It doesn't take an MBA or Six Sigma training to know that the best thing a business can do is solve its customers' problems. And it's this simple truth -- and not necessarily the technological breakthrough of SAP HANA -- that is driving the current SAP technology roadmap.
You probably have heard SAP's repeated tagline of on device, on demand, on premise. Now, this isn't a roadmap exactly, but the tagline derives from four consistent pieces of feedback they heard from customers in recent years.
- Customers want to increase their business agility
- They want to run smart and stable systems
- They want to find ways to empower their end users, reducing the burden on IT
- Ultimately, they want to reduce TCO
Obviously, these are high-level (and somewhat obvious) goals. But SAP regrouped its strategy and, in part with the development of HANA, took a look at the way its technology was positioned and how it could help customers achieve these four goals.
- To increase business agility, SAP looked to build on-demand applications that could provide instant value. Obviously, this ties into their push for better analytics and more readily available information.
- To make their systems smarter and more stable, they focused on making data access more high performance, as well as leveraging the existing security features of various solutions. The on-premise part of things remains critical.
- To empower end users, they focused on mobility -- looking for ways to support all devices to provide ins
tant use and a clean look and feel. Customers are on-device; SAP systems need to be too.
- To reduce TCO, they pursued landscape extensibility, namely providing a consistent user experience throughout the various applications that are available.
These actions are all still very much in progress, obviously. HANA has a place, certainly -- specifically in the analytical side, and in providing data faster and more accurately. But it's important to see that despite the excitement surrounding in-memory computing, it's not the only focus of SAP right now. The technological foundation and user experience may not be as sexy topics, but they're by no means being ignored.