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Dispatch from SAP TechEd: Vishal Talks HANA and Cool New Apps

by Lauren Bonneau, Managing Editor

October 16, 2012

By Lauren Bonneau, Managing Editor, insiderPROFILES. 

At the SAP TechEd keynote at the Venetian Hotel this morning in Las Vegas, SAP HANA certainly stole the show. Keynote speaker and SAP executive board member Vishal Sikka, who was introduced as "the Godfather of SAP HANA," said he was a bit uncomfortable with that kind of introduction, seeing as it came at an Italian-themed Vegas casino.

He started his speech with some heartfelt and personal commentary about the injustice of being up so early in Sin City -- and shared his feelings about watching the beautiful sunrise as he was readying for this morning's events. Vishal equated the view to a fog lifting in the enterprise world today.

And he spoke a lot about how SAP and "we" collectively are limited only by our imaginations.

Of course, Vishal considers SAP HANA his little girl ("I have two boys and a little girl now," he joked.) And he dedicated much of the keynote to speaking about his little girl and the recent wins since the unveiling of SAP HANA 18 months ago. Here are a few of the facts and figures I found most interesting:

  • There are 603 SAP customers now running HANA.
  • 18 of them are in the 10,000 club, which means they have experienced a factor of 10,000 improvement in productivity since using the appliance.
  • Since developing the 100TB in-memory system with IBM, he says the price has already dropped 20-25%.
  • And at the upcoming TechEd i n Madrid, he says SAP will be up and running with a demo of SAP HANA running 10 years of data -- a company that executes 330 million transactions each day -- at a compressed rate that demonstrates a reduction of 20 times.

Vishal showed a lot of graphs and slides that showed end users lose attention after 9-10 seconds of inactivity. And HANA is the platform at the heart of preventing this through real-time, in-memory computing and analytics. He spoke about empowering end users, removing complexity, and designing a non-disruptive, continuous user experience on a platform that allows for renewal and evolution.One graph showed HANA processing 2 billion scans per second per core.

Vishal also emphasized that HANA is not just an analytical database but also offers breakthrough transactional performance. It also processes 1 million inserts per second. And this figure was actually updated to 1.5 million inserts later on in the keynote. How's that for real-time information?

There were other announcements and people called on stage during his keynote. But what received the loudest applause was the news that SAP HANA is now available as an Amazon web service for about 99 cents per hour. It can be up and running in 3-7 minutes; however, the disclaimer was thrown out there that it is only for small amounts of data -- for startups or people just wanting to try it out with limited amounts of data.

Another well-received tidbit was the announcement that NetWeaver Cloud, the brand new open source development platform for Java programmers, is generally available now -- and there are unlimited NetWeaver development licenses out now (insert loud applause here).

Some new mobile apps got a quick callout, including Recalls Plus, a new fashion app, and one called PhotoTrip, which involves a way to share pictures with a private community based on pics from an event.

And the newest mobile app that SAP recently signed a deal for is a professional sports app for fans of the NFL or the NBA. This is nothing groundbreaking in the sports world, but for SAP, this is definitely a cool new area to enter into. Users can see schedules and rosters for their home teams and even integrating to third parties, such as ticketing brokers or things like PhotoTrip, where sports attendees can share pics with community members live from the game. Having just been in Seattle watching Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots lose to the Seahawks (sadly), I would've loved to have been able to use the SportsApp to share my dejected comments and pics.

Attendees seemed enthusiastic also about the news that all BOBJ dashboards now can be run on the iPad -- and at the prospect of receiving a "I was a data geek before it was cool" t-shirt by taking part in the Data Geek Challenge. The DemoJam is tonight at 8pm -- cutely referred to as the American Idol for Geeks. Looking forward to what tonight has in store!

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