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Microsoft has announced the availability of SAP workloads in the UAE data centre region at the Middle East and Africa Edition of the SAP Solutions on Microsoft Azure Virtual Event. The goal is to propel the cloud ecosystem in the region by empowering organizations to run their SAP workloads on Microsoft Azure.

The Microsoft Middle East Cloud regions based in the UAE and South Africa will now host SAP workloads of all sizes, with an easily scalable option for organizations to navigate their digital transformation journeys, while availing enterprise-grade performance, data residency combined with security, and the broadest compliance. Crucially, the Microsoft datacenters will also host the Microsoft M-Series virtual machines – ideal for heavy in-memory workloads, providing abundant computing power for all manner of SAP applications.

“This unique initiative reflects Microsoft’s commitment to a customer-first mindset. Those tapping into this service will discover an illuminating cloud transformation, empowering businesses to transition from a response and recovery phase, into a reimagining phase of newfound dynamism, “said Julien Bertin, Azure Lead, Microsoft Middle East & Africa.

The response has already been positive, with a surge in demand seen from customers across a variety of industries. Early adopters include Landmark and RAK Ceramics. As one of the largest ceramics brands in the world, RAK Ceramics is running its ERP system which is S/4HANA on Azure, keeping its business agile.

“I have found SAP Solutions of great value in the growth and expansion of our information architecture early on,” said Saji Oommen, Chief Information Officer at RAK Ceramics. “But, our legacy hardware reached a point where it needed updating. Coupled with a need to have a highly scalable and multi-country infrastructure, a move to the cloud becomes our most cost-efficient option. Running our S/4HANA on Azure gave us a secure, highly scalable solution, and ease of migration allowed us to get up and running quickly.”

Landmark Group, one of the leading retail and hospitality organizations in the region, is running its HANA Data Platform for Enterprise Data Warehousing on the Azure Cloud, driving forward its vision and objectives. “Our organisation needed to deliver a new model requiring flexibility and actionable data insights to capitalize upon rapid growth. SAP S/4HANA on Azure provided real-time analysis of in-store data to see current product demand, forecast trends, analyse price points, ensuring informed decisions around supply planning,” said Mohamed El Fanichi, Chief Information Officer, Landmark Group. “This allowed us to go further in our transformation journey – growing and scaling our business intelligence ambitions.”

The Angolan National Petroleum and Gas Agency (ANPG) was a new exploration entity that needed to achieve full independence within 120 days, greatly aided by SAP S/4HANA on Azure. “Our fledgling entity needed business continuity during a transition phase and to speedily set up a system while still building datacenters. SAP S/4HANA on Azure provided innovation and agility, rapidly automating HR functions and procurement processes,” said Antonio Paixao, SAP Strategy Lead ANPG. “This enabled our small team to free up its limited human resources for more critical applications. We achieved Angolan IT compliance and our SLAs are now above 99.9% – our end users are very happy and so are we.”

The initiative is built upon a strong foundation of longstanding trust and understanding between SAP and Microsoft, who have been partners for more than 25 years and are mutual customers. The launch combines the innovation and creative power of SAP business applications, with the trusted, agile infrastructure of Microsoft Azure, and is aimed at providing customers with a simplified, seamless, and secure cloud journey.

Microsoft and SAP are industry leaders with an innate understanding of the needs of enterprise customers, holding substantial experience running mission-critical workloads. It is forecasted that 80% of enterprises will no longer use traditional data centers by 2025. And SAP customers are already on the move to the cloud with globally 73% planning on deploying SAP S/4HANA.

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