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This is the second post in a series of blogs where I’ll chronicle the creation of the SAP HANA Essentials book.  Part 1.

 

"You have to be brave to take out that white sheet of paper and put on it words that could be evidence of your stupidity." -- Sol Saks

 

I’ve been producing books at SAP for 10 years now.  Some of them have my name on the cover and lots of my blood spilled on the pages.  Some of them, I was just an “invisible hand” behind the scenes, guiding them spiritually along their journey.  Some have been massive successes, some have been mildly successful.  I’ve done techie books, dummies books, university textbooks, MBA strategy books and even helped a bit with a memoir or two.

 

With all that background in SAP books, I tend to get quite a few “queries” each month from people inside SAP and within the ecosystem who have an idea for a book and need some advice on how to start.   Most of them are so terrified of the mountain it appears that they’ll have to climb, they are paralyzed to even take the first step.   So I was reflecting on what it's like to start a book project for the SAP HANA Essentials book, and thought I'd write down how I approach the challenges. Here’s how I explain “how to eat an elephant” to aspiring writers:

 

  • Know the “goals” of the book
    • Why are you writing the book in the first place?  Hint: fame and/or fortune are both horrible reasons to write a book. Check your ego at the door before starting a book project.  I guarantee you’ll be psychologically beaten and bruised by the end and be kicking yourself for thinking it was a good idea when you started.  If you’re truly foolish, you’ll divide your meager royalty check by the time you spent on the book and realize that you could have made more money begging for change.
    • If it’s to educate or entertain, you’re probably in better shape.  The best you can hope for is that exactly ONE person on the planet reads your book and then tells you that they enjoyed it or got some value out of it.  My parents and wife have never even read more than the dedication page for any of my books—just to make sure their names are in there.
    • For the SAP HANA Essentials book, its pretty obviously about education on a massive scale.  SAP HANA is going to be a huge topic for everyone in the SAP Ecosystem for quite a while and there isn't anything out there that covers the Level One knowledge comprehensively.  So, I've got to somehow put one together in the next couple of months
  • Know your audience
    • If you’re writing a book for the right reasons (typically to educate), then why would anyone want to read it?  Do you have some special access to crucial knowledge that isn’t available elsewhere? Will this knowledge benefit a large number of people.  How is this going to improve their job/life/croquet skills?  Being an “expert” at some topic qualifies you to write absolutely nothing.  For all of my books, I’ve had to teach myself the topic before I could explain it in writing to someone else.  The important thing is to know exactly WHO you are writing for and WHAT they need to know.
    • I've spent a lot of time working with the SAP ecosystem, from the "code monkeys" up to CIOs.  Specifically starting SDN, the Demo Jam and quite a few other crazy projects.  My audience wants the straight story with as little marketing spin as possible.  Real customer examples and solid advice on how to extract business value from HANA will be front and center in the book.
  • Know what you want to write
    • Nailing down the scope of the book is both the hardest part of the writing process and the most critical.  If you don’t have ultra-clear boundaries around what you will and will not be writing, you’ll quickly plunge down the "rabbit hole of never-ending details" and never finish.
    • Finding the fine line between Level 1 content and Level 2 content is tricky, but because we're doing the HANA book as an ebook, we can always link directly to Level 2 content if its needed.  That way readers aren't upset that we didn't go into enough technical detail or upset that the book was to geeky.
  • Create an incredibly detailed table of contents
    • This should be the output of the scoping exercise.   Typically, my ToC’s are about 10 levels deep. A,1,a,i,etc. For the SAP HANA book, my working ToC is about 30 pages long now. Once you get it that detailed, you basically have to only write a short paragraph for each bullet.  More importantly, you know EXACTLY where to start and stop.
  • Build a support network of content experts to help guide and review
    • Thus far in the SAP HANA book writing process, I’ve pulled in about 75 experts from inside and outside SAP.  Some are just reviewers for the final manuscript to give me extra eyeballs and perspectives on the big picture.  Some are actually writing first drafts of entire sections of a chapter.  It all depends on their level of commitment and bandwidth.  However, the general rule is the more eyeballs that see the manuscript before you print it, the better the final product will be.  If possible, hire an awesome professional editor to go over the final draft.  It’s a service that pays for itself in final quality.
  • Keep putting words on the page till its done, then edit the hell out of it until its readable
    • Perseverance is truly the only crucial skill you need to finish a book.  If you've followed the rest of my advice above, actually putting words on the page is the only big thing left for you to do.  Once you've got a completed first draft, be ruthless in the editing process.  Slaughter every sacred cow you created, if needed, in order to make it "readable"  If you’ve just gone thru the literary equivalent of childbirth, you sure as hell want people to read the damned thing. So, is it “readable” by your audience? Spewing out a bunch of facts haphazardly will result in people hating your book, or worse, putting it on a shelf for an eternity of uselessness.  Style and tone matter, at times even more than the raw content.  Put as much effort into the way you present the content as you do into the underlying facts.  I’ve met some truly brilliant people over the years who can’t string together a single readable paragraph to describe something they’ve invented and patented. Just because you “really know” a topic doesn’t mean you can write a book about it or that anyone would ever want to READ a book about it.
    • Our goal is to put out the definitive "first stop for HANA knowledge" for everyone in the SAP ecosystem, so it has to be readable by a wide variety of people in our customers and partners.  It should also make finding Level 2 information very easy and a natural next step.  If we can do that, then I'm sure we'll meet our goals.

