Okay, this may seem like a ludicrous idea at first sight, but what if SAP released a free version of SAP HANA? Please let me introduce to you the concept of openHANA. The idea is based on the Freemium concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemium).
What would differentiate openHANA from SAP HANA:
- Free to use
- Contains 90% of the functionality of SAP HANA
- No support from SAP and third-party vendors
- No OpenSource model – no branching, no community development model
- Not certified as the primary database of SAP Business Suite or Business Warehouse
- Fewer restrictions for the hardware configuration – therefore available on much cheaper hardware
- Supports more virtualization options
- All software developed on openHANA runs on SAP HANA
- Easy license upgrade to SAP HANA when running on certified hardware
Img.: Insert coin to continue
What would happen?
- Skyrocketing adoption as openHANA would enter the LAMP market segment – HAL as HANA-Apache-Linux
- Proliferation of SQLscript, RDE, and other HANA-related skills in the market
- Most usage scenarios that today require a fully licensed SAP HANA would still require that, so openHANA would not cannibalize on SAP HANA’s market but widen it
- New HANA customers would start with a low-risk, low-cost investment in openHANA, develop custom applications (such as custom sidecar-based accelerators and stand-alone applications) and port their existing non-SAP database applications to openHANA – and later they would upgrade to SAP HANA to get the full support or the extra 10% of features
- Customers who are now skeptical or unimaginative would get hooked on the speed and performance of HANA – the performance of HANA would become the expected standard and not be something you know exists somewhere but is out of reach, like a $ 1 Million Bugatti car
- The ecosystem for apps that run on HANA and add-ons to HANA (e.g. data center tools, integrations) would bloom as the market for those third-party vendors would be so much bigger thanks to openHANA – and each of these third-party tools would add value to SAP HANA
- Third-party vendors could even be required to couple their freemium model to HANA’s freemium model: e.g. the third-party tool is free to use on openHANA but enterprise-grade support is only available when it runs on SAP HANA
Basically, openHANA would target customers for whom HANA is currently too expensive in combination with the overall migration and integration effort, and it would be a slippery slope that would allow these customers to whom HANA is currently out of the question to adopt HANA’s “little brother” now and end up with the full-blown project later on. And it would change the situation for many third-party software vendors who today hesitate to develop software for HANA because the market is too small.
Dear SAP, please think about this long and hard and let me and the community know what you think. Preferably during the keynote of SAPPHIRENOW 2015. ☺