back to article SAP exec reminds the world that Microsoft is a customer

Editor's note: The article here was intended to poke fun at Microsoft for using SAP software given that the Windows giant offers Dynamics 365 and is famous for eating its own dog food. However, as so many of you have pointed out, it's public knowledge that Microsoft has been a customer of SAP for decades, and that dog fooding …


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  1. mhoneywell

    As you note...

    This is nothing new. There are many - quite possibly most - tech firms that not only don't use their own software. But also can barely cobble together a functional solution for their own needs whilst selling consulting services that promise to do just that for you.

    1. Matthew Brasier

      Re: As you note...

      The larger an organization is the more likely it has a wide range of software, much of which will have come from mergers and acquisitions, or from departments or operating companies selecting their own solutions. For large companies like Microsoft the answer to the question "does your company use product X" is almost always going to be yes, as it only needs one small team to be using it.

      This is why I pay very little attention to logo slides in vendor presentations. You will regularly see the same large companies cited as clients of 3 or more software vendors in the same industry because different teams select different products.

      1. Gunboat Diplomat

        Re: As you note...

        Exactly this! I've never seen a company not list Ericsson as a user.

  2. Chairman of the Bored

    A useful turn of phrase

    My boss invented the term "craptivity"

    Craptivity is a state of being for those using an software and systems that are so crap and unfit for purpose that they suck in all available resources. The firm spends so much treasure and talent keeping the business alive - despite the crap - that no resources are available to talk procure a better solution.

    At the time we were in a state of craptivity, at the hands of SAP

    1. 2JO

      Re: A useful turn of phrase

      craptivuumity - the propensity to collapse in a vacuum created by forcing out the biggest crap ever created by the vendor organisation. usually followed by immediate acquisition hunger to fill the void left by the colosolutionoscavitation

    2. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: A useful turn of phrase

      A group I was in had a similar concept we called "fire fighting" management. Everybody spent so much time rushing from one incident to another "putting out individual fires" that there were no resources to fireproof the business.

      After running a couple of businesses, I expanded that idea to try and quantify it - My model was based on the 80:20 rule, along the lines that once you reached a 20% stuff-up quotient you’d spend 80% of your time and resources on the 20%. It appeared to have been frighteningly reliable.

      1. EarthDog

        Re: A useful turn of phrase

        And fire fighters always look good on paper. Ignore the fact they started most of the fires themselves through incompetence. Meanwhile, the competent manager is overlooked because "they don't do anything". Except for professionally and competently manage teams, projects, and departments.

  3. Steve Channell

    30 year old news

    Microsoft became a SAP Customer more than 30 years ago running R2 on an IBM mainframe, and used to do development on a DEC VAX.

    I'm somewhat surprised that this might still be the case given how capable Dynamics is (since Great Plains was migrated away from Btrieve files).

    "dog fooding" first referred to the move to OS/2 and LAN Manager

  4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

    Re: Colin Wilson 2 - Apple have got this right!

    ... when MS accounting department was still running on OS/2 when the company stopped its collaboration with IBM...

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the DOS inventor"

    Are Seattle Computer Products still around?

    1. EarthDog

      I hear they are now the SCP foundation.

  6. Dave Null

    It's not exactly a secret

    Microsoft produced a whitepaper on their use of SAP here:,SAP%20on%20our%20own%20platform.

    Also, how would you expect MS to validate SAP on Azure without doing it themselves?

    1. DevOpsTimothyC

      Re: It's not exactly a secret

      Azure providing a solution for it's customers so Microsoft can sell more cloud services is VERY different from Microsoft using the same product

  7. Pseu Donyme

    re "empowers your organisation to deliver operational excellence and delight every customer"

    Amply convinced me that Microsoft is not using it.

  8. Seekay

    Oh my god, there is no story here. Microsoft has been a massive SAP shop for decades. I've been to Microsoft and SAP events where MSFT's SAP team leads present best practices and so forth.

    SAP is painful software but it's got the global enterprise features that Dynamics does not and may never have - Dynamics plays midmarket and below. Also, a company the size of Microsoft doesn't unwind SAP without a very, very good reason. It is so much work.

    Love El Reg but this is sensationalizing a non-story.

  9. Potemkine! Silver badge

    getting all the industry's CEOs together in a secret location to have them feed each other their own dogfood

    "getting all the industry's CEOs together in a secret location to have them eat each other" - would be funnier.

  10. sgp

    Verbing weirds language

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    customized food

    I have a dog and two cats, and I never give them pet food. They thrive with cooked food, mostly leftovers, and sometimes I cook for them.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: customized food

      For some reason I am reminded of this classic howler.

      1. Peter X

        Re: customized food

        moded up for use of the word "howler" in this context. :D

  12. Korev Silver badge

    Nothing new

    From 1999: HoTMaiL uses FreeBSD + Apache rather than WinNT...

    The nearest thing we have to a grey beard icon -->

  13. Mike 137 Silver badge

    The German software company's work with the DOS inventor

    DOS inventor? 86-DOS repackager more like. And that was a clone by Tim Paterson of CP/M, which Gary Kildall invented.

  14. Sparkus

    in an Inception moment

    one wonders if SolarWinds used their own kit...........

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you use your competitors product you can get a quote, a contract, and a delivery date.

    Use your own, and you are likely to get a whole new department.

  16. jmappleby

    Nothing new here

    Microsoft departments get to choose their own software. SAP is the market leader for ERP and they chose it a long time ago, I first heard about it over a decade ago. They originally ran it on MSSQL but I think they already moved to HANA.

    Likewise Amazon runs Oracle EBS, Google runs SAP S/4HANA, SAP runs Azure, etc. etc.

  17. sketharaman

    Any Dogfood Is Food Enough

    I've been in IT for 30+ years and I've seen dozens of examples of IT companies preaching one thing to the outside world and doing another thing - including "do nothing" - inside. In the mid-1990s, Sun Microsystems was big, created paradigm shift in computing from old mainframe to new client-server architecture, but, for its internal order management system, it used an IBM mainframe! Microsoft has been using SAP ERP since circa 1998 that I know of. At the time, Internet and Intranet were going mainstream and enterprises were in the early stages of extending their applications to end users in self-service mode. Microsoft wanted all its sales and marketing employees to access a certain product / pricing-related functionality processed on SAP. The SOP was to buy licenses for all these folks but, since they numbered in thousands, extending SAP to them would have cost the company tens of millions of dollars. While that was peanuts for Microsoft, we know from history that people with modest means don't have a monopoly over nickel-and-diming. Accordingly, Microsoft allegedly built a frontend in VB and used it to access the information from the SAP backend periodicially and distribute it to the end users. Said VB app counted as just one extra user license of SAP. SAP threatened to sue Microsoft for violation of its EULA by replacing thousands of user licenses with just one. Microsoft countered back, saying it was making very innovative use of Remote Job Execution technology. Memory serves, the lawsuit was settled before it went to / out of court - hopefully for an amount, including lawyers' fees, that was less than the 10s of $M price quoted by SAP for those additional SAP user licenses.

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