Microsoft Adopts the RISE with SAP solution on Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft announced it has begun migrating its internal SAP systems to S/4HANA under the RISE with SAP umbrella, making SAP responsible for the licensing, technical management, hosting, and support of its SAP applications under a single SLA.

The migration to S/4HANA will serve a dual purpose for Microsoft: modernizing its legacy SAP systems before the end of mainstream support in 2027 and demonstrating to customers that it is capable of hosting and running one of the largest and most complex SAP installations in the world within the RISE framework.

All three major cloud providers host SAP applications for their customers, and all three run at least some of their internal financial systems on SAP.

Microsoft has run SAP internally since at least 1995; is reported to have turned to SAP for its finances in 2008, while Google parent Alphabet replaced some of its Oracle financial systems with SAP in April 2021. Microsoft, though, is the first to adopt the RISE with SAP offering.

In February 2018, Microsoft’s engineering team completed the migration of internal legacy SAP systems from dedicated servers to its Azure cloud, a stepwise process that now provides it with a model for managing the S/4HANA migration.

“It helped us to tune our Microsoft cloud to run SAP environments, highly complex, large-scale environments, the largest in the world,” said João Couto, vice-president of the SAP business unit at Microsoft.

Although the companies are only now announcing the deal, work on the migration has already begun.

Microsoft is focusing on migrating just three areas of its business for the first phase of the project, working directly with SAP and without the support of a systems integrator.

Couto said he expects to be able to announce the results of this first phase later in the year, and that other partners will become involved after that, as the migration process scales up.

“Microsoft’s move to RISE with SAP is a testament to the commitment and strength of SAP and Microsoft’s ongoing partnership to simplify customers’ journey to the cloud by accelerating adoption of SAP S/4HANA Cloud on Microsoft Azure,” said Florian Roth, chief digital and information officer, SAP. “Likewise, SAP has optimized its critical internal business systems running on Microsoft Azure to benefit from its security, flexibility and scalability. We will be sure to use the learnings from these deployments and share best practices with our customers.”

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