Where is cloud computing headed, and what path will SAP carve out for its customers and partners on this journey? SAP’s Jacqueline Vanacek, Vice President, Cloud Computing Evangelist and U.S. CLOUD2 Deputy Commissioner, is tackling the topic head on in a new blog called Into the Cloud with SAP which is hosted on ASUG.com. In her first blog post, she takes readers inside the U.S. CLOUD2 Commission, which recently issued a report outlining the U.S. cloud computing roadmap. Read more in the newsbyte.
Jacqueline and other SAP cloud experts will be on hand at the upcoming SAP TechEd 2011 Las Vegas and co-located SAPPHIRE NOW + SAP TechEd Madrid events. A dizzying array of hands-on sessions and lectures will be on offer in the dedicated Cloud Innovation area within the Technology campus, covering such topics as virtualization & cloud management and cloud operations.
Weather is notoriously difficult predict and I’m no meteorologist, but SAP’s forecast is looking bright with a strong chance of Cloud.
SAP has put a definitive stake in the ground with its efforts to bring virtualization and cloud technologies to its customers and partners. But these efforts aren’t limited to customers and partners. Rather, SAP is also aiming to bring these technologies to one of the largest IT infrastructures in the world – its own.As Kaj van de Loo, SAP’s SVP of Technology Strategy, stressed in his opening keynote at SAP Virtualization Cloud Week 2011, SAP is currently using the technology successfully in-house. This point was reinforced by Markus Winter, Product Manager for SAP’s Virtualization and Cloud Management product unit, in his session Virtualization and Cloud at SAP: How SAP Walks the Talk.
In his presentation, Markus explained SAP’s efforts in detail, fascinating a packed house and inspiring many relevant questions from SAP customer and partner attendees. Markus outlined how SAP operates one of the largest IT infrastructures in the world, servicing employees and customers alike. He further explained how SAP brought virtualization into its data centers and modified its internal business processes to improve flexibility, speed, and total cost of ownership (TCO). The session identified usage scenarios, with examples including optimization of data center infrastructure with regards to sustainability/green IT and automation of SAP software in production and other scenarios.
Markus also discussed the challenges of such implementations; described the configuration, setup, and management of large virtual infrastructures; and provided insight into SAP’s data center automation strategies that adopt the industry trend of cloud computing. To find out more, download Markus’ presentation.
I had the chance to speak with Markus briefly after the session, to discuss what he covered and also get his impressions of SAP Virtualization and Cloud Week 2011. Watch this short video to hear what he had to say: “Markus Winter at SAP Virtualization & Cloud Week 2011.”
SAP Virtualization & Cloud Week kicked off today with a keynote from Kaj van de Loo, SVP of Technology Strategy at SAP, entitled “Cloud Computing for the Enterprise.” With the sun streaming into the conference room at the Palo Alto campus, Kaj didn’t mince words when he told the 200-strong crowd: “Old business models are going away, and new ones are picking up pace.” Likening the current state of the technology industry to SAP’s R/3 days in the 1990s, he noted that SAP is now at an inflection point.From in-memory technology to virtualization and cloud management, there are tremendous opportunities at hand for SAP to innovate for customers, partners and internally as well. On the internal front, SAP saw significant results from its recent Cloud Cost Efficiency Initiative earlier this year. “We need cloud infrastructure at SAP”, said Kaj, offering as evidence the 99 percent cost savings SAP saw through its in-house use of SAP StreamWork.
SAP’s Cloud Strategy in a Nutshell
Nicely condensing SAP’s cloud strategy in the proverbial nutshell, Kaj explained how it cuts across four areas:
- Cloud enable on-premise SAP solutions by supporting customers looking to run some or all of their existing SAP on-premise investments in private and public cloud scenarios through tools, technology, and value-added services
- Build out SAP cloud offerings through on-demand solutions targeted to lines of business or personal productivity, and SAP Business ByDesign as the first comprehensive business suite on-demand; offer platform-as-a-service to leverage partners and customers to rapidly expand SAP solution scope; provide commercial platform with an application store at the center to market SAP and partner solutions
- Leverage the ecosystem and build alliances with strong partners
- Invest in the next-generation platform
Partnering in the Cloud
SAP and its cloud partners strive to create value for their mutual customers, who stand to benefit from fruitful collaboration. More extensions to SAP solutions, easier integration and orchestration of on-demand apps built on non-SAP platform-as-a-service offerings, and reduced TCO are part of the bargain. Kaj cited the “Cloud Services Provider Certification Program” as a key part of SAP’s cloud strategy, with a focus on SAP skills, using certified environments, and support infrastructure for SAP applications. Included among the partners who are now SAP certified Providers of Cloud Services with certification completed are IBM, T-Systems, Verizon and CapGemini.
Keeping it Simple
As he wrapped up his keynote Kaj told the crowd in no uncertain terms: “SAP can do simple things in a simple way”, adding humorously: “When did you last hear that?” To hear more from Kaj, and to see cloud management and project ‘River’ demos, watch the keynote replay, or watch the video, “Kaj van de Loo on Virtualization and Cloud Management.”