In this video, Wolfgang Knobloch, SAP Offering Manager for IBM Cloud, explores the new features coming to IBM Cloud, including integrated managed service offerings for SAP applications, on-demand SAP HANA appliances, and more.
Katie Farrer, THINK Leaders Producer: I’m Katie Farrer here with Wolfgang Knobloch. He is the SAP Offering Manager for IBM Cloud. Thank you so much for being here today.
Wolfgang Knobloch, IBM: Thank you.
Katie: I wanted to start off with the basics. Can you tell me a little about your role, and then also, what is the IBM SAP Alliance? What is that all about?
Wolfgang: The IBM SAP Alliance is a very big alliance between IBM and SAP. It’s very old, 40 years old, basically since the inception of SAP, and covers all of the IBM products, be it hardware, software, services, whatever we deliver in relationship with SAP. And it’s a very close and very busy alliance. It’s probably the biggest alliance in the industry. I’m part of this alliance for more than 10 years, and recently I’ve taken over the role of being responsible for our managed services for SAP clients on the IBM Cloud. So I’m responsible for delivering such offerings to the market.
Katie: So I understand that you have something even more exciting coming out soon. Can you tell us a little about this?
Wolfgang: Yes, we are bringing out a new offering into the market, which is called IBM Cloud for SAP Applications. This will integrate all of our presently existing managed services offerings for SAP into one single offering for SAP on the IBM Cloud, along with our strategy to provide choice with consistency to our clients. So we offer one product and one set of services, one pricing catalogue, regardless of where we deploy on our various cloud data centers. We cover both CMS and the SoftLayer data centers with our services. It’s not only about the new; it’s not only about integrating it and deploying it on both data centers. We also modularized the services such that clients have a wider choice of how much service they actually want to get from us. So they can have a very low level entry set of services up to a full-service, soup-to-nuts management of SAP from IBM.
Katie: How does this fit into the overall IBM Cloud portfolio?
Wolfgang: Managed services is a wider area. We are not only offering SAP, but also service for other package applications. But the SAP piece is one of the largest, or the largest, offering there. And we are driving a strong cross path for this. So this is a very strategic, high investment are for us. We are running this now with this new offering in 19 data centers in the world, and we are counting on adding more over the course of this year.
Katie: Are there any new features that are going to be coming out with this new offering that some of your customers can look forward to?
Wolfgang: Oh, sure. We not only combine the offering, we’re adding new capabilities to all our data centers. So our SoftLayer data centers we beef up with more capabilities and growth. For example we are adding three terabyte hana appliances that can be allocated by our clients on demand. We are also adding a higher level of slas. So, availability guarantees up to 99.7% for those hana systems on the SoftLayer data centers. And in the CMS data centers, we are adding other capabilities we had in SoftLayer, like for example virtual hana, we are now adding this in CMS. So we are getting them more aligned. In addition, we are also deploying one of the more recent developments in SAP like a multi-tenant database container concept for hana where you can deploy multiple databases in one, bigger box, which significantly reduces the cost for our clients. We are also adding another cost reduction feature where you can use dr systems in parallel for non-production, so again, saving another machine, again, reducing cost to our clients.
Katie: Wow, that’s a lot of new features. That’s very exciting.
Wolfgang: Yes, it is.
Katie: Well, thank you so much for being here today. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to chat.
Wolfgang: You’re welcome. I have to thank you.
Katie: Again, I am here with Wolfgang Knobloch. He is the SAP Offering Manager for IBM Cloud. I’m Katie Farrer, thanks for tuning in.