SAP HANA is a database and information processing platform. As I wrote earlier HANA is an extremely interesting product/technology which I think has some pretty far-reaching consequences – at least for SAP 😉 One of the reasons is the disruption it is starting to cause to the market as well as technology. HANA has made Oracle uncomfortable. (Albeit HANA cannot take sole credit, or claim to the extent of being “THE” factor) Oracle forged alliances to promote 12c with SFDC & Microsoft. The technology world is increasingly coming under the umbrella term of S-M-A-C. Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud. Big Data is ever increasing its presence. Cloud is finding itself in more daily use at the enterprise. The networked world demands not just a Social Media Strategy but also creative and interactive ways of communication from almost every organization. Mobile has certainly caught the eye of the consumers as well as enterprises and apps are being designed for the same! Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen and his colleagues were amongst the first to coin this term of disruptive technologies. Disruption is spoken in different ways and generally is seen as an innovation/technology that changes the normal/traditional/existing way of functioning by creating a new market or value network or by changing the metrics along which firms compete. Disruption typically marks with the onset of lower prices, better service and different design. With this in mind, let us begin to understand why HANA is causing the disruption and where is it causing this problem! HANA is a database and competes directly with other databases. But HANA is a different kind of database and HANA is not just a database. Being an in-memory real-time computing platform it is currently the fastest growing database vendor in the market. HANA is an appliance (software integrated on a specialized hardware) which means the hardware market is poised with making specialized “systems” for HANA alone, but wit the advent of the ‘Cloud’ – is technology and licensing still going to remain as it were until a few years ago? SAP gives the on-premise deployment option, but also 2 variants on the cloud. 1 by using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the other by hosting partners/private cloud. That’s 3 different ways HANA is being sold!!!
HANA is a technology platform and that makes it a differentiator in the market. It is looking in the direction of Application Infrastructure. Gartner neatly defines Application Infrastructure as ‘software platforms for the delivery of business applications, including development and runtime enablers’. The entire SAP Business Suite runs on HANA and they are creating a whole new PaaS strategy. I do not totally agree to this Forrester article but it has some points worth looking at. It may make sense to question the licensing strategy (an area I am completely in the dark at the moment, so I’ll just take the word of anyone here) but to call it the HANA Cloud a minus since it’s not SaaS seems somewhat superficial! Maybe I missed the point being made, but I think being in the PaaS, owning the IaaS end and developing your own apps and bringing developers for further applications is incredible smart! One more thing HANA is doing is causing a disruption without causing disruption! It’s a relatively simple architecture and doesn’t require logic and massive code change to existing systems! So you create new applications and solutions on the platform without headaches to the implementation for change. But the final and most interesting part I see is the change to the partner ecosystem of those Services/Consulting partners of SAP.
The Capgemini’s and Accenture’s of the world. SAP CTO Vishal Sikka has categorically stated that implementation of HANA is not what these partners should look to do. They are not needed or welcomed in that space. That’s like snatching away the bread & butter from a poor man. That’s their job at Capgemini and Accenture. Cause of concern? Only partially. HANA is offering something much more that just implementation. Capgemini has already recognized one such upscale potential to exploit in form of Extreme Applications and this is where the next wave of money is going to come for such services-based organizations. The game has just begun! Disruption is going to have a new meaning and definition as we go forward. HANA in the meantime seems to have a great and bright day ahead of itself. The last few weeks have been quite a roller coaster ride for me – and yet it is the tuff times that make us appreciate life and check if we have imbibed any of the values and virtues we otherwise preach! I know for sure, I have some incredible friends, exceptional colleagues and amazing family 🙂 His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar says – Consolidation of your energy is Faith. Faith is giving the divine a chance to act. The last few weeks I have felt what it is to consolidate ones energy and what it means giving the divine a chance to act!