In-memory databases need biz value beyond 'speeds and feeds'

In-memory databases need biz value beyond 'speeds and feeds'

Summary: Asia's business users will want to see productivity gains from faster operational processes in order to justify the implementation of an in-memory database platform.

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SINGAPORE--Adoption of in-memory database products in Asia will hit a snag unless vendors are able to demonstrate business uses and deliverables beyond "speeds and feeds".

During a briefing hosted by SAP here Tuesday, Craig Stires, research director for business analytics and channels at IDC Asia-Pacific, said Asian companies in the region will only adopt in-memory database technology if they can see something more compelling than the ability to run business processes faster.

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The message about the benefits of using in-memory database technology needs to go beyond "speeds and feeds".

This means vendors need to go beyond their existing product pitch, which has revolved mainly on "speeds and feeds" so far, he suggested. This is because there is a disconnect between the acceleration of company processes, which does take place upon implementation, and the actual efficiency boost to the business operations and the end-users, Stires pointed out.

For instance, while the IT or senior management executive agrees to procure the technology, it is the customer service representative or sales representative who would make use of the real-time analysis of customer data to offer more personalized services or increase sales, he said.

The advantages of in-memory database technology will need to be positioned from a business, not technology, perspective in order to convince companies in the region, said Simon Piff, associate vice president of enterprise infrastructure and research at IDC Asia-Pacific.

"No one [in Asia] is interested in saving money from IT, but rather how [the investment] can give me new lines of income, and new customers," Piff pointed out in the same interview.

Stephen Watts, president of SAP Asia-Pacific Japan, had similar views. He said it is easy to focus on the cost-benefit aspect when adopting a new technology, but implementing an in-memory database platform is not a total cost of ownership discussion as it also holds new use cases with real-time computing that were not possible before.

Business customers in the region appear to be buying in to SAP's perspective. Anthony McMahon, senior vice president of database and technology at SAP Asia-Pacific Japan, said the German software vendor currently has four customers in the region using SAP's Business Suite on HANA, and it expects "considerably more" customers in the next few months.

He added there are already hundreds of customers in the region using other HANA-related offerings such as Business Warehouse on HANA and SAP HANA Application Accelerator.

"Any company, local or foreign, that wants to succeed in Asia will have to be nimble and cope with scale and real-time information from a large market base," he said, reiterating the appeal of in-memory database technology for enterprises in the region.

SAP in January this year announced the global launch of its flagship Business Suite software on the HANA platform.

Topics: Data Management, Enterprise Software, SAP, Singapore

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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