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Over the past couple of years, SAP has been galvanizing its strategy to execute across all deployment fronts: on-premises, on-device, and, of course, “on-demand.” This latter effort has resulted in targeted acquisitions for serving cloud computing customers in the form of SuccessFactors and more recently Ariba Network. This week we further strengthened our position with the announcement of our SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service. This technology radically raises the bar for performance and data capacities for business applications in the cloud. For the first time customers will have the power of SAP HANA platform to run a wide range of SAP applications, such as ERP, CRM and business warehouse software, off premises. (Of course, you can still run them in your own data center.) Conventional wisdom dictates that critical applications such as these will never run faster in the cloud, especially those dependent upon Big Data workloads. But that so-called wisdom will change with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service’s performance. It will turn heads inside IT and among users.

That’s because the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud foundations are built upon a next generation SAP HANA database, fit for 21st century workloads and user profiles. It was created this century for the modern multiprocessor, multicore, multithreaded world of today’s cloud computing data center. SAP HANA was designed to excel in a low-latency, Big Data environment.

That unprecedented performance in the cloud will help make SAP a leader in cloud computing.  But another key reason I believe SAP will lead the ranks among cloud vendors for business is, well, we know business applications better than any other vendor. For more than 40 years the company has relentlessly focused on delivering value to more than 288,000 business customers around the globe by providing software that streamlines internal operations while simultaneously opening up new business opportunities. It’s an advantage no other cloud vendor possesses.

Our deep knowledge of business requirements has informed how we have implemented our cloud-based applications. Our experience helped us unravel the complexity of implementing true business applications in the cloud. Customers will be able to get up and running faster with the features they need to extract immediate benefit from the service. Plus, IT managers can be confident in recommending the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service, knowing that our data centers will be run by experts who understand the SAP environment from top to bottom, assuring not just exceptional performance but applications reliability as well.

The demand for cloud services today is strong. But the real growth is just ahead of us. Forrester estimates that the market for cloud computing will grow at least five times its current level to more than $240 billion annually in just seven years. That growth is happening because cloud computing appeals to organizations from large to small. It’s a quick way to get IT resources and applications on-demand without having to make capital investments in new hardware and software. You simply pay a subscription fee as an operational expense, point your browser at the service, and begin getting value.

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service dramatically alters the landscape for cloud-based business applications because of its underlying in-memory, columnar database. As the New York Times reported, our SAP HANA “product has been a big hit” and it is at the core of our cloud strategy. It easily handles terabytes of customer data on-premises, processing it in real time for financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and every other market segment SAP supports. In our cloud data centers terabytes quickly will become petabytes, but the performance will still be blazingly fast. In fact, our pre-announcement customers already have loaded more than 750 terabytes on the 30,000 servers into the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service. But it is ready for even more.

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