SAP today announced a host of new features for its rebranded SAP Cloud Platform, formerly known as SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The company hopes to address customers’ critical business needs with new capabilities around application building, iOS devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The rebranding initiative establishes three layers of functionality for users, according to Dan Lahl, vice president of product marketing at SAP. These include "HANA as the data platform for all that we do, S/4HANA as the digital renewing of our application suite, and now Cloud Platform for that agility layer, to be able to extend or build new applications."
This application-building capability is essential, Lahl says. "If you look at the history of computing…everything was bespoke back in the day; you built all your own applications. Then really in the '90s, that's when application packages started to take over. People started to standardize on application packages, with SAP being the largest suite provider of application packages in the world. With some of the new megatrends we've seen—with mobile, with cloud, with Big Data, with machine learning, with IoT—we've seen that there's a big move toward not only digital transformation, but digital transformation that includes some component of differentiating by building your own applications."
The vendor also announced a Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, to be released on March 30. "We've been working with Apple to combine the design languages and to design and deliver the controls that are needed for complex enterprise applications that get delivered natively on an iOS device," Lahl says. "Most consumer devices aren't complex in their delivery or their makeup, but enterprise applications, by their very nature, can be very complex. We worked with Apple to add new controls into the Apple OS—by combining that with this SDK, you can deliver complex applications in a beautiful way natively on iPad and iPhone devices."
Although currently only available in a beta version, the SAP Cloud Platform IoT service is "really important," according to Lahl. "We're really beefing up our IoT offering," he says. "We're supporting over forty protocols, so any machine that uses a protocol to communicate information built over the last fifty or sixty years can now be captured through the cloud platform. In addition to that, the IoT service allows you to provision and deploy on scale for thousands of machines or thousands of devices and then, in a network, be able to monitor all those as well."