SAP Watch

Oct 24 2011   2:20PM GMT

Gartner: HANA architecture is a work in progress

Jacquelyn Howard Jacquelyn Howard Profile: Jacquelyn Howard

A recent Gartner report, “SAP Throws Down the Next-Generation Architecture Gauntlet With HANA,” from Gartner analysts Massimo Pezzini and Daniel Sholler gives SAP HANA high marks, but cautions that it could be a challenge for SAP to convince “conservative” customers about the need for it.

Key notes from the report include:

  • SAP HANA “combines a variety of DBMS [database management system] techniques into a single integrated package, which, according to SAP, can result in tremendous improvements in query performance, especially for complex analytics”
  • Project River (Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS), SAP Business ByDesign (Software-as-a-Service or SaaS) and HANA Database-as-a-Service (for cloud services, currently in testing), are all designed to run on top of SAP
  • SAP HANA’s architecture is “not yet fully articulated and will take many years to be fully delivered.” Improvements on the SAP NetWeaver platform over the next 12-18 months will further develop this architecture.
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.3.1 changes are part of the overall plan for SAP HANA. These include combining SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management into one package.

According to Gartner, with an expected release date of 2013/2014 for SAP NetWeaver 7.4, customers need to plan transition from SAP NetWeaver applications to the new cloud structure in the next three to five years.

The report also emphasized the effect SAP HANA has/will have on other major enterprise software vendors. Explaining that SAP HANA “will force the competition to respond,” the report also cautions that it is important that SAP deliver on what it’s promising regarding SAP HANA, and do so before the competition catches up. To do this, SAP must “win support from its large partners’ ecosystems and have them convert their established solutions and develop new added values on top of the HANA Architecture.”

In recent conferences I have attended, I am definitely hearing some SAP HANA burnout, especially since we’ve been hearing about SAP HANA in a number of keynotes now. From what I can tell, the messaging isn’t convincing companies to spend the large amount of funds needed for an SAP HANA project. (I know of one large company that was investigating SAP HANA, but soon abandoned the idea because of the cost involved.) It comes across as a “nice to have” instead of a “have to have.” However, as the architecture becomes more defined and more common business scenarios are discussed, I can see more companies looking into this new technology.

What are your thoughts?

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