Things are changing fast for just about every business. Many are fundamentally shifting how they operate and how they serve their customers. Add in a global pandemic, and even organizations that are used to change are managing unprecedented shifts.
Businesses running on SAP applications know this all too well. Some are adapting to shifting market conditions while others are operating every day like Black Friday. For SAP enterprises running on-premises or in co-location data centers, the imperative of the cloud is in the fore more than ever.
As SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW digital events kick off this week, we’re sharing the latest on how Google Cloud is helping SAP customers digitally transform their businesses in the short and long term.
SAP customers are benefiting from the combined power of Google Cloud and SAP
Google Cloud and SAP continue working together to help customers adopt a cloud strategy and build robust, flexible and innovative IT systems that will sustain them into the future.
SAP recently announced the first ever SAP data center powered by Google Cloud infrastructure. Now operational in Frankfurt, Germany, this data center will allow SAP’s customers to enjoy all the benefits of Google Cloud’s solid and reliable cloud platform on Google Cloud infrastructure that is exclusive only to SAP applications. SAP can run customer workloads and administer capacity and services exclusively for those customers without the risk of being impacted by any external influence, while providing a secure environment based on SAP’s strict specifications regarding data protection requirements and compliance standards.
There are more ways we’re innovating on behalf of our joint customers outside the data center. AutoML Vision is an intelligent, AI-powered solution that lets manufacturers automate the visual quality control process. Instead of relying on manual inspections—sometimes conducted under challenging conditions—customers such as AES and Kaeser Kompressoren are leveraging AutoML Vision, which is embedded into manufacturing and business workflows built around SAP, to perform quality controls efficiently and at any production stage. For manufacturing customers that have begun their Industry 4.0 journey, integrating AI-powered visual inspection is a critical piece that’s empowering them to achieve digital transformation.
Getting to the cloud for business agility and insights
Current market conditions are creating an even greater need for SAP customers to take advantage of cloud agility and innovation. Tory Burch was able to complete SAP S/4HANA development in 16 weeks and deployment in six weeks on Google Cloud. Carrefour Spain deployed SAP HANA in production in 15 weeks. And they’re not alone. SAP customers report a 65% reduction in staff time to deploy/migrate SAP applications to Google Cloud. Our automated templates plus capabilities such as Migrate for Compute Engine offer significant support for customers in speeding deployments.
To help SAP customers further simplify their cloud journeys, Google Cloud offers the Cloud Acceleration Program (CAP), a first-of-its-kind initiative empowering customers with solutions, guidance, and incentives from Google Cloud and our expert partner community. Customers receive access to expert capabilities for migration, implementation optimization plus deeper capabilities in the areas of analytics and machine learning. Google Cloud is also providing CAP participants with upfront financial incentives to defray infrastructure costs for SAP cloud migrations and help customers ensure that duplicate costs are not incurred during migration.
New Google Cloud and partner capabilities for SAP customers
One key area where we continue to invest is certifications to drive more workloads, like OLTP and OLAP. This allows customers to use our VMs for more varied workloads and provides more throughput and better processing—without customers having to upgrade, move, or pay more. These performance bumps are simply part of customers’ existing subscriptions.
Recently updated SAP HANA certifications include Google Cloud Compute Engine’s N2 family of VM instances, based on the Intel Cascade Lake CPU platform. These new N2 VMs deliver two big benefits for our customers:
- Performance improvements for SAP HANA workloads. In SAP certification tests we have seen up to an 18% increase in performance for OLAP scenarios.
- Alignment to SAP HANA Enterprise Edition licensing’s 64GB memory unit metric. This enables customers to ‘right-size’ their Google Cloud VMs to match their SAP HANA licenses—no need for VM capacity that they can’t use.
In addition, for larger SAP HANA deployments, we recently announced the OLAP Scale-up certification for our M2 family of Compute Engine VM instances for SAP HANA with 6TB of memory. This gives customers increased options for running OLAP scenarios such as SAP HANA data warehouse and SAP BW/HANA.
