The evolution of SAP HANA has opened the door for enterprises to engage more personally with their customers, sense and respond to external signals in real time, and build smarter, more dynamic business plans. One of the ways SAP is delivering these benefits to customers is through a new class of applications that has been purposely developed from the ground up to leverage the new advances in SAP HANA.
I recently sat down with SAPinsider to help answer some of the most frequent questions that customers have been asking around these new HANA applications. We talked about the distinction between HANA platform and HANA applications and where the two meet. We also discussed the various use cases and business problems that the applications address and how customers are using these applications today to meet some of the evolving challenges in their industries.
I have included an excerpt below with 3 of the most frequently asked questions that were covered during the discussion (the full article is now available online on the SAPinsider website here ). SAP HANA is constantly evolving and there are always new questions coming in around these new applications that. So let me know what your questions are by posting them in the comments box below (or by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will post another follow up blog to address the first 5 questions that come in.
Q: There’s some confusion about where the SAP HANA platform ends and where SAP HANA applications begin. Can you clarify?
A: One of the early SAP HANA use cases was to act as a real-time, in-memory database to dramatically accelerate analytics and business reporting. SAP HANA has evolved rapidly from this early start. Not only have we expanded the database services by adding advanced predictive, text, and geospatial analytic capabilities, but we’ve also extended SAP HANA to include an application server as well as a planning and calculation engine, a rules engine, and business function libraries. By pushing these technology components from the application layer down into the in-memory database layer, SAP HANA has opened the door to a new breed of applications that were not possible in the past. In effect, SAP HANA today is a real-time data platform as well as an application foundation on top of which next-generation applications can be developed and deployed.
Q: Are these applications part of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA? Are there any overlaps?
A: There is no overlap. SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA allows customers to run mission-critical business processes in real time, allowing them, for example, to eliminate batch processing from their material requirements planning (MRP) and accelerate their financial close. SAP HANA applications provide new and complementary use cases to these mission-critical processes without any dependency, meaning that customers don’t need to be running SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA to deploy these applications. In fact, there are SAP HANA applications that don’t require any sort of SAP footprint. Customers that have already migrated to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA can drive even more benefits from these applications by leveraging the out-of-the-box integration that they have with the various SAP Business Suite components.
Q: The list of SAP HANA applications is already fairly broad. How broad will it get?
A: It will only get broader. Our goal is to push the SAP HANA technology to its limits so we can offer our customers the broadest choice of new use cases possible. Not only are we developing applications on the enterprise side, but also on the consumer side so our customers can deliver new and exciting experiences to their own customers. We have also expanded the SAP HANA ecosystem, opening the door to partners, independent software vendors, and start-ups to bring in their own use cases and applications to run on SAP HANA and offer them to customers through the SAP HANA Marketplace.