Disruption is here: Run ALL of your SAP applications on HANA instead of another database

14 January 2013

James Appleby

James Appleby

Former Group Chief Executive

It is here - SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. This means that you can now run any business suite application using HANA as your database - so ERP, CRM, SCM, EAM and PLM can all run on SAP HANA, INSTEAD of Oracle, DB2, SQL Server etc.

The announcement of its availability is not a surprise, but the pricing of it is. Until now, SAP HANA was priced at a premium and this, for many, was a blocker to  adoption. But now, if you buy the business suite through SAP, it will cost the same as purchasing Oracle (if you buy your Oracle licences through SAP). So if you are a new SAP Business Suite customer, your options are:

  • Buy Oracle as your database, and spend more money on getting operational reporting into SAP BW (although it may be cheaper if you have a different agreement with Oracle)
  • Buy a DB2 or SQL Server for a little less but still have the extra cost on operational reporting
  • Buy SAP HANA for the same price as Oracle, spend a lot less money on the  reporting capabilities, and get real time "operational" management reporting - i.e. things like stock, daily sales etc.

In time, this will be the proverbial no-brainer, assuming two things happen:

  1. SAP proves the enterprise robustness of SAP HANA as a database
  2. The competition doesn't  release something that competes, although for now there is no evidence of that happening.

In the short term there will be a risk-reward question as there are always plenty of organisations that don't want to be 'the first'. A  colleague reminded me of the initial release of SAP NetWeaver, and the "1000 references in a year" challenge; with the same push on SAP Business Suite powered by  SAP HANA, every new Business Suite license will be sold with HANA very soon. And in the meantime, the big prize for SAP of customers migrating from their existing database to SAP HANA, will gain momentum like a steam train.

There isa lot more to think through and we are having some fascinating internal discussions on this, such as what is the business suite announcement mean to SAP BW on HANA for existing customers.

But this is the moment where things start to really change. Disruption is here.

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About the author

James Appleby

Former Group Chief Executive

When I started Bluefin, the premise was very simple: a values-drive organisation focusing on its customers and its people in equal measure. Amazing people with the right environment can do incredible things.

It has proven to be true, and I am immensely proud of what our customers and people have achieved, and what Bluefin has achieved as a result. Watching and helping people to grow, and seeing the results of that over 10+ years, makes me immensely proud, and the vision of being the world’s most customer-centric consultancy by 2025 is always at the front of my mind.

The world has changed immensely during our history, and technology is going through a seismic shift at the moment: the power of the consumer on the move; the shift of global economic power eastwards; the importance of climate change; next generation software personified in cloud computing; to name but a few. I love the opportunities that these changes create.

Outside of work, I love to share with my wonderful family and friends my passions of cycling, skiing and wine, although not usually at the same time.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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