Lemongrass widens hyperscaler line-up by adding Azure

SAP cloud specialist explains the process it went through in settling on a multicloud strategy

Customer demand for wider public cloud support has led to SAP specialist Lemongrass deciding that it needed to add Microsoft Azure to the technologies it will support.

Until recently, the channel player had been an AWS house, but with customers operating multicloud strategies and choosing different flavours of public cloud, it became increasingly apparent that it needed to add Azure to its roster.

Mike Rosenbloom, CEO of Lemongrass, said the business faced a decision last year whether to remain working with just a single public cloud player or adding to its relationships.

“Up until the middle of 2021, we exclusively worked with AWS, SAP on AWS,” he said. “We do have some components that we’ve had running on Azure, but generally speaking, 2021 was the year that really marked us going into multicloud. We felt we were forgoing a lot of business opportunity by only working with one of the hyperscalers.”

Rosenbloom said the business faced a decision to either stick with the strategy of working with AWS and looking to bolster revenues by embracing more of the SAP portfolio, or to take a different approach.

“We decided, let’s stick to our roots and our heritage, what we’re really good at, which is SAP in the cloud,” he said. “We found that to extend what we do to Azure from what we had been doing at AWS was a very natural engine for us and most of the services are very similar.

“One of our corporate core values is that our customers come first. So we want to meet our customers in the cloud they choose or the cloud that makes the most sense for them. Sometimes there are commercial reasons, sometimes there are technical reasons. If we want to be able to convey the same value to any customer, we needed to be able to meet in any cloud.”

From Microsoft’s perspective, not only has it welcomed Lemongrass with open arms, but it hopes that the channel player’s actions will be a reference point for others to follow its example.

Joao Couto, commercial partner lead at Microsoft, said it had already established Azure as a solid environment for SAP in the cloud.

“We have a very strong position in the market with regard to SAP workloads,” he said. “We have the vast majority of the Fortune 500 customers, more than 45% of customers indicate preference for Microsoft cloud and Azure in particular when they are looking to modernise their SAP environments and move them into cloud.

“Every single top partner that we have, or every single global system integrator that we have, the largest partners in the world, they all have relationships with other cloud vendors as well. We need to feel good about it and we need to feel comfortable with it.”

Couto said that, ultimately, it was about providing customers with the services they want to pay for. “It provides them with a credible partner that they can rely on, that they can partner with to help them in the journey,” he added. “I think it also provides a very clear message to the market that we promote very open platform positioning for our customers.”

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