Nokia Here gets bundled with SAP's HANA

Nokia's mapping unit finds a non-automotive customer in SAP's big data in-memory analytics platform HANA.

Nokia's Here unit has inked a deal with SAP to bundle Nokia's maps with the German software company's analytics platform HANA.

Following an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement announce by Nokia today,
it should be easier for SAP's customers to use Here's maps and geographic content when building geospatial applications that need additional geospatial processing grunt from SAP's in-memory platform HANA.

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As Nokia points out, mapping is an important ingredient in business intelligence and big data analytics. It offers companies the ability to create geographic-based reference points in their data, and visualise them on a map - both useful for drawing meaning out of big data sets concerning factors such as the flow of goods, information, or money.

Nokia's Here maps have been available to use by SAP customers previously along with Google Maps. However, the OEM agreement appears to be making Here a more tightly integrated offering within HANA.

SAP recently highlighted dozens of new features in the HANA SPS 09 update, including Nokia Here maps and spatial content to make it simpler to develop apps that use location-based services.

The other critical maps feature in HANA stems from SAP's deal with geospatial firm Esri. Esri powers HANA's spatial data processing capabilities, which allow business users to run spatial queries on big data in real-time using Esri's Query Layers. Esri's ArcGIS platform performs queries natively on SAP HANA, closer to where the data is stored. SAP inked its first HANA partnership with Esri in 2013 , under an agreement that was extended this July .

SAP's HANA SPS 09 with Here maps is expected to be available later this month, according to Nokia, while existing SAP customers will be able to download its maps from the SAP Service Marketplace community site.

"We anticipate that the geo-content and services provided by the HERE Platform, paired with the in-memory and spatial-processing capabilities of SAP HANA, will enable customers to simplify and accelerate the geo-enablement of applications," Hinnerk Gildhoff, development manager for spatial development at SAP HANA.

The OEM licence should benefit Nokia's Here unit, which saw profits decline over the last quarter , despite achieving 12 percent year on year growth in its most recent quarter. The HANA deal also adds another link between the two companies: last year SAP settled on Here as location information provider for its TwoGo car-sharing service aimed at corporate commuters.

Nokia has recently bolstered Here with acquisitions of social and analytics focused companies including  Medio  and  Desti . It also sold map data licences for embedded navigation systems of 3.2 million new vehicles last quarter.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has previously said the company was sharpening Here's strategy for better balance growth and profitability, with a focus on the automotive sector. 

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