No SAP event would be complete without customer and analyst questions around the value and cost of SAP enterprise maintenance services, and Sapphire Now in Madrid 9 to 10 November was no exception.
It certainly provided clarity around how the software producer sees its new Hana in-memory computing product.
While SAP remains committed to delivering innovation to existing customers at no extra cost, this will not include the innovation around SAP's high-performance analytic appliance (Hana), according to Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-chief executive officer at SAP.
SAP customers will get accelerated innovation for products they have bought as part of the maintenance programme, he said, but in-memory computing is a whole new category.
It is clear SAP is betting on Hana, as its first in-memory computing product, to develop into a new and important revenue stream for the company.
But, Snabe was quick to point to the proven value of Hana in pilot studies with 50 customer organisations. "The business case for Hana makes a lot of sense," he said.
Hana is now ready for the second phase where SAP will roll it out at volume and help customers cut costs and improve efficiencies by using it to replace traditional business data warehouses.
Longer term, SAP plans to build more applications for the Hana platform on an industry-by-industry basis, targeting sector specific problems where rapid data analysis will make the most impact.
Ultimately, SAP plans to integrate in-memory computing into all products, with Snabe saying the Hana architecture of in-memory and column based data may well become a de-facto standard.