• May 7, 2015
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmarCustomerService.com

Sapphire Now Day 2: SAP Announces Updates to HANA for the Internet of Things

ORLANDO, Fla. — Businesses need to undergo a digital transformation or risk becoming irrelevant, speakers at SAP's Sapphire Now user conference emphasized today.

"The world has shifted, where big data, the cloud, mobile, and the Internet of Things are the center," said SAP's CEO, Bill McDermott. "And data is the foundation of any digital enterprise."

"Data-driven intelligence is not something you can think about next year. You need it today," said Bernd Leukert, a member of SAP's executive board in charge of products and innovation, during the morning keynote.

In this digital environment, businesses software is "moving from being just a system of record to a real decision-making tool," Leukert said. "As technological limitations disappear, you have the opportunity to change from selling products and services to selling outcomes."

To be a leader in this digital economy, Leukert suggested, companies should spend less time on non-core functions. Then, they need to leverage the power and speed of their business networks.

Speed is the key, according to Karenann Terrell, executive vice president and chief information officer at Walmart. "Any company that is not thinking about speed will be disrupted within their industry," she said. "The digital transformation is real and it's happening now."

And that applies as much to sales, marketing, and customer service as it does to back-office functionality, according to Volker Hildebrand, global vice president of strategy for customer engagement, commerce, sales, and service solutions at SAP. "If you want to stay relevant to customers, you need to have personalized information available for them in real time, at the right time," he said.

This, he said, is part of "the paradigm shift that is taking place" at every business in every industry. At the center of that shift, Hildebrand and others contend, is technology. "Customers are changing the rules, but technology is changing the game," Hildebrand said.

SAP, of course, wants its technology to be at the center. And at the center of all the company is doing is its HANA platform, which has undergone several significant upgrades.

"If you want to be ahead of this paradigm shift, you need one common platform, and SAP HANA gives you that platform," Leukert said.

And while the company has seen "tremendous interest" in the HANA platform so far, SAP continues to add to it.

The company enhanced the SAP HANA Cloud Platform with innovations that include a new library of Internet of Things (IoT) services for creating cloud apps. Additionally, the SAP HANA App Center continues to expand its offerings to provide a one-stop shop for customers to access apps powered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

"New innovations delivered by the SAP HANA Cloud Platform help companies re-imagine how they run their business," said Steve Lucas, president of platform solutions at SAP. "SAP is setting the industry standard for developing, consuming, and deploying apps on our platform-as-a-service. SAP HANA is truly the great simplifier of our time for overcoming IT complexity challenges that every business faces today."

SAP today also launched the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), in collaboration with Siemens and Intel, to help companies adopt and manage their IoT solutions. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the IoT provides the infrastructure businesses need to securely tap into a network of millions of connected devices.

"SAP is helping customers re-imagine their businesses with the most comprehensive portfolio of Internet of Things solutions from core business operations to the edge of the network," Lucas said. "With the launch of SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things, our customers and partners now have the ability to connect anything to any app or business process in their company and business network. This will achieve operational excellence and deliver new customer experiences, products, and services." 

SAP today also announced the cloud edition of SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) to help customers drive their digital business transformations to the cloud. SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition, is designed to bring the next wave of simplification and innovations across core business functions, and to let users deploy real hybrid scenarios that combine on-premises and cloud solutions.

SAP first launched SAP S/4 HANA in February and has already signed more than 370 customers.

The comprehensive offering will provide native integration between SAP S/4HANA and other cloud solutions from SAP, as well as integration with the SAP hybris Marketing solution and the SAP Jam social software platform.

"With the SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition, we are delivering on our promise to give complete choice to customers for adopting the next-generation business suite," Leukert said. 

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