Just prior to the event getting into full swing around noon, SAP and Dell announced their partnership on In-memory and the cloud, improving their relationship around databases and cloud computing services. The team-up allows SAP customers to deploy apps on Dell’s VIS Next Generation Datacenter Platform, which is facing its own competition from the likes of Ocarina and Scalent. Joining forces with SAP expands on Dell’s platform capabilities, providing more features that appeal to enterprise users. It’s an important move for SAP on the distribution and access side, while Dell reaps the benefits of widening its services as it looks to better position itself as a cloud provider.
The partnership makes Dell one of the hardware vendors now selling SAP-based appliances for HANA in-memory database technology, which holds data to be processed in RAM, as opposed to reading off disks. The performance boost is one of SAP’s many perks on the application side, as HANA boxes can tap data from both SAP and other sources, while also supporting a series of specialized apps designed around specific business problems. Rival Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu are among the others already operating HANA hardware.
One rival SAP’s really out for is Oracle, which uses Exadata data-processing and its own hardware for a similar solution. SAP’s processing strategy stands in stark contrast with Oracle, highlighting its alternative status for managing the cloud. ”We know that customers have existing relationships they want to maintain,” Kaj van de Loo says in a PCWorld article. “We’re convinced this strategy will help us out-innovate whoever else might be out there trying to create one integrated stack for all purposes.”
The excitement of SAP’s Sapphire kick-off is dampened, however, with a patent infringement case. A federal jury in Marshal, Texas ordered SAP to pay $345 million to Versata Software, after finding that SAP owed compensation to Versata for sales of certain SAP enterprise and customer relationship-management software sold prior to May 2010. The jury reportedly awarded $260 million for lost profits, tacking on another $85 for royalties.
The ruling is only the latest update in SAP’s longstanding court battles, which date back to 2009 with Versata in a verdict that was thrown out. SAP had a bout with Oracle for the better part of last year, and SAP’s even looking to appeal this most recent ruling regarding the Versata patent infringement case.