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Lucas tells keynote audience: "SAP HANA is not a luxury item"

by Ken Murphy, Editorial Director

March 5, 2013

LAS VEGAS – SAP's Executive Vice President and GM of SAP Database and Technology made one thing abundantly clear during Tuesday morning’s keynote presentation at SAPinsider’s CRM, Logistics and SCM, Manufacturing, PLM, and Procurement conference: Businesses should not consider SAP HANA a luxury item.

No, customers need to invest in SAP HANA if they are serious about “raising the water line of your business,” said Steve Lucas.

And that, he said, is what SAP HANA will do.

Of course, aware that he was laser-focused on SAP HANA, Lucas regrouped after some opening comments and spoke briefly instead about big data, cloud computing and mobility — three megatrends that apply across all lines of business and drive use cases for investing in SAP’s in-memory technology.

He joked that he changed gears just a minute or two into his opening remarks “because I’ve already said HANA 17 times.”

But, Lucas reminded the more than 1,000 attendees, the evolution of the smartphone is akin to what SAP HANA does. Just like music players, phones, and cameras are all now ubiquitous on one device, SAP HANA blends existing technologies into something unique and innovative.

In explaining the rationale for creating SAP HANA, Lucas brought up an example of a manufacturer who needs to make snap decisions when a disaster causes production of a part to halt.

“This is why we created HANA,” he said. “So that when you’re on the phone with your supplier, before you hang up the phone you have answers to all of your questions. … We created SAP HANA for two reasons: To go faster, and to drive innovation.”

Lucas then sought to dispel what he sees as a major hurdle: customers who wonder about the “art of the possible.” In short, the answer to the question “What’s in it for my business?”

He said the “aha” moment for him came when he was speaking to the CIO of a utility company who told him that he doesn’t sit around thinking 24/7 about what SAP HANA can do. “Give me a menu,” he told Lucas. “Show me what it can do.”

“That really struck me,” said Lucas, “And in the last few weeks we’ve taken action [to remedy this]. It’s time for HANA.”

Lucas then gave examples for the three main things that running SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA accomplishes. It is, he said, “absolutely smarter, it’s absolutely faster, and it’s simpler.”

There are, he detailed, more than 400 business optimizations currently enabled from running SAP HANA across all lines of business, and 23 industry-specific optimizations.

One optimization he pointed out was the ability for a business to combine all of its product data with all of its customer data in an instant and retrieve actionable business intelligence.

Among other benefits, SAP HANA, he said:

  • Allows a company to consistently and constantly model its business
  • Eliminates data duplication
  • Allows for intuitive multi-dimensional queries across a business
  • Gives a user a seamless dashboard with no filters or menus
  • Gives businesses a transactional, dimensional, analytic, predictive and text engine all on one platform

Lucas drove home that final point: running SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA is what a business needs to capitalize on breakthrough, transformative applications — with the understanding that the 400+ that he mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.

Later today, each line of business (CRM, SCM and Logistics, Manufacturing, and Procurement) will have their individual General Assemblies at the SAPinsider event. It's a safe bet that SAP HANA will be mentioned in all of them.

We’ll keep count on “SAP HANA” references and see if they match Lucas’s estimate from his own keynote. More later!

Follow me on Twitter: @KMurphyWisPubs

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