SAP and Microsoft expand partnership and integrate Microsoft Teams across solutions

SAP SE and Microsoft Corp. have announced plans to integrate Microsoft Teams with SAP’s intelligent suite of solutions.

The companies also formalized an extensive expansion of an existing strategic partnership to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA® on Microsoft Azure. This builds on a joint commitment by the companies to simplify and streamline customers’ journeys to the cloud.

“New ways of working, collaborating and interacting completely transform how we operate,” said Christian Klein, CEO of SAP SE and member of the Executive Board. “By integrating Microsoft Teams across our solution portfolio, we will bring collaboration to the next level, jointly determining the future of work and enabling the frictionless enterprise. Our trusted partnership with Microsoft is focused on continuously advancing customer success. That’s why we are also expanding interoperability with Azure.”

Much has changed in the last year as work has become more virtual, increasing reliance on Microsoft Teams for meetings, communication, and collaboration.

To facilitate these business and societal changes, SAP and Microsoft are building new integrations between Microsoft Teams and SAP solutions such as SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Customer Experience.

This can enable innovation, increase employee productivity and engagement, deliver collaborative learning and support global growth. These integrations are planned for delivery in mid-2021.

“The case for digital transformation has never been more urgent,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “By bringing together the power of Azure and Teams with SAP’s solutions, we will help more organizations harness the power of the cloud so they can more quickly adapt and innovate going forward.”

The companies are also expanding their endorsed cloud partnership announced in 2019, to introduce new offerings around cloud automation and integration for SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure. Together, Microsoft and SAP are expanding the ability to run a mission-critical intelligent enterprise on Azure while helping customers modernize their enterprise applications. SAP and Microsoft will provide customers with:

Simplification when moving on-premise editions of SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud: In addition to the industry-specific journey maps to the cloud and reference architectures, SAP and Microsoft will continue to co-innovate around SAP S/4HANA on Azure.

Expanded joint engagements with customers and partners: In addition to product integration work, SAP, Microsoft and system integrator partners will continue to provide digital enterprise roadmaps for customers. This includes immediate and actionable reference architectures and technical guidance to help customers on their journey to the cloud.

Increased investments in platform and infrastructure: The companies will further develop automated migrations, improved operations, monitoring and security.

Customers broadly favor Azure when moving on-premise SAP S/4HANA to the cloud.

“As part of our overall transformation we transitioned to SAP S/4HANA,” said John Hill, Carhartt’s chief information officer & senior vice president of Business Planning. “Running it on Microsoft Azure provides the velocity, availability, scalability, and elasticity we need for more visibility and better efficiency across our business. The pandemic struck as we were in the middle of our SAP implementation, so by using Teams, we were able to continue to work on the project, stay on schedule, and keep everyone informed. The combination of SAP and Microsoft was especially helpful during a challenging time.”

“SAP S/4HANA has given us real-time visibility into our inventory, which is crucial for us as a pharmacy and healthcare retail company during the pandemic,” said Francesco Tinto, Walgreens Boots Alliance’s senior vice president, global chief information officer. “We chose to run SAP S/4HANA on Azure because of its agility and flexibility to scale up and out quickly to meet our business needs. Now we have access to our data in one place so we can offer the best possible customer experience online and in our stores. Microsoft Teams coupled with SAP solutions helped us overcome business continuity challenges and enabled our employees to collaborate very effectively despite the shift from office to remote work.”

“When it comes to our customers delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) we can’t be late, so we rely on SAP and Microsoft to provide the digital backbone that’s essential to keeping our supply chain running smoothly,” said Helge Brummer, Coats’ vice president, Technical Infrastructure, Support & Operations. “The combination of Microsoft Teams with our SAP solutions has given our employees the ability to work from anywhere while ensuring orders are delivered on time to our customers supporting the people putting their lives at risk working on the front line.”

SAP’s endorsement of Azure for ERP cloud migration is reflected in positive customer feedback on the collaboration between the companies. SAP and Microsoft will continue to make migration simpler and increase customers’ confidence in running their digital enterprises in the cloud. At the same time, many customers express a desire to maintain multi-cloud environments. SAP continues with its long-standing policy of supporting choice for those customers who request alternatives based on business requirements.

SAP and Microsoft recently announced an update to enable customers to design and operate intelligent digital supply chain and Industry 4.0 solutions in the cloud and at the edge.

www.sap.com

www.microsoft.com

Mastercard pioneers cloud tap on phone, the first pilot of cloud point of sale acceptance technology

Mastercard has partnered with NMI and Global Payments Inc. to launch its first live Cloud Tap on Phone pilot with Computer Engineering Group (CEG), a Napa, Calif.-based independent IT Services provider.

Cloud Tap on Phone is one of Mastercard’s innovative next generation acceptance products, with the software hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless payments for years. The demand for faster, more convenient, safe, and now cleaner ways to pay has driven the transition to contactless, and it’s a one-way street with touch-free experiences expected to be permanent for consumers and businesses even after the pandemic ends.

In fact, in the third quarter of 2020, contactless penetration represented 41% of in-person purchase transactions globally, up from 37% in the second quarter and 30% a year ago.

