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December 7, 2011

New Path for SAP: In Memory Computing, Predictive Analysis Converge

Valery Herrington

SAP, a dominant force in enterprise application software, is creating a new path with an in memory computing solution called SAP HANA.  During the SAPPHIRE Now 2011 and ASUG annual conference, executives from SAP described the HANA in memory computing appliance as “innovative” and “game-changing”.  

SAP HANA provides a solution for big data customers that rely heavily upon predictive analysis. The in memory computing appliance takes large volumes of data, traditionally stored in a relational database, and makes it available through an advance memory store.  Volumes of data are now directly accessible to business applications through the significantly faster memory store. 

Data computation that would normally take hours, or even weeks, can now be performed in seconds.  Critical, formerly time consuming predictive analysis reports that require processing of complex data scenarios can be provided at near instantaneous speeds for review and results analysis.

 A key driving factor behind the “game-changing” is the powerful new results delivered through convergence with predictive analysis. SAP HANA is already delivering predictive analysis wins at companies like Colgate-Palmolive and Centrica. For Colgate-Palmolive SAP HANA provides a solution to their intensive profitability analysis reporting. In the Colgate-Palmolive customer use case, the business now completes intensive calculations on growing product data volumes in record times.

Similarly, Centrica is using SAP HANA to perform complex smart meter data analysis. For Centrica, vast amounts of data are now considered to be standard input to fast predictive analysis. Centrica is using the predictive analysis to deliver immediate value and better service to customers by helping them to become more energy efficient.

Adding to the suite of SAP HANA and predictive analysis offerings is the new SAP affinity insight and forecasting for retail solution, developed by their (PIO) performance and insight optimization group. Affinity insight combines the power of SAP HANA with algorithmic science and business knowledge to enable predictive analysis calculations.  S

AP Retail predictive analysis is playing a key role at customers like SportMart, where they are experiencing significant results through SAP affinity insight. Predictive retail data calculations and trends, performed on billions of records, typically taking days or weeks to complete, now run in seconds. SportMart can quickly consume predictive analysis results and respond more efficiently to retail trends.

According to a recent Gartner October 13, 2011 report, “HANA Architecture vision is in its early stages”.  However, it is important to note that his report is also an early-stage perspective and does not include convergence with predictive analysis.  SAP HANA and predictive analysis are delivering important results and providing a new path to success for big data customers. This is a big step towards “innovative” and “game-changing” big data customers are ready for more.

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About the Author

Valery Herrington is CEO of Herrington Technology. She is an enterprise technology leader with Tier 1 Global Technology and a trusted executive advisor and consultant with successful project deployments at over 25 large-scale enterprise organizations. Ms. Herrington specializes in emerging technologies, enterprise architecture, program and project management, and in rapid deployments for the finance, pharmaceutical industries, among others. Ms. Herrington can be found on the web at