SAP launches real-time analytics appliance

By Derek du Preez
02 Dec 2010 View Comments
Concept image of SAP offices

SAP has launched its High-Performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) – a product that aims to improve business processes by using in-memory computing and high-speed real-time analytic software.

The BusinessObject Strategic Workforce Planning application has been built onto HANA and processes large quantities of data using a calculation engine that enables processing to be performed directly in-memory.

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This engine will allow customers to simulate scenarios in real time, as well as analyse complex relationships and see how proposed organisational changes will impact business.

"SAP HANA and the first applications built on it are already showing customers the unprecedented speed of in-memory computing... and the latency they have in the layers of their current IT systems," said Vishal Sikka, executive board member, technology and innovation platform, SAP.

Hilti, a company that specialises in fastening and demolition systems,  recently piloted the new SAP HANA system, focusing on customer contact listings within its sales and marketing divisions.

"Hilti provided over nine million customer records to SAP. By loading these into SAP HANA it was possible to comb these records in two to three seconds, [and provide analytics around sales] compared with the two to three hours it took previously," said Christian Ritter, head of PCC HR, finance and reporting, global IT, Hilti.

"We believe this is the way forward in business reporting. The biggest benefit for us is that we can now increase performance in real time for complex scenarios, by merging the transactional and analytical worlds," he added.

Hilti currently uses HANA as software-as-a-service, but Ritter explained that this was an interim measure.

"We transferred our customer records to SAP's HANA database from our own, and this was great for the pilot. However, I definitely see this as an on-premise application in the future," said Ritter.

"To transfer all our ERP data to an external system would be time consuming – this could reduce the benefits of HANA's performance. If the system was on-premise, it would not be a problem."

SAP plans to launch new applications based on HANA next year to help utility companies manage power supply in real time, provide retailers with more timely analysis of point-of-sale data and enable more accurate sales pipeline forecasting.


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