SAP HANA: Powering Next-Generation Real-Time Analytics

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-04-25 Print this article Print

The result was SAP HANA. It marked the entry of SAP into the database market but through a new real-time platform that introduced in-memory computing for combined analytics and transactions to become a new transformational platform for doing business.

To launch HANA with customer traction, I invited 60 customers to come to SAP to work with me on this, with design thinking as the basis for our co-innovation with these 60 customers. This was three years ago. So when we launched HANA in June 2011, we launched it with 25 customers, all of which had very interesting, diverse use cases. It was an incredible thing to see the response. HANA brought innovation back to SAP and introduced a disruptive, new innovation in the market.

HANA is now a major contributor to SAP's recent financial successes and is SAP's fastest-growing product ever. In Q1 2013 alone, SAP HANA accounted for 13 percent of the total software revenue and increased over 200 percent year-over-year when compared to Q1 2012. We have disrupted the database market.

Why is HANA important to SAP?

There are so many reasons why HANA is important to SAP. At the heart of it, HANA enables us to reach the end user in fundamentally new ways. With HANA, we are truly empowering the end user to interact with and understand data in ways that weren't possible before.

From a product perspective, HANA is the core foundation for existing and future applications at SAP. It impacts every single part of SAP and every single product. To me, this is also still about the user. We are bringing breakthrough new innovation to users in every aspect of how they use SAP software today and in the future, and bringing it to them in a way that is nondisruptive.

From a business perspective, HANA has opened up new business models for SAP and has driven net-new growth for the company. If we look at the consumption, HANA has opened up new consumption and delivery models for SAP.  It is available on the cloud or on-premise. There are pricing packages for different markets, from large to midsized, and there are a variety of delivery models available. We can deliver HANA in whatever way people want to use it.

If we look at licensing, with HANA, we go beyond the traditional licensing model and bring an affordable, pay-as-you-go model, which appeals to a large new audience for SAP. The HANA Cloud Platform, SAP HANA One, is available on Amazon at 99 cents an hour. You go to Amazon, put in your credit card, and in eight minutes or less you have your own working HANA system. No one could have imagined such a thing from SAP just a few years ago.

If we look at it from an education standpoint, we have also rethought and renewed how we do education. We are reaching entirely new audiences for SAP products through the SAP HANA Academy, which has 250 tutorials of five-minute videos. This speaks to a completely new group of people to SAP, namely developers used to working with free stuff who don't have tons of money for education, classes and conferences.

From a partner standpoint, we look at partnerships with hardware partners like Intel and HP. With HANA, we have a clear, open ecosystem that enables each hardware provider to innovate in their own way. Innovation to HANA is happening all around us; it is not confined to the walls of SAP.

From a technology standpoint, within SAP, there has been a blistering pace of innovation around HANA. In just under two years, we have SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Business One, SAP CRM, more than 30 new applications, 310 startups and now the SAP Business Suite, all powered by HANA. This provides a platform to renew the old and deliver new capabilities in a timeless way. Within this framework, we have been working closely with existing partners and have initiated the SAP HANA Startup Focus Program to bring in the passion and creativity of the startup community.

If we look across all of these areas, we can see that HANA has opened our minds and imagination to things that weren't possible before. I believe HANA has brought incredible renewal to SAP and to the enterprise software industry.



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