The power of Accenture & Avanade with SAP® solutions on Azure

With their security fears assuaged, companies are starting to adopt cloud computing. Regardless of whether they move in one go or via interim steps, choosing SAP solutions on Azure offers myriad benefits, not least cutting-edge innovation capabilities.
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In today’s lightning-fast, ever-changing world, companies must make significant investments to continually overhaul their business practices and ensure up-to-date ERP landscapes. These crucial investment decisions cut across all facets of business – from finance to manufacturing to supply chain – and the wisest among us are spurred to action with an eye towards overhead cost minimization, cash flow maximization, and future positioning which allows for adaptability and agility in countering competition. The solution most often chosen by thousands of companies in these times of turbulent change is a cloud management system – particularly SAP’s trusted, intelligent ERP platform, the Microsoft Azure public cloud-operated SAP S/4HANA®.

For years though, many companies were reluctant to rely on cloud computing for fear of a security breach. However, with the US Pentagon - that virtually impenetrable citadel of highly-classified, high-stakes intelligence - awarding Microsoft a $10 billion contract to manage their data in the Azure Cloud, many cloud skeptics’ fears appear to have been assuaged.

With this strong vote of confidence from such a venerated, security-focused institution, many other companies are following suit. They have been mobilizing to move their SAP workloads to the cloud - specifically to Microsoft Azure. Invariably, a portion of these companies will take the opportunity to upgrade to SAP S/4HANA® to build an intelligent enterprise by enabling innovative, cloud-based solutions. Other companies that aren’t yet ready to make the leap to SAP S/4HANA® are taking the interim step of executing a technical migration of their existing SAP workloads to Azure. And lastly, there are those companies pursuing a parallel strategy, shifting some assets to SAP S/4HANA® and migrating others as-is until they’re ready to be managed in SAP S/4HANA®.

Therefore, the question no longer seems to be if businesses should adapt to SAP cloud-based solutions but when. Companies are realizing that the benefits of such a move to SAP extend beyond cost savings and efficiency to include the opportunity to harmonize their systems on an integrated platform, not to mention the flexible scalability, trusted security, and innovation possibilities that Accenture unlocks by moving SAP solutions to Azure.

A flexible, integrated platform supporting productivity gains with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and workplace modernization integration. 

Accenture and Microsoft have designed their DevOps automation on Azure for ideal operations management as well for smoothly functioning orchestration of SAP and non-SAP workloads. Avanade, a joint Accenture and Microsoft venture, brings enhanced, large-scale capabilities in implementing Azure infrastructure for some of Accenture and Microsoft’s largest enterprise clients. Azure has the top scale-up instance, 20 TB, for transactional systems like SAP S/4HANA®. Azure also has the largest scale-out of 60 TB for analytical needs. Accenture engineers manage these large Azure SAP S/4HANA® instances for Microsoft, and there is deep collaboration in cloud engineering and innovation across the two organizations.

High availability and disaster recovery (HA/DR) are built into Microsoft’s cloud architecture to enable rapid business continuity and offer an infrastructure uptime of 99.99% - this rapidity is crucial when core SAP and non-SAP applications in client landscapes can fail in a matter of minutes and hours instead of over weeks or months. The cloud-based business therefore reaps the immense, timely benefits of global hyperscale cloud economics.

Scalability to support increasing volumes of SAP and non-SAP workloads on demand, with ease. 

The Azure platform enables the best of the SAP S/4HANA® digital core: faster transactions, simplified business processes, and data integration across legacy and transactional sources. Azure also offers capabilities in IaaS and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Furthermore, Azure has the distinct ability to optimize SAP S/4HANA® landscapes with Microsoft’s enterprise-grade security and global data center availability, along with Microsoft’s impressive service levels, uptime, scalability, and elasticity. The Azure platform can thus support increasing volumes of SAP and non-SAP workloads on demand, with ease.

Built-in enterprise-grade security and privacy features. 

Enterprise security and vulnerability has been a chief concern of our clients and certainly remains among the top three priorities for all CIOs working with SAP S/4HANA® management on Azure. Microsoft expends untold effort and resources to ensure the highest level of cloud security day by day. Enterprise-grade security and privacy features are fully integrated into the Azure platform, providing unmatched protection to SAP and non-SAP applications and workloads in the cloud.

As with its systems support to the Pentagon, Azure is demonstrably suited to cover the most stringent security and regulatory requirements in the market. The benefits of a public cloud architecture like Azure – which include multi-tenancy, economies of scale, flexibility, scalability, and innovation capabilities - are paramount for streamlined management and security compliance. Azure currently boasts a super large compliance portfolio of any cloud system with more than 72 international and industry-specific compliance certifications.

Accelerate innovation by leveraging IoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), DevOps, and Analytics. 

In collaboration with Microsoft, Accenture continually develops new products and services on SAP Cloud Platform and on Microsoft Azure which enable clients to engage customers in new ways. These perpetually innovative products empower employees, and they have the power to facilitate a reimagining of operations, as well as the (re)invention of new products and services.

The true value of utilizing SAP solutions on Azure - whether it’s on the existing SAP code or the new code in SAP S/4HANA® - is that it enables innovative possibilities vital for any organization hoping to adapt and thrive in our ever-changing world. With reference architectures that incorporate the best of both SAP and Microsoft, companies can connect the power of SAP applications and SAP PaaS Services combined with Microsoft Azure’s PaaS and IaaS capabilities to unleash game-changing innovation as never before. We’re talking AI, predictive analytics, business insights from petabytes of data in a data lake, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, augmented reality, and virtual reality – cutting-edge capabilities only available in the cloud.

A Formula for success: (Accenture + Avanade) x Microsoft x SAP

Accenture, recognized by SAP as the Cloud System Integrator Partner in Belgium, offers the most efficient and effective way to renew core ERP, transform with SAP S/4HANA®, and enable real-time innovation with SAP on Azure. As the world’s most trusted Microsoft partner, Avanade is a global leader in Azure deployment. Our unique assets and accelerators enable fast, effective, and cost-efficient migrations of SAP to Azure, in addition to the end-to-end control, governance, and visibility such migrations require.

With unparalleled technology and industry experience, and a broad partner ecosystem and custom solutions to match, Accentureand Avanade are unlocking the value of (re)locating SAP in the cloud. We help enterprises migrate securely as they achieve elevated levels of agility and business performance with cloud technologies.

Assets and accelerators support effective and rapid migration of SAP applications to Azure.

Our migration and automation tools enable DevOps automation, provisioning, deployment, and top-level operations which result in speed to market as well as to increased quality, standardization, and cost efficiency. These assets offer the end-to-end control, governance, and visibility over all the manual and automated activities that complex migrations require. Additionally, the Accenture Cloud Platform helps manage the SAP workloads on Azure as an “as-a-service” solution providing comprehensive management of cloud solutions and support, available 24/7.

The time to implement new strategies is now. IT and finance leaders - particularly CFOs, CIOs, CDOs, and CHROs - must start planning immediately to understand how SAP S/4HANA® will impact their organization’s ERP investments and landscape. A good first step is to understand your readiness for adoption. Answering this key question “Am I ready for what’s next?” will help uncover your route to revolutionizing your business with a mature SAP S/4HANA® solution, deployed on the Azure cloud.

To learn more how about the journey with Accenture and Avanade to migrate SAP workloads to Azure, contact Stijn Vanderdonckt - Accenture & Johann Corlemeijer -Avanade.

Authors: Stijn Vanderdonckt Johann Corlemeijer