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>> Written by Prakash Darji, Global Vice President of Database & SAP HANA Platform at SAP

You’ve heard of SAP® HANA – the next-generation platform whose blazing speed, real-time reporting, and powerful analytics help you simplify your technology landscape and reduce time to value. You’ve probably also heard that SAP HANA can deliver rapid business intelligence (BI) results while incorporating all your transactional and analytic data into one platform.

Yet if you view SAP HANA as only a database for use by only the largest companies in only SAP environments using only really big data sets, you’re missing out. Read on to reveal the truth behind the myths…

Myth #1: SAP HANA works only with SAP systems.


You may have heard that SAP HANA works only with SAP systems – but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, about half of our SAP HANA customers use the solution outside of an SAP landscape. When SAP HANA was first introduced, it worked only with SAP BI tools – but we soon added SAP® Business Information Warehouse and SAP® Business Suite. The bottom line: The SAP HANA platform moves easily between SAP and non-SAP environments.

Myth #2: SAP HANA is basically a super-fast database.


SAP HANA is indeed a lightening-fast database, but it’s much more than that. Initially designed to simplify IT landscapes and reduce time to value, SAP HANA removes data redundancy and provides in-memory computing for both analytic and transactional data. As companies develop more purpose-built applications for planning, mobile, social, and predictive analytics, accessing external data sources creates lags and slows response times. In a three-tier landscape – database, middleware, and BI client – the database can be a weak link, unable to keep up with real-time analytic demands. SAP HANA gives you an integrated platform that includes both transactional and analytic data, radically simplifying database analysis and searches.

You can use SAP HANA to inspire innovation and solve problems in new ways – making your interactions and business processes simpler, smarter, faster. SAP HANA can also help you create new purpose-built or custom SAP HANA applications in areas such as customer segmentation, pipeline analysis, and audience discovery and targeting. Use SAP HANA to support powerful, predictive analytics that can set you apart from the competition in areas including loss prevention analytics, merchandise planning, precisions retailing, price optimization, and more.

Myth #3: SAP HANA is only for really big companies with large amounts of data.


SAP HANA delivers on simplicity and time to value – important factors for big and small companies alike. SAP HANA can help optimize business processes and speed analysis despite limited resources often found in small companies. Big companies, meanwhile, love SAP HANA because it helps amplify cost savings throughout the organization.

So SAP HANA works equally well for large or small companies – and with large or small datasets. For example, SAP Business One delivers HANA-based real-time simulation and planning to companies with as few as a handful of employees – making it possible for them to tackle previously unsolved problems. And SAP HANA can grow as your business grows, managing customer relationships, complex reporting and analysis, and operational dashboards.

Myth #4: SAP HANA is SAP’s only database and technology solution.


SAP has been delivering database and technology solutions for more than 20 years to businesses big and small. Our database solutions leverage in-memory, cloud, and mobile technologies to give you instant answers to complex queries, rock-solid reliability, and reduced costs.

In addition to SAP HANA, we offer several targeted databases. SAP Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) improves the availability of applications requiring extreme online transaction processing and scalability. SAP Sybase IQ is a highly optimized columnar database that accelerates analytics and big data processing, running ad hoc queries on large datasets of structured and unstructured data up to 100x faster. SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere helps design and deploy custom database-powered applications that automatically synchronize business data to thousands of mobile computing devices and remote offices. And all of these databases integrate easily with SAP HANA.

Myth #5: Big Data at SAP = SAP HANA.


The term “Big Data” gets thrown around a lot these days. SAP HANA – great for storing and processing large volumes of data – is just one piece of SAP’s complete Big Data solution. You can combine SAP HANA with our BI tools, business applications, and services to acquire, analyze, and act on Big Data in real time. In addition, SAP resells Intel and Hortonworks Hadoop® distributions which have native integration with our Big Data stack, including BI, data services, SAP HANA, and SAP Sybase IQ.

SAP solutions for Big Data encompass a range of software and services:

  • Analytics. Visualize, analyze, and act on Big Data in real time – with powerful tools for developers, designers, analysts, data scientists, and decision makers.
  • Applications. Supercharge your business processes, create new revenue streams, and solidify your competitive advantage.
  • Services. Define and implement a Big Data strategy that can transform data into insight, optimize execution, and maximize performance, with help from our data science services.

The Reality


SAP HANA is a next-generation in-memory database that can accelerate processing and analysis of both transactional and analytic data. It isn’t reserved for only SAP environments; in fact, it provides simplicity and time to value for a wide range of large and small customers. SAP HANA is just one piece of SAP’s full portfolio of innovative database, technology, and Big Data solutions.

Looking for the next source of competitive advantage for your business? Take a closer look at SAP HANA and how it can support BI in your business. To learn more, visit us online.


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