Whether you’re a technology fanatic or a casual observer of the industry, it’s always helpful to take stock of industry trends in a broader context – particularly as they relate to SAP solutions. Several weeks ago, we sponsored a webinar on “Selecting Cloud Platforms for Customer Engagement,” featuring Forrester’s John Rymer and SAP’s Suresh Ramakrishnan. In their 60 minute presentation, John and Suresh did what they do best: discuss, respectively, cloud platforms in the broadest possible context, and why the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the ideal Platform as a Service (PaaS) for our customers.
John kicked off his presentation with an important baseline: the fact that faster delivery of great software has been a paramount goal in the technology world for decades. But as he points out, the pressure to build amazing apps quickly is now greater than ever: while mobile devices, social media and the proliferation of data have made customers more empowered and demanding, the digital competition to attract and retain them is unprecedented. Hence, the need for real-time, next generation customer engagement applications in the cloud. John provided several excellent examples of such mashup apps, in B2C and B2B industries alike. While the objectives, audience and underlying technology of these applications are diverse, striking commonalities abound:
This leads to the fundamental question: how does one build such solutions? “It starts with cloud platforms,” according to John, who outlined various services that are essential for the development of such applications, including predictive analytics, real-time integration, and those that foster a cross channel customer experience. Citing the “tremendous number of questions from clients on selecting cloud platforms,” he then provided a nice summary of the advice provided to such customers. I don’t want to steal his thunder, but I hope you find John’s framework and suggestions to be as valuable and thought provoking as I did. Among other things, he offered an intriguing analysis of cloud platform services as they relate to two dimensions: Value to Business, and Proximity to Business (the latter best understood by answering the question, “does the service provide functions that business people understand and interact with every day,” or is it primarily IT-centric?). Finally, he ended his presentation with a fascinating statistic from Forrester: of 600 application delivery shops recently surveyed in North America and Western Europe, 32% now routinely delivery software in a staggering one to three weeks. Given the unprecedented pace of application development today — not to mention the scale of such apps — it’s no wonder Forrester says the public cloud market is now in “hypergrowth” phase.
Enter SAP HANA Cloud Platform, our in-memory Platform as a Service that enables you to build, extend and run applications on SAP HANA in the cloud. While I know many of you are very familiar with SAP’s cloud platform already, you’ll hear from Suresh how it fits nicely into John’s framework, and how customers like Danone and NFL are using it to build superb, highly engaging next generation customer applications. You’ll also learn about our comprehensive set of services for apps, database and infrastructure, and how you can start building and discovering applications quickly with the SAP HANA Marketplace.
I hope you enjoy viewing our webinar with John and Suresh, and learning about the services and capabilities to look for in a cloud platform. On behalf of all of us at SAP, we look forward to hearing about your application development successes, and to seeing your next generation cloud apps in action.