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A Platform for Innovation

SAP HANA Cloud Platform and the Partner Ecosystem Provide Services for Digital Transformation

by Jerry Rosa | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 4

October 9, 2015

Read this article to discover how SAP HANA Cloud Platform, an open platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, can provide the agility that SAP partners and customers alike need to build new products quickly to respond to market trends, pressures, or opportunities present in the digital economy.


As the digital economy takes form, companies of all sizes are morphing their businesses from the analog workplace of the past to the digital business of the future. The leaders of this new economy are those who invent new business models to realize value and deliver an enhanced customer experience — all to avoid being replaced by the next born-in-the-cloud upstart.

But it’s not just cosmetic marketplace relevance that is at stake here. Inaction, bad decisions, or slow adoption could potentially be the death knell for companies that don’t see threats to their own industry’s threat in their rearview mirror until it is too late. Consider this prediction from Peter Diamandis, CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation: 40% of S&P 500 companies may not be in business 10 years from now if they don’t seriously rethink their business models.1

Technology is a major enabler of the change that is needed. In-memory computing, cloud solutions, connectivity, big data, and networking have pushed past the technological limits of the 20th century, allowing for the creation of nearly limitless business opportunities. To get ahead of the digital curve, companies need to drive the vision of their new digital business models with technologies that help them create value not just to stay in business, but to thrive. SAP provides SAP HANA Cloud Platform for this purpose — to help customers and partners alike find new value and innovate into the future.  

Transitioning to the Digital Economy

SAP HANA Cloud Platform is an open platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering backed by the in-memory power of SAP HANA and application services that allow SAP customers and partners to build and run mobile-enabled business applications in the cloud (see Figure 1).


Figure 1: SAP HANA Cloud Platform enables customers and partners to build and run applications in the cloud

Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP customers, partners, software vendors, developers, and startups can create, deploy, and secure extensions to SAP’s cloud and on-premise solutions, as well as develop modern applications that seamlessly integrate with SAP and non-SAP applications. They can then make these apps and solutions available on the SAP HANA App Center at, giving other customers an easy and seamless adoption and deployment experience. This means that companies can cut complexity out of the mix and run simple with a solid set of core applications that natively leverage the in-memory power of SAP HANA, extended by an SAP HANA Cloud Platform-based agility layer. With this agility, partners and customers can build new products quickly to respond to market trends, pressures, or opportunities present in the digital economy.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform provides benefits to companies of all sizes. Traditional SAP customers can empower their line-of-business organizations by extending internal applications and delivering user-friendly applications to any user on any device — and, more important, connecting their enterprise to the digital economy. For startup companies, SAP HANA Cloud Platform presents a great technical landscape for building applications on a single platform and leveraging capabilities of SAP HANA and differentiated business services, and provides them with exposure to the SAP customer base. And traditional SAP partners can quickly build modern applications using open standards, specific skillsets, and intellectual property without having to manually configure library files and functions, saving a considerable amount of time.

Engaging with a Top-Notch Partner Ecosystem

Like most SAP technologies, SAP HANA Cloud Platform benefits from the vast ecosystem of SAP partners that are working to deliver specialized solutions and extensions to suit a vast array of industries and processes. And partners are eager to use the platform, which helps them reach a market of more than 290,000 SAP customers. 

“Our partner ecosystem is rich in ideas, innovation, and the ability to deliver what customers need to be digital businesses,” says Marc Geall, Senior Vice President of SAP HANA Cloud Platform Innovation within SAP’s Global Partner Operations group.

SAP partners are already using SAP HANA Cloud Platform to provide real-world benefits to customers similarly to how they do with solutions such as SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA). Consider Accenture, which used SAP HANA Cloud Platform to expand its human capital management (HCM) offerings for SAP SuccessFactors solutions by providing its HR audit and compliance tool as a service for better audit and compliance reporting no matter where the data is hosted, and clone and test software for a secure environment for copying and testing HR test data.2 Another example is T-Systems, which used SAP HANA Cloud Platform to build a mobile app for real-time traffic system management for the Hamburg Port Authority.3

Partners can also bring their industry-specific experience to the cloud environment with SAP HANA Cloud Platform. “Industry lines are blurring,” says Geall. “There’s a lot of value that can be offered by partners to help an oil and gas company understand what the best practices are in retail or financial services and apply it to the oil and gas business model.”

Partners Lead the Way to Help Customers Run Simple
with SAP S/4HANA

Simplicity isn’t always simple. But the winning combination of SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) delivered by SAP’s partners makes it easier for customers to run simple regardless of the complexity of their IT landscape.

SAP partners leverage SAP S/4HANA — which runs exclusively on the SAP HANA platform and combines database, data processing, and application services in a single in-memory platform — to provide best-in-class deployments that simplify connections between people, systems, and devices to build more efficient business processes and deliver increased business value.

Taking their core expertise, SAP’s global strategic services and technology partners accelerate value and business impact by providing a vision of digital transformation through industry and line-of-business (LoB) best practices. For instance, Accenture was recently selected by Horizon Pharma plc, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, to implement SAP S/4HANA as a foundation for Horizon Pharma’s global ERP system. The platform will support the transformation of Horizon Pharma’s business operations and help enable strategic growth across the company’s healthcare LoBs.

Another SAP partner recently implemented SAP S/4HANA Finance at a major insurer in the US to support the company’s finance leaders as they extend their business transformation journey with simplified financial processes, enhanced innovation, and actionable, real-time data for decision makers.

Discover the value of simplicity and how you can reimagine your business with SAP S/4HANA at

Leveraging Enterprise Connections

Data is quickly becoming a form of currency in business: Without it, you’re missing out on a wide range of opportunities. But data persists in a number of systems and comes to a business through a number of technologies. SAP HANA Cloud Platform has a broad end-to-end capability across the SAP landscape and beyond, providing access to an expansive set of data sources, including SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), SAP SuccessFactors solutions, and other SAP cloud applications, third-party solutions, and social data.

Increased connectivity and the need to manage diverse business networks are putting pressure on legacy IT landscapes. More people than ever are connected through mobile devices and social networks, with 1.3 billion people on social networks alone. And more businesses are connected through integrated supply chains and business networks, as the proliferation of sensor technologies across all industries is leading to significant growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), with a projected 50 billion sensors in use by 2020.

Connectivity at both the user and machine level is what led SAP to develop another version of the platform, SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things, with additional functionality. It provides interfaces for devices and their data types, allowing for smooth, secure data transfer between IoT-connected devices and databases running on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.  

“SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the IoT allows you to securely tap into a network of millions of connected devices and build on its existing data and application services, such as predictive analytics, telematics, and geo-location,” says Tanja Rueckert, Executive Vice President of SAP’s IoT and Customer Innovation Development unit. “In this new era of automation and digitization, this is how we enable cyber-physical systems that turn sensor data into smart insights and predictive action.” Companies can integrate this technology with their traditional SAP systems and improve processes such as predictive maintenance by capturing, transferring, and analyzing data to then take a required action.

Real-World Examples

Many companies have already leveraged SAP HANA Cloud Platform to make better, more-informed decisions. Here are a few examples:

  • The National Football League (NFL) uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform to better engage and connect with its fans by delivering large volumes of data and statistics in an intuitive and highly visual way through the NFL player comparison tool, a way to easily access real-time player data for the ultimate fantasy football experience.4
  • Groupe Danone engages customers on their mobile devices with user-friendly apps built on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.5
  • Siemens delivers the Siemens Cloud for Industry, an IoT platform based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, as a service for industrial customers.6

A New Innovation for Marketers to Like

Imagine if you could amplify your brand on Facebook without having to do more work. SAP and Facebook are changing the game for marketers by combining real-time insight with customer engagement. The result is greater precision in campaigns, new audiences, and a higher conversion rate. This new joint offering, part of hybris marketing, and powered by SAP HANA, combines enterprise customer data with Facebook audience data.

See how businesses are using the Facebook integration feature to better understand customers and prospects at

Learn More

While the dust is far from settling in the formation of the digital workplace, doing nothing is tantamount to driving with your eyes closed. As the digital workplace evolves, companies must embrace technology to invent new business models and disrupt their business — before someone else does. SAP HANA Cloud Platform and the SAP partner ecosystem can help forward-thinking customers stay in the driver’s seat and pull ahead in the race to digital innovation.

For more information, visit


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Jerry Rosa
Jerry Rosa

Jerry Rosa is a Senior Marketing and Communications Professional at SAP and is focused on topics related to SAP’s partner ecosystem and the SAP PartnerEdge partner program. Before joining SAP, he was a news and business technology journalist.

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