SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA: Some thoughts

It was a lot of fun to see the hype that has been created around an important announcement from SAP to be made on the 10th of January. I am sure that 99% or more of the people who are working with or @ SAP knew what it is all about.

SAP HANA is now available as the database platform for the entire Business Suite of SAP. It was expected but I am sure that few expected that the engineering team of SAP would be able to deliver that quickly. There should be a large round of applause to the engineers @SAP for this tremendous effort and great job.

I have had the pleasure to work very early with SAP HANA and to be collaborating still with the first SAP HANA customer here in Spain. The thing that has surprised me from the very beginning is how stable SAP HANA is already in a 1.0 Version! Congrats once more.

In my humble opinion most probably SAP HANA is right now the most strategic investment and play for SAP to continue their growth. They have all the ingredients to make it happen, even though Oracle, IBM and Microsoft will not be please to see their very profitable Database Business decrease.

SAP’s success is in an important portion as well based on the fact that they have been able to create an important ecosystem that was able good money. At least the Database partners will look at SAP with slightly different eyes. Please take also a look at my Blog at SCN

Oracle has started a “shit-storm” like campaign against HANA to position their Exadata Suite as the only real In-Memory platform. This is a clear sign of them fearing the success of HANA.

It is rumored that IBM will also deliver a Database solution in-memory in order to be able to compete with HANA.

HANA could be a paradigm shift in the sense not only is SAP introducing a new technology to their customers with very important value for them but also we will see a lot of changes in the ecosystem.

Until know there have been 3 main players in the database Space who will start to loose even more their traction in those SAP Accounts. Further there are the HW Partners that are needed to make any Software work (even in the cloud there is HW somewhere).

The main Infrastructure vendors have today a very solid and important business around SAP. For Database Servers UNIX or even Mainframe Systems have been until now the preferred choice especially for larger customers in most cases. Those systems were all using high-end storage systems. SAP HANA could be serious threat to their margin. It will be very important for SAP to work closely with those Infrastructure vendors in order to make sure that they work on a joint approach and that any possible fear can be omitted or at least mitigated.

For the SI there will be another challenge. I believe there are approx. 50.000 SAP Business Suite installations out there in the world. The current approaches to make projects happen and with 1-off approaches will not scale and it will probably also increase the time to value, which is not desired.

I have had in 2011 & 2012 very positive experiences with SAP & SI in collaborating on projects. The factors that were key to success were:

  • SAP creates the team from the very beginning
  • All players on the team have an assigned role
  • Open and honest communication, all players have different counterparts at the customer and it is important to work of t hem.
  • Cover not only the CIO messages but as well the people from operations (they will be owning the solution!)

It might sound very egoist but especially the last point is much more important than it might seem. The CIO will in most cases not take a decision if his teams are not comfortable with the solution. SAP HANA being still new and very game changing with specific infrastructure the teaming between SAP and the infrastructure partners is key!

From my very own and personal perspective I am very much looking to see the first ramp-up customer and to continue to work on this very exciting journey. There are many things that are still not known on this way, but I know one thing for sure… They way is up!


About cnitschke

This blog is purely personal and reflects only my personal opinion. None of the content can be related in any way to my employer or former employers.
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