Innovation above and beyond what’s possible…

SAP’s HANA on Business Suite announcement today was an incredible powerful statement on driving innovation to new levels. SAP also set a new benchmark for other database vendors in the market place. It is going to be fun to see how the folks that pushes Oracle, DB2 and SQL responds.
Many of us at EMC have made the statements in the last 9-12 months that the HANA platform is an opportunity to do something new by taking your existing data sets, using them as a competitive advantage through analytics. Doing something you are already doing faster could be valuable depending on your use case, but it’s not innovation in my opinion.
I found myself in a discussion yesterday with a business partner discussing how we can jointly come up with new ideas, solve problems that most SAP customers are dealing with and bring better value to our customers. It made sense to divide the discussion into two sections:
How technologies we offer today enable SAP projects to reduced risk, achieved 30-40% faster and with substantially reduced cost model. We discussed various use cases where some of the success stories we have jointly delivered and the impact those capabilities could have in other customer scenarios
How technologies we offer in our portfolio today and in the near future can pave the way for new insights, new innovations and new markets opportunities. Finding game changing approaches that drive separation of value.
Pretty quickly we came to the realization that the first category is very valuable and we will continue to pursue these options, however, the second category of ideas is more appealing. We agreed to continue executing against the first category, but then get together to spend more focus on brainstorming on new market opportunities.
Even though we had an idea that this announcement was coming it didn’t seem real, especially after some recent conversations with engineers who said that it would be a major undertaking to make HANA fit in a transactional space and it will take months to a year to get that accomplished. There must have been a ton of engineers working on getting this done since, in my mind, this new platform capability was delivered to the market sooner than expected and obviously is putting competitors on the defense.
What SAP announced today with taking “Real-Time Transactions and Analytics on a Single In-Memory Platform” is doing something that has never been done before and I believe will get a ton of attention in coming months. Now clearly, our SAP customers have built out rock solid infrastructure architecture to support their current transactional databases, and they will expect the same or better capabilities when moving to SAP HANA for more of their mission critical applications. I believe that EMC is in a great position to help customers make this transition over time, since it’s in our DNA and very long history to provide many of the capabilities that those customer come to expect such as: data protection, high availability, performance, and disaster tolerance for the most demanding SAP ERP use cases.

I believe the Partner ecosystem will continue to play an important role of the success of HANA deployments especially now when OLAP and OLTP can run on a single platform. Both the Consulting firms with service capabilities that can help customers go from current state to a future in-memory computing state based on HANA as well as infrastructure providers such as Cisco/EMC with our HANA Appliance offering.

A new stake in the ground has been set and it will be very interesting to see real adoption rates of SAP HANA on business suits in coming months. Time to plan for #HANARace 2013!

Exciting start to 2013…can’t wait to learn more at FKOM in two weeks.

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