IBM, SAP make hybrid cloud play

The goal: safely moving ERP workloads to the cloud

IBM and SAP on Thursday announced a hybrid cloud partnership. The businesses want to enterprise customers move their enterprise resource planning (ERP) operations to the cloud. SAP has designated IBM a “premium supplier” of its RISE with SAP service.

IBM’s offering aims to help SAP’s customers move to SAP S/4HANA on IBM Cloud. SAP S/4HANA is the company’s ERP service for large enterprises. RISE with SAP is SAP’s self-described “concierge service” for enterprise cloud transition.

The news makes IBM the first cloud provider to offer infrastructure, business transformation and application management services as part of RISE with SAP, it claimed.

IBM is offering a new program called Breakthrough with IBM for RISE with SAP. It’s a set of managed applications, services and consulting designed to help businesses migrate to SAP’s S/4HANA Cloud. IBM said the new solution offers businesses moving to the cloud up to an 80% reduction in operational costs and significant revenue increases. The service is tailored for regulated and non-regulated industries, according to the company.

“Our shared commitment is to meet our clients, especially those in highly regulated industries, where they are in their digital journey, while giving them choices for migrating or modernizing their mission critical workloads with a hybrid cloud approach,” said John Granger, SVP of IBM Consulting.

IBM’s hybrid cloud ambitions

The SAP news is the latest example of IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy, beginning with its 2018 acquisition of Red Hat. Last year, IBM spun off its managed service business unit, GTS, to become Kyndryl, which has hybrid cloud ambitions of its own. 

In 2020 IBM announced IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, a hybrid cloud service built on an open architecture. IBM Cloud for Telecommunications incorporates IBM Cloud Satellite and Red Hat OpenShift for flexible cloud-based service delivery, and integrates IBM’s Edge Application Manager and Telco Network Cloud Manager.

IBM partnered with 35 ecosystem partners to accelerate cloud-native transformation for CSPs. More recently, IBM acquired Sentaca, a software consulting business focused on network automation and telco cloud. Sentaca joins IBM Consulting’s Hybrid Cloud Services business. Its goal: to help CSPs lower cost-of-ownership, find new monetization avenues, create and deliver new services, and managed scalable and secure architecture, IBM said in a statement.

Hybrid cloud adoption drove IBM’s growth in software and consulting in its mostly recently released quarterly results, according to CEO Arvind Krishna. Hybrid cloud revenue for IBM totaled $6.2 billion for the quarter, up 16% year over year.

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