SAP, Accenture Expand Alliance With S/4HANA Development Initiatives

SAP and systems integrator Accenture formed an alliance around the SAP S/4HANA business application suite, joining forces to develop solutions for specific industries based on the S/4HANA platform and undertaking joint go-to-market initiatives with the software.

The alliance, which also includes joint ongoing development of the S/4HANA system itself, expands on an existing partnership between Accenture and SAP's Business Solutions Group.

"We look forward to working with Accenture to drive digital transformation for businesses with even simpler solutions that accelerate time to value," said Bernd Leukert, a member of SAP's executive board who's in charge of products and innovation, in a statement. "Our enhanced agreement with Accenture signifies another key step to further strengthen our commitment to SAP S/4HANA."

[Related: SAP Offers Partners New Cloud Deployment Option For Business One Applications]

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SAP S/4HANA, released in February 2015 and officially known as the SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, is the vendor's next-generation suite of ERP business applications. The software was built on HANA, SAP's in-memory database that's become the core platform for all of the vendor's development efforts.

SAP, based in Walldorf, Germany, has a longtime relationship with Accenture, based in Dublin, Ireland, and No. 2 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500. Monday's announcement deepens the relationship, specifically around the S/4HANA product line.

On the development front, SAP and Accenture will work to further develop S/4HANA's core capabilities, leveraging Accenture's own development resources as well as feedback from Accenture's customers about their experiences with the software.

"Accenture developers and industry experts are now working side by side with SAP, providing us with unique input, insight and development opportunities with SAP S/4HANA," said Accenture CTO Paul Daugherty in a statement. "For example, our teams in Germany and Shanghai are helping SAP with the design and build of the SAP S/4HANA Finance solution. In addition, we plan to involve clients as part of a broader co-innovation strategy to ensure that we are optimizing our development efforts for SAP S4/HANA to meet their needs and help them stay competitive across industries and markets."

The joint development work will extend to efforts by SAP and Accenture to build industry-specific and line-of-business applications and solutions that work with the S/4HANA platform.

On the marketing side, the companies said they would develop "joint value-proposition capabilities" and "flexible delivery options" – including cloud deployment – that shorten customers' adoption times. The marketing initiatives include co-investing in resources and assigning dedicated executives to the programs, the companies said.