SAP’s announcement earlier this year that it is making its widely-used Business Suite applications available on its in-memory database technology, HANA, has led to new customers signing up to the solution – but it is yet to draw Oracle’s application customer base into the fold.
Applications such as ERP, CRM and SCM running in-memory allow companies to run transactions and analytics in near real-time, which has attracted companies that haven't traditionally used SAP, according Si-Mohamed Said, SAP’s global VP of solution marketing.
Business Suite on HANA launched in early January and SAP has seen dozens of customers take part in the ramp-up programme.
“The demand we saw was not only driven by the traditional SAP customers, but many were new names,” said Said.
“The new names, the ones we have seen, are companies that don’t really have anything at the moment and they wanted to go for their first implementation, so not necessarily having Oracle or any other application.”
He added: “Companies are switching to SAP from a database perspective [from rivals such as Oracle], but not from an application perspective.”
Said also explained that the biggest challenge customers are facing with implementing Business Suite on HANA isn’t technical, but comes with developing a business case that identifies specifics around deriving value from business processes.
“From a technical perspective, I haven’t seen many challenges. I think the challenge is really more for customers to position it from a business value perspective instead of an IT perspective. How do you get the business engaged in this discussion and identify the business processes that will deliver significant value for the organisation,” he said.
“This is where they are seeking our help, which is why we have created the business scenario recommendation tool that describes 23 business processes in a very detailed manner and shows customers where they are today, and where they could be with HANA – from a performance and business value perspective. “
Said added: “There are areas, for example, where processes take hours and generate significant losses in market share and revenue - this is the type of process we would highlight. We don’t just want speed for speed’s sake.”