With Tap on Phone, any business – regardless of size – can deliver new and best-in-class contactless consumer experiences using a device they already own: a smartphone. Tap on Phone democratizes point-of-sale technology by turning an Android smartphone or tablet into an acceptance device, allowing businesses to accept contactless payments minimizing the need to invest in hardware terminals or extra features.

Merchants can offer enhanced and accelerated curbside pick-up or payment on delivery, or provide faster line-skipping checkout in-store, options that are increasingly important as consumers look to touch-free cash alternatives.

With the introduction of Cloud Point of Sale (POS), Mastercard is enhancing its Tap on Phone product and empowering ecosystem partners to develop their own cloud-based products with new tools and capabilities.

Cloud POS moves key parts of the acceptance software – the components1 which enable the processing of contactless transactions and certain security functions – from the individual smartphone to the cloud, offering robust security, reducing development and maintenance costs, and creating scalable distribution channels by allowing immediate connectivity to partners.

Cloud POS also becomes a new channel for Mastercard and our partners to bring value added services to customers and businesses.

Mastercard will make its pre-certified Cloud POS software development kits (SDKs) openly available in multiple cloud environments, encouraging solution providers, fintechs, acquirers and processors to innovate and co-create new cloud-first products. Mastercard’s pilot with CEG represents the first live deployment of Mastercard Cloud Tap on Phone anywhere in the world.

“We continue to see an accelerating shift to digital payments, with businesses of all sizes wanting to provide swift, secure, compelling point-of-sale experiences. Cloud POS enables us to make these experiences available to our partners with greater speed and efficiency,” said Milan Gauder, Global Head of Mastercard’s Acceptance Solutions Group. “Our partners are the center of everything we do, and our trusted technology powers innovative experiences, choice, flexibility and certainty, creating the products they need. Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone delivers on our promise of ground-breaking products and innovation.”

Mastercard has convened an ecosystem of partners to launch Cloud Tap on Phone.

Leading payments enablement technology company NMI operates as a key integration partner and distributor.

Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, will provide point of sale acceptance technology.

Continuing the company’s commitment to empower small businesses, CEG, an independent IT services company from California, serviced by an ISO BNG Payments, becomes the first company to pilot Mastercard’s Cloud Tap on Phone.

Development of Cloud POS technology and the Cloud Tap on Phone product has been spearheaded by Mastercard Labs, the company’s new product development arm. The company’s pilot with CEG follows live product testing on Mastercard’s own Purchase, N.Y. campus.

Cloud POS is a product of Mastercard’s multi-cloud strategy, meeting businesses, consumers, financial institutes and partners in the cloud with innovative applications and services. The company will conduct further Cloud Tap on Phone pilots and commercial deployments in other markets in 2021.

Currently, Mastercard’s Tap on Phone solution is in 16 markets across Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America and Middle East & Africa. Pilots are taking place with partners in Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Poland, Kazakhstan, Romania, Canada, Belarus, Russia, Turkey, United Kingdom, among other countries.

www.www.mastercard.com

Blue Prism accelerates intelligent automation for cloud users on Microsoft Azure

Blue Prism has announced a new offering of Blue Prism intelligent automation software on Microsoft’s AppSource and Azure Marketplaces.

The move enhances access for both Blue Prism and Microsoft customers, and underwrites Blue Prism’s position as the intelligent automation and robotic process automation (RPA) leader in the cloud.

Blue Prism customers already have access to a scalable, enterprise-ready platform that combines robotic automation and smart workflows with technologies like machine learning, advanced analytics, natural language processing, process mining, and cognitive capabilities and this offering allows Blue Prism robots greater access to Microsoft Azure Apps too, with access to over 175 accelerators for Microsoft products within Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange.

The new Bring Your Own License (BYOL) offering for Azure Marketplace and AppSource is pre-loaded with select Azure Cognitive Services – including Azure Text Analytics, Azure Form Recognizer and Azure Computer Vision – all of which customers can license directly through Microsoft. This combines with Blue Prism Digital Exchange where users can access more than 175 accelerators for Microsoft products to further enhance their enterprise automations.

“This combination of Blue Prism and Azure Cognitive Services gives our customers a greater choice with AI-enabled, self-service experience that is provisioned via Microsoft Azure,” says Chief Partner Strategy Officer at Blue Prism, Linda Dotts. “Advanced intelligent automation in the cloud provides multiple advantages for our customers, most notably the ability to instantly scale to meet enterprise demands.”

Blue Prism accelerators now exists for Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft’s Power Automate gallery, Microsoft’s Healthcare Cloud; with Form Recognizer, Text Analytics and Azure Computer Vision.

It also adds to the company’s growing portfolio of cloud offerings, which include its Blue Prism Cloud SaaS platform, and expands a cloud strategy that not only centres on making intelligent automation more accessible, but that also aligns with customer desires for interoperability, expanded automation solutions, consumable and extensible artificial intelligence, and a seamless intelligent automation journey.

“Customers can embrace the transformative potential of intelligent automation and drive impactful change within their organisations, and this is now fully supported by Microsoft,” says CEO and Executive Chairman of Blue Prism, Jason Kingdon, “We are offering customers more flexible cloud deployment options delivering on Blue Prism’s vision of giving customers end-to-end automation solutions that cover the broadest range of IT environments, including on-premises, hybrid, public cloud, and SaaS.

www.blueprism.com

azure.microsoft.com