SAP CEO Bill McDermott kicked off the company’s annual Sapphire Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday promising to help customers simplify their technology landscapes. It was a brave, and some would say incongruous, promise coming from a company known for its complicated enterprise applications.
The irony wasn’t lost on McDermott, who acknowledged that SAP’s technology has been “too complex.” The SAP way to “run simple,” as this year’s Sapphire theme extols, is to move to the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud.
SAP’s cloud simplifies in two ways, McDermott reasoned. First, you won’t have to deal with hardware and systems-management issues. Second, you gain performance and simplification advantages because, as the name suggests, this cloud runs on the Hana in-memory platform, which compresses data and eliminates separate transactional and analytical infrastructure layers. SAP itself runs on this cloud, and it collapsed its data footprint from 11 terabytes down to 2 terabytes, according to McDermott.
The question is, is this the kind of cloud that most companies are looking for, and are the simplifications and performance gains promised by Hana enough to lure customers?
Introduced last year, the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud is actually a managed services environment. In other words, it’s hosting of SAP’s existing software, not a public cloud that delivers multitenant application services, a la NetSuite, Salesforce.com, or Workday. Hosting has been available for years, but the incentive to do it in SAP’s cloud is to gain the turbocharging and simplification of Hana.
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