SAP Innovation: How the Company Keeps Its Technology Moving Forward

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SAP Innovation: How the Company Keeps Its Technology Moving Forward

by Darryl K. Taft

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SAP HANA Provides Real-Time Insights on Big Data

SAP HANA captures and analyzes transactional and analytical data in real time on a single data platform based on in-memory technology. It delivers speedy data analysis, solving problems across industries, including health, security, science, finance, engineering, design and beyond. An SAP customer recently replaced an enterprise-wide Oracle solution with the new HANA architecture and gained more than a 20,000-times performance improvement for processing its most complex freight transportation cost calculations. Other implementations have seen HANA outperform traditional disk-based systems by a factor up to 408,000. HANA is SAP's fastest growing product ever.

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HANA Analysis of Genome Data Helps Advance Personalized Medicine

HANA helps dramatically accelerate the genomics pipeline. HANA can run queries on hundreds of thousands of whole genomes to identify genetic patterns in conditions of interest. Integration of other large-scale "omics" datasets or electronic medical records can enable in-depth analysis of all relevant data for the treatment of a particular patient, all of it in real time. By using SAP HANA as the mission-critical and reliable genome data platform it becomes possible to deliver advanced medical treatment to many more patients.

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SAP AppHaus Movement Embodies a Startup Approach

SAP AppHaus developers left SAP's Palo Alto campus to set up a small, scrappy, Los Altos office with an environment more conducive to the kinds of collaboration, engagement and innovation needed to quickly develop cloud and mobile applications suitable for mass adoption by consumers. The ultimate vision is to develop and design solutions that help businesses connect to their consumers in innovative ways, such as fan experience apps for sports teams or mobile apps for fashion brands that drive social engagements and in-store shopping.

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SAP AppHaus Developers Launch Recalls Plus Consumer App

Developers and designers in the Los Altos AppHaus cranked out the Recalls Plus app for iPhone and Android over a 90-day concept-to-release innovation cycle. The app pushes recall information to parents regarding kids' products, toys and even foods with undeclared allergens. Parents enter an age range, and then can name specific products or allergens to monitor for recalls and news. They receive real-time push alerts on everything from baby formula to car seat recalls, also allowing them to share the information with friends. HANA is behind the data analysis, ensuring it's in real-time.

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SAP, Stanford Join Forces for Design Thinking and the Stanford

SAP teamed up with Stanford University to set up The Design School at Stanford, or the SAP and the championed a methodology called "design thinking," which helps people innovate. A deliberate mash-up of industry, academia and the big world beyond campus, the is a hub for innovators and design thinking at Stanford. Students and faculty in engineering, medicine, business, law, the humanities, sciences and education find their way to the to take on the world's complex problems together.

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Design Thinking and SAP Take to the High Seas

SAP this year sponsored a Design Thinking program called "Unreasonable at Sea," a study-abroad program run on a ship as it sails around the world. A partnership with Semester at Sea, the Unreasonable at Sea experiment is made up of a diverse set of teams roaming the world on a ship for 106 days to 12 countries, and working in a constrained environment and limited time frame to solve intractable social and environmental challenges. Twenty mentors—including Google Vice President Megan Smith, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg—advised development teams from 11 companies. The teams' expertise spans everything from solar, fuel efficiency and nanotechnology to clean water, medical devices and Internet technology.

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SAP Showcases Design Thinking at SAPPHIRE NOW

Visitors to SAPPHIRE NOW last year in Madrid, Spain, were able to experience firsthand how design thinking works at SAP. Working in glass-walled studios so passers-by could observe the activities within, two interdisciplinary teams—consisting of user researchers, interaction designers, visual designers and subject experts—tackled challenges that involved improving the user experience of core processes. SAPPHIRE NOW attendees watched as the teams worked, attaching Post-its to their whiteboards, constructing colorful Lego structures and making progress toward their goals.

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Timeless Software

The 747 is engineered around safety, reliability and maintainability. And like a rudder, these attributes have guided and stabilized the plane's evolution through decades of changing customer expectations, advancing technologies, new market requirements and shifting government regulations. Some 40 years after delivering SAP's first packaged application, the company has learned that successful large-scale enterprise software follows essentially the same trajectory and lineage. Enterprise software solves fundamental problems businesses face daily over generations of business and technological change, but it continuously evolves in a constant cycle of renovation. Sikka calls this "timeless software," which is modern, yet long-lived; innovative, yet stable; and supporting change and growth, yet never losing integrity.

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DEMO Mobile 2013: 10 Innovative New Companies Take a Bow

The DEMO series of conferences are the granddaddies of IT startup showcases. They are among the most respected of such events and are now well into their second decade. This year the DEMO Mobile 2013 event in San Francisco focused largely on health care, personal work assistants, and workflow-based software and hardware providers. Why? Because these types of applications are all in high demand by enterprises, professionals and individual users. One thing most of the companies had in common is that their applications are cloud-based and can be deployed on virtually any device. They involve video, workflow and many other important features. DEMO Innovation is coming up in June, followed by DEMO Brazil and DEMO China later this year. Many companies that previously launched products at a DEMO conference have become pretty well-known, including, VMware, Sun Microsystems Java, TiVO,...
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