After this year’s Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) was everywhere and was the integral technology of many of SAP’s cloud innovations announced at the conference.


Simple Finance

The result is SAP Simple Finance, based on SAP HANA in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, delivering real-time insights to CFOs and finance departments so they can transform their business. SAP Simple Finance takes full advantage of the in-memory SAP HANA platform with new finance capabilities, offers a new and beautiful user experience for easy access, all deployed in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud under a full subscription model, making it easy for finance departments to adopt these solutions. [SOURCE]

Industry Cloud

Industry cloud solutions are anticipated to offer customers specialized, next-generation business processes and intuitive interfaces that can be easily and quickly deployed across a public, private or hybrid cloud infrastructure, depending on which model best serves the customer’s needs. These industry cloud solutions are intended to run on SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA via SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, a fully managed, subscription-based cloud service ….. [SOURCE]

The focus on simplicity

The SAP way to “run simple,” as this year’s Sapphire theme extols, is to move to the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud.[SOURCE]

Based on my analysis at the time, I also suggested that the HEC would be the major force in SAP’s Cloud strategy.

A new gang in SAP’s cloud strategy emerges and is triumphant

Based on recent changes, I think there is a new gang that has emerged which is primarily focused on a particular type of cloud application rather than a platform.   In 2012, I had already identified a gang called “SaaS” that was focused on applications in the cloud – albeit SaaS applications.   For this new emergent gang, the type of applications in focus is different than that of the SaaS Gang.

In my opinion, the new gang is currently focused on the idea of migrating existing OnPremise customers to the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) where the core SAP applications (Business Suite, etc) are available on HANA.


After the event, I set a Google Alert on the term of “HANA Enterprise Cloud” and waited to see tons of stories about this new offer.


Expecting a flood of material to demonstrate a strong push in this area, I was disappointed in the amount of buzz that the offering was producing.  Yesterday, I decided to take a deeper look at the topic and was surprised by a Google Trends analysis that I made.


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A note: What does this graph show?

The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100. Each point on the graph is divided by the highest point and multiplied by 100. When we don’t have enough data, 0 is shown. [SOURCE]


The graph shows that Google searches for “HANA Enterprise Cloud” have basically disappeared.


Before you suggest that the trend data is somehow flawed, let’s compare HEC vs the HANA Cloud Platform (HCP).


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Here, you can see a different trend for HCP that indicates increasing interest.


Analysis

I noticed that the majority of Google Alert hits that were being returned by the “HANA Enterprise Cloud” search were SAP job offers that were associated with HEC.  At the moment, there are 66 HEC-related job offers in SAP’s career site.  This constant flow of job offers shows that SAP is definitely working on building up its HEC-related capacity. There are other indicators that SAP is pushing HEC to its customer base (a 1-day forum with Intel, an online assessment, etc) but I’m not seeing a responding resonance in the market.  There might be tons of HEC-related deals occurring out of the public eye but I rarely see any stories describing customer wins for the platform. Perhaps, such customer wins need to be kept secret but the marketing vacuum is only benefiting other vendors in the cloud hosting marketplace (compare the Google Trends analysis of Virtustream and HEC).


What worries me is the fact that HEC plays such a central role in SAP’s future cloud plans – especially regarding the move to simplicity as seen in the Simple Finance offering.  Although most of SAP’s existing cloud revenue currently comes from acquisitions, the HEC plays a critical role in SAP’s desire to help its customers’ transition to the cloud.  Perhaps, the upcoming d-code conference series will provide some news on HEC but my assumption is that SAP’s PaaS (Hana Cloud Platform) will play a more important role at the venue due to its tighter association with developers.   If SAP is to reengage its customer base regarding HEC, it must act quickly to reverse the trends of disinterest that are emerging – once entrenched in the minds of customers, such conceptions are hard to remove.  

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  1. Amit Sinha

    Hi good blog and observation.

    HCP and HEC are two fundamentally different things and hence require different kinds of outreach.

    HCP is the Platform as a service offering, which by its nature has a ton of outreach (to customers, ISVs, partners, startups, blogs, social). Also the