SAP CEO touts tighter Google ties

SAP CEO Bill McDermott

SAP CEO Bill McDermott

Credit: SAP

He also said SAP has 'zero interest' in acquiring Salesforce

SAP is deepening its partnership with Google and will collaborate with the search giant on new projects focused on business analytics and enterprise applications.

The new collaboration will result, for example, in tighter integration between Google Apps and SAP's Lumira analytics platform, according to SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

Users can already combine Google Sheets with enterprise data through the SAP Lumira extensions framework for visualizations, dashboards and insights. Now, the two companies are working to have Lumira visualizations and infographics save in Google Drive, where Lumira files could be accessed and shared. Companies will also be able to store the files as native Google Docs.

The collaboration on other enterprise applications, meanwhile, will focus initially on SAP's SuccessFactors software for human capital management and its Fiori user interface. Among the goals will be to integrate the SuccessFactors suite with Google Drive and to let employees use Google Apps from within Fiori.

"If it makes it easier for people to use Google tools and SAP data together on their devices, that will make work life better," McDermott said during a keynote speech Tuesday at the company's annual Sapphire user conference in Orlando. He called the partnership a "prime example of SAP's change agenda."

SAP has already been working with Google to support Android for Work. It recently released SAP Mobile Secure 2.7 with Android for Work support.

Much of McDermott's speech continued the "run simple" theme SAP has been articulating for some time already as part of its marketing for its Hana in-memory data platform.

"As SAP sees its competitors getting more complex, it's clearly trying to establish its own turf at the other end of the spectrum," said Robert Eastman, a research manager with IDC. "Whether customers also feel it's simple remains to be seen."

Research released Monday by Rimini Street, which offers support services for enterprise software, found that 85 percent of the SAP licensees it surveyed globally have not committed to SAP's newly announced S/4Hana platform. The majority of them cited an unclear ROI for their hesitance, Rimini said.

Though bold claims and marketing slogans were plentiful during McDermott's discussion, he did offer insight during an executive Q&A session about the company's plans regarding rumors of a potential Salesforce acquisition.

"We've always tried to buy assets that were best in class or ascending in value; we have never bought anything we thought was on the decline," McDermott said. "We have zero interest in Salesforce.com."

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