In May this year, SAP launched its high performance analytic appliance (HANA) a new software in the South African market. Today SAP has a growing catalogue of business-centric applications designed to address the conundrum of big data, large audiences and complex business and statistical calculations. The fact that HANA-based applications are able to process information ten to a thousand times faster than traditional systems opens up new areas for real, real-time computing in an era of time-based competition.
Christoph Kull, EMEA Vice President of Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing for SAP, who was in South Africa last week to speak to local customers and partners about HANA, said that since its launch, the software had garnered more customers in a very limited time than any other product launch he’d worked on. “I have been with SAP for 13 years now, and this is by far the quickest adoption of a new solution I’ve ever seen.”
Based on the success of the initial HANA release, SAP is starting to roll out a wide range of over 50 new HANA-based applications across the globe. Each application has a particular industry focus and is applicable to everyone from small and midsized organisations to large, multi-nationals.
“HANA is more than just a fast in-memory appliance,” continued Kull. “It is an application platform with real-time analytical capabilities that can be used regardless of whether companies are already running SAP.”
A large retailer in the US that has been using HANA for a few months now is utilising it for fraud detection at the point of sale. Similarly, a large American Pay TV business has been able to tailor commercial breaks to individual viewers in real time using HANA.
Particularly relevant to South Africa’s specific context is HANA’s application to the energy sector. Instead of basing energy usage patterns on the time of day, or the season, HANA is able to track demand and outages in real-time thus allowing utility providers to tailor their generation, distribution and provisioning in real-time. This application is already having an impact on energy companies in Germany that thus far have had to buy additional electricity from neighbouring countries to put up with Germany’s peak-time demand.
“HANA is revolutionary for many reasons: it uses RAM for physical storage and it can download any amount of data, process it, and then provide an analysis and response to queries within seconds,” said Kull. “