SAP Ships Business Suite For HANA, Readies New Release Of Business One Apps

SAP unveiled a new release of its Business One application suite for small and midsize companies Wednesday and said a version of its flagship SAP Business Suite application that supports the HANA in-memory database is now generally available.

SAP, which is holding its Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Fla., this week, also debuted a new line of applications called SAP Fiori that can be used across a range of desktop and tablet computers and smartphones.

The HANA in-memory database is currently SAP's biggest technology initiative, and SAP co-CEO Jim McDermott, in a keynote Tuesday, said HANA would be the platform for all SAP product development going forward.

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In a keynote Wednesday, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann-Snabe re-emphasized that point when he announced the general availability of Business Suite on HANA.

"I would claim that HANA is the biggest innovation in 20 years in business software," Hagemann-Snabe said. Along with the technology's ability process huge volumes of data, it also greatly speeds up the performance of Business Suite, SAP's ERP and industry application set for bigger companies, he said. "This idea of putting data in main memory is a quantum leap."

The Business Suite line includes SAP All-in-One, an edition of the application set -- popular with solution providers -- that's packaged for midsize businesses and specific industries. The company has some 1,200 Business Suite/All-in-One authorized resellers.

Until now, Business Suite on HANA has been in a beta "ramp up phase" that began in early January when the product was officially announced. While those beta sales are usually limited to direct sales, in a break from the past, a number of partners have been participating in this ramp up phase, said Claus Gruenewald, SAP vice president, ecosystem and channel, SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, in an interview.

More than 50 percent of early customers running Business Suite on HANA were engaged through the channel, said Eric Duffaut, SAP president of ecosystems and channels, said in an interview.

Some 350 SAP partners are now certified to resell Business Suite on HANA, and certification for partners to provide support for the software will be live June 1, Gruenewald said. He expects those partners to be especially active in selling the Business Suite/HANA combination to new customers.

NEXT: New Business One, Fiori Applications Make Their Debut

SAP partners are generally embracing the HANA initiative. "I trust the innovation message," said Alex Rooney, a vice president with Vision33, an SAP gold partner. "The message is loud and clear" that channel partners are expected to be onboard with the in-memory database technology, he said in an interview at Sapphire Now.

Lars Landwehrkamp, CEO of All for One Steeb AG, one of SAP's biggest resellers, said in an interview that his company has had only a few HANA customers so far. But he expects that going forward as many as 100 percent of new customers -- those who haven't committed to running SAP software on another vendor's database -- could adopt HANA. He's also building industry-specific software on top of HANA.

SAP announced the general availability of SAP Business One 9.0 for the Microsoft SQL Server database. A version that natively supports SAP HANA is now in restricted shipment. The new release has some 50 new features, including new warehouse and inventory management capabilities, as well as improved systems performance.

Business One, targeted at small-to-midsize companies, is popular with channel partners that sell the applications for on-premise deployment or host them for customers. A cloud version hosted by SAP is also available.

The first release of SAP Fiori, also announced at the show, includes 25 applications for what SAP described as the most common business functions, such as workflow approvals, information lookups and self-service tasks. They can be used on mobile devices and desktops using browsers that support HTML5. The applications share a common user interface design and can be deployed as a collection of apps with a single launch pad or multiple Web apps, and they can be accessed from SAP or third-party system portals.