It will be a quarter century this year, since one of the biggest technology brands in India – Infosys – and the Germany-headquartered leader in enterprise software and services – SAP -- first came together in partnership to combine their respective strengths and make a joint pitch to prospective clients the world over.
The thread that binds their separate and proprietary offerings is Cloud Computing – a technology that is about as old as their collaboration.
‘Data is the new oil’ is a much-used business buzzword and a recent Infosys Research finds that ‘live data’ – data that is readily accessible and widely accessible -- is a prerequisite for sustainable and human-centred enterprises. And putting such data in the Internet cloud rather than spreading them across multiple on-premise servers has emerged as an agni astra or ‘secret weapon’ for most companies.
SAP’s flagship product SAP S/4 HANA and Infosys solutions developed in-house, like Infosys Cobalt are both cloud-based and seemingly ‘made for each other’.
Adding AI to the mix
The added layer of common interest is Artificial Intelligence – and together the two companies have skilfully leveraged AI in crafting combined offerings across a wide gamut of applications, from personalizing medicines, managing clinical trials, leads and proposals management, enhancing customer experience and sustainable sales.
More recently, an AI tool, Infosys Topaz, has been handy in helping clients already harnessing SAP S/4 HANA to accelerate their business operations.
Says Christian Klein, CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP: "For 25 years, SAP has collaborated with Infosys to transform the way businesses run and deliver market-moving innovation to our joint customers. This milestone celebration of our longstanding partnership is a testament to the strength of our collaboration and our shared ambition to deliver enhanced customer experiences and help our customers accelerate digital transformation in the cloud."
Adds Salil Parekh, CEO & Managing Director, Infosys: " Our collaboration with SAP has been instrumental in delivering transformative solutions to our clients worldwide, as our joint focus is on creating cutting-edge industry cloud solutions. We are committed to helping our customers future-proof their businesses and advance sustainable growth by leveraging the combined power of SAP cloud solutions and our investments in AI and Cloud through Infosys Topaz and Infosys Cobalt."
The partnership between the two companies has seen senior talent moving between them over the years. Indian-American Vishal Sikka, the Chief Technology Officer of SAP for 12 years and a key person in the development of SAP HANA, joined Infosys as CEO in 2014. It was a fairly short stint and he left in 2017.
SAP Labs, the R&D arm of SAP where many of the company’s solutions are crafted, has five units in India, located in Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Pune, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
Since September 2023, Sindhu Gangadharan, the current Managing Director of SAP Labs India and a 25-year veteran with SAP, has served as Vice Chairperson of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
This has appeared in New India Abroad