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Interview: Cloud Computing for SAP

SAP users must convert to S/4 by 2027 or face paying expensive fees. At the same time, IT infrastructures should be converted to cloud computing to ensure companies fully use all the new possibilities.
E3 Magazine
September 6, 2023
Large public cloud providers win
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Two major construction sites right next to each other, which in the end also have to be completed together. With Project A|SAP, HPE has developed a solution that brings the cloud to the customer's own premises quickly, easily and securely. E3 spoke with Timo Graumann, who as Business Development Manager is one of the inventors of this simple and pragmatic concept.

E3: What does the new project mean for SAP users?

Timo Graumann: A|SAP is a fully managed cloud service for the operation of SAP workloads, with the infrastructure provided at a location of the customer's choice. Tailored exclusively for SAP operations, the cloud service offering is based on the edge-to-cloud HPE GreenLake concept and consequently leverages all the benefits of this cloud strategy.

E3: What is the difference between a cloud service sourced from a hyperscaler and a cloud service?
HPE GreenLake?

With GreenLake, cloud data sovereignty and IT sovereignty concerns are solved from the start.

Timo Graumann,
Business Development Manager,
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Graumann: With GreenLake, the customer gets a cloud in his own data center or at a standard specified by him. This means that the customer retains full control. They do not have to completely relinquish IT sovereignty and control over their own data, as is the case when using public cloud services. Such a decision costs a lot of time for analysis and risk assessment and represents a revolution in the IT strategy of the respective company. IT security and IT governance, some of which have been developed and proven for decades, have to be completely questioned and restructured. With A|SAP, the customer gets a cloud integrated into his existing SAP environment. In other words, this is not a revolution, but rather a controlled further development of proven procedures and processes, in which the customer calls the shots and not external large-scale IT companies with global operations.

E3: Who has the greatest benefit?

Graumann: All SAP customers looking for the quick and easy way to the cloud will find an immediately implementable solution with A|SAP. Whether for migration to S/4 or if cloud advantages are to be used for current SAP operations, with A|SAP the customer receives a highly standardized infrastructure service or the platform service, PaaS, extended by SAP Basis services.

E3: What does standardized mean in the context of A|SAP?

Graumann: Based on a large number of SAP and SAP Hana installations, we have predefined and priced five cloud service packages of different sizes. From these, the customer only has to select which of these packages he needs on the basis of his current sizing of his SAP environment. This defines the scope of services, service level, contract framework and the service price for 60 months. In addition, the offer can be easily extended to include backup. 

E3: That sounds like a fixed solution.

Graumann: Not at all. While the customer can take any A|SAP package as designed by us, they don't have to. Since A|SAP is made up of the modular HPE GreenLake concept, all components, operating services and levels can be customized, right down to the contract itself. Consequently, in addition to the installation location, the customer can also decide on any modification to his cloud solution. However, if things are to go particularly quickly, then it is simply a good idea to start with the appropriate size, after all, everything is already prepared for this and scheduled for rapid delivery.

E3: And that affects the cost?

Graumann: Current projects show that savings of more than 30 percent are possible compared to comparable public cloud offerings! For example, a medium configuration of size M with two terabytes for up to twelve Hana databases, a guaranteed availability SLA of 99.99 percent, results in a monthly price of less than 60,000 euros. 

E3: How is the market reacting to HPE GreenLake and the specific SAP version?

Graumann: The latest IDC study has already ranked HPE GreenLake third among cloud providers. Which is due to the extreme growth we are currently seeing in the segment. SAP itself offers the logic of A|ASP as part of its Rise with SAP. This means nothing else: If the customer insists on providing SAP cloud services with Rise in their own data center, they can order HPE GreenLake via SAP. This infrastructure service, which in this case is part of the SAP contract, is also a standardized and prefabricated HPE GreenLake service. 

E3: Why should SAP customers get into the cloud right now and why with HPE?

Graumann: The question is quickly answered. The S/4 migrations tie up enormous personnel resources that are hardly available on the market anyway; and time is starting to press. Cloud computing can be a solution here, at least in part; in any case, customer personnel are relieved of standard IT tasks. With HPE GreenLake, "the cloud that comes to you", the fundamental concerns about data sovereignty and IT sovereignty, which often speak against the use of a cloud, are -resolved from the outset. Our experience as market leader with around 34,000 SAP Hana implementations from over 20,000 customer projects has been incorporated into the solution, and customers can also draw on our well-known consulting and service experts in tried-and-tested form. Thus, a quick and secure entry into the cloud should be possible for SAP without having to question and completely rebuild the entire IT strategy, including security standards.

E3: Thank you for the interview.

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.