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At the turn of the year, the NY Times published an interesting opinion piece – “Can Social Media Sell Soap?” The NY Times points out that “social networks, like them or not, are fast laying out a new grid of personal connections.” These connections change the ways businesses interact with us and beg the question, what drives a business to innovate? Social and mobile interactions with consumers, the need for analytics to gain competitive advantage, immediate access to business data, and the list goes on.

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According to Gartner, it is a confluence of forces. In this report, Gartner looked at SAP in the context of four interdependent trends – social interaction, mobility, cloud, and information – what they call the “Nexus of Forces” that is empowering individuals and creating a user-driven ecosystem of modern computing. Gartner states, “Although these forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are revolutionizing business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders.”

In the context of its Nexus of Forces, Gartner believes that SAP is uniquely aligned with this model, with a business strategy built around applications, database and technology, mobility, cloud, and analytics. Not surprisingly, the SAP HANA platform was the focus of much of the report, with Gartner noting that it’s “a disruptive, innovative change for the IT industry.” The in-memory processing of SAP HANA is completely transforming the way businesses manage data, with a platform that’s integrated and optimized across the full spectrum of data management needs.

Gartner also states that SAP HANA “will enable SAP to compete with thought-leading architectures and new high-business-value applications, such as SAP Customer Segmentation Accelerator and SAP Predictive Analysis. Although this vision is in the early stages of market acceptance, other vendors are validating the strategy with market hype and product releases to compete with [SAP] HANA.”

As our HANA customers share their experiences, we are seeing the Nexus of Forces at work in the marketplace.

Germany-based chemical company BASF was familiar with the benefits of in-memory computing; in fact, it had been an early adopter of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator, a predecessor to the SAP HANA platform. So when SAP HANA was introduced, Andrew Pike, CIO of Information Services, BASF Group, found its benefits “extremely compelling.” Eager to perform a cost analysis, BASF sent the entire database of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to SAP. The results showed that response time improved by a factor of approximately 120 – from about 620 seconds to five seconds in one case. Pike was convinced.

To hear directly from this customer, watch BASF’s Andrew Pike on why “SAP HANA is Definitely a Generational Change”

In 2013, we’ll write more about Gartner’s analysis of our new market position, recommendations for IT leaders, and why Gartner believes we are shaking up the application infrastructure market.  We also invite feedback on how your organization is responding to the Nexus of Forces. In your industry or job function, what impact are these trends having?

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