Google Cloud SAP- While promiscuity is a given among top SaaS vendors and the big hyperscalers, it looks to me like Google Cloud has cut in aggressively on Microsoft as the infrastructure heartthrob SAP likes best.
First of all, SAP CEO Christian Klein recently stated quite assertively that while it’s all nice and wonderful that the big hyperscalers—Amazon, Microsoft and Google Cloud—are forging tighter partnerships with SAP, those IaaS heavyweights have to remember that the partner controlling the strategic customer relationship is SAP.
In an early May interview with diginomica.com’s Den Howlett, Klein said, “In the partnerships, we are closing, we have to own the business platform, we have to own the application layer.”
In analyzing the situation based on Howlett’s interview with Klein, I wrote the following on May 12 in SAP Will Battle Microsoft & Google for Customer Control, Says CEO Christian Klein:
The pivotal issue is the radically different technology stack in the cloud versus in traditional on-premises IT. In the old world, one set of companies made the hardware and another set, led by SAP, made the applications. And because the applications ran the business processes that powered the operations of global corporations, the applications companies led the customer relationships.
But in the new world of the enterprise cloud, those boundaries have been erased. Two of the three top cloud-infrastructure players—Microsoft and Google—also offer growing portfolios of enterprise applications. The third major hyperscaler—Amazon’s AWS unit—does not currently offer enterprise applications.
For SAP, that means that two of the top IaaS providers (Microsoft and Google) that SAP depends on to meet the infrastructure needs of its large and mid-size customers are each looking to gain greater control of how customers use technology to transform, evolve and prosper.
So if Microsoft and Google are both in relatively the same position regarding Klein’s unequivocal insistence that SAP own the customer relationship, why do I believe that Google is becoming #1 in SAP’s heart?
Here are 3 primary reasons why I feel that’s happening:
1. Microsoft has a large, fast-growing, and increasingly strategic SaaS portfolio. Google Cloud does not.
While Satya Nadella’s Dynamics 365 business has nowhere near the global presence of SAP’s vast installed business within most of the world’s largest corporations, it’s probably approaching a $2-billion annualized run rate. And in the quarter ending March 31, the Dynamics 365 business grew at a whopping rate of 49%, the company said. So is Microsoft gunning to displace SAP as the ERP provider at the world’s largest energy companies, car companies, industrial giants and banks? Not at all—well, at least not yet.