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SAP HANA as iPhone for Enterprise- Part 3

Written on January 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm, by

Disclaimer : I begin where I left off in my last post; which is to admit that there could be many variations of above paradigm. Enterprise by definition is B2B market. Enteprise applications cannot exactly be like indiviual applications. At some-level therefore this analogy will fall flat.  I would also say that some of what I write is my speculations on what SAP might be doing.I base my predictions on publicly available informations from SAP. I am also trying to to place SAP in context of where the cuttent Enterprise iT market is (and not just Oracle). I must also mention here that SAP HANA of future maybe significantly different avatar from what we are seing it today.

In this blog I would like to mention a little more detail on the reasons why I think SAP HANA should or “may” adopt Iphone model.

First among these, is the Cloud. Remember Enetrprise Customer is made of a group of individuals. So when we speak of an appliance it makes sense, only when the group is able to share the applications of the appliance.

Cloud is the most important reason why we will see more and more vendors offering “Applications/ Solutions / Appliance” on cloud (lets call it appliance inspite of some reserversations) . Any appliance available on the cloud makes it accessible to Enterprise customers & developers. We can offer appliance as defined above on multi-tenent basis or we may do it on dedicated basis or some other model. Important thing is that the customer gets what he wants on plug and play basis. And in this respect, actually SAP can offer mini-iPhones :) by using multi-tenancy.

Now moving on to applications. We  now know, one of the key drivers for success of an computer appliance is number of applications available on it. THIS WAS TRUE, for PC as it was for iPhone. (PC Vs MAC, anyone?). In Enterprise Applications space we are not used to it, but this is going to change. There is clearly a case for SAP to open up to developers and allow them to develop applications on its appliance. It can be argued that Cloud applications developed by smaller developers offer insuffient integration or does not provide SAP much benefit.I have 2 answers for this. First is, in my experience,  there is an extremely knowledge-able and talented pool of developers outside of SAP world. The world and SAP is a better place if these incredibly gifted developers can leverage SAP ecosystem. Even if SAP does not open up, we cannot assume that these individuals will not become a threat to SAP by launching alternative and successful products outside of SAP. So in my view it is to SAP’s benefit to co-opt these individuals.  The Second answer is we do not need integration for many applications, particularly those that lie outside of legal-fiscal boundaries. In any case most of them can be integrated at reporting level and that is all we may require.

Moving on, we have this hardware-software integration model. Now this can have few manifestation.

The first is one for the Cloud. It is true that SAP is not a hardware company which is where, it is probably most divergent from Apple. However,consider this. If IBM can successfully become a leading System Integrator from a hardware vendore; how much of effort is it for SAP to add hardware capability? Atleast to the extent being able to offer an appliance. In any case, SAP can still buy hardware from other vendors and run its own data-center. How many of the worlds largest hosting companies manufacture their own hardware? In my view, atleast in short term, this is not a big issue and in loger view, things can be changed.

The second manifestation would be if SAP started selling plug and play smart boxes as appliance? (IBM already does that). In my view SAP can and would do this. If these appliances are made sufficiently affordable and ready for cloud deployment, it will not be any less revolutionary than iPhone. In this manifestation, I would assume the Enterprise would only consume applications and developers develop it.

The key phrase that I would like to use is “plug and play” and I guess, atleast in next couple of years thats where we would move.

>Twitter / Linkedin Account

Written on December 30, 2011 at 11:15 am, by

>Are you a technology enthusiast and / or would like to hear our micro-takes on various development? I have started posting my reading list (articles) and thoughts on Twitter and Linkedin. You may send an invite to me at Linkedin HERE and / or follow me at TWITTER HERE.

I would generally accept all LINKEDIN requests unless your profession is to offer billions from the Nigerian Banks.

>SAP HANA as iPhone for Enterprise- Part 2

Written on December 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm, by

>I think it is necessary to clarify at the outset that the analogy with iPhone relates more to business model and less to technology although coming together of Hardware and software makes it valid from that point as well.

I have made following assumptions about SAP Strategy.  That SAP HANA in atleast one of its avatars will be be supported by SAP in the following ways:

a) Available on cloud,
b) Will use subscription based model for developer
c) Will monitor and certify applications built by the developers for selling.
c) Will provide an ability for the developers to sell their solutions built using SAP channels.

This should mean

a) Coming together of hardware and software in cloud. So the customer who uses SAP HANA applications would have single point in vendor responsibility. No more compatibility issues, that none of the vendors wish to address.
b) SAP takes some responsibility of the certified applications that it sells for SAP HANA atleast in terms of the features; customers can again be assured of single point of support.

Now there are offcourse some differences between iPhone and SAP HANA business models which we should expect given that it is only an analogy. EG there may-be number of applications that SAP /external developers would build and those that need system integrator to configure where SAP / Certified Application Provider would have limited responsibility.

Now some among us may find comparison between iPhone and SAP a little unfair. There is a perception that iPhone was released as a much more mature product. That is not the scope of discussion though!

