UPDATED 09:51 EST / MAY 18 2013

SAP CEOs Say HANA is Much More than Just a Database

TheCube crew flew to Orlando this week to bring you the latest news and analysis from SAP Sapphire 2013. SiliconAngle Editor-in-Chief John Furrier attended the keynote panel with SAP co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe and asked the question that was on everyone’s mind: if HANA is not merely a database solution for SAP shops, how does it help organizations create new business opportunities?

Snabe was the first to answer. The executive agreed with Furrier’s initial assessment and told the audience that the opposite is true. The early adopters of HANA deployed the system to analyze genetic data, seismic patterns and other information that doesn’t belong in ERP systems.  Snabe said he views HANA as a “next generation platform for business” because it helps organizations realize three key objectives: decreasing total cost of ownership, optimizing their businesses with Big Data analytics, and resolving problems that were once unsolvable.

Hagemann provided his own take on HANA after Snabe concluded his address. He recalled a recent meeting with the CEO of Under Armor, a company that has evolved into a multi-billion business on the back of a common IT platform and an aggressive M&A strategy. The latter transformed the firm into a federation of companies that relies on a variety of different systems for day-to-day operations. Under Armor’s CEO plans to implement HANA as his federation’s new standardized data access framework. The deployment will provide a combination of transactional horsepower, social media-based analysis and predictive analytics.

After Hagemann finished, Snabe brought up yet another HANA case study to make his point. He described how McLaren leverages a hosted version of SAP’s in-memory database to analyze real-time data from Formula 1 cars and draw conclusions that help its engineers make subtle optimizations that can mean the difference between winning and losing.

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