Continuing our investment in partners with SAP on Azure

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With more than 25 years of professional experience, Joao Couto is the Vice President for the SAP Business Unit at Microsoft. Prior to this, Joao held leadership roles in Microsoft subsidiaries in Germany and Portugal. Before joining Microsoft, Joao was the CFO at Vodafone Group Commercial in UK and Portugal and VP and Partner at ATKearney Management Consulting. Joao is a transformational leader who is passionate about combining both strategy and execution to deliver rapid business growth in challenging environments through highly motivated and energized teams.

I would like to take a moment to thank our SAP partner ecosystem for an amazing year, and for creating outstanding momentum following the announcement of the Embrace initiative between SAP and Microsoft.  

By working closely together, Microsoft, SAP and our system integrators are helping customers navigate their journey to digital transformation and cloud agility with a well-defined and streamlined migration strategy to S/4HANA on Azure. During our Microsoft Inspire event, my colleague Arpan Shah featured SAP on Azure in his session Running Mission and Business Critical Workloads—like SAP—in Azure, highlighting the importance of this workload.

Develop your SAP on Azure practice

Microsoft is committed to working with our strong partner ecosystem to engage customers, build confidence, and identify the critical steps in their SAP cloud transformation journey. We have established a comprehensive set of resources to support our partner ecosystem as you proactively engage your customers. These include partner skilling resources, SAP on Azure Go-To-Market programs, established reference architectures, and engineering guidance.   

Microsoft has made significant investments to help partners develop strong SAP on Azure practices, showcase their skills, and differentiate their services. Partners are now able to attain the SAP on Azure advanced specialization and differentiate themselves in a way that is recognized by customers and Microsoft sellers as having proven capabilities to deliver SAP landscapes on Azure. This year, Microsoft introduced the first-of-its kind architect certification AZ120 – Designing and Architecting Azure for SAP workloads. Partners who build their SAP on Azure practices with architects who have achieved AZ120 deliver the confidence that they have the right resources to support a customer transformation.

Celebrating our partners

As we wrap up Microsoft Inspire, I am excited to recognize Cognizant as our Global SAP on Azure partner of the year. Cognizant has been an amazing partner delivering strong value to customers across numerous markets as they guide customers on their Azure transformation journey with SAP. This was a very competitive year for the award, with so many strong nominations submitted. We would also like to recognize this year’s finalists Accenture/Avanade and Infosys. Thank you to all partner nominees.

Looking forward to the year ahead, I am excited to work with each of our partners to help customers achieve more as they embrace the cloud to transform their business-critical SAP applications to drive more insights and innovation. The partnership we have created among SAP, Microsoft and our ecosystem of partners is a powerful combination that helps customers streamline and accelerate their time to value. We have provided a comprehensive set of programs to support this important work and help you build your practice, and we are always looking for ways to make it even better so we can continue to deliver the best experience possible to our joint customers.