SAP's new cloud strategy includes app marketplace, new pricing scheme

Shifting the focus away from the enterprise, SAP execs boasted that more than 1,000 startups across 57 countries are now building products on HANA, with 60 of them already live.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAP unveiled the latest version of its cloud strategy on Wednesday with a few new developments sprinkled in between.

During an online presentation broadcast from the software giant's Palo Alto, Calif. offices on Wednesday, SAP chief marketing officer Jonathan Becher stressed that the big takeaway is that all applications delivered by SAP will be in the cloud.

He explained that by having a "single underlying platform," customers can buy a single application at a time. But if they buy more over time, he continued, they should all work "seamlessly" together.

Becher outlined that SAP's cloud strategy now revolves around four primary categories.

The first is SAP's HANA cloud platform, based on the German corporation's flagship in-memory data technology.

"HANA is much more than a database now," argued SAP executive board member Vishal Sikka, positing that by the entire collection of app libraries within HANA, from planning to statistics for industries from oil and gas to healthcare, HANA has become a "full platform."

Described by Becher as "a modern platform" for building real-time apps in the cloud, customers can choose among three options: SAP HANA AppServices, SAP HANA DBServices, and SAP HANA Infrastructure Services.

The second pillar is the HANA Marketplace, an online exchange for testing and deploying apps for "everyone," meaning apps from SAP and third parties. Customers can also look to the HANA Marketplace for buying memory in allotments between 128 GB to 1 TB.

"The world around is going through a fundamental change," Sikka theorized. "Software is becoming incredibly connected within our lives. Not just cloud-based software but device-based software"

Sikka asserted that we are emerging era where SAP (and other software makers) would sell to CIOs for complex integration projects. But it wasn't until quarters -- or even years -- later, that employees would really find out about what is going on with their software.

The sales and engagement process has gone through a revolution as well, Sikka continued, framing the new SAP HANA marketplace as "a marketplace for the world we're coming into is essential for how we sell.

But SAP isn't interested in just enterprise customers with the HANA cloud and marketplace. Sikka cited that 1,237 startups across 57 countries are now building products on HANA, with 60 of them already live.

Acknowledging that it's still early and a small figure, Sikka revealed that the HANA-based startup apps have crossed $10 million in revenue.

"At the end of the day, it's about commercial success. We want these startups to be commercially successful," Sikka remarked.

Furthermore, the third puzzle piece is a new pricing structure, advertised essentially as a consumption-based model that starts with a base price. Touted by SAP executives as a more transparent scheme, customers can then choose among add-on options for more services (i.e. predictive analytics, spatial processing and planning) as needed.

Finally, SAP also introduced some brand new features and potential use cases for the HANA platform.

Reiterating an interest in the healthcare market, the big debut was the Genomic Analyzer, a new HANA application designed specifically for extracting and tracking data in real time throughout various stages along the genomics research process, which were defined as alignment, annotation and analysis.

SAP boasted that data analytics at this speed should result in better and more personalized care for patients with chronic diseases.

"There is more to the world than ERP," Sikka concluded. "The opportunity is there for us to bring our collective imagination to the great problems of our times."

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