SAP president claims €1bn worth of in-memory business in the pipeline

SAP has 1 billion worth of business in the pipeline for its in-memory HANA product, according to SAP’s president of sales Robert Enslin.

Talking to Computerworld UK at an SAP Forum event in London today, Enslin said that SAP’s revenue figures for HANA in 2011 were 250 million, but the company was currently in talks with customers to potentially bring in four times that amount this year.

“You have to remember that we launched HANA in June 2011, so it was a baby product and had been going for just six months. We currently have 350 unique customers that have purchased HANA, and of those, 142 are live or due to go live in the next couple of weeks,” said Enslin.

He added: “We also have a pipeline that is currently at over 1 billion. I can’t say how many of this we expect to close, but we are having good discussions.”

HANA uses in-memory software to analyse huge volumes of data in real time. SAP began looking at in-memory capabilities four years ago and started developing the technology in early 2010.

A proof of concept was established in October of 2010, which saw SAP’s data analytics improve by a factor of 14,000: a request now takes one second where it previously took five hours.

The increase in speed is gained by putting data analytics into a CPU, into ‘memory’, as opposed to being carried out on disk. Queries sent to on-disk databases take longer because of the mechanical interaction that has to take place, which is removed when being conducted in-memory.

Enslin said that a lot of the growth in HANA is being driven by the Asian markets.

“It’s interesting, the North American region is usually the first to innovate, but we are actually seeing significant interest in HANA from China and Japan,” he said.

“China simply because of the volumes, and the size of the companies. Japan has always been very technically advanced, and they like to do things that technically superior,” he added.

Enslin also explained that SAP plans to develop its growth in HANA through a number of routes. One of the core ways it hopes to get customers to migrate to the new platform is through its data warehouse offering.

“HANA has multiple facets to it. One is our Business Information Warehouse, which has an existing customer base of 12,000. All of those customers can now migrate to HANA if they want to, as the software became available a few weeks ago,” said Enslin.

“If those 12,000 companies move to HANA they will get a significant reduction in total cost of ownership, in disk space and in the speed in which they review reports and business applications,” he added.

SAP has also developed something called HANA Accelerators, which allows SAP business suite applications to run on top of HANA. Otherwise, it plans to target customers with HANA specific applications, such as HANAOncolyzer, which is a healthcare app aimed at fighting cancer.

SAP also revealed this month that it is in talks with Braskem, a petrochemical giant based out of Brazil, to overhaul the monitoring and control of its sustainability applications in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint.

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