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February 7, 2012

SAP Dishes on Database Market Ambitions

Datanami Staff

It’s been a banner year for SAP, which boasted 2011 profits that topped the charts over the course of their 40-year history. The company says that this growth has been spurred in part by their ability to tap into the needs of big data customers while maintaining their foothold with their bread-and-butter products.

In the midst of their broader focus the three trends du jour they’re focusing on, including (surprise) big data, mobile, and cloud computing, is an important piece of their strategic puzzle. The star of their show over the last quarter in particular has been their in-memory platform, HANA.

According to the company’s president and corporate officer, Sanjay Poonen, customers are taking advantage of the better pricing and performance kick with memory over traditional disk. Furthermore, he claims that HANA is the key to their ability to break into the database space, giving giants like IBM, Oracle, Teradata and Microsoft a breathless run for their money.

In the interview below, Ponnen says that one of the ironies for his company is that as it stands, about 70% of the HANA use cases (even though it’s impossible to get a real estimate for how many customers are actually using HANA in production in its 1.0 form) are sourcing data that has no connection to SAP.

Poonen says his company is “all about choice” in the application space, but as time goes on, they hope to not only keep their space at the “top” of the enterprise app market—but to make some bold moves in the database market as well.

To kickstart the second phase of their plan to take over the enterprise DB market with HANA, today the company announced two carrots to dangle before cash-strapped, data-laden SMEs. According to SAP,
“With analytics powered by SAP HANA for the SAP Business One application and SAP HANA, Edge edition, SMEs will be able to leverage powerful in-memory technology from SAP. By helping organizations act on information as it happens, SAP HANA revolutionizes decision-making, dramatically increasing the speed of existing processes and accessing large amounts of data in shorter periods of time.”

“Small businesses have the dual need of a real-time software platform for their business, and yet simplicity in their IT landscapes,” said Dr. Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, Technology & Innovation Platform, SAP AG. “SAP HANA enables nearly 80 percent of our customers, which are small and midsize businesses, to bring together structured and unstructured data analysis from any source, as well as transactional applications and analytics, in a single highly scalable, elastic infrastructure for true real-time computing. Together with our ecosystem partners, we are excited about SAP HANA delivering unprecedented performance improvements to businesses without compromise.”

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