SAP ‘All In’ for Cloud Portfolio, Strategy with HANA Enterprise Cloud

This spring, SAP is making it clear it’s all in to develop and deliver enterprise-caliber cloud options. SAP, a leader in ERP software, launched products and strategies this month to meet IT’s need for a faster, more scalable and reliable cloud solution. IDN speaks with Swen Conrad, senior director of SAP HANA marketing.

Tags: analytics, big data, cloud, ERP, HANA, hybrid, in-memory, real-time, SAP, expert voice,

Swen Conrad
Senior Director
SAP HANA Marketing



“We brought SAP HANA’s full benefits of its integrated architecture to the cloud to let IT simplify their data center and get high-performance and reliability.”


This spring, SAP is making it clear that one of the industry’s largest providers of on-premise enterprise software is all in to develop and deliver enterprise-caliber cloud options.

SAP, a leader in ERP software, revealed products and strategies this month that aim to meet IT’s need for a cloud option that is reliable, scalable, cost-effective and quick to get up and running – even with mission-critical software.

Topping the SAP’s list is that it’s taking its HANA high-performance, in-memory, on-premise platform to the cloud. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is a unified platform able to support high-performance analytics, OLTP and OLAP and real-time analytics, Swen Conrad, senior director of SAP HANA marketing told IDN. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud’s rich set of capabilities is made possible by the platform’s integrated combination of in-memory, scalability, massively parallel processing and flexible workload processing features, he added.

“So, one way to summarize SAP HANA Enterprsie Cloud is to say we deliver the power of real time with the simplicity of the cloud,” Conrad said.

SAP’s initiative to migrate the full, rich HANA on-premise platform to the cloud was driven largely by customers, Conrad said.
“We hear customers struggling over architecture because they must choose between real-time results or investments to simplify their data center. We’ve built SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to provide a solution for both,” Conrad said. “Because we have brought HANA’s full benefits of its integrated architecture to the cloud, it lets IT simplify their data center and still get high-performance and reliability for real-time [business] operations – all without a lot of friction or re-engineering,” he added.
In fact, SAP designed the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud for a wide range of use cases, Conrad noted. Among them the ability to:

  • Perform analysis on live transactional data in real time
  • Monitor and evaluate social media activity from customers
  • Detect fraud and evaluate risk 
  • Analyze volumes of real-time data to better manage supply chains
  • Make more accurate predictions based on real-time and historical data

SAP Business Suite applications and NetWeaver BW (Business Warehouse) will run on a cloud-based SAP HANA and unify analytics and transactions into a single in-memory platform for smarter business innovations, faster business processes, and simpler business interactions, Conrad said. 

One early SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud pilot customer is using SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver BW. “As part of our aggressive global growth strategy, it was paramount that we have the ability to deploy mission-critical SAP applications powered by SAP HANA as quickly as possible via the cloud without any compromise. I am happy to share with you that we were able to complete the app migration and cloud on-boarding in just two months,” said Don Whittington, CIO of Florida Crystals in a statement.

Going forward, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud will run SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse as a managed cloud service with elastic scale (as high as petabytes), he added. 

Another use case example, according to Conrad, will be a hybrid (on-premise/HANA cloud) environment for teal-time analytics and big data projects.

“It will probably be too costly to perform big data projects entirely in the cloud with SAP HANA, as our pricing will be based on the amount of data you have in-memory. But, we can integrate HANA from the cloud with Hadoop, so companies can combine the two in a hybrid architecture,” he told IDN. In this approach, a company would collect and filter its data using Hadoop and once it has identified the meaningful datasets, put those into HANA. “In that way, HANA can provide you with real-time data results, rather than waiting for hours and hours, at a very reasonable cost.”

Having access to more data and being able to do more analytics on it in real-time will let companies do more “end-to-end” thinking – and provide more value to the business.

As an example, Conrad said, rather than simply provide a frequent flyer with a rebooked flight if his original flight gets cancels, the airline can now invite him to dinner or a spa treatment at the frequent flyer’s club. “This is not data mining, which can take hours or days and looks for trends,” he said. “This is using analytics to help just one valuable customer, and adjust how to do business in real time.” sap_hanacloud_01

SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud also provides what Conrad called “a framework of well-defined managed services” to help companies design for and quick attain value.” These services include: a readiness assessment for moving to a cloud/hybrid environment; pilot design and implementation, application on-boarding, data migration, among others.

Near-Term Go To Market, Long-Term Strategy
for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

For its go-to-market, SAP plans to deliver the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud along with its partners in an open ecosystem, or what the company called an “open + us” strategy. This strategy will let customers obtain SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud from either SAP’s managed service providers or multiple SAP data centers worldwide.

Filling out the SAP enterprise cloud strategy, SAP execs made some key cloud-related announcements in May. At the SAP Sapphire conference the company:

  • Debuted the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, the company’s first full-throated attempt to migrate its HANA high-performance, in-memory platform from on-premise to the cloud.
  • Stated its SAP HANA Cloud Platform will become the technology foundation for all SAP cloud solutions.
  • Revealed it will move all its cloud-based apps (available as on-demand or SaaS apps) to the new HANA cloud platform. 

In a further move, to spur innovation and better align SAP HANA (on-premise) with SAP HANA cloud initiatives (especially for cloud-first projects), SAP said it is creating a single development organization.

“By leveraging development synergies across our cloud and on premise areas, we can further accelerate cloud solutions for our customers,” said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-CEOs of SAP AG. In charge of the new unit will be Vishal Sikka, member of the Executive Board of SAP AG Technology and Innovation. Effective June 1, all SAP development and custom development leaders will report directly to Sikka.

“With SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, we are addressing a fundamental customer need that we have seen since we first launched HANA. Customers want more and more options in how they take advantage of the value SAP HANA brings. With the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, we are delivering HANA at scale with instant value and no compromise,” Sikka said in a statement. He added that SAP’s HANA Enterprise Cloud platform will be key to “simplifying customers’ experience” of moving enterprise apps and big data projects to the cloud.