At TechEd 2011, Vishal Sikka revealed the first customer that has seen a 100,000x improvement in process speed with SAP HANA. That’s a lot of zeroes, so let’s put it in layperson’s terms. Imagine flying from New York to Paris in 0.28 seconds. San Francisco to Sydney in 0.52 seconds. Tokyo to Hawaii in 0.23 seconds. All the way around the earth, twice, in less than 3 seconds. This would be possible if commercial jets were 100,000x faster.

 

What does a 100,000x increase in speed look like in business terms? For the large retailer mentioned in Vishal’s keynote it meant changing from mailing customers their loyalty rewards once a month, to calculating rewards as customers walked into the store. Always knowing, always being current, will mean this retailer can increase the amount each person is likely to spend every time they visit. Equally important, it will also increase customer satisfaction. This is exactly what a loyalty program should do, but often doesn’t because (as customers) we so often get the savings card or coupons in the mail the day after we went to the store, so we feel cheated instead of rewarded. That’s the full impact – the process is not just faster, it is better; for the business and the customer.

 

Imagine what always knowing and always being current would mean to your business. Let’s look at three situations we deal with today, and imagine how they could change.

  • Imagine you forgot to pay a bill and lost out on an early payment discount. Now imagine that you got the discount because the company called to remind you the day it was due, because they run reports on demand instead of monthly. Better for everyone.
  • Imagine working at a company that is always changing strategy because of poor decisions.  Now imagine if everyone at your company was able to gather complete information to make better decisions, in seconds. Bottom line impact, and reduced employee turnover.
  • Imagine looking at a report which shows a drop in sales for your product, because of a poor review. Now imagine if you had been able to see what your customers were saying about the product in social media channels, 24x7. You could have done something before it was too late.

 

You don’t have to accept anything less than real time business. You no longer have to imagine running better; you can do it. The ‘one hundred thousand’ club is an elite group of SAP customers who are using HANA to increase performance of a process by 100,000x or more. We would like you all to join.

Are you looking for technical details on the SAP HANA database? And how the combination of transactional and analytic data processing of SAP HANA provides you with the performance to build business applications to need to today’s real-time business processing requirements? Then you should explore more than just hardware accelerated traditional database architectures.  SAP HANA has a completely new architecture designed to support real-time business. According to Ken Tsai who is intimately involved in the positioning and marketing of SAP HANA database “SAP HANA’s superiority doesn’t just lie in the fact that it supports OLAP+OLTP workload – it is in the how part that’s revolutionary”


 

Download the SAP HANA whitepaper to learn more about the revolutionary approach that SAP HANA architecture takes to business data processing. It is a computing engine that was designed from scratch to take advantage of extreme numbers of CPU cores and huge memory of modern servers. SAP HANA combines a complete DBMS as Backbone, analytical interfaces, a parallel data flow model, application logic extension with a dedicated integrated business function and predictive analysis. With SAP HANA, the processing is done in the same process were data is stored leveraging in memory stores which are optimized per task to exploit architecture and the caching layers of the CPU. I have extracted a diagram from the paper that provides a great conceptual view of the SAP HANA Platform

HANA conceptual view.png

 

 

 

 

The paper, has been produced by Nadav Helfman who when he joined the SAP HANA product management team was tasked to write a white-paper that explains in a simple way how HANA works. As such he got the opportunity to collaborate on the text with many of the SAP HANA experts.  The SAP HANA whitepaper paper introduces the technical foundations of the solution and describes how execution control runs the calculation models in parallel for the Columnar and Row-Base stores. Next, it outlines the benefits for business applications including simplification of both data model and application logic as well as “up-to-date-ness” of processed views. Lastly, the paper suggests a method for enterprises to leverage this paradigm in a non-disruptive manner.

Leopard.jpg

 

In today’s economy there is a constant race to beat competitors by providing customers with better, stronger products and services.  Be sure to  register and join the webinar to hear firsthand the results of the SAP sponsored research on In-Memory Computing conducted by IDC based on quantitative and qualitative interviews  involving more than 1,000 managers and executives from both IT and line-of-business organizations. The results are fascinating and features:

 

 

  • Examples from various industries, to help you understand how in-memory technology enables both public and private organizations to advance to higher levels of competitiveness by enabling faster access to information by the right people at the right time and automating tactical decisions within business processes
  • Find out if IDC would consider your organization a “fumbler” or a “fact finder” and what that could mean for your competitiveness
  • Learn how to eliminate notorious time sinks for business staff such as “data integration and aggregation that would be better performed by the technology itself” and what your peers consider the areas with the greatest expected improvements.

 

Download the whitepaper  and read IDC’s recommendations for business and IT managers, its current market outlook, and its assessment of challenges, opportunities, and common misconceptions about in-memory technology.

 

Also, this is a great opportunity for you to be part of the conversation by:

  • Following the @SAPInmemory handle for news around the webinar.
  • Tweet your questions before and during the webinar by including #SAPWebinar in your tweet. We will monitor it and bring up your questions and comments during the webinar.

You are curious in what SAP HANA will bring to you and your organization in 2012? You cannot wait to get first hand insights from HANA Experts? And you’re Twitter savvy?

 

We’re really excited to say that three great HANA Experts and SAP Mentors Aiaz Kazi, John Appleby and Vijay Vijayasankar will participate in the upcoming tweetchat about SAP HANA. This is your chance to ask our three experts questions by using #SAPChat hashtag and we will answer them for one hour on Thursday, January 26 at 9 am PST. The tweetchat will be hosted by SAP’s social media marketing team.

 

You don’t know what SAP HANA is about? It is a platform for real-time analytics and applications and enables businesses to analyze large volumes of data in real-time. On top of HANA SAP and Partners develop applications to ensure high performance and mobility. HANA can be deployed as an appliance or via the cloud and allows company to react real-time to customer and market needs. We will cover all these topics in the tweetchat and explain how to connect the dots between HANA and big data, mobility and the cloud.

 

You don’t know what a tweetchat is? Think of it as a Q&A where the speakers type out their thoughts in 140 characters or less. And instead of having a one-way discussion, you will help to drive the conversation. And during #SAPChat, rather than using a dial-in number, you follow with your preferred Twitter app like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or even TweetChat.com. To participate in the tweetchat, simply log in to Twitter and submit your questions with the hashtag #SAPCHAT. Aiaz, John and Vijay be monitoring the timeline live and responding with their accounts @aiazkazi, @applebyj and @vijayasankarv

 

 

When will this take place?

On January 26, please join us from 9:00-10:00 A.M. PST (12:00 P.M. EST) using the #SAPChat hashtag. During this hour, they’ll be monitoring the timeline live and responding with their accounts @aiazkazi, @applebyj and @vijayasankarv. The chat will be moderated by @SAP. As SAP HANA social media manager  I’m really excited to participate and to have Aiaz, John and Vijay on board. Ready to go?  Start thinking about your questions! I hope you'll be there on the 26th!

Amit Sinha

SAP HANA v Ex(tr)a Junk

Posted by Amit Sinha Jan 13, 2012

To compete with SAP HANA, Oracle has tried a “spray and pray” strategy with multiple products from its legacy portfolio of databases. First it was Exadata with Oracle 11g, then Exalytics with a combination of two databases - Essbase and TimesTen running in-memory to accelerate Exadata (wasn’t it fast enough already?) and now the new release of TimesTen database – this time with columnar processing. Especially the last turn is very interesting indeed, since just a year ago, an Oracle exec called columnar databases a niche and said – "Columnar databases have never been very successful beyond [marts] because you can't do updates efficiently; that's where they have had really poor performance.”  

 

And here we are – Oracle marching down the new reality with in-memory columnar databases with TimesTen.

 

We welcome the shift and acknowledgement of SAP’s point of view on rethinking the database layer with the evolution of modern multi-core architecture, columnar processing and reduction in main memory prices.  Thank you for the validation and welcome to the new reality – it’s extremely valued as you are the largest database company in the world. Let’s have a close look at Oracle’s strategy below

 

 

2. Simplicity vs. Extra Exa* Boxes

 

SAP HANA started by bringing multiple technologies into a single database utilizing joint innovations with Intel on multi-core architecture. To rethink the data layer, SAP went to the drawinsimplicity.jpgg board with its assets and came up with a simple and yet amazing product that has demonstrated end to end improvement in performance (reporting performance, load performance, compression of data, inserts on columnar data) while simplifying the architecture through removing unwanted layers and unifying OLTP and OLAP in one database.

 

Perhaps the most obvious difference between Oracle and SAP is the different approach in enabling real-time data processing. Oracle is recommending 2 appliances (Exadata and Exalytic HW), 3 different database softwares on different architectures (Oracle 11g, TimesTen, Essbase) with at least 3 copies of the data and redundant movement between them to support the real-time data processing needs of modern businesses. And if you needed an application serving logic functionality, add Exalogic to that…and make the trio of Exa* complete (all you Star Wars fans out there – the pun wasn't intended but seems to fit).

 

Comparison between the SAP and Oracle approach

 

SAP is enabling OLAP+OLTP processing through one single database (SAP HANA), in one appliance (available through an ecosystem of HW partners), with the applicance based on the latest database architecture. Oracle is taking taking a different approach and combining  2 sets of HW + 3 DBs + 3 copies of data. Is the goal to introduce more hardware (from Sun) into your data center?

 

The math is simple! - If you look at the functionality that Oracle needs to cover here – they need to add ExaLogic + Exadata + Exalytics (which is based on old technologies such as TimesTen and EssBase) to match the functionality of SAP HANA. Read the blog from a well known practitioner that compares Oracle Exadata to the SAP HANA platform.

 

clutter3.jpg

The Oracle TCO increase is extended beyond just the extra HW and database license cost, but it also impacts the hidden database maintenance and data preparation costs. Although the “extra” copies of data on “extra” databases can be accelerated through modern hardware to be fast performing, this 3 database approach aggravates the data latency issue, incurs unnecessary data synchronization work load, and is fundamentally a legacy approach to mirror what SAP HANA is revolutionizing through its modern data processing architecture.

 

 

It is a simple question: Do you choose SAP’s simple modern approach or the Oracle extra “excess” approach to enable your real-time business?

 

 

 

Extra h/w, extra D/B, extra DBA, extra reconciliation, extra management, extra read, extra write, extra store, extra copy, extra back up, extra bill of materials and extra skill sets all add up to pay for the Exa-junk. Less is more, without going to a fundamental rewrite of the database, one cannot dramatically simplify.  Bundling is a natural urge. As Apple has shown, simplicity is extremely hard to achieve and often requires an effort to rethink and challenge the sacred cows. Once done, it’s very hard to copy.

 

 

3. Disruption for customers down the line

 

Oracle is acting quickly to try and catch up in hybrid row/columnar databases. Unfortunately, the path they have chosen – a compilation of existing products – is very disruptive to customers. If a customer adopts the current multi-product offering, best case over the next several years is they will face substantial upgrade challenges  as Oracle unifies data structures and underlying security access, consolidates administration consoles, and develops a common programming language (PL/SQL, Timesten SQL, Essbase script/MAXL). However, given the age and intrinsic data type and dimensional restrictions of the underlying Essbase kernel, what is more likely is that Oracle will not attempt to renovate these existing products, and instead build an entirely new technology stack from scratch. This is a much lower cost, faster time to market, and lower risk alternative – but if Oracle pursues this approach, early adopters of Exalytics will face extremely disruptive releases; essentially re-implementations instead of upgrades as they have been forced to face with their backwards-incompatible Fusion applications. Ultimately, Oracle’s haste in bringing this poorly engineered offering to market forces potential customers into a Catch 22; face years of invasive upgrades where fundamentals like administration and programming languages undergo huge transformation – or support all these different products for several years, only to have them replaced by an entirely new, massively disruptive codeline.

 

 

4. Innovation and Business Value

train.jpg

 

What about new and innovative real-time applications and business scenarios that require extreme performance and hence deliver business value use cases that were not possible before? SAP HANA moves computation intensive processing logic from the application layer to the data layer and makes applications hundreds of times faster (e.g. in genome research for DNA sequencing, or real-time traffic analysis or smart meter analysis). By having three different fundamental databases in Exadata + Exalytics with TimesTen, Oracle 11g and Essbase – which ones should customers, ISVs and more importantly Oracle’s future application innovation build on? Consolidating the past with bigger and expensive boxes will not drive innovation for customers.

 

It’s time to rethink, time to renew, time to go to the drawing board to better serve our enterprise customers – rather than pick another bunny out of the hat to compete with SAP HANA.

The last few days, catching up with the news and some reading, have been somewhat revealing.

  

This year it appears that retailers have done a lot more business during the traditional Holiday shopping season than in recent years. While unemployment figures are still uncomfortably high and we certainly cannot say that the economy is humming, this has got to be encouraging.  I found some interesting pieces in the December 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review about retail organizations and their business in general. In “The Future of Shopping” by Darrell Rigby there is interesting discussion about how increasingly “successful companies will engage customers through ‘omnichannel’ retailing” which is essentially a “mashup of digital and physical experiences.” This refers to the ability of retailers to interact with customers through countless channels that seem to be growing with respect to possible choices. The article argues that omnichannel retailing is critical for the survival and success of traditional retailers. Let us stop for a moment and think what this means.

  

If a retailer must interact with customers through websites, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail, social media, mobile devices, gaming consoles, televisions, networked appliances, and more, then the amount of data that they will deal with is mind-boggling. In order to be effective with customers and potential customers, this interaction has to be based on very relevant data that places a high premium on being timely. In other words, we are looking at a very remarkable combination of (a) large volumes of data, and (b) the need to manipulate them rapidly – in real-time or almost real-time. This is the sort of business problem that will increasingly become the subject of discussion as business process models evolve. Enter: In-Memory computing and technologies that enable very fast databases eliminating the need to have layers of data stores and the sort. I expect there will be many discussions in 2012 around this type of a business use case across various industries and business processes.

  

Interestingly, in this same issue of the Harvard Business Review there is another discussion, “Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do” by Thomas H. Davenport, Leandro Dalle Mule, and John Lucker. It talks about the value from using “increasingly granular customer data” to “create highly customized offers to steer shoppers to the ‘right’ merchandise  -  at the right moment, at the right price and in the right channel.” Again, this is a matter of working with copious amounts of data in near-real-time (if not, literally, real-time) mode, and using appropriate analytics capabilities. Again, this is a business problem that calls for a solution not mired in older paradigms of information management.

  

I expect many organizations to engage in discussions in 2012 around many such business needs. Possibilities could range from discussions in the Oil & Gas industry, or in the Power/Utilities arena, or in Refining & Manufacturing among other potential areas. Businesses are going to be on the lookout for that competitive edge that comes from rapid action that is driven by an analytical manipulation of raw/source business data.

  

If you are in a business that needs solutions along the lines mentioned here, then SAP HANA can certainly be your ticket into an exciting future. In that case, perhaps, your 2012 New Year Resolution ought to consist of picking up that gleaming new smartphone you acquired this Holiday season and calling on your SAP contact to discuss a HANA fit for your business process model. Happy New Year!

  

P.S. You can follow my regular posts at: Café Innovation Blog on the SAP Community Network

As the holidays approach I have been musing on ideas for a seasonal blog post.  I noticed that you can’t spell Hannukkah (or Chanukah) without HANA. Or Happy New Year. And Kwanzaa and Santa are just begging to be included in anagrams (HANAgrams?). But I think an interesting story is how HANA could change a specific holiday; Christmas.

 

From a business perspective there are two accepted views of Christmas. It is an occasion when children send letters to Santa, elves furiously create toys, and he delivers them all in one night. Or it is an occasion for which thousands of businesses forecast, manufacture, ship, stock and sell hundreds of millions of gifts, through tens of thousands of factories, distribution centers and retail outlets. Whichever version you believe, HANA can have a big impact.

 

Planning and forecasting:

HANA can analyze massive amounts of rapidly emerging data to enable predictive analysis. In an elf economy this means Santa could continuously adjust production in his workshop as children’s letters come in. In a traditional economy, all of the manufacturers, distributors and retailers can adjust to meet emerging demand trends for hundreds of millions of items.

 

Production analysis:

HANA can give a real time picture of production levels and issues. So, if there is a problem with one team of elves (or workers), but another will complete early, the workshop (or factory) can adjust to get everything onto the sleigh (or to distribution) just in time

 

Real-time analysis of distribution and stock:

HANA gives you the ability to see where every single product is, right now. Is it on a shelf in retail store A? Has it been sold? Is it on a truck in Delaware? Does distribution need to be changed to address demand spikes in different areas? Is it on the sleigh, in the right sack, half way down a chimney, or under a tree?

 

Revenue and profitability analysis:

HANA lets every company see its bottom line, in real time, throughout the process – by region, by product, even by shelf or for every individual item sold. If he can already figure out if we have been bad or good I am sure Santa can measure the happiness brought to every child, from every gift. HANA could help him break this down, report it back to the elves, and show Mrs. Claus why he was out all night (again).

 

Whether you believe in elves or the free market, put HANA on your list. And whichever holiday you will be celebrating, we offer our best wishes for the season, and hope you have a very happy new year.

How can SAP HANA be fun, you ask? 

 

Talk to Joe King, of the Experience SAP team, for 5 minutes and you can answer that question yourself. 

Joe spent a few minutes with me to talk about the cool work his team is doing.

 

Join Joe and myself to learn more about:

  • The unique goals of the Experience SAP team to bring technology, like SAP HANA, to life
  • Using "Smart Meter" Stats to introduce SAP HANA to non-traditional audiences
  • How SAP HANA and our other technology offerings will be used with Smart Meter Stats in 2012

 

Spending 5 minutes with David Ludlow, Global VP of HCM Solution Management, while we were at TechEd Madrid brought me back to my old stomping grounds.  It was so much fun that we decided to do 2 interviews.  Although the videos pre-date SAP’s announcement of their intent to acquire Success Factors, it’s clear that David’s insights and the work his team are doing are right in-line with SAP’s investment in the HCM space.

 

In the first video David talks about key HCM trends:

  • The rapid increase and use cases for workforce mobility and resulting challenges
  • The ever expanding challenge of big data and management insights
  • The implications of social networking to workforce expectations

 

Boy, times have changed since I worked in HCM a decade ago.

 

In this second video interview with David Ludlow, Global VP of HCM Solution Management, hear about the cool projects the HCM team at SAP is working on, including:

  • HCM Analytics -  Business Intelligence factory, cockpits and dashboards, risk management, operational, and strategic HCM planning and modeling
  • Mobility – Delivering mobile apps for key stakeholders  groups across the business: employees, managers, HR business partners, and executive
  • Social Networking – Performance management and career development through SAP HCM Career On-Demand: Using social networking behavior to build talent pool richness and management.

 

Think you know the whole SAP HANA story?  Think again! 

 

Join me for an interesting 5 minutes with Jeff Word, Vice President, SAP HANA Solution Marketing and the acclaimed author of Integrated Business Processes with ERP (released in spring 2011) and co-author of the bestselling books: Essentials of Business Processes and Information Systems, Business Network Transformation, and SAP NetWeaver for Dummies

 

With a background working on new technology offerings from SAP, Jeff was in on the ground floor with SAP HANA. 

 

Hear Jeff’s reflections from the TechEd Madrid Show Room Floor:

  • How SAP HANA was born
  • Where in the world SAP HANA has been in 2011
  • What’s in store for SAP HANA in 2012

 

In May 2010 at SAPPHIRE NOWSAP first announced the vision of developing SAP HANA for enabling businesses to operate in real-time. The competition such as Oracle also announced their intent however SAP won the race when it launched SAP HANA on 1 Dec 2010. Since then, for me working as a HANA marketing team member, 2011 has been a high-speed train ride to showcase not only the power of SAP HANA but more importantly the relevance and reality of SAP HANA with customer use cases. Customers from across the globe presented their experiences with SAP HANA at Sapphire NOW and TechEd events in Orlando, Vegas, Madrid and Beijing and became passionate ambassadors. For example since Red Bull took the stage in Madrid the market gets it that BW on HANA is one of the killer apps. 

 

Travel.jpg

 

As 2011 draws to a close, the ride still has one more loop left as key influencers will meet with SAP executives in Boston next week. They will get an update on SAP HANA strategy for 2012 and the opportunity to get clarity on burning question on topics around roadmap, architecture, developer features, multi-tenancy and application cloud. Proving the powerful combination of SAP HANA and Mobility, my colleagues are working hard on a new scenario for the ExperienceSAPHANA test drive area.  Grab your mobile device and experience being the "Center of Your Universe" as you freely explore the data about the changing world around you.  What do you know about your own community?  How are current conditions changing?  Do you need to adapt?

 

I will be monitoring the tweets #SAPSUMMIT #HANA, #SAPHANA @SAPInMemory to guage the reaction to the conversations regarding SAP HANA at the Influencer Summit. Will you?

What would you do if you had 3600 times more money in your bank account than you have today? Every one of us has imagined what life would be like if we were insanely rich, even though it’s very unlikely to happen. What’s ironic is we were completely unprepared for a change of this magnitude which actually has happened – the change introduced by SAP HANA.

 

HANA can speed up data processing 3600 times. What used to take an hour now takes only a second. Most of us have not yet thought about what to do with all that unexpected power. To truly use it, we have to shift our thinking and imagine transformational change in the applications and processes that run our companies.

 

Let’s consider another example of the change introduced by HANA. On a clear night you can see a breathtaking ribbon of stars across the sky. It is our galaxy, the Milky Way, made up of approximately 480 billion stars. But even on the clearest night we can only see only a fraction of them clearly. We can’t take it all in. If one of them were to explode, it’s unlikely we would see it unless we happened to be looking in exactly the right place.

 

HANA can process 480 billion rows of data in less than one second. Just as HANA can analyze data on every star in our galaxy, it can give you the power to see every detail and every change in your business. Breathtaking amounts of data flow through large enterprises every day. We have not been able to understand all of it. We have not been able to see and act on changes as they happen. That is, until now.

 

I am sharing these thought-provoking examples to make a point. Everyone reading this blog is in a unique position. You have the opportunity to conceive and develop a completely new class of business applications that eats big data for breakfast and allows the enterprise to operate in real time. This opportunity is huge, especially for first movers. But we all have to learn to think in a new way, on a completely different scale than before. I ask you all to start that thought process now, for your own companies.

 

Big companies pursue big ideas. It’s time for some ‘HANA Big’ ideas.

 

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Which process would you transform with HANA, and why? Please leave a comment to join in the conversation.

Sure, in-memory computing is a great technology solution... but what's in it for senior business executives and managers?

 

Dr. David Ginsberg, Vice President and Global Co-Head of the Performance and Insight Optimization (PIO) team, combines his scientific training and business acumen to:

  • Attract mindshare with C-level executives
  • Define where SAP HANA and PIO fit in to the big spectrum of business analytics
  • Change the way business decisions are made (see many awesome demos, including Affinity insight with HANA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tjFoT87j6A on SAP’s You Tube Channel)

 

 

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