While researching our SAP Cloud offering to make it tangible for our Utilities customers, I found it rather challenging to understand the capabilities and boundary condition for each offering. Our head of technology development tries to structure it in his blog from a high level perspective. In my blog I would like to explain more detailed the offering we have around Platform as a Service that customers can use.
One of my first experiences when talking to customers (in particular Utilities industry) is that customer’s expectations in many cases differ from what we have in stock. Therefore a thorough structuring and outlining is necessary. Historically many Utility companies have built up competencies, skills and resources for building, running and operating IT systems on their own. They have implemented both standard solutions (hopefully mostly from SAP) and also built custom applications around these backbones. As the Utilities market changes, many Utility companies experience high pressure to reduce costs. For CIOs this means while reducing their IT budget, they need to maintain the quality of their IT services to their internal and external customers at the same level or meeting even more demanding expectations. In order to reduce the bottom line, cloud based provisioning of technical platforms might be one option to cater for this goal while also introducing new innovation and opportunities for the IT department.
Platform as a Service with SAP HANA Cloud
“SAP HANA Cloud” is what SAP uses to position the different options we have in stock, which can help customers, partners or even the individual developer to improve the delivery of custom applications. However, when looking at the offerings it may look in the first place confusing what options we have available and which to chose. Instead of “one size fits all” it is worth while to explore the offering from a different angle. I decided to look at it from a use case perspective and explain the different options and their boundary conditions.
What is your Platform Use Case?
Before jumping into the cloud it should be clear what kind of use case you have in mind. Based on this, one can select the right offering and get the job done quickly. I have prepared an overview of what use cases we see and which also typically resonates with customers.
As you can see in the table above we can separate the usage into 4 major use cases:
SAP HANA Native
This use case is to explore and adopt native SAP HANA capabilities. In particular for analytical use case this is the way to go. Also with the new XSEngine capabilities even HTML5 UIs can be developed which makes the HANA system a fully fledged application server. There are currently three options available to get your hands on SAP HANA.
Check out SAP HANA, Developer Edition. This is a way for developers to get up and running in a few minutes You can chose from a selection of different cloud providers and get your hands onto SAP HANA fast and easy at reasonable costs, starting at USD 0.22 per hour. This is for test, development and evaluation purposes, however, not for productive usage. In any case it gives you fast access to latest SAP technology without bothering about hardware, procurement time and upfront investment.
Next candidate is SAP HANA One. SAP HANA One is a joint effort between SAP and Amazon Web Services to provide native HANA capabilities on a professional platform even for productive usage. You simply sign-on to AWS Marketplace, provide payment information and get up and running with SAP HANA within minutes. All use cases which can be accommodated in a 60 GB in-memory database can be run here.
What we have seen so far are options to use for starting your SAP HANA journey. But what if you want to go real big with SAP HANA in the cloud? Then of course SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud will be your answer. SAP’s latest offering to elevate SAP HANA into a new dimension and offer it with ease and comfort of a cloud based infrastructure for your purposes. As this offering has only recently been announced, stay tuned for more details to come.
Ok, there is HANA as SAP’s new ground-breaking technology. However, many customers have vast amounts of Java development and skill set in-house. How to provide to those a world-class platform in the cloud for fast access at reasonable costs? SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the answer. With this platform you get an open, standards-based and modular Platform for rapid development of on-demand applications. Any Java developer will love to get his or her hands on this. There is a free developer edition available to which everybody can subscribe and start development within a couple of minutes. I got it working within 20 minutes, also supported by great tutorials you find on the page. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform also comes with a Cloud Portal that can be evaluated through a trial version. When moving into productive stage, you can acquire pre-configured packages from SAP Store and / or get your own custom SAP HANA Cloud Platform instance.
Also a very young addition to the SAP’s cloud family is the SAP Mobile Platform on HANA Cloud. This is a very fast way to get your hands around mobile development. As usual it provides a free developer trial. Before this, the SAP Mobile Platform was already available through Amazon Web Services, which would be another option to get your hands on the fully-fledged mobile platform.
SAP (Business) Applications
A very frequent understanding and expectation of SAP Cloud that we hear fromcustomers is: “So, you stuffed all your business applications into the cloud and I can get now an IS-U with a push of a button and a swipe of my credit card, right?“. Unfortunately it is not that simple, but we can offer this to some extend. Introducing the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). This is again a joint offering between SAP and Amazon Web Services (AWS). It offers 8 virtual appliances that can be purchase through the SAP Store and deployed in your AWS account. The main purpose of CAL is to provide for test, training and educational purposes a traditional business application within minutes. Saving you the effort of procuring hardware and installing the system. Once you are up and running you can integrate this into your corporate environment or simply shut it down once it is not required anymore.
SAP HANA Cloud Platform has become a comprehensive and elaborate offering and it develops further! There is no one-size-fits-all button, but by carefully choosing which use case one has in mind, SAP has the right option available to get up and running fast for test and evaluation and also later for productive use. SAP HANA Cloud, it is there, it is real, you can use it!