It’s no secret that today’s world thrives on cooperation. Be it small-scale endeavors or large-scale operations, collaborations and partnerships form the foundation of longstanding success and growth. This is especially true in the ever-changing global business landscape, where strategic partnerships are often crucial and, at times, even indispensable for the much-needed advancement from the old to the new.

Naturally, it only gets more important when the collaboration is between market leaders like SAP and Microsoft. Not because of the sheer scale of their operations but due to the impact these companies have on their respective industries—ERP software and cloud services—and the businesses that rely on them.

The SAP and Microsoft collaboration has resulted in the two companies working closely together to foster digital transformation and innovation among businesses worldwide. And this year, they have taken another leap towards a cloud-based future with their Joint Generative AI offering. Let’s dive into the collaboration’s latest insights and impact with this blog.

SAP and Microsoft: A Time-tested Collaborative History

The two giants have long led the way in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions and cloud operations. SAP systems are involved in processing 77% of the global transaction revenue. And Microsoft has been continuously making cloud migration more accessible to businesses through Azure.

The joint efforts of the two companies are not recent, either. SAP and Microsoft have been in close partnership since the early 1990s, collaborating on cloud operations, data, and, lately, AI. With the incredible combination of SAP’s extensive business database and Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, the companies aim to transform businesses into intelligent, future-ready, frictionless enterprises.

In recent years, the SAP and Microsoft collaboration has led to several visionary innovations benefiting businesses and end-users alike. Here are some recent noteworthy achievements:

RISE with SAP on Azure

The two partners came up with an innovative, collaborative offering in 2021 when they announced the integration of SAP’s ERP solution into Microsoft Azure. The integration made it possible to run SAP workloads on Azure, enabling businesses to scale, innovate, and grow faster. 

Thanks to RISE with SAP on Azure, numerous businesses have upgraded their IT ecosystems from on-premise data centers to the cloud. Numerous companies like Hilti, GWC, and Luminous Power Technologies now enjoy more resilience and minimal downtimes as a direct consequence of this transition to the cloud.

Microsoft Teams integration across SAP solutions

Microsoft Teams is the go-to solution for workspace collaboration across companies worldwide. As employees use Teams and Outlook for working and communicating with each other, the adoption of SAP S/4HANA Cloud into the work processes has made collaboration much easier.

Furthermore, Microsoft also introduced Adaptive Card-based Loop components in SAP solutions last year. Coupled with the Teams integration across other SAP solutions like SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Customer experience, these components help users access and work on SAP data without leaving the Teams or Outlook interface. The results are exciting—simplified workflows, increased employee productivity, and accelerated growth.

Integration between SAP and Azure EDAs

Event-driven architectures (EDAs) are rapidly evolving to streamline processes across applications. To further simplify this cross-application workflow, Microsoft and SAP collaborated by connecting Microsoft Azure Event Grid with SAP Event Mesh. 

The connection of these two event-driven ecosystems simplifies the integration of events from SAP’s ecosystem with those from Microsoft. But it also opens the scope for further developments.

The 2023 Generative AI Collaboration: What Does it Entail?

Besides the developments of recent years, the latest update from the SAP and Microsoft collaboration has caught widespread global attention. And it makes sense. After all, it involves some potentially game-changing innovations powered by AI.

The two companies announced their Joint Generative AI offering in May this year. It’s not their first time incorporating AI into their joint endeavors. But this year’s development is significant because it involves harnessing enterprise-ready generative AI to solve fundamental business challenges, starting with Human Resources.

The challenge: Closing the talent gap

HR professionals have long had a hard time recruiting the right people with the right skills for the right positions. But lately, the severity of this challenge has amplified, thanks to rapidly developing skills and the increasing need for new positions. 

As a result, people leaders face a daunting challenge—attracting and recruiting the best workforce for their company. And even that’s not enough. They also must ensure that the existing employees are constantly upskilling according to their individual career aspirations.

The first challenge requires creating targeted job descriptions and curating relevant and personalized interview questions to choose the right candidates. The latter demands ensuring well-rounded learning opportunities for employees. Here’s how the Joint Generative AI offering proposes to overcome both.

