking what I’d say has been a really good relationship, but a bit opportunistic, and making it strategic. SAP has been clear on their direction – the world of business process automation is moving to the cloud. And that is what RISE with SAP is all about. As a premium supplier, we’re one of less than five companies around the world that have that access to SAP technology, such that we can even augment it with IBM’s own technology and drive this transition to cloud.”
A hybrid cloud approach, moving SAP software workloads to the cloud
IBM Consulting, with more than 38,000 trained SAP consultants, is leading the transformation, providing the advisory, implementation, security, industry, and technical expertise required to move these complex systems and applications to a digital environment in an offering dubbed BREAKTHROUGH with IBM for RISE with SAP. IBM provides advisory services, implementation services and application management.. This is another example of IBM and SAP’s accelerated ecosystem strategy, teaming up on both technology and consulting expertise while supporting any cloud environment, to help make it easier for clients to embrace a hybrid cloud approach and move their mission-critical SAP software workloads to the cloud.
“Enterprise clients are seeking increased choice and control as they modernize their mission-critical workloads. Enabled by RISE with SAP, this is a milestone business transformation initiative for both companies due to its complexity and scale,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman and chief executive officer. “With this move, and IBM’s experience using RISE with SAP internally, we will be even better prepared to support our clients on their hybrid cloud and business transformation journeys.”
To provide clients more flexibility and computing power, including those in highly regulated industries, IBM is making the same cloud-based computing power that is underpinning its own migration available to clients. For clients who run RISE with SAP on IBM Cloud, IBM explained, the premium supplier option provides an additional choice to run workloads on IBM Power on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Cloud.
“IBM is transforming our own business. So we’re doing exactly what we’re advising the clients as we use SAP rise to drive IBM digital transformation, which puts us in a unique position where we’re the only company that’s actually done it. So not only are we offering it to clients, but we’ve actually done it to ourselves. We have now have more than 38,000 trained SAP consultants, many of whom learned by doing work for IBM. So I’m really pleased with this partnership, and I’d say this is the first chapter of what is probably a multi chapter evolution of our partnership,” said Thomas.
“This expanded partnership will enable IBM to accelerate its business transformation in the cloud and fuel its future growth,” said Christian Klein, chief executive officer and member of the executive board of SAP SE. “As a result, IBM will be positioned to provide the highest value of support and flexibility to its clients, allowing them to simplify and accelerate their business transformations while benefitting from the full value of RISE with SAP.”
With clients increasingly leveraging hybrid cloud strategies to modernize their workloads, IBM and SAP are giving clients running on Power servers the ability to use RISE with SAP S/4HANA on Power infrastructure consistent with the architecture they run on premises. Underpinned exclusively by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, businesses running IBM Power on IBM Cloud will be able to achieve high levels of performance in a cloud environment for their mission-critical workloads, with the flexibility, resiliency and security features delivered by IBM and Red Hat.
“BREAKTHROUGH with IBM is an outstanding complement to RISE with SAP, as it lays the foundation for our customers to embark on or advance their business transformation journeys,” said Brian Duffy, President of Cloud, SAP.