SAP has announced that its Business Suite ERP software now runs on the HANA in-memory database, a move which Hasso Plattner, SAP co-founder and chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board, said will secure the supplier’s future.
Adrian Simpson, chief innovation officer at SAP UK and Ireland, said the bringing together of transactional and analytical processes marked out the development as significant.
Ovum analysts said: “In the near term, SAP Business Suite on HANA should be seen as an opportunistic upgrade for existing customers or greenfield opportunity for new ones. Few, if any, enterprises currently rank replacement of enterprise systems as top priority.”
SAP’s Simpson said: “This is a fair assessment, but it is important to realise that this offers an opportunity for CIOs to simplify their applications landscape, putting transactional and analytical processes on a single platform. It is not just about speeding things up, it is about taking complexity out of the landscape.
“And it gives customers a new capacity to do things they were not able to do in the past. For example, working out who owes the company money. There is a lot of complex work to that. On HANA, you can now run that faster – it’s not a batchy, time-consuming process.
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“Moreover, we are introducing this non-disruptively. It is a stable platform, and we will help customers with the innovation.”
UK and Ireland customers looking at the latest release of Business Suite will have the HANA option. Simpson said whether they take the HANA option will depend on their vision for their application landscape.
"If their mindset is ‘How can I do this smarter or better?', then they are more likely to go for it. The next stage is ‘What can we do that could not be done before?’,” he said.
Simpson said the target for Business Suite on HANA is 600 customers globally by the end of 2013, with about 30 of those in the UK and Ireland – around 6% of SAP customers in the region.
Philip Adams, vice chairman of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group welcomed the announcement. "In terms of the solution itself, it looks great. In the first instance I’d expect those organisations that have a real need for speed to look at migrating. I’m sure new customers will also welcome the news as it simply gives them more database options".
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During the announcement, Plattner spoke of the origins of the company’s in-memory database in brainstorming sessions with PhD candidates at the University of Potsdam six years ago.
A foundational insight there, he said, was that it is not the case that you need different databases for online analytical processing (OLAP) and online transaction processing (OLTP).