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As a prelude to SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference, SAP and Apple announced an exclusive partnership with promises to revolutionize the mobile work experience. While we can speculate on the benefits of the alliance, the fact is, little detail beyond the announcement was shared throughout the week of SAPPHIRE NOW. As if the SAP partnership with Apple wouldn’t rouse enough interest, SAP also announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer a diverse portfolio of “new” integration capabilities between Microsoft’s array of application tools and SAP’s myriad of cloud software solutions.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, partnerships happen every day – why are these any different? We'll start by outlining five key observations regarding these partnerships and get AltaFlux CEO, Vijay Nachimuthu's perspective on how this is changing the game in usability and end user’s acceptance.

Five Key Takeaways from SAP, Microsoft, Apple Partnership

1. Relationships between SAP and “enterprise” hardware leaders are nothing new — Since SAP’s inception, SAP has worked to nurture mutually beneficial relationships with IBM, HP, Microsoft, etc., mostly because their business goes hand in hand. These partnerships aren't the first and won’t be the last.

2. Apple is a rock in an ocean of uncertainty — The mobile device landscape today is turbid at best. However, Apple has established themselves as a leader in the mobile device industry as legacy “Mobile Enterprise Dinosaur” Blackberry, nears extinction. With growing dependence on mobile devices, it almost seems like a no brainer to partner Apple and SAP for a one-two punch that will kick-start enterprise consumer’s productivity.

3. Apple’s hardware is providing big benefits to HR and SuccessFactors acceptance as a whole — Currently, the SAP SuccessFactors user experience from a mobile prospective is still evolving, and demand for a user friendly SuccessFactors mobile experience has never been higher. In fact, mobile users are growing exponentially so the partnership between Apple and SAP establishes a firm and tangible commitment to establish a more mobile friendly and usable experience for all SAP SuccessFactors clients.

4. SAP and Microsoft partnership is simply a renewal of vows — In fact, through a Microsoft product called Duet, SharePoint and Office were already able to integrate with many of SAP’s existing solutions.

5. Integration offers efficiency and simplified approach across the enterprise — No one likes entering or managing data in several places. Microsoft and SAP heard our pangs and has provided seamless integration between a variety of Microsoft and SAP SuccessFactors solutions. One example being Microsoft Outlook calendar integration for employee vacation planning and PTO management that communicates directly with SuccessFactors Employee Central. Recruiting, Performance and Goals, and other SuccessFactors solutions will become more integrated over time, creating a streamlined approach to the way the enterprise works. Other Microsoft employee-centric apps such as SharePoint, Email and Task Management are also going to integrate with SAP solutions. 

AltaFlux's Perspective

“Microsoft and SAP can make a direct impact to employees and HR departments to seamlessly bring information from two different platforms and provide improvements in productivity and collaboration.”

-Vijay Nachimuthu, Managing Principal at AltaFlux

Vijay believes that the integration between Apple and Microsoft with SAP will add business value for SuccessFactors clients who also currently or plan to leverage Microsoft and Apple products. Apple's products will provide a secure interface so the workforce can remain connected, even on a global level. Microsoft’s productivity tools are ubiquitous in business and with its already established user acceptance, SAP’s modules will likely grow in popularity with improved integrations. Vijay believes strongly that through integration between these tech giants, new opportunities will be opened up in scalability, flexibility and usability for all businesses.

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Vijay Nachimuthu

By Vijay Nachimuthu

Vijay Nachimuthu is a Managing Principal of AltaFlux. His blogs mainly focuses on latest cloud technology trends and its impact on enterprises.