This morning, SAP AG and NetApp announced that they are formally expanding and strengthening their existing partnership in order to work more closely together to deliver joint technology solutions that marry NetApp's storage and data management expertise with SAP's hot in-memory database HANA.
Also going along on the partnership technology integration ride will be SAP's Netweaver Landscape Virtualization Management software.
For SAP, the key goal is to add as much enterprise development and deployment agility and significant cost efficiency to its growing suite of HANA-driven capabilities. For NetApp, which broke onto the Fortune 500 in 2012, the partnership significantly expands its business opportunities.
NetApp - which grabbed an impressive number six spot on Fortune's new "100 Best Companies to Work For" list released in January 2013 - focuses its energy on delivering storage and data management solutions. The company also likes to think of itself as being well positioned to help organizations to accelerate both strategic and tactical business breakthroughs.
The newly expanded partnership with SAP is a strong proof point for that thinking. Both companies hope to provide their customers with the ability to create new competitive advantages for themselves.
The Only Constant is Constant Change
Faced with a mobile-driven business world that now constantly evolves - a world where the only constant is now "constant change" - enterprise IT is now always in need of remaining flexible enough to deliver IT and application services literally at a moment’s notice. Small applications might need to grow quickly, while others may very well need to scale down.
Working within such an ecosystem typically leads to IT uncertainty - something NetApp and SAP hope to change. IT has another dilemma - even within a business world of constant change some things never change and always remain constant. CFOs will always demand lower total cost of ownership and greater productivity, which leads to greater bottom line results.
CEOs will always demand the ability to accelerate time to market and top line revenue growth.
The ability to handle constant change amidst all this senior management constancy is what SAP and NetApp hope to deliver on for enterprise IT with the tighter partnership.
Rob Enslin, president of SAP Global Customer Operations and a member of SAP's Global Managing Board, frames it this way: "Expanding our partnership with NetApp provides our customers with increased scalability and data protection, while at the same time allowing for greater management of data growth and adaptability to our customers’ changing on-demand needs.”
An example of Fortune 500-level technology innovation here would be the Cisco UCS with NetApp Storage solution for SAP HANA. The solution combines the Cisco Unified Computing System with NetApp unified storage systems and HANA to achieve significant scalability, simplified management and extremely high real-time system availability.
NetApp also works with SAP to provide a bridge between old and new - there’s still plenty of legacy left in enterprise IT that must always be cared for. As an example here, NetApp works with Fujitsu to deliver mature appliance architecture solutions for SAP HANA that make use of standard technologies. NetApp supports customers whether they run classic SAP solutions or have made the move to SAP HANA. The building-block-style architecture, based on interconnect and access protocol standards, supports logically unlimited scalability for virtually infinite scale-out support and offers high availability for support of non-stop operations.
NetApp agile data solutions are also integrated with SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization. NetApp’s technology complements SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management in the automation of routine administration tasks; reduction of costs, hardware resources and power; and simplification of landscape management of SAP solutions.
SAP and NetApp plan to extend their collaboration into new areas to drive additional benefits for customers. Areas of new co-innovation are likely to include SAP database solutions, further integrations around SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management and cloud-based system management automation.
We can also anticipate the ongoing optimization of performance and availability of data management solutions for SAP HANA - critical to SAP as HANA literally represents SAP's future.
Edited by Braden Becker