SAP and Arvato Systems Partnering on Sovereign Cloud in Germany

SAP is partnering with the IT services firm Arvato Systems to develop a sovereign cloud for the public sector in Germany.

SAP and Arvato Systems intend to form and invest in a new German company for the venture to “drive digital transformation in Germany,” according to SAP this month.

SAP and Arvato Systems will become shareholders of the company, with Arvato taking over operations “as an experienced infrastructure operator.”

The cloud infrastructure will be designed to meet the “unique national requirements set out in the German cloud strategy.” There will be no network dependencies on systems outside Germany, and the independent operation of all services will be ensured. All data will be processed and stored in Germany, and all services will be delivered from within Germany.

The cloud infrastructure will be owned by the new German entity. 

The planned new company will provide a “broad catalog” of digital solutions to support the digitalization efforts of the German government to “accelerate the use of cloud technology in the German public sector” and meet the strict requirements put in place by the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI).

This offering is designed to meet the technical, operational and legal sovereignty requirements of the German government. It will be governed by German law and address the data sovereignty needs of the German public sector.

The offering will be based on the Microsoft Azure platform and related Microsoft services, including collaboration and productivity solutions of Microsoft 365, along with SAP business applications and tools. Approved third-party providers can also offer their applications on the platform.

The offerings by this new company will be a vendor-neutral stack built on an open platform based on Microsoft’s secure cloud technology, and it will offer full interoperability with other tools. The infrastructure will support a variety of cloud solutions from independent vendors, including open source software. 

“This partnership represents a breakthrough approach for cloud-based innovation,”

said Christian Klein, CEO of SAP. 

“Together we’ll provide a unique solution that not only meets the highest standards of cloud-based technology but also meets the strictest requirements of data sovereignty. This one-of-a-kind collaboration unlocks the potential of digital transformation for the German government and beyond.”

Matthias Moeller, CEO of the Arvato Systems Group and CIO of Bertelsmann, said Arvato is

“pleased about the expansion of our partnership and the joint plans with SAP.” 

Arvato Systems has supported large infrastructures, including in the public sector, for many years and understands “their unique requirements,” he said. 

“The intended partnership offers the best outcome from various perspectives: to use the best available technology and secure German sovereignty interests, while accelerating digitalization for citizens and employees alike,”

Moeller said.