SAP CEO: “HANA is the bedrock of our brand, it’s our soul”

By Peter Gothard
17 Apr 2014 View Comments
SAP headquarters in Germany

SAP has reported a strong quarter in cloud and adoption of its in-memory platform HANA for its 2014 Q1, with CEO Bill McDermott calling HANA "the bedrock" and "soul" of a firm that is now "a cloud company powered by HANA".

Speaking on its earnings call today, SAP reported revenue of $5.12bn in the first quarter - a three per cent rise in comparison to 2013. McDermott said that EMEA had seen a particularly strong quarter "despite Crimea" and the general strong state of the currency.

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Cloud subscriptions, he said, had grown by 38 per cent in the quarter.

McDermott reported there are now 3,200 customers using HANA, 1,200 of these independent software vendors building enterprise solutions on the platform. McDermott also revealed that 1,000 organisations are using SAP's Business Suite on HANA - its collection of real-time business applications that run on-premise, cloud or hybrid.

"If you think about the benefit of that, I for the life of me cannot understand why many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of customers would not want to move to a cloud company powered by HANA - put the whole suite on HANA," said McDermott.

"Most importantly," he added, "we've made a bold move. We went to the marketplace and told them if you're tight on capex [capital expenditure], and want to rent the software, you can rent the suite on HANA on the SAP cloud. And that's something we recently announced. So as the market digests that opportuinity, I expect that hockey stick to build as the year goes on."

McDermott said SAP was determined to put the customer at the centre of its plans.

"We have made it clear that we are the cloud company powered by HANA. There are no debates. And secondly, we also agree that the company, to simplify everything we do, [will work] around that imperative.

"So we're putting our assets and our alignment throughout the company on a global level around that customercentricity; towards that objective. So you'll see us moving more in that direction."

So - cloud first, basically. But as the likes of Salesforce and Netsuite continue to grow in message and value, SAP will have its work cut out, particularly in Japan, which fell below expectations.

SAP in China, meanwhile, reported double-digit revenue growth for the quarter.

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