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October 21, 2011 by Heather McIlvaine

First previewed in May, the SAP HANA application cloud is now officially here. (photo: Frank Voelkel)

This past week, most tech web sites and blogs have been captivated by all things Siri – what happens if you ask her about the meaning the life; and somewhat less high-minded, does she swear? Well, at SAP.info, we have been preoccupied with another technology, which coincidentally is also called by a 4-letter-long female name. You guessed it: HANA.

Since SAPPHIRE NOW in May, SAP has been making steady progress along its roadmap for SAP In-Memory Appliance (SAP HANA) software. The in-memory computing technology became generally available as planned at the end of June, and with the announcement in September of two new real-time applications, SAP took the first step toward its stated goal of enabling new and existing applications to run on SAP HANA.

Previewed at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, SAP Smart Meter Analytics and SAP CO-PA Accelerator Software were developed specifically to take advantage the SAP HANA platform to deliver real-time analytics on large volumes of data for utility companies and finance companies, respectively.

Then, at the Annual Congress of the German-speaking SAP User Group in Leipzig last week, SAP co-CEO Jim Snabe confirmed that in the future SAP Business One will run on SAP HANA. Since over 80% of SAP’s customers are small and medium businesses, this integration plays a vital role in ensuring that all SAP customers – not just large enterprises – will benefit from in-memory technology and real-time analytics. For coverage of the event and more details on the future offering, read the SAP.info article, “In the Pipeline: SAP HANA for SMBs.”

Next page: Real-time analytics in the cloud

Real-time analytics in the cloud

On October 19, SAP reached another significant milestone on the SAP HANA roadmap with the announcement of the launch of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) OnDemand, powered by SAP HANA. Essentially, this solution enables businesses to get quick, cost-effective access to the power of SAP HANA. Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, Technology and Innovation put it this way:

“With SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand on SAP HANA, we are bringing real-time analytics with the breakthrough capabilities of SAP HANA — enabling complex analyses, plans and simulations on real-time data — together with lower TCO, rapid time-to-value and beautiful end user experience of on-demand applications. This is one more example of how we are bringing the power of SAP HANA to every aspect of our existing products, in addition to the entirely new applications we are building.”

Since the solution runs in the SAP HANA application cloud, businesses do not need to maintain the software or necessary hardware for in-memory processing. In fact, companies need only supply the data to start getting SAP HANA-powered insights into their business. The obvious benefits to this approach are the low cost and ease of getting started with the solution. One blogger in the SAP Community Network spotted another attractive feature for companies that are not quite certain if SAP HANA is right for them. He suggested that the SAP HANA application cloud will allow these companies to test out SAP HANA at a relatively low cost before deploying it on premise, if that is their preferred deployment option.

As Vishal Sikka stated in his keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW in May when he first talked about the SAP HANA application cloud, SAP plans to make several other SAP offerings available on demand in the SAP HANA application cloud. At the time, he mentioned these offerings in particular: SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand, SAP Carbon Impact OnDemand, SAP BusinessObjects Sales and Operations Planning, and SAP Smart Meter Analytics.

SAP.info will keep you informed every step of the way as SAP continues to bring SAP HANA capabilities to more products and more customers.

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