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.
Under a deal announced Tuesday, Microsoft aims to boost a business known as infrastructure-as-a-service, where customers rent computing resources online, the report said.
Last year, that market was said to be worth US$22.16 billion, with Amazon Web Services taking a 44 percent share, and Microsoft’s Azure service holding a 7.1 percent share, the paper said, citing data from Gartner.
SAP agreed to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing service internally, and said it will highlight that usage to customers shopping for their own cloud services.
McDermott stopped short, though, of saying whether the agreement between the longtime software partners calls on SAP to give Azure preferential treatment over rivals, including Amazon.
“I think customers are quite capable of making their own determinations,” he told the Journal.
A deeper partnership with SAP could open a new path for big corporate customers to use Azure, according to industry analysts.
Microsoft will move the SAP applications it runs in its own data centers to SAP’s cloud-based S/4 HANA products.
A year ago, Microsoft reached a deal with corporate-software vendor Adobe Systems, in which the companies cross-promote each other’s products.
Amazon has cut similar deals, linking with VMware a little more than a year ago to let companies run their computing operations on both their own VMware-equipped data centers and Amazon’s web-based servers, the report noted.
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