Database software

SAP accelerates plans to wean customers off Oracle databases

Warwick Ashford

SAP is to accelerate plans to migrate its applications customers away from Oracle databases by introducing in-memory computing support for its enterprise resource planning product in 2012.

The enterprise software maker has previously said it plans to roll out support for the ERP module of the SAP Business Suite on the Hana in-memory database platform, but gave no target date.

Vishal Sikka, SAP executive board member and technology chief, has now indicated the move is set for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Info World.

SAP's Sybase division recently ported its ASE database to the Business Suite, providing another alternative to competing database platforms.

Analysts said the move indicates that SAP has solved a lot of the technical issues with Hana and has the start of a next-generation platform for its applications.

In the firm’s fourth quarter and year end earnings announcement on 25 January, SAP said Hana revenue was more than €160m for the year.

SAP hopes that by designing Hana to simplify IT operations, its applications customers will more easily be able to construct a business case for moving away from Oracle databases.

The software maker is also conducting around 50 proof-of-concept pilots with large corporate customers and claimed that in some cases HANA is 10,000 times faster than Oracle.

At the Sapphire Now customer and partner conference in Madrid in November 2011, SAP made it clear that the firm is betting on Hana to develop into a new and important revenue stream for the company.

Co-chief executive Jim Hagemann Snabe said Hana was ready for a second phase in which 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.


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