SAP is going full-throttle when it comes to developing applications to handle real-time data turnarounds with the introduction of Business Suite on its signature HANA databases.
Vishal Sikka, head of technology and innovation at SAP, said during a media presentation in Palo Alto, Calif. on Thursday that the significance of running Business Suite on HANA "is that it gives us an incredible opportunity to reinvent and rethink business processes."
With this debut, SAP posited that this development makes it the only software provider to offer business apps that analyzes transactional data in real-time on a single in-memory platform.
Business Suite is being targeted at business scenarios ranging from deciphering social media to financial closes to managing orders and receivables.
At the same time, HANA should be able to understand and translate real-time insights on-the-fly while simultaneously removing extra and/or redundant data.
Sikka described that the introduction of Business Suite reflects what SAP sees as the future: "a network of networks of real-time business."
R "Ray" Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, concurred in a separate statement that real-time on an in-memory database could offer dramatic changes to how business is conducted worldwide.
The move to put ERP on an in-memory database such as HANA is significant for SAP customers. Speed is the difference between a 5 day drug recall and a 5 minute drug recall. Speed is the difference between a 30 day supply chain plan versus the ability to reroute 2 iPhones to your store in 30 seconds. The impact is huge if SAP does succeed. SAP's not the first to do this as Workday has already done this for HR and Finance. However, for the entire SAP suite and given SAP's market share, this is a big deal.
The analytics and crunching capabilities is what's driving organizations to seek faster speed. Right time requirements for in context computing will turn out to be the surprise benefit as relevancy becomes more important through time, location, role, relationship, sentiment, and intent.
SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner emphasized during the presentation that the company's HANA databases will be used for all existing apps and future projects, primarily because of the cloud.
This, he further explained, falls in line with SAP's focus on real-time applications, adding that we want data and information, but that "we don't want to wait more than three seconds."
Plattner said that real-time is going to be at the forefront of SAP's strategy for the next five to 10 years.
SAP will be rolling out a "rapid-deployment" option during the first quarter for Business Suite customers who migrate to HANA. Designed to enable customers to go live in less than six months, this option includes implementation services and pre-configured software, among other services, for a fixed price.
Beyond that option, SAP said that it will be using feedback from customers and user groups about a long-term pricing model, which SAP asserted will be "extremely competitive to market alternatives."
Screenshots via SAP