The many faces of SAP HANA

Jan 29, 2015
If you Google ‘HANA, you get more than 142.000.000 hits. Obviously, SAP is betting it’s future on the success of ‘SAP HANA’. The number of Google hits for a particular topic does not necessarily indicate the intrinsic value of it. It only indicates the hype.

The birth of HANA

In 2012 Larry Ellison (CEO of Oracle) commented with some irony that he knows most about in-memory and relational databases. With an unmistakable laugh, he added that SAP should stay with what they know best ‘doing accounting’. I assume he now really understands the impact of SAP HANA on the market in 2015.


The truth is that SAP dared to step in a world they did not know best. However, they understood the opportunity of recombination. They saw the capabilities of existing technologies and concepts in databases, they noticed the growth in the market of in-memory capacity versus price/cost. At the same time, they understood that cloud would play a significant role in lowering infrastructure and platform costs.

And most importantly: they had the capability to imagine what this could mean if they ‘combine’ these trends with what they know best: ‘Enterprise Applications’. They had the power to reinvent new architectures to a level that the combination of potential return and anticipated cost turns positive for their customers and would disrupt the market. The DNA of every strong business plan.

Check out this early article of Forbes from 2011: The top 10 reasons why SAP HANA is disrupting Larry Ellison’s grand plans.

Continuous improvement

And of course HANA was not perfect from the start. Who is? It is a characteristic of any innovation based on recombination. What counts is that the basic recombination of these concepts leads to a new paradigm that is relevant to the market. It is a matter of execution and continuous improvement at a rate that is higher than the competition.

Since the first announcement of SAP HANA (High performance analytical appliance) in November 2010, SAP has extended and matured significantly its capabilities to a level where we can now say that ‘she’ has many faces.

SAP HANA is the answer. What is the question?

So, to the growing frustration of many interested clients the answer of questions regarding their requirements is ‘SAP HANA’. SAP HANA seems to be used as an answer to any question or requirement stated by interested clients. This article SAP Hana Is The Answer! What’s The Question? from Forrester is very interesting as it gives a fairly objective overview of the capabilities and a strong advice on how to approach an evaluation of investment into SAP HANA.


Interested to learn more? We are glad to announce ‘SAP HANA four years later’, our Delaware Consulting D’Lunch, scheduled on March 19th. During this lunch, we will separate Hype from reality. Subscribe now!