SAP Canada to Open New Cloud Data Center

This week in Canada we announced a strategic investment to open our first Canadian data center, and we couldn’t be more excited.

There are a couple of reasons behind our decision. We’re seeing a growing demand for cloud based solutions from our Canadian customers. They want to take a step into the cloud, but they’re still nervous about this new way of doing things. Our customers here range from government agencies to healthcare and financial services companies and almost all of them have strict data security requirements. They want the data housed on Canadian soil, because of confidentially issues. No matter how much we explained the data was secure, there is this emotional tie with having it in Canada, and we needed to accommodate that to grow the SAP business here.

Today, cloud is only a quarter of our on-premise business, but we expect to grow the cloud at a vastly higher rate than on-prem. My goals this year are 100% growth in cloud, compared to 20% growth in on-premise, and having a Canadian data center will help ensure we achieve that. Almost every net-new account we sign now goes on SAP HANA immediately, and therefore will never have to run their business on a legacy relational database. I believe that we are now well beyond the early adopter phase on SAP HANA in our traditional installed base. We are seeing more Suite on SAP HANA interest than ever. We predict that a lot of customers will switch off Oracle relational databases and come to the SAP HANA enterprise cloud.

Partners of SAP including PHEMI, a Vancouver-based Big Data platform company, will also use the data center for software applications based on SAP HANA. Dr. Paul Terry, president and CEO at PHEMI, says, “We are bringing the performance of Big Data to healthcare organizations — aggregating sensitive patient information like physician letters, lab results or images from all over hospital networks and making it easily accessible by doctors and researchers, via the cloud. And we do it with the critical privacy and governance features that both the patient and the provider demand. Our customers in both healthcare and the public sector have strong privacy and security requirements, so we’re pleased to use SAP’s secure Canada-based data center to meet these needs.”

The Canadian DC will run a number of cloud solutions including SuccessFactors, and SAP HANA®. The infrastructure is currently being built in Toronto and will be live by the end of 2014.

Author Bob Elliot is the managing director of SAP Canada
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