SAP will use IBM data centers to offer business services to its customers  (Photo: IBM)

IBM will start offering SAP infrastructure services to companies as part of a new strategic partnership between the US IT group and the German business software company.

Under the pact, IBM will become a provider of cloud infrastructure services for business-critical SAP applications. SAP HANA, the company's cloud-based analytics platform, will be available through the IBM cloud.

"This global agreement with IBM heralds a new era of cloud collaboration," Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, said in a statement. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said the IBM cloud "will enable SAP clients to support new ways to work in an era shaped by big data, mobile and social."

 The two companies said SAP will bring the real-time capabilities of its SAP HANA in-memory computing to the partnership. IBM contributes the open architecture of its cloud offering.