SAP HANA Turns Two

SikkaSAP HANA, our breakthrough in-memory data platform turned 2 today! As I reflect on the journey, I was reminded of the day when Hasso challenged me to intellectually renew SAP in the winter of 2008. The journey began with SAP HANA, along the way it transformed all our products, changed our mindsets and drove our aspirations. Liberated by this platform, we dared to dream again as the world’s premier builder of applications! Soon an incredible ecosystem of customers, partners and startups joined us, forever recasting the enterprise software industry on a new point of view SAP HANA.

As I take on the role to run SAP’s development organization across database, technology, cloud, mobile and application areas, I know that SAP is renewed and ready to lead the development of the next generation of enterprise software going after the big problems and endless opportunities with passion and imagination – from personalized medicine to connected cars, from personalized education to managing fraud in real-time. We see a new enterprise, built entirely on SAP HANA in the future – where every aspect of your business, from transactions and analytics to customer feedback and interactions, happens in real time. This ‘new enterprise’ can happen because of the radical rethinking that we have put into SAP HANA. It is not wedded to the old ways of doing business!

Also, my little girl has grown to be quite a trouble maker for our competition. Practically every day we see traditional database vendors trying to respond with promises to catch up, to release a product that will be 10x or 100x more. Two years on the innovation scale is a long time when you consider that Facebook was born in 2004 and Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. There has been a sea change in the industry in the two years since we launched SAP HANA, and it shows on these big earnings days. For me personally, any time I hear competitors ranting about SAP HANA, it tells me we are on the right path, doing the right things and making our customers successful. Every earnings call they continue to call out SAP HANA, constantly focusing on why their product is eventually going to be better. Yet after 1,500 SAP HANA customers in 2 years it’s clear that SAP HANA means what she says and delivers actions. We suspected that we were at least two years ahead of Oracle with SAP HANA, but with the statements made during their earnings call where they hinted at ‘future’ capabilities enabling them to better compete with SAP HANA, we now know we are MUCH further ahead. I suspect they are closer to four years behind us. The task is not only to build an in-memory columnar data platform, but also to optimize and run big demanding applications such as SAP Business Suite, BW, SAP BusinessObjects and soon SuccessFactors, Ariba and Hybris on such a platform. Our customers LOVE these applications and the next generation capabilities SAP HANA delivers!

Here are my top 10 stats for you to reflect on:

1) SAP crossed a run rate of $1 Billion on Cloud with over 30 Million customers. SAP Success Factors & Jam have more than 6000 customers and 24 million subscribers. Oracle’s claims need to beat these numbers to make sense.
2) Ariba Business Network has over 1 million companies on it. Cloud is the natural software topology for collaboration across companies in a business network.
3) SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offers infrastructure, platform and mission critical applications such as SAP Business Suite and BW today. The first customers are already live, while competitive products are yet to hit the market (we hear its next week!).
4) SAP HANA has over 1500 customers – in almost all cases SAP HANA was the lynchpin of our sales with over 50% of our transactions being standalone deals. Yes – databases are the fastest growing category at SAP with the rise of SAP HANA, and it is often at the expense of our competition, that has not kept up with innovation. The results speak for themselves. Larry’s mistrust of SAP HANA growth numbers is completely misplaced. Prominent financial analysts don’t agree with Oracle’s point of view.
5) SAP HANA has now been sold across all 25 industry verticals at SAP, including sports, retail and healthcare where new data driven business opportunities / models are emerging. The broad base of adoption is a clear sign of maturity and wide applicability of SAP HANA. Also, business benefits are strong, allowing CIOs to truly partner with their business without traditional bottlenecks. For example, Europe’s largest home improvement retailer got their payback on a large SAP HANA purchase in 3 days by delivering real-time visibility across 9 operating business units for improved purchasing, pricing and financial operations.
6) An additional 700 customers on SAP HANA on AWS are proving that SAP HANA is affordable for everyone. Try it out today on the SAP HANA Marketplace. We are relentless in changing the way business is done by using design thinking with our direct sales force, resulting in new direct to consumer and lower touch sales models with different pricing and deployment options.
7) 69 solutions that are powered by SAP HANA are generally available today. This includes SAP BusinessObjects (including Lumira), SAP Business Suite and Business Warehouse (BW)where customers are seeing remarkable business and technical benefits. This path continues relentlessly across cloud applications including SuccessFactors, Ariba and Hybris.
8) 483 startups are bringing break-through innovations from diverse fields such as fraud analytics and social media applications.
9) Nine major hardware partners offering SAP HANA appliances providing open choice and access.
Rich product innovations leading up to SAP HANA SP6 that provides an end to end data platform for transactions, analytics, natural language processing, events/time series, text search, geo-spatial, predictive libraries, business rules, planning functions and native application server capabilities, smart data access to HADOOP, complete integration with Sybase portfolio of products and enterprise readiness with high availability and disaster recovery.

In essence, it has been torrid pace of innovation at SAP over the last two years! Besides business and technical performance, one of the reasons why SAP HANA has struck a chord with customers is because she fights against the pains that are created by sprawling databases. We built a re-imagined data platform that processes and analyzes fresh data on the fly. It eliminates latency from separation of transactions and analytics that is endemic with classic database architectures. It is massively parallel, scalable (1 Petabyte+ in main memory) and capable of answering the most complex questions at speeds never before imagined (see Hasso’s demo of a large retail data set from HPI students presented at SAPPHIRE NOW or eBay’s story of early signal detection and analysis of their entire marketplace for predictive patterns).

This has helped SAP HANA redefine the database market and shake its underpinnings with a different in-memory based architecture. It is no surprise that we see classic database vendors respond with new announcements practically every day offering competing alternatives to see which version of the story will stick with customers. Oracle announced one more alternative yesterday during their earnings call. As far I can keep count, this is Oracle’s third attempt at responding to SAP HANA. Attempt #1 was Exalytics (remember that!), attempt #2 was Exadata repositioned as an in-memory machine with additional flash storage and now attempt #3 with the new announcement of a product to be released in the future called Oracle 12.1C. Maybe, the third time is a charm.

There are several implications for customers:

1) By announcing Oracle 12.1C, Larry just indicated the turning point in the database wars that we’ve been waiting for a long time. We saw similar announcements from others. If the database leader, Oracle, proceeds to deliver on a full blown In-Memory Database as promised today, SAP has essentially “won” the strategic argument for the future design of enterprise applications. This move will signify that they have effectively moved away from disk-based databases and that in-memory is the de-facto architecture for the next 30 years. Every SAP applications customer, including those considering SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA should now take the plunge with our in-memory centric architecture.
2) Every current and future Oracle customer should evaluate if they buy into an old architecture from Oracle today or wait for the new one while alternatives like SAP HANA are now mature and ready. As the database architecture and landscape shifts, we think that SAP HANA should be on your short list to evaluate. Thrilled customer references can help you make the switch.

But, can you afford to wait?
We think you can expect more from your database. We think that SAP HANA is the platform for the future enterprise and consumer applications where instant analysis is part of every transaction, where collaboration is based on real-time data and where massive size and variety of data are not constraints to our imagination. We think this can shape your business to be real-time, instantly connected in a network of customers and partners. We think software can be purposeful and it can empower people to solve some wicked problems of our time. We are ready NOW to help you get there in a much simpler, faster and smarter way. You can’t afford to wait for the future from Oracle (Fusion customers can tell you that the wait is longer than the promise!) – grab it now with SAP HANA!

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