If there were any lingering doubts about the strategic importance SAP is attaching to its HANA in-memory database product, they were dispelled Wednesday in a blitz of HANA-related news and presentations on the last day of the Sapphire Now conference.
SAP debuted a release of HANA that expands the in-memory database's capabilities and scalability and makes it more attractive as a platform for developers. The vendor also launched a number of analytics applications built on HANA and a new data discovery and visualization tool that's powered by the software.
HANA provides a boost for a company's IT systems, quickly processing large volumes of structured and unstructured data and speeding up complex analytical queries.
"HANA is on the way to becoming the foundation of most of our applications," said Hasso Plattner, SAP chairman and one of the company's co-founders, in a keynote speech Wednesday where he spoke about the technology's importance.
HANA is quickly becoming one of SAP's flagship products and a key element of its database and technology business, one of the company's five technology initiatives (along with applications, mobile computing, cloud computing and business analytics). Company executives recently made it clear they intend to use HANA to challenge Oracle and its dominance of the data management market.
CTO Vishal Sikka followed Plattner, offering a more detailed look at SAP's plans for the software. "The momentum we are seeing is just incredible," Sikka said, noting that HANA is only a year old.
The software currently has 353 customers, 145 of which have implemented the technology. One is Burberry, and John Douglas, the clothing maker's CTO, took the stage to declare that HANA is quickly becoming a core technology for the company's operational computing systems and business analytics projects.
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