Your Digital Transformation – Powered by SAP HANA

Daniel Schneiss

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SVP, SAP HANA Platform & Databases

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Digital transformation has become imperative for all businesses, no matter the size or industry. Today, customer expectations require companies to constantly innovate to keep up with demand, and as customer expectations increase, so must a company’s technological capabilities. Flexibility and the power to innovate are becoming the new benchmarks, and staying competitive means identifying the right business solutions to grow with your enterprise. This leads to a demand for technology that moves at the speed of ideas itself.

But while the large majority of companies understand the importance of digital transformation to their survival, just 3% of them have completed digital transformation projects across the enterprise – according to the SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study. What the study also shows: Leaders invest more heavily in next-gen technologies, like Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, and machine learning. They do so using a bimodal architecture so that they can make their core infrastructure more effective and cost efficient while quickly incorporating innovations and new technologies.

Commitment to digital pays off
In short: Only those companies that can bring innovative ideas to life will stay ahead of the competition. Real-time availability of insights is one requirement to do so. Still, too few organizations truly capitalize on and create value from their data. To turn data into insights and action, to ensure that users have the information they need to fully understand what’s going on in the business, to enable employees to perform key functions quickly, companies need the right technological stack and the right digital foundation.

Enter SAP HANA, our in-memory data platform that lets companies accelerate business processes, deliver more business intelligence, and simplify their IT environment. Introduced in 2010, it allows customers to analyze, in real time, what is going on in their business. By providing the foundation for all data needs, SAP HANA removes the need to maintain separate legacy systems and siloed data, so companies can make better business decisions. SAP HANA enables businesses to run live, providing the ability to transact, analyze and predict instantly and proactively in an increasingly unpredictable world.

Last fall, we announced SAP HANA 2.0. Better automation, system replication, graph processing, TensorFlow integration – to mention just a few features of this new major release. In one of my earlier blogs, I already outlined the various benefits and features of SAP HANA 2.

You asked, we listened – and executed
But innovation is not just new features. For us at SAP, innovation is about solving real customer challenges. Many customers asked us to help them reduce the costs of running SAP HANA. We listened, and we came up with solutions to do precisely that, both at the software and the hardware level.

At the software level, multitenant database containers now let you run many isolated databases in a single SAP HANA system. We have also continued to further improve the overall performance of SAP HANA with a better balance of workloads, using active-active read enabled replication and dynamic tiering. Now, you can offload heavy-duty analytical OLAP queries from your primary SAP HANA system to the secondary system. The result? Higher availability and performance and an increased return on investment for standby SAP HANA hardware.

SAP HANA dynamic tiering allows you to utilize lower cost disk storage for historical data within a single SAP HANA database, or even a single multistore table. Data aging lets you move older data into secondary storages to free up more working memory for SAP HANA.

At the hardware level, we are reducing costs by maximizing the utilization of your SAP HANA hardware. At SAP TechEd Las Vegas, September 25-29, we will introduce a new phase of SAP HANA Tailored Data Center Integration (SAP HANA TDI) that allows customers to leverage existing hardware and infrastructure components for their SAP HANA deployment. The new phase will include support for customer workload driven sizing and additional SAP HANA configurations on lower cost CPUs, introducing new opportunities for reducing the TCO of SAP HANA by enabling customers to buy only the processing power and memory they require for their specific workload. Make sure you check out this post if you want to learn more. We also enhanced the SAP HANA Quick Sizer and broadened the SAP HANA Hardware Sizing Service to include detailed sizing guidelines for a variety of workload types, thus making it easier to find an optimal cost-to-performance ratio for your business.

Taking SAP HANA to the next level
But just as innovation is not simply about new features, neither is it a one-off matter. The only adequate answer to the disruptive power of digitalization is continuous and profound innovation – whether it’s in a company’s organizational structure, its processes, or IT systems. That’s why continuous innovation is a key component of our SAP HANA release strategy, and also the basis of our SAP HANA 2 SPS02 release, introduced in July.

SPS02 includes:

  • Increased automation and better business continuity with enhancements in workload management, system replication, dynamic tiering, and active/active read-enabled
  • Usability enhancements to improve ease of use, by simplifying data movement modeling, tenant management, encryption, and user group management
  • Enhanced SAP HANA analytics with Google TensorFlow integration for Machine Learning, and added improvements in Text analysis, Graph and Spatial
  • Expanded application development flexibility with new GO language driver, expanded SQL/SQL Script, and SAP HANA, express edition support for Smart Data Integration

In other words, SPS02 is ideal for supporting digital transformation in organizations that want to use the latest in-memory technology to run their business. Make sure you check out the recent posts by Greg McStravick and Lori Vanourek to learn more about SPS02 and also our updated release and maintenance strategy.

SAP HANA and its impact on your digital transformation will be one of the topics discussed at this year’s SAP TechEd Las Vegas, so make sure to stop by! I am looking forward to seeing you there.

Join us here:
Tuesday, September 25, 3.15 – 4.15 pm: SAP HANA: Delivering a Modern Data Framework. SAP has developed the modern data framework, a comprehensive set of loosely coupled components developed around SAP HANA that allow companies to turn data into information and build intelligent applications that maximize their interactions with their customers. Join this session to hear from Chris Hallenbeck, head of product management and strategy for SAP HANA, and learn about the modern data framework and the long-term strategy for its development.

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