SAP reveals database, mobile roadmaps through 2015

SAP unveiled its immediate and long-term plans for HANA and Sybase, demonstrating how the business management software provider aims to become a leading database vendor.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- SAP has outlined some bold new database and mobile strategies with the intention of positioning itself as both a leader and a partner within these markets.

Speaking at a media event on Tuesday morning, SAP executive board member Dr. Vishal Sikka outlined the the company's vision and roadmaps through 2015.

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Much of SAP's revamped database strategy is lead by the advancement of the HANA platform, touting the company's plan for "extreme" performance with real-time data for next-generation enterprise applications.

To encourage adoption of the HANA database from legacy systems, Sikka pointed towards SAP's new $337 million data base adoption program as well as a $155 million "SAP HANA Real-Time Fund" for startups and entrepreneurs to focus on the development of real-time apps.

SAP global executive vice president and general manager Steve Lucas explained that this means SAP will co-invest with its customers in database technologies and services.

This will go hand-in-hand with the full integration of Sybase and its solutions, which SAP acquired back in 2010.

The big focus here is handling big data. This ranges from analytics and management (via the SAP Sybase IQ server), data assessment and real-time data capture (via SAP Sybase Event Stream Processor software), and real-time data platform integration with Hadoop.

Again, although the results from much of this is not expected to be seen until 2015, SAP does have at least one major release this month.

The SAP Business Suite, a supported option based on SAP Sybase ASE for real-time reporting, will become generally available by the end of April. This solution is intended to offer both new and existing SAP customers with end-to-end app and database solutions with integrated maintenance and synchronized releases.

While SAP is counting on being top dog in the database market with these plans, its mobile strategies involve more partnerships with other vendors. For now, those partners consist of Adobe, Appcelerator and Sencha.

SAP announced on Tuesday that it has inked deals with these three companies to develop an open mobile apps development framework based on SAP's existing mobile platform.

The goal is to enable developers with a platform for creating mobile apps based on the client architecture of their choice in a more budget-friendly manner. The architecture options range from native to HTML5-based apps, or a hybrid of both.

Chief marketing officer Jonathan Becher admitted that SAP is typically not regarded as a leader in these sectors, and the global business management software provider is also typically considered to only serve enterprise customers.

Nevertheless, Becher said that many of these solutions can also serve small to mid-size business customers.

Lucas concurred, adding that SAP "is in it for the long-haul" when it comes to serving the database market.

"Our customers asked for us help and said that the established database players aren't helping us," Lucas said. "SAP is focused on helping customers consolidate those systems."

Lucas acknowledged that consolidation is not enough, explaining that you have to bring next-generation applications and platforms to the table.


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