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Vishal Sikka

Anniversaries:  Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Posted by Vishal Sikka in Blog on Jul 4, 2012 12:44:45 PM

It seems like birthdays are all around us.  It’s the 4th of July, as this great country celebrates its 236 years.  My dad, my hero and mentor, turns 75 this week, the year of birth that he shares with the incomparable Golden Gate Bridge; San Francisco had a grand celebration in its honor recently -- #GGB75 on Twitter. This year also marks the birth centenary of Alan Turing, a pioneer of modern times whose work contributed seminally to the birth of the digital age, and San Francisco also celebrated this, with a gathering of computing’s greats. Oh, and my l’il girl HANA celebrated her 1st birthday.


Many people ask me about this whole li’l girl thing; it is true, that all of us in the HANA family, think of her as our little girl.  And what a little troublemaker she’s been!  Now over 426 customers, 355 live and ongoing implementations, 69,000 end-users, 16 startups, all 7 major hardware partners (DELL, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Cisco, Hitachi, NEC) who deliver on an open design blueprint, 4000+ instances on Amazon Web Services in June, and, I believe when we see the results of this last quarter, by far and wide the fastest growing product in the history of SAP, probably in the history of enterprise software.  It’s true HANA makes me feel like a really, really proud dad.  A great innovation, launched just a year ago, has seen such a remarkable growth and adoption, and more than that, like a young girl that sees the world with new ideas and without any preconceived notions, it has charted unprecedented new frontiers far beyond our expectation.  While I look forward to sharing our achievements since last SAPPHIRE NOW with all of you in Beijing, in about 3 weeks’ time, suffice it to say that in the meantime HANA continues to deliver breakthrough business value across the 5 value dimensions of – depth, breadth, real time, high performance and without pre-fabrication.  And beyond a database product, it has become the heart of our platform, on which we are, renewing *all* our products, bringing amazing opportunities for our partners and startups to innovate on, and also entering unprecedented new areas, going after previously unsolved and purposeful challenges in healthcare, in banking, in energy management and in many other walks of life.


We continue to see unmatched transactional and analytical performance – average of 7,976 times performance improvement over previous systems across all the project implementations. More than 16 customers are in the more than 10K performance improvement club already! And our hardware partners continue to roll-out scale-out solutions, including a 500 TB in memory system we have jointly created with IBM that we showcased at the HANA 1 Year celebration. Additionally, what’s also wonderful to see is that since SAPPHIRE NOW, not only SAP and our customers, but also our ecosystem is building amazing applications on HANA, like Qiagen's next generation sequencing for molecular diagnostics on Hana or Taulia's real-time financial risk analysis solution that analyses millions of buyer-supplier relationships in a split second to find the right financing rate at the time the suppliers requests it, not 48 hours later, when the opportunity might be gone.


And, beyond non-disruptive renewal and experience, I believe that when data, knowledge and expertise from all of humanity is instantly available, the way we work and live can fundamentally change, and improve, in ways that are only limited by our own imagination.


So, as we celebrate the many anniversaries, I am reminded of Alan Kay’s challenge to me last year, to make a movie to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Apple’s great knowledge navigator video, and the 50th anniversary of Ivan Sutherland’s amazing Sketchpad.  To rethink how we may work, if we don’t look at the future as an increment of the past, but as a construct that we can build, as Hasso says, with our knowledge, imagination and our conviction, a future that we deem to be desirable, feasible and viable.  So over the last year, we made a short movie, that we call “As We May Work” the name itself a tribute to Vannevar Bush’s great manifesto written after the second world war, “as we may think”.  I encourage you to take a look at this creation of our team’s collective imagination.  A depiction of how work, life, commerce, problem-solving, purpose and other human endeavors, might be eased by more human technology, purposeful technology.  How technology could help us solve complex problems, construct important devices and artifacts, how technology can help us achieve shared perspectives across space, but also across time.  It is a labor of love, a work of art, and as with all works of art, some love it some don’t, but it leaves us all the richer for it.  I hope you have a great 4th and enjoy the anniversary season.


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