Early may 2019, SAP announced its Embrace project, which seeks to put SAP S/4HANA into the cloud via collaborations with Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. Embrace is designed to help enterprises move SAP S/4HANA into the cloud in the language and context of the primary industry they are serving.
The move to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud includes "market-approved journeys," reference architectures and access to underpinning technologies. Some of the benefits of Embrace, according to SAP, include shorter negotiations, streamlined teaming and faster, risk-managed implementations.
In addition to the hyperscaler providers, SAP said Embrace also includes system integrators. By partnering with the hyperscalers and a select group of system integrators, SAP said it was providing its customers with a single blueprint to support their cloud transitions.
SAP Embrace Project: The "What"
As we come along the Embrace project, we try to figure out the details that SAP and its 3 involved partners (AWS, Azure, and Google) shared about it, I'll try to throw some light to what we know.
The whole idea suggests a right path for putting the customer at the center of everything: had SAP not chosen to pursue tighter collaboration with its hyperscaler partners in order to create better, faster and more-secure outcomes for customers, the idea looks like a good plan for customers but with big questions to be addressed as clearly this was not a choreographed roll-out among its partners.
SAP allowed Microsoft to publish Embrace during MWC in Barcelona before AWS and Google did during SAPPHIRE, but we are all certain this project came to light internally during SAP Fkom Barcelona, back in February 2019.
SAP Embrace Project: The "How"
SAP's Jennifer Morgan detailed that the Embrace program will involve what she called a “prescriptive journey” tailored in large part to a customer’s specific needs, competitive situation, business model, technology readiness, and industry.
It will also include, in concert with the hyperscalers and integrators, a portfolio of differentiating services optimized for that specific company’s circumstances. All the details, as well as the services offerings, are yet to be provided by SAP.
SAP MaxAttention, SAP's flagship support offering, helps customers manage technical IT operations while also assisting organizations to adopt continuous improvement practices. SAP provides experts to Premium customers (or the ones who pay Premium). Max Attention is the premium offering from SAP Professional Services, renamed to SAP Digital Business Services.
The combination between SAP DBS (MaxAttention) + SAP Readiness check for S4HANA is a powerful tool for partners and customers that want SAP guidance on their journey to Public cloud offering and S4HANA, or leverage public cloud to impulse the migration to S4HANA as the pivotal point.
SAP Embrace Project: The "Why"
It's not SAP the one who is hiring AWS or Azure specialist, it's Azure, GCP, and AWS the ones who are hiring SAP people at speed.
It appears SAP is giving up with IaaS (HEC) and partly with PaaS-SCP (co-innovation with AWS, Azure and GCP), and focusing on SaaS, along that way, hyperscalers win the IaaS race, they collaborate with SAP SCP with a mutual approach (not very interesting for customers, IMHO) and sell SAP PaaS as part of their offering (SCP running on AWS, SCP running on Azure...) as well as helping SAP to migrate customers to S4/HANA through shared partners, programs professional services.
It's a Win-Win, or at least, a Win now for hyperscalers - Win later for SAP, because S4HANA adoption among the customer base is not going at the required speed, and SAP needs to give something to get the help on that part.
Not to say that we, the partner ecosystem, need to help customers to eliminate the fears and be clear on the "how" and the "when" customers should migrate to S4HANA without hidden agendas, training people on that matter and adopting people with skills in products and languages that this path will require.
The path, if the customer decides to use Public cloud, will be written by customers, partners and, now SAP DBS. Bernd Leukert, who lately co-lead the SAP Digital Business Services organization with Michael Kleinemeier, is a long-serving leader of the company whose career has contributed to numerous successful initiatives. He is a respected voice in the technology industry on topics including business applications, Industry 4.0 and digitization. Leukert left SAP weeks ago, but Kleinemeier is not-yet retiring to help with the transition.
Do you want to know more? Join SAP COE's team event in Walldorf July 2nd and 3rd (in German) or SAP's Webinars about the topic
And know that this is a 3 series Blog so stay tuned for more information about it!
Maybe you'll find this white paper interesting: