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A 360-degree perspective on SAP HANA

by Dave Hannon

May 3, 2013

By Dave Hannon, Senior Features Editor 


Anyone involved in the SAP world has no doubt heard a lot and has probably been talking a lot about SAP HANA, SAP's in-memory solution. With SAPPHIRE NOW coming up there's sure to be even more news about the latest innovations fueled by SAP HANA, and rightfully so. I'm not going to take down any kittens here, but SAP HANA really is that innovative of a technology with direct benefits to a number of business processes and industries.

The next step for you, the SAP customer, is to determine how this technology applies to your business and processes. There's a LOT of information out there about SAP HANA, and while I'm all for more information, I also know information overload can lead to avoidance.

But when you really get down to it, to effectively evaluate any technology, there are three perspectives you really need to get beyond those of your own company.

  1. The vendor's perspective. You need to understand how the vendor describes the technology, its value, and evaluate the vendor's commitment to the technology. 
  2. The customer's perspective. There is perhaps no better way to find out if a technology is right for you than benchmarking with some current users of the technology. 
  3. An independent third-party's perspective. You need a knowledgeable person with no skin in the game to give you the no-holds-barred perspective on a technology.

Finding and gathering those perspectives for SAP HANA might be a lot of work for the average SAP customer. To make it easier for SAP customers to get the full 360-degree view of SAP HANA the editors of SAPinsid er and insiderPROFILES have teamed up to compile an entire issue dedicated to SAP HANA and provide all three of those perspectives in one package.

To provide the vendor's perspective, Steve Lucas, Executive Vice President of Database and Technology, starts off by describing the progression of SAP HANA from inception to its current state. On the other end of the spectrum, Irfan Khan, CTO of the Database & Technology division, provides an inside look at SAP's future plans for SAP HANA.

"Where will this path take SAP HANA next?" Khan proposes in his article. "As the volume and diversity of data collected and analyzed continue to expand, data center space will become an issue for many of the most forward-thinking companies. SAP has prepared for increasingly limited space by offering applications powered by SAP HANA in the cloud."

To supplement those perspectives, Dan Kearnan, Senior Director of Marketing for SAP HANA, provides a detailed breakdown of the most current SAP HANA use cases (see an exclusive interview with Kearnan below) while Ron Wessels, Senior Director, outlines the SAP Startup Focus program and how it’s fueling the future of SAP HANA.

But while vendor perspectives are important, real-world customer experience is what really tells the story of a technology. To provide that perspective, this issue includes case studies from companies in a wide swath of industries and experience levels. From early adopters of SAP HANA including Medtronic and Surgutneftegas, to more recent implementors such as WeissBeerger, The Globe and Mail, Eby-Brown, ARI, and Colgate-Palmolive.

And who better to provide the independent analyst's perspective than Joshua Greenbaum. True to form, Greenbaum provides an extremely well-informed perspective on SAP's in-memory jour ney and value, as only he can.

Like any technology, SAP HANA is going to change, grow, and find new applications as creative users and developers get more access. This special edition provides a snapshot in time, detailing the growth of SAP HANA and how it is being used today while providing a sneak peek at where SAP HANA may go next.

Download the special SAP HANA edition now

Bonus for Insider Learning Network members! Watch this exclusive interview with Dan Kearnan of SAP recorded live at BI 2013 in Las Vegas. Kearnan candidly discusses adoption rates, misconceptions and implementation tips for  SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA.

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