Why Microsoft Azure leads the pack among SAP users on their cloud journeys

A leader of a group within the clouds : SAP Microsoft Azure

Organizations moving to SAP S/4HANA have a critical choice to make – selecting what type of operating model and platform will best enable them to achieve a successful cloud deployment.

A SAPinsider survey showed that Microsoft Azure remains the primary platform respondents look at when deploying SAP S/4HANA in a public cloud environment. The big question is why are companies choosing Azure in the majority to enhance their SAP environments.

For companies looking to see real results, L’Oréal is a great recent example of how Azure adds benefit to SAP systems. Though an internationally recognized beauty brand with nearly 90,000 employees and worth over $40bn, it struggled all the same with incredibly time-consuming manual reporting and operating tasks, often causing monthly delays, click errors and costly fixes. This is exacerbated even further during cloud migrations as many SAP users are well aware.

Currently, the cosmetics company is undergoing a multi-year digital transformation to improve performance, lower costs and support its sustainability commitments through the adoption of SAP’s cloud technology.

Deciding to take its journey a step further, L’Oréal chose to implement Microsoft’s SAP on Azure initiative – a service that provides multiple options for running, managing and monitoring SAP workloads to optimize ERP in the cloud.

L’Oréal has since seen a 40 percent increase in its SAP user experience after its migration to Azure and credits Microsoft largely to its SAP cloud implementation success.

Susannah Greenberg, chief information officer, L’Oréal Americas, said that with the addition of Azure: “We were able to speed up lengthy transactions by 10 and even 25 times with SAP on Azure,”

“Something that previously took 3 hours now takes 5 or 10 minutes.”

SAP on Azure leads the pack for SAP users because SAP and Microsoft have had a long standing partnership for more than 25 years and have spent the last year doubling down on joint innovations to help SAP users migrate to the cloud. This includes the integration of Microsoft Teams onto SAP business applications – a huge crowd pleaser.

In fact, when SAP’s own IT department wanted to move its critical internal business systems to the cloud, it assessed major hyperscalers and chose Azure.

Combining SAP and Azure operations is tempting because users gain the added benefit of this tight-knit partnership but also gain Azure Virtual Machines to run SAP workloads, Azure ExpressRoute to connect in a highly secure way and Azure NetApp Files to boost the performance of huge databases.

Greenberg credited their SAP cloud success greatly to the addition of Azure, stating that: “Microsoft was with us throughout the entire journey- it was the one constant. Our migration wouldn’t have been as successful without the Microsoft partnership value add.”

When asked what advice she’d give other leaders contemplating moving to Azure, Greenberg concludes: “It shouldn’t be a question of, ‘Shall we do this?’ because I think it’s imperative to do it. It’s just a question of how.”