While competitors hope that 3rd time may be a charm
SAP HANA, our breakthrough in-memory data platform turned 2 today! As I reflect on the journey, I was reminded of the day when Hasso challenged me to intellectually renew SAP in the winter of 2008. The journey began with HANA, along the way it transformed all our products, changed our mindsets and drove our aspirations. Liberated by this platform, we dared to dream again as the world’s premier builder of applications! Soon an incredible ecosystem of customers, partners and startups joined us, forever recasting the enterprise software industry on a new point of view SAP HANA.
As I take on the role to run SAP’s development organization across database, technology, cloud, mobile and application areas, I know that SAP is renewed and ready to lead the development of the next generation of enterprise software going after the big problems and endless opportunities with passion and imagination – from personalized medicine to connected cars, from personalized education to managing fraud in real-time. We see a new enterprise, built entirely on SAP HANA in the future – where every aspect of your business, from transactions and analytics to customer feedback and interactions, happens in real time. This ‘new enterprise’ can happen because of the radical rethinking that we have put into HANA. It is not wedded to the old ways of doing business!
Also, my little girl has grown to be quite a trouble maker for our competition. Practically every day we see traditional database vendors trying to respond with promises to catch up, to release a product that will be 10x or 100x more. Two years on the innovation scale is a long time when you consider that Facebook was born in 2004 and Apple launched the iPhone in 2007. There has been a sea change in the industry in the two years since we launched HANA, and it shows on these big earnings days. For me personally, any time I hear competitors ranting about HANA, it tells me we are on the right path, doing the right things and making our customers successful. Every earnings call they continue to call out HANA, constantly focusing on why their product is eventually going to be better. Yet after 1,500 HANA customers in 2 years it’s clear that HANA means what she says and delivers actions. We suspected that we were at least two years ahead of Oracle with HANA, but with the statements made during their earnings call where they hinted at ‘future’ capabilities enabling them to better compete with HANA, we now know we are MUCH further ahead. I suspect they are closer to four years behind us. The task is not only to build an in-memory columnar data platform, but also to optimize and run big demanding applications such as SAP Business Suite, BW, SAP BusinessObjects and soon SuccessFactors, Ariba and Hybris on such a platform. Our customers LOVE these applications and the next generation capabilities HANA delivers!
Here are my top 10 stats for you to reflect on:
In essence, it has been torrid pace of innovation at SAP over the last two years! Besides business and technical performance, one of the reasons why HANA has struck a chord with customers is because she fights against the pains that are created by sprawling databases. We built a re-imagined data platform that processes and analyzes fresh data on the fly. It eliminates latency from separation of transactions and analytics that is endemic with classic database architectures. It is massively parallel, scalable (1 Petabyte+ in main memory) and capable of answering the most complex questions at speeds never before imagined (see Hasso’s demo of a large retail data set from HPI students presented at SAPPHIRE NOW or eBay’s story of early signal detection and analysis of their entire marketplace for predictive patterns).
This has helped SAP HANA redefine the database market and shake its underpinnings with a different in-memory based architecture. It is no surprise that we see classic database vendors respond with new announcements practically every day offering competing alternatives to see which version of the story will stick with customers. Oracle announced one more alternative yesterday during their earnings call. As far I can keep count, this is Oracle’s third attempt at responding to HANA. Attempt #1 was Exalytics (remember that!), attempt #2 was Exadata repositioned as an in-memory machine with additional flash storage and now attempt #3 with the new announcement of a product to be released in the future called Oracle 12.1C. Maybe, the third time is a charm.
There are several implications for customers:
But, Can you afford to wait?
We think you can expect more from your database. We think that SAP HANA is the platform for the future enterprise and consumer applications where instant analysis is part of every transaction, where collaboration is based on real-time data and where massive size and variety of data are not constraints to our imagination. We think this can shape your business to be real-time, instantly connected in a network of customers and partners. We think software can be purposeful and it can empower people to solve some wicked problems of our time. We are ready NOW to help you get there in a much simpler, faster and smarter way. You can’t afford to wait for the future from Oracle (Fusion customers can tell you that the wait is longer than the promise!) – grab it now with HANA!