Follow @ASUG365 for all the latest news from ASUG.
SAP’s embrace and exaltation of its newfound “database” mojo has certainly been exciting from an SAP product and HANA marketing point of view. This week’s major database announcements were topped off by this executive quote: “SAP is a database company.”
But what if SAP’s new direction is not exactly what its customers had in mind, at least not right now?
In a new research report, Constellation Research principal analyst and CEO Ray Wang dives deep into HANA’s next-generation architecture, database and application considerations that customers need to understand.
Wang’s report, like the Gartner HANA report from last October, is a must-read for ASUG members and SAP customers intrigued or even mystified by HANA’s all-encompassing scope.
Wang’s report offers a concise explanation of in-memory database technologies, HANA’s key features and why SAP’s database partners are closely watching HANA’s evolution. “In the long term, SAP will compete head-on with its biggest database partners,” Wang writes. “Despite the conflict, database independence will result in greater revenue capture for SAP and flexibility in setting its future direction.”
Next, Wang delves into “whether HANA SP4 or SP5, as researched, is ready to serve as an immediate replacement for existing mission-critical RDBMS functions.” He then lists his five reasons why SAP won’t have a viable Relational Database Management Systems (or RDBMS) replacement for its Business Suite until at least 2015. In one explanation, Wang cites “the lack of HANA-ready administrators and consultants plus the inertia required to overcome database choice will play a key role in slow adoption. Add the low 5:1 compression ratio, cost of migration, education and interface adjustments, and the TCO no longer makes sense.”
However, Wang does see five cases (or proof points) that customers might already have seen and thus should consider for HANA in the near future, including real-time operational analytics, Business Warehouse (BW), and net-new SAP apps such as Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) or Smart Meter Analytics.
Lastly, the report offers SAP customer recommendations and possible use cases that include exploring HANA for analytics and BW database replacements. As far as planning for a HANA database replacement, Wang offers some cautionary advice.
“A swap out to HANA as the sole persistence layer will require a wait until 2015 or later as bugs, performance and testing is worked out among early adopters,” he writes. “In the meantime, users should reduce shelfware costs, optimize existing database investments, and consider license strategies to avoid triple paying for BI, BW and HANA.”