On the eve of its latest results SAP and CenturyLink have signed a deal that will see a SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offered by CenturyLink. CenturyLink has signed a global premium partnership to offer the in-memory platform SAP HANA to its customers.
In October last year SAP signed a similar agreement with NTT. In the last few months SAP has been signing several agreements to help boost its move to cloud which if it can convert such agreements in sales will help with the continued upsurge in cloud sales forecast in the fourth quarter results.
The CenturyLink SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud will be a private, secure cloud fully managed by SAP and supported by CenturyLink. CenturyLink will be able to offer the platform to clients that want to, or already do run their mission critical SAP operations in the cloud. Gary Gauba, president, CenturyLink Cognilytics commented: “SAP HANA enables companies to make real-time, informed decisions about their business.”
“With the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, we further help businesses move their enterprise applications to the cloud and innovate using the latest-generation applications based on SAP HANA.”
CenturyLink will be offering SAP HANA as either a multi tenanted solution, with up 1 terabyte of memory or a single tenant solution that can provide up to 2 Terabytes of dedicated memory for the solution. The dedicated solution can either be as PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution or as dedicated hosting from the CenturyLink data centres.
CenturyLink also brings experience as a SAP partner and can not only SAP-certified infrastructure but also SAP-certified engineers. To help implement SAP projects they can provide a team of SAP experts through the project lifecycle from assessment to implementation.
The agreement is one proof of CenturyLinks commitment to SAP and SAP’s belief in CenturyLink as a partner. Kevin Ichhpurani, SAP executive vice president, head of Business Development and Strategic Ecosystem said in a canned statement: “CenturyLink’s expansive IT services and network capabilities provide businesses with extensive geographic coverage and essential components of enterprise-grade IT services.”
“These are key attributes for businesses that rely on the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service for their mission-critical applications.”
What CenturyLink has not made clear is whether the SAP HANA service will be available in all its cloud regions. However in being able to offer this solution it should be able to help enterprise customers migrate their SAP applications into the cloud, with the cost benefits that entails and the performance benefits that SAP HANA can deliver. What is missing from the agreement is any mention of support for S4/HANA, SAP’s cloud ERP solution.
SAP needs to continue signing deals such as this one to see its transition to cloud provider as successful. There are far fewer announcements from Oracle of this nature at the moment and as SAP expands its channel to market with agreements such as one wonders what Oracle is doing being the scenes.
It will also be interesting to see how SAP brings together its partners as it pushes towards a larger number of cloud providers. Huawei has already said that it will be launching its latest KunKun system at CeBIT which has been designed with SAP cloud in mind. With 32 sockets, 45TB RAM and more storage than any other machine in its class it will be the ideal consolidation platform for SAP cloud providers. It will also put more pressure on Oracle to deliver a comparable platform for its emerging cloud partners.