We’ve also been making improvements for SAP Netweaver deployments. A key example is the addition of new SAP NetWeaver certifications for the AMD-based N2D family of Compute Engine VM instances. The N2D instances give customers a benchmark-setting high-performance solution—up to 30% faster than prior Google Cloud offerings based on our SAPS benchmark testing, and at a lower cost. This offers customers optionality and flexibility of choice for deploying SAP NetWeaver applications or SAP application servers alongside their SAP HANA deployments.
One additional certification to mention is SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) Database 16.0. This latest version of ASE is now certified on Google Cloud both for SAP NetWeaver based application deployments and also for customers who build applications on SAP ASE as a general-purpose database.
Customers also will soon be able to leverage a Google Cloud connector for SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) so they can automate and centralize the management, operations, and lifecycle of their SAP landscape. The adapter will interface with Compute Engine and Cloud Storage operations so customers can manage their deployments on Google Cloud using SAP LaMa.
Additionally, premium support for your enterprise and mission critical needs is now available, including a pilot program with supplementary support of SAP customers. The program layers Google Cloud premium support on top of the stellar support that SAP provides, and will roll out more broadly in the coming months.
We’ve also strengthened our SAP partner ecosystem to ensure that our customers running SAP applications have access to the right tools and services. These include the following:
- Actifio offers data protection capabilities for mission critical workloads such as SAP on Google Cloud. These highly efficient backup and recovery capabilities insure protection while minimizing required compute, bandwidth and storage.
- Avantra has tailored their solution for monitoring and managing SAP applications specifically for Google Compute Engine, enabling in-depth automation of SAP management and operations.
- Data management and integration partners—Informatica, Qlik, Datavard,and Software AG offer a robust set of tools and solutions to extract data from SAP systems including ECC, S/4 and BW into BigQuery as the target data warehouse. These solutions help aggregate data from SAP and non-SAP systems into a centralized, highly scalable data warehouse where customers can take advantage of Google Cloud’s smart analytics and machine learning services. Customers can get started quickly leveraging Google Cloud Marketplace solutions such as the Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services solution.
- IBM Power Systems is available for large enterprises that want to take advantage of these systems along with Google Cloud for IaaS and VM needs.
- NetApp for enterprise storage, delivering NetApp Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud—This is a fully managed file service integrated into Google Cloud with multi-protocol support, dynamic performance and high availability. The service is certified for use with SAP HANA scale up deployments on all Compute Engine VM instances that are certified for SAP HANA on Google Cloud.
When Conrad Electronic, a B2B and B2C technology and electronics goods supplier, realized it could use its vast data set to optimize the company’s processes and offer more products and services with the help of Google Cloud, it decided to keep using its legacy SAP systems but consolidate all data on BigQuery. This allows Conrad to generate better, more insightful reports, analyze information faster, and automate more processes.
“With BigQuery, we see all of our processes from start to finish, and every stage in between,” says Aleš Drábek, Chief Digital and Disruption Officer at Conrad Electronic. “We identify aspects to improve and can get the detail we need to improve them. Our legacy systems gave an overview on part of the process. Now we can see the whole thing.”
Keeping the lights on and lighting the way forward for our customers
As one of the largest healthcare organizations in the U.S., Cardinal Health has not been immune to market-related pressures. After migrating its SAP environment for its pharmaceutical business to Google Cloud in late 2019—which included more than 400 servers, 30 applications, and 150 integrations—Cardinal Health gained the scalability needed to manage demand spikes, full transparency into its systems as well as improved high availability and disaster recovery.
The need to adapt to demand spikes and create supply chain transparency goes beyond healthcare.
The Home Depot manages data from its SAP systems and other sources and empower its associates with Google Cloud, keeping 50,000+ items stocked in store at over 2,000 locations, monitoring online applications, or offering relevant call center information. While THD’s legacy data warehouse contained 450 terabytes of data, the BigQuery enterprise data warehouse they now use has over 15 petabytes. That means better decision-making by utilizing new datasets like website clickstream data and by analyzing additional years of data.
As SAP customers begin and continue their cloud journeys, Google Cloud is committed to being there to simplify and optimize their move and ensure they have ready access to critical cloud native technologies. To see more work that we’ve done with SAP and SAP customers, visit our solution site, and check out our customer video testimonials.