SAP Jumps on the Multi-Cloud Bandwagon as a Venue for Selling Leonardo

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • SAP is playing catchup with PaaS rivals, integrating its middleware with public cloud providers.
  • SAP missed the opportunity to provide an SCP roadmap around emerging DevOps technologies.

SAP focused much attention during this week’s annual Sapphire Now conference on the re-release of its Leonardo IoT platform, expanded to include machine learning and big data innovations (please see: SAP Relaunches Leonardo, Blending AI, Big Data, IoT and Blockchain, May 17, 2017). Perhaps more significantly, SAP revealed that these high-value services will run on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) with the ability to reach broader markets through multi-cloud agreements and integrations with popular public cloud partners.

Although SAP executives indicated theirs is a unique strategy compared to application platforms counterparts, rivals IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and others have also been fulfilling multi-cloud strategies by deepening their PaaS integrations with AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure. SAP is following suit, and rightly so, essentially ensuring SAP NetWeaver certification on those partner clouds. Vendors have realized that multi-cloud deployments within enterprises are inevitable for providing flexibility in mixing and matching the most appropriate hybrid cloud scenarios, alongside the ability to pick and choose innovative platform services to enhance app development, including analytics, ML, mobile, IoT, etc.

On numerous occasions this week, SAP execs acknowledged their late-to-market status around a cloud strategy. The vendor is able to now support cloud portability, largely due to its investment in Cloud Foundry (CF), enabling integration of SCP with partner clouds. To that end, this week SAP demonstrated betas of SCP running on Azure and GCP. SAP sees these partnerships as providing low-cost infrastructure in an era where SaaS and PaaS represent a real business opportunity.

Beyond its new multi-cloud approach, SAP’s PaaS strategy is comprised of leveraging its leading business app suites and demonstrating to customers how they can connect SAP apps with advanced business services via the platform. However, SAP stopped short of sharing its SCP roadmap, which involves emerging DevOps issues and app development architectures such as microservices and serverless computing. Regardless, GlobalData expects SAP will continue to leverage CF’s containerization strategy, including the Diego orchestration solution. We also expect SAP will heavily leverage API Business Hub, a catalog of SAP and third-party APIs, to help build out its developer tools such as a microservice framework.

Hopefully these efforts will become a priority to SAP as rivals make progress in their DevOps strategies. Examples of competitor inroads in the past month alone include:

  • Red Hat announcing a new online container service and AWS integration;
  • Microsoft releasing new cloud, IoT and data services, increasing Azure’s appeal for modern app development;
  • IBM prioritizing serverless computing on Bluemix and enhancing its microservice framework;
  • VMware shoring its enterprise container offering with UX enhancements and Docker commands; and
  • Oracle strengthening its container/microservices strategy via the Wercker acquisition.

Analysis on these announcements is available through GlobalData, Application Platforms.

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