Streamlining the hiring process using AI

SuccessFactors—SAP’s flagship recruiting solution—will collaborate with Microsoft 365 Copilot to create highly tailored job descriptions. With the integration of Azure OpenAI Service into SuccessFactors, recruiting professionals can create job descriptions and enhance existing ones using AI.

That’s not all. Recruiters can also refine the AI-generated descriptions from within Microsoft Word using Copilot. Copilot will also check the content for potentially biased language or terms and improve the same. Similarly, using AI, SuccessFactors will generate interview questions based on the job description, candidate profile, and other factors.

Empowering employee growth with AI

The work doesn’t stop after a successful onboarding process. Companies must also ensure that the workforce remains equipped with the best-qualified professionals. Offering enough learning opportunities personalized according to each employee’s unique career ambitions is, therefore, crucial.

With the integration between SuccessFactors and Microsoft Viva Learning, employees can ask Copilot to give course suggestions based on their learning goals. Copilot will use generative AI to come up with hyper-personalized learning paths based on datasets from SuccessFactors and course suggestions from Viva Learning. As the employee learns and upskills, the company gets updated insights into the employee’s learning progress.

All in all, the Joint Generative AI offerings look promising. However, the above recruiting and learning solutions are just the beginning. SAP’s access to mission-critical business data can fuel future AI advancements across all fields in the future.

SAP and Microsoft Generative AI collaboration: A Demo

Impact of SAP and Microsoft Collaboration: Analysis and Outlook

The collaboration between SAP and Microsoft has taken a new turn with the recent developments in joint AI-powered offerings. While the immediate impact of these offerings is clear and well-justified, it’s also important to see the bigger picture.

For over 30 years, SAP and Microsoft have been leveraging each other’s resources while working with a shared vision of fostering intelligent and advanced enterprises. With a customer-centric approach at the core, the companies’ combined capabilities are data-driven, boundary-free, and now AI-powered.

Here are four ways these capabilities have been impacting and are expected to impact businesses and end-users worldwide:

Enhanced innovation 

Innovation is always at the core of a company’s growth. Together, SAP and Microsoft have been making innovation easier by simplifying the migration of ERP to the cloud with solutions like RISE with SAP. This has led to increased digital transformation and reduced time to value (TTV) across different stages of business operations.

Improved agility and growth

Companies that transition from on-premise ERP solutions to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud enjoy greater agility and resilience. Joint support and boundary-free reach help resolve issues faster. Moreover, cloud infrastructure makes businesses more flexible and scalable. Growth also becomes achievable and more sustainable because of improved adaptability across cloud and hybrid models.

End-user productivity

SAP systems alone have over 400,000 global customers and millions of end-users. Naturally, the partnership between Microsoft and SAP ultimately impacts these end-users. It enhances their productivity by incorporating cloud-based, data-driven, AI-powered collaborative solutions into their workflows, preparing them for the future.

A cloud-based future

SAP’s greatest resource lies in its extensive data estate that stores critical business-related data from hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide. More and more of these businesses are shifting to SAP S/4HANA Cloud for their ERP needs. The future is not far when the cloud will be the primary location for carrying out critical business operations.

Both SAP and Microsoft are convinced of this vision. Deeper integrations between Microsoft 365 and SAP’s extended solutions, including SuccessFactors, Field Service Management, and Concur, will be rolled out later this year. And the collaboration is only expected to continue for years and decades to come.

The Future is in the Cloud: What to Expect?

The recent developments in SAP and Microsoft collaboration indicate one revolutionary future wherein the cloud hosts all major business operations. When coupled with SAP’s unparalleled enterprise solutions, the power of Azure and Teams ensures a reliable data center in the cloud. And the possible consequences of these collaborative efforts spread far and wide.

From minimizing downtimes, simplifying workflows, and boosting employee productivity to streamlining the recruiting and learning processes in companies—cloud-based integrations have too many advantages to overlook. Whether you are an employee or a company head, the least you can do is expect a frictionless workplace that is more advanced, seamless, and immensely more adaptable.

Did you find this blog helpful? If yes, check out our Tech and Innovation space for more blogs on the latest technological updates from around the world.