Microsoft has played the role of cupid in the UK channel, matchmaking one of its top UK Azure partners with an SAP specialist.
New Signature and Edenhouse today announced a strategic partnership that will see the duo help move SAP clients into the cloud.
The pact mirrors an alliance inked between Microsoft and SAP last year.
Edenhouse is one of SAP's top UK partners, with revenues approaching £40m, while Microsoft Azure specialist New Signature turned over £6.9m in its last financial year.
Talking to CRN, New Signature UK founder Dan Scarfe, revealed the deal was orchestrated by Microsoft, which has waxed lyrical on the virtues of partner-to-partner alliances in the recent past.
"Microsoft played matchmaker on this: ‘You guys are the best at Azure, and you guys at SAP - maybe you should talk'. It was as casual as that," he said.
Asked if he had considered linking arms with a Microsoft Dynamics partner, Scarfe pointed out that SAP still "dominates" the large enterprise ERP market and that "we go where customers demand is".
"Microsoft is not too fussed what the workloads are as long as it's in Azure, and we are managing them," he said.
"Dynamics is still a new product. Fast forward five or ten years and I think the two will be competing with each other bur right now in large enterprise SAP is dominant, and we go where customer demand is," he explained.
The increasing complexity of the technology landscape has been cited as one factor behind the rise in partner-to-partner relationships, but Scarfe conceded the peer-to-peer model doesn't always work out.
"Our experience in general has been that it's difficult to pull off, just because sooner or later you end up competing with each other, no matter how good the intentions are," he said. "This partnership is powerful becaues there is no conflict, and we are both very clear on where our strengths are. SAP is a monster and it takes years and years to build up the experience to implement and manage SAP environments, and the same with Azure, where it's taken us the best part of a decade to build up skills."
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