• May 16, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

SAP Continues to Build Out HANA

ORLANDO, Fla. (SAPPHIRE NOW) - The third day of the SAP annual user conference focused entirely on HANA, SAP's  large-scale in-memory data analysis processing platform, with a slew of new applications, integrations, and capabilities built to support the product.

The announcements come as SAP co-CEO Jim Hageman Snabe prepares the company to lead the in-memory revolution. "In less than five years, everything will be done with in-memory computing," he said during yesterday's keynote presentation.

It further positions the company to make good on a promise that co-CEO Bill McDermott made yesterday. "SAP wants to be the second-largest database company by 2015, and with HANA and Sybase we will do that," he said.

But to do that,  the integrations, partner connections, integrations, and support networks will have to be built. To that end, SAP announced today advanced support for Hadoop environments. This allows for reading from and loading to Hive and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), rapid batch updating, and loading to SAP HANA, SAP Sybase IQ server, and any other data store.

SAP also announced server support from Fujitsu, HP, IBM, and Intel, which now all deliver servers certified to run SAP HANA.

The company also has in store several big data integration capabilities with the release of  Service Pack 4 for SAP HANA. These include updates to the  SAP Data Services and SAP Information Steward software for data quality, data integration, text data processing, data profiling, and metadata management. The company aims to allow users to unlock the full business potential of big data by making it easier to integrate and synthesize information across an enterprise's SAP and non-SAP applications.

"SAP HANA is seeing widespread adoption and customer success. With SAP HANA SP4 we continue to raise the bar on break-through performance and extensive scale," said Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board for Technology and Innovation. "We are committed to an open real-time platform for developers and end users and will continue to provide this non-disruptively to our partners and customers."

SAP also announced that developer instances of SAP HANA are now available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. "SAP HANA on AWS for developers is an important milestone in our relationship with SAP," said Terry Wise, director of the worldwide partner ecosystem at Amazon Web Services. "With this offering, we are providing customers the ability to begin developing enterprise business applications leveraging the power of SAP HANA in a matter of minutes. The large-scale in-memory capabilities on our scalable, flexible, pay-as-you-go platform will reduce the barrier of entry for many developers."

Among the applications being built on the HANA platform are a number of real-time solutions to help customers drive new business value with advanced reporting, analysis, and planning capabilities. They include the following:

  • SAP Sales and Operations Planning;
  • SAP Cash Forecasting;
  • SAP Planning and Consolidation;
  • SAP Collections Insight;
  • SAP Sales Pipeline Analysis;
  • SAP Bank Analyzer rapid-deployment solution for financial reporting;
  • SAP Deposits Management rapid-deployment solution for transaction history analysis; and
  • SAP Supplier InfoNet site.

In addition, SAP Visual Intelligence software allows employees, departments and lines of business to visualize and analyze information and apply it to individual and group decision-making. A desktop version of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer software, SAP Visual Intelligence is powered by the SAP HANA platform and empowers users to perform data discovery regardless of technical skill level. With the new application, business users can take advantage of existing data investments that their IT organizations have built

Building on SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, SAP Visual Intelligence leverages SAP HANA to help users ignite their creativity with beautiful and interactive visualizations, allowing them to ask any question without the need for predefined queries, reports, or dashboards. SAP Visual Intelligence removes roadblocks to information so business users can find real-time answers on any volume of data. The engaging interface increases the usage of data and ability to derive answers and make better decisions. SAP Visual Intelligence enables ad-hoc discovery everywhere, across all data - from spreadsheets to sales, finance, marketing, customer, social, geo-location, third-party and other business data.

"SAP Visual Intelligence revolutionizes decision-making by offering every person in an organization a fast and extremely easy to use way of discovering answers from any data," said John Schweitzer, senior vice president and general manager, Analytics, SAP."SAP solutions for analytics empower people with precise information anytime and anywhere using beautiful visualizations, enabling rapid response to events as they unfold. SAP delivers a powerful and comprehensive analytics portfolio that helps companies adapt to constant change so they can achieve remarkable results."

 "SAP's innovation continues with the delivery of these new applications that are simple to use, easy to implement, and are built on an open real-time platform," Sikka said. "These applications take advantage of detailed and fresh data, doing complex analysis on the fly to power interactive decision-making on mobile devices and in the cloud."

Anthony Leaper, SAP's senior vice president and general manager of line-of-business customer solutions, says HANA's biggest benefit for CRM system users will be in the ability to segment customer data quickly and intelligently. "You can ask questions, like how profitable is a particular customer, and then you can aggregate the speed and intelligence of HANA to pull that data from many sources," he says. "You can apply HANA's speed and intelligence to new sources of data for even more business intelligence."

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