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SAP clarifies HANA branding

by Scott Priest, Editorial Director

August 12, 2011

In case you missed it, SAP VP Amit Sinha announced last month that SAP HANA is no longer known by any of the many-worded terms you've heard in the last year (In-Memory Appliance, High-Performance Analytic Appliance, etc.).

That's right, it's just SAP HANA now. Here's what Amit has to say:

[W]ith general availability, we’ve learned and simplified the positioning and branding.

SAP HANA is a platform. Deployment models are the SAP HANA appliance (GA now from selected partners) for on-premise and the SAP HANA application cloud (in private beta now) for on-demand deployment. Running on the SAP HANA platform are real-time analytics and real-time applications. Applications built on the SAP HANA platform will be designated “powered by SAP HANA” (did I just announce an ISV program by saying that?). The SAP HANA platform consists of the SAP HANA database, which is based on our breakthrough SAP in-memory computing technology, plus other components (data services, calculation engine, replication server, etc).

With this, we will no longer use the following names

    • SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance or SAP In-Memory Appliance – simply use “SAP HANA” and, depending on deployment, you may say SAP HANA appliance or SAP HANA application cloud
    • SAP In-Memory Computing Engine (SAP ICE) – simply use SAP HANA database
    • Please also note that “SAP HANA” does not get further spelled out (is not an abbreviation of an expanded name) anymore.

I'm a little sad that SAP ICE has gone away, if only because it takes away the possibility of Vanilla Ice references in future blog posts. But I guess that's a small price to pay for simplicity.

I'm actually surprised this hasn't gotten more attention. I was only made aware of the change in an email from one of my colleagues; subsequent searches found very little exposition of it online, other than the link I've provided below. 

Even though the word hasn't completely gotten out yet, SAP has to be applauded for taking this direction. It's easy for businesses to get caught up in overblown branding that ends up confusing their customers. SAP has seen this themselves -- look at how much confusion has arisen over their Crystal products, Xcelsius (which has had a hilarious number of different names over the last few years), and especially their BusinessObjects portfolio. In trying to lump together related applications or modules, the message gets lost as customers try to determine exactly what it is that they're learning about (or being sold).

It's obvious that HANA is something special for SAP. Every news story trumpeting SAP's p rofit, soaring stock price, upcoming pipeline, or management turnaround spends paragraphs devoted to HANA. Kudos to SAP for understanding that for such a product, simplicity is best. If you want customers to get what your product is, don't bog them down in terminology and acronyms. Keep it short, and explain the product outside of the name itself.


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