Hello IBM, How About We Let Watson And SAP HANA Play Together ?

I would like to make an open invitation to IBM – how about we join hands to make Watson and HANA work together for the benefit of our customers?

I am not just making this up – my boss Vishal Sikka who is the executive board member at SAP responsible for all our products and innovation areas is fully supportive of this idea too.

If we look at the last few years of computing history, there are very few things that get me excited more than SAP HANA and IBM Watson. They are non-competitive solutions , but have a lot of potential to work together for a greater purpose. Watson is an Artifical Intelligence application with Natural Language Processing capabilities. SAP HANA is a modern in-memory platform on which the best modern applications can be built. Ergo – isn’t it a no brainer to get Watson to work on HANA ?

There are several benefits of such a collaboration.

1. Watson is a highly specialized application – that needs specialized highly powerful computing. HANA is an extremely high performance platform with NLP capabilities, columnar store, graph processing, predictive analytics etc built into it.

2. Watson will need multiple deployment options to cater to a variety of use cases. HANA works equally well in on-premise systems and in cloud.

3. Watson will need deep domain expertise. When it comes to business process knowledge, SAP is the best bar none. Combining Watson’s abilities to do deep AI with SAP’s IP in business processes, and the power of SAP HANA platform – customers will have a cutting edge solution that delivers value in near future.

4. Watson will need to scale without sacrificing performance as the information it works on increases with time. HANA scales up and scales out easily. More over, HANA can support federation with other systems like hive, Sybase IQ etc if such an architecture is needed for customer deployments.

5. SAP and IBM have been excellent partners for decades. Sure, we compete on a few areas as well – but we partner way more than we compete. So why not make the partnership even stronger. We do know for a fact that customers like deep collaboration between the two companies. SAP HANA works great on IBM X series boxes, which use GPFS which is IBM software. IBM Global Services has capabilities to provide HANA implementation services.

6.SAP HANA has a thriving ecosystem with thousands of customers, several partners and developers etc. Over 1100 startups are working on creating innovative applications on SAP HANA, IBM can use that ecosystem to make the joint solution even more attractive and scale it faster.

It is absolutely possible that with some investment in time and effort, both SAP and IBM can build something similar to “HANA+Watson” by themselves instead of by collaborating. But why take that route if we can add value to our customers in much shorter time by working together ?

Your move, IBM !

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