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After a wonderful time in Brussels it was time to head back home to Delft. On the train I met a quadrilingual & talented artist Laura ten Zeldam. It was a pleasant meeting with someone who was open to different aspects of life and our conversation was very different from my discussion earlier in the day around innovation, technology strategy and SAP HANA. It’s been a little while since I wrote about HANA 😉 I thought its not just about the “disruption HANA is causing” but about how HANA is being positioned within and outside SAP. In this blog lets discuss what is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform!


Zwischenzug – The SAP HANA Cloud Platform

As a kid, I used to play a lot of Chess and was particularly adept at it. Although it has been several years since I played (pssst – the last year I played after a break of 5 years, I was whipped in 43 moves by a 10 yr old who is playing semi-pro), time and again I like looking at strategies in terms of Chess moves. Two, that come to mind for SAP around HANA are –  Zwischenzug and Zugzwang.

The SAP HANA Cloud Platform

This is SAPs in-memory, Platform-as-a-Service offering, enabling developers to build, extend, and run applications in the cloud! SAP is showcasing HANA-as-a-platform central to their strategy and is using the HANA Cloud Platform to foster developer connections and collaboration with SAP. The idea is to build custom software and applications with some pre-configured solutions. With a single move they cover the “cloud” to fit with Social, Mobile and Analytics. In short – SMAC!

Partnerships with SAS, a tighter coupling with Hadoop and everything around ‘big data’, the Cloud Foundry cooperation (Cloud Foundry is an open-source Platform-as-a-Service project that provides a private/public/hybrid clouds, developer frameworks and application services to build, deploy, test or scale applications on the cloud) – are just some examples of how quickly things are moving. SAP is sending us a clear message that they are being more “open”. That they are going to increase activity on alliances and partnerships and are ready to play the game on the ‘Cloud’.

The decision around Cloud Foundry shows that developers are going to be reached out in unique ways! Let’s not forget the interest around Hadoop as well. Hadoop is not a database, it is a framework, a file distribution system – and a damn good one at that. A big bet is being placed on this ‘technology’. With the ever increase in data – storage will be an issue. For that Hadoop is ok. But when it comes to analysis, this is where HANA comes into play!

Interestingly, a number of articles and people on Twitter have exclaimed about the model SAP is adopting around HANA – “free trial before you buy”. On one hand it is only specific apps with specific features for specific markets that are being designed here. But on the other hand, SAP is going ‘Lean‘. Features to be added only if its successful! Initial investment is low. Easier to build, test, deploy and integrate! No long development cycles and perhaps a number os new applications are a possibility.


Next for HANA

With such changes, it’s not a surprise SAP continues raising the revenue expectations from HANA! Zwischenzug I say, rather than Zugzwang. Oracle, for instance, is watching and commenting very closely any HANA development. Oracle is doing all to reach “ungodly speeds” through its own in-memory flagship, lest you forget the “columnar, compressed, high-speed, in-memory database” Oracle Database 12c.

As the competition heats up, it’s time for me to start making some moves too! As I come closer to making a few somewhat big life decisions for myself, I am delighted with the response 21 youth in the Netherlands have on volunteering! Their decision to stand up and take responsibility for our environment, society and reduce stress amongst peers is a sign that we can possibly leave behind a happy and safe planet for our coming generations! For those who feel like a Big-Data machine crunching all information to make different visualizations and come with the “best” solution, sometimes you need more than a HANA Cloud Platform for the solution. Sometimes.