SAP Moves to SAP HANA

Organizations everywhere are contending with the challenges of digital transformation. Here at SAP, we help drive customers’ transformation journeys with intelligent technologies and solutions that support new business models and enable customers to extract more value from their data.

At the same time, as a company, SAP has been on its own transformation journey. A core part of this journey has been an initiative to move our solutions and internal IT systems to SAP HANA.

As detailed in a new paper from SAP, we are proud to announce that this project is now complete for SAP SuccessFactors solutions and many other offerings from SAP, such as the SAP Ariba Sourcing and SAP Ariba Procurement solutions.

The early days of SAP HANA focused on supporting SAP solutions such as the SAP Business Warehouse and SAP ERP applications. These evolved into highly optimized solutions like SAP S/4HANA, our next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that leverages the powerful capabilities of SAP HANA. This has resulted in a flexible digital core, simplified data models, and optimized database queries for answering critical business questions in real time. It has also enabled new applications that combine transactions, analytics, predictions, and search.

More recently, we have focused our efforts on SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, and SAP Customer Experience solutions. These cloud solutions are all running on SAP HANA. Here are just some of the immediate results of each project:

  • SAP SuccessFactors solutions: A single version of the truth across all users and unified reporting on the transactional system in real time with no latency
  • SAP Ariba solutions: A 25 percent improvement in UI response time and a 10-times improvement in search performance for SAP Ariba Procurement solutions
  • SAP Customer Experience solutions: Improved performance — such as faster pipeline commission calculations — and a smaller data footprint with compression ratios up to 10-times higher

Good for SAP and for SAP Customers

The benefits of moving to SAP HANA are evident both internally and externally.

Running on SAP HANA, our solutions benefit from a simplified data model that helps to harmonize solutions and standardize the technology stack. Rather than focusing time and energy on the limitations of third-party databases, our development teams can now build more solutions that harness the power of advanced analytics or machine learning as an integral part of their design. Updates and upgrades are streamlined, and performance data across the portfolio can be analyzed for continuous improvements.

In addition, moving to our own technology eliminates third-party licenses, helping us generate substantial cost savings while also enabling us to drive performance, provide more optimized solutions, and deliver better innovation.

With SAP HANA as the foundation, our cloud portfolio can take full advantage of its core capabilities. Machine learning tools in SAP HANA, for example, enable companies to leverage the massive volumes of data generated from SAP transactions to train models, detect patterns, and predict what is coming next. This helps organizations become data-driven intelligent enterprises for the digital economy. SAP SuccessFactors solutions on SAP HANA, for example, enable faster innovation, while machine learning capabilities make it possible to serve up learning recommendations to employees or detect gender bias in the hiring process.

Last but definitely not the least, with hybrid analytical and transactional processing capabilities, SAP HANA allows companies to manage transactions and analytics on a single platform in real time. This delivers at least two important benefits for our customers competing in an always-on digital economy. First, it supports the real-time insight needed to make decisions quickly and act in the moment. Second, it reduces the data footprint for customers that no longer need to copy and move data to separate environments for analytic workloads, thus helping improve security and reduce the potential for data breaches by shrinking the attack surface exposed to bad actors.

Powerful Analytics

The ability to perform analytics on live transactional data in real time across the SAP Cloud portfolio enables faster, more accurate, and more powerful business insights. With access to a single source of truth enabled by SAP HANA, customers of solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Ariba solutions can apply advanced analytics to real-time dashboards that improve situational awareness and the ability to see what is coming next.

With SAP HANA as the foundation, it is also possible to take advantage of powerful technologies such as the SAP Analytics Cloud solution. Bringing together the domains of business intelligence (BI), planning, and predictive analytics, this all-in-one analytics solution helps companies analyze the past and understand the present while planning and predicting the future. BI is no longer simply about visualizing data, but actually working with information by performing ad hoc simulations, testing hypotheses, and planning ahead.

The embedded version of SAP Analytics Cloud in SAP SuccessFactors solutions, for example, gives companies better insights into their HR and business data to improve their people and organizational decisions. SAP Analytics Cloud is also deeply integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, giving business users personalized access to data, ad hoc analytical capabilities, and predefined reporting that is seamlessly embedded into their daily work. Moving forward, SAP Analytics Cloud will become foundational to an increasing number of SAP solutions – with help from SAP HANA.

Only the Beginning

For SAP, the move to SAP HANA is not an end point but the beginning of a new chapter, one of enhanced experiences, actionable insight, and improved business performance for SAP and our customers.

Moving forward, expect tighter integration and the ability to do more with greater ease using cloud solutions from SAP running on SAP HANA.


Gerrit Kazmaier is executive vice president of SAP HANA and Analytics at SAP.
Abdul Razack is chief product officer of Cloud Business Group at SAP.