Google and Amazon Spar Over Big SAP Customers

May 16, 2017, 4:39 PM UTC

A huge number of Fortune 500 companies handle their most important jobs—things like tracking inventory, handling finance, ordering products, and managing their manufacturing jobs—using SAP (SAP) software.

That’s why the big public cloud vendors—Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure—want to run SAP’s software in their respective cloud data centers. The thinking is if they can run SAP software optimally, they’ll win more corporate accounts to their own cloud infrastructure. For businesses that don’t want to invest more in running their own data centers, that can be an attractive proposition.

Toward that end, Microsoft Azure and AWS have supported some SAP business software for years, with Google joining the fray earlier this year.

And now, on Tuesday, SAP said it was making its own SAP Cloud—which it sells as a modern way for corporate developers to build and distribute custom software—available on all three of those public clouds using Cloud Foundry technology, which offers cross-cloud capability, as its vehicle.

Related: Google Woos Enterprise Customers

The news comes out of SAP’s Sapphire tech conference in Orlando, which kicked off Tuesday. But the flood of SAP-related cloud news started Monday when Amazon (AMZN) said users can now run larger SAP HANA databases on its cloud computers. Within 24 hours, Diane Greene, the executive vice president in charge of the Google (GOOGL) Cloud Platform push, was on stage at Sapphire talking about more SAP products, including its Netweaver software development tools running on the Google Cloud Platform.

Related: Welcome to the Great Data Center Convergence

All the big cloud players “are duking it out” for SAP business, said Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller. IBM (IBM), another cloud contender, was actually first to support SAP, he added, remarking SAP is making sure that all of them get a piece of the action.

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That makes sense because while SAP actually does compete with some Microsoft and AWS products, it’s biggest immediate rival is Oracle (ORCL), which competes head-to-head with SAP in financial services, human resources, and manufacturing software used by big companies. Oracle is also pitching its own Oracle public cloud as a competitor to AWS, Microsoft, and Google.

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