Capgemini to support SAP apps on Amazon's cloud

An important step for Amazon to become more enterprise friendly

Consultancy Capgemini's North American business will offer support to enterprises that want to run SAP applications in Amazon Web Services' cloud, the company said in a joint statement with Amazon on Thursday.

Capgemini will help enterprises install SAP applications or migrate existing applications. Enterprises can also let the company operate and monitor the solutions, it said.

The consultancy has also created what it calls a Rapid Cloud Workshop, which lets users launch SAP pilots, before going live, on Amazon's cloud.

The support push comes on the heels of the announcement that users of SAP's BusinessObjects and Rapid Deployment products can run those applications in Amazon's cloud. That news came out last week at SAP's Sapphire Now conference.

SAP said last week that a number of third-party providers and integrators will offer services ranging from planning, deployment, migration and other customer support services in backing SAP on Amazon's EC2. In the coming months, SAP and Amazon plan to launch additional products, including the ability to run ERP (enterprise resource planning in the cloud).

This is a very important step for Amazon, as it tries to attract more enterprise customers and more standing loads, according to David Bradshaw, research manager, European SaaS and Cloud Services, at IDC.

At the moment a large chunk of Amazon's business comes from people loading up servers for relatively short times to do testing, which means it has a fairly unpredictable load. Standing loads mean Amazon gets a better utilization of its hardware, but it has to be offered at a lower cost than current pricing for it to make sense to enterprises, Bradshaw said.

Offering support services in North America is logical, because U.S. enterprises are more familiar with cloud services, according to Bradshaw. But acceptance is growing in Europe, so it makes sense for Capgemini to eventually offer services in Europe, as well, he said.

Amazon's recent services outage still hangs like a dark cloud over the company's offerings. It is going to make some enterprises think twice, according to Bradshaw. Amazon has to show it understands what happened and is taking steps to fix any issues. The company also has to show it is becoming more transparent in reporting service issues, Bradshaw said.

"A few years back, Salesforce.com had a really serious outage, and the company learned it had to be more open about what is going on in the back-end to give people confidence. It is a continuing journey; the more details you reveal to customers ... the more confidence they have in you," said Bradshaw.

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