At its HANA2014 event in Orlando, SAP announced today that its indigenous BI platform, Business Warehouse (SAP BW), is now "powered by SAP HANA." This brings the widely-deployed ERP-focused BI system into the in-memory computing age, and the resulting performance increases have the potential to change the way businesses use ERP.
SAP feels this is a breakthrough for analytics in general, saying that BW 7.4 "becomes the business semantic layer across the enterprise bringing together all data warehousing, analytics, and governance activities into a single business context." Steve Lucas, SAP's president, Platform Solutions Group goes so far as to say SAP is "completely changing the game for the traditional Data Warehouse market."
HANA's all-in-RAM model has left various industry watchers (including this one) skeptical of its truly big data applicability. But analytics on ERP data would seem a very appropriate workload for the HANA architecture, and the value of performing such analytics in real time cannot be overstated.
No one knows how much HANA has really been sold by SAP. But if HANA becomes the embedded data layer in SAP's numerous ubiquitous products, it doesn't matter. HANA will be a fact of life in the enterprise, and its in-memory technology will raise the bar for users' expectations of what BI can do.