>Few Important Blogs on SAP HANA

Written on December 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm, by

>There are some must read  blogs to get a good idea about SAP HANA

For   On Business:

1. Dennis Moore on What is HANA from application point of view – Or more accurately what it can be : CLICK HERE to read it

2. By John Appleby on FAQ – SAP HANA. ClCK HERE to read.
3. Vijay Click Here very good blog on Strategy and Direction
4. Dennis Moore’s blog site, generally Click Hereagain strategy and direction. Non-SAP HANA as well.

On Technology

1. Vitaliy Rudnytskiy Click Him.
2. Blag – he calls himself that, not me Click Here

>SAP HANA as iPhone for Enterprise- Part 1

Written on December 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm, by

>I have been reading a lot about the different views on what is “SAP HANA”. The reason why we have so much confusion about SAP HANA is not far to seek. It is new product / appliance on relatively new development in technology world.

I have tested numerous features of SAP HANA as it exists. I have been also researching various communications coming out from SAP top managers and developers of SAP HANA; so my take on SAP HANA is that while the direction and hence the product will evolve but this is how it is likely to look like. Some of the features that I mention here are my anticipations of how it may look in future rather than SAP HANA’s current avatar*.
SAP HANA business model wise, is like iPhone for enterprise. Like iPhone, it is an appliance, a combination of hardware and software, although they may eventually be separated. And although it resembles Android because number of hardware vendors are more than one, but you get the hint? I call it iPhone because it is new paradigm in Enterprise computing.
Now what it means is that SAP has built the basic Database Engine and the Application Server/Layer* which you can use to develop your own applications. It has also built a number of applications on the top of this, just like iBooks etc. So we have BW, Strategic workforce planning and many other planned applications.
It has invited developers to develop applications on the top of HANA. So, you can build your own application and sell it all on SAP HANA.
Now if you read SAP overall direction it is clear that SAP is going to adopt Cloud as paradigm moving forward. So what does it mean? It means, if HANA is available online developers can develop applications on top of SAP HANA and sell it.
Pretty cool I would say as far as SAP’s strategy looks like.
*Edit  : PS This post stands corrected for inaccuracy as pointed out by VitalBI. I have added a comment on the correction for clarification.
I would continue blog on this topic as Part II shortly. Send me an email at if you would like to read second part of this blog or subscribe to the blog.

>SAP In Memory – HANA Roadmap

Written on March 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm, by


SAP billed its launch EVENT of BI4as game changing for BI as a whole. I would doubt if BI4 by itself changes much but this somewhat obscured the real message that HANA is designed to change the game and not really from BI side of changes.

Some of the commentators on the web have noted that SAP probably would not enthusiastically support MDX. This would mean for vendors who pull data from SAP BW using MDX, there is going to be some significant issues interfacing with SAP BW.  However,  others have noted a work around to this issue, which is to either pull the data from the staging area from SAP BW or pull it from the source. 

However I think the most game changing part of the announcements were around SAP HANA. This conclusion is based on the assumption that SAP could actually do what they said they would.  What has been indicated at the launch event is that SAP may actually put the backend (OLTP source systems) onto SAP HANA. Some of us who have worked with SAP for what seems like ages, also wonder why SAP has not adopted new technologies for its backend. This has the potential, depending on both customer adaptibility and how much data-model itself is changed by SAP, to disrupt the BI competitions gameplan completely.

I think SAP will face big resistence from the existing customers to change the data model of backend systems. From transaction point of view, auditability and persistence is harder to guarentee with electronics technology such as memory; to a more time tested mechanical devise such as a hard drive. However with a good roadmap, SAP can migrate its customers into new technology.

>Glocalings SAP Blogs :: An Introduction

Written on December 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm, by


Glocalings decided to start SAP Blogs to keep its clients, partners, employees and those associated with SAP up-to-date on Glocalings and on SAP. 

From SAP world we will bring important news, views and trends. From Glocalings we will share news, updates and some of the solutions that are being designed for the client. We may ring fence some of these solutions in order to protect the intellectual property rights. If any of these solutions are of interest to you, please do write to us, we will be happy to discuss.

We are also keeping a firm eye on the world around boundaries of SAP (or more accurately traditional SAP), popularly known as cloud. We know the extension are quite wide. Business today can-not afford not to be informed about these extensions. If you keep an eye on us, we will make sure you have eye on the cloud.  

We are also keeping a firm eye on changes around hardware capabilities. These changes are changing the application space at faster rates than most businesses can understand. As I write, hackers have invaded Mastercard, Visa, Paypal and the Swiss Bank as revenge against their actions against Wikileaks. Which brings us to the risk of the cloud and how we mitigate and manage those risks.We will keep an eye on that too.

The world of Enterprise Applications is changing at its fastest rates since early ’90s.Informed business leaders  are bringing IT right back into their strategy rooms. It is probably not far fetched to say, business leaders who ignore the changes in the IT world today is risking their business survival.