I’m at the SAS Global Forum 2014 today. As a follow-up to my blog at SAP TechEd in October 2013 where we announced the SAP and SAS partnership, I wanted to highlight how SAS+SAP fit into the overall SAP HANA platform story and the progress we have made in delivering the combined roadmap.
SAP HANA is a real-time data management and application development platform that uses modern architectural constructs such as in-memory processing, columnar data storage, linear scaling, and massive parallelism to deliver performance and simplicity. It provides powerful native predictive analysis, natural language processing, geo-spatial, planning, and application services capabilities. As an open enterprise-ready platform, SAP HANA also serves as a foundation to leading vendors, startups and open-source efforts in the EIM, Predictive Analytics, and BI/Visualization space. This provides customers a comprehensive choice of offerings e.g. in the predictive analytics space this choice is fulfilled by SAP, open-source, and market leading vendors (SAS) & startups.
As an update to our partnership announcement with SAS, we now have a roadmap of SAS applications and tools that will be made available on SAP HANA. Pilot customers are kicking the tires and an emerging ecosystem of partners is adding value by delivering solutions to their customers.
The product and solution roadmap for SAS applications and tools on SAP HANA is being shared with and further shaped by select pilot customers who are working on Proof-of-Concepts using the combined SAP HANA-SAS architecture. These pilot customers are validating the expected benefits from the joint integration:
- Simplified IT landscape and potential for lower TCO. Data does not have to be moved around or duplicated. In essence analytics is being brought to the data (in HANA). This allows CIOs to bring down costs and simplify IT landscape management. Companies can also now better cater to the needs of data scientists, business analysts and IT architects.
- Data scientists can focus on the analysis and not worry about working with their IT departments to get access to their data. They can now build their models which are then deployed into SAP HANA. While they may not care about this fact but once SAS models are integrated into SAP HANA, data scientists realize how easy and flexible the “interested fields” selection is. They can train their models with as few fields or as many fields as they want on small or large sample data sets. Of course, what and how much data they can access still depends on their role.
A new group of SAP partners are taking advantage of this SAP HANA and SAS architecture to build new applications and data models that their customers can benefit from. We are seeing interesting solutions from a new ecosystem of partners, such as Phemi and Qualex. E.g. Clive Pearson, Qualex’s CEO talks about delivering SAS Patron Value Optimization (PVO) on the SAP HANA's in-memory platform. In highly competitive industries such as gaming and hospitality, they need to look beyond providing a rich customer experience. The combined SAS & SAP solution allows casinos to accurately identify and target their patrons in real-time to increase revenue - by first identifying, then understanding and ultimately retaining their valuable patrons. Their initial benchmarks have shown that the solution is many magnitudes faster than legacy databases. In Clive’s own words “We are planning to launch this offering in our rapidly growing Asian market as it can seamlessly scale to millions of users and deliver a personalized experience to each and every one of them."
In conclusion, from an SAP perspective, we are driving SAP HANA as an open platform that can modernize and renew current applications and architectures - just like we are doing with SAP Business Suite. SAS applications and tools powered by SAP HANA is another such example.
Stay tuned for many more applications from SAS powered by SAP HANA in the near future. We look forward to continuing to not only aggressively drive such modernization, but also providing the foundation for a new crop of participants who are building ground up on this architecture.
Update from SGF 2014
Lisa Arney of SAS interviews Paul Kent, SAS VP of Big Data and Aiaz Kazi, SVP, Products & Innovation Platform Strategy and Adoption at SAP, about the new SAS/SAP relationship.