British American Tobacco (BAT) has signed a seven-year 160 million (£132 million) cloud-based SAP business software deal with Deutsche Telekom's IT subsidiary T-Systems.
The cloud contract will help BAT support its 200-plus brand portfolio, including Dunhill, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike.
BAT uses SAP systems to operate its businesses around the world and is investing in a consolidation programme that will culminate in a single instance of SAP operating in 65 global markets by 2016.
Over a two-year period BAT and T-Systems will move the business software into the cloud "so that SAP services will exactly mirror BAT's cyclical demands and will couple cost to real usage", said BAT.
Phil Colman, BAT CIO, said: "Our IT strategy focuses on a single portfolio of connected applications running on standardised technology to drive competitive advantage across the business. The T-Systems deal will help us to deliver that strategy."
As part of the contract T-Systems will consolidate currently ten international BAT data centres into three global data centres in Europe, Asia and South America.
SAP recently launched a multi-tenant version of its Business One ERP suite, which will be sold exclusively through partners as Business One OnDemand. Multi-tenancy is a software architecture commonly used by SaaS vendors, where multiple customers share the same instance of an application but with their corporate data locked away from each other.