Cloud and AI: Cornerstones of Infosys and SAP’s 25 year partnership

The world's largest providers of digital services and enterprise software, based in India and Germany, respectively, will celebrate 25 years of their partnership in 2024.

SAP-Infosys collaboration is centred around the Cloud. / Infosys

This year marks twenty-five years since the founding of the partnership between Infosys, a prominent Indian technology brand, and SAP, a world leader in enterprise software and services based in Germany, with the goal of combining their strengths and making a joint pitch to potential clients all over the globe.

Cloud computing, a technology that predates both companies' collaboration, serves as the glue that holds their separate and proprietary offerings together. 

‘Data is the new oil’  is a much-used business buzzword. 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 it 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

With AI as a shared interest, the two businesses have skillfully integrated AI into their combined offerings, which cover a wide range of uses from managing clinical trials and personalized medicine to improving the customer experience and ensuring long-term sales success. 

Infosys Topaz, an artificial intelligence tool, has recently proven useful in assisting clients who are already using SAP S/4 HANA to speed up their company operations.

Commenting on the partnership, Christian Klein, CEO and member of the executive board of SAP said, “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."

Salil Parekh, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys added, “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."

Throughout the years, senior talent has moved between the two companies due to their partnership. Vishal Sikka, an Indian-American, was a key figure in the creation of SAP HANA during his twelve years as SAP's chief technology officer before becoming CEO of Infosys in 2014. His time there was brief; he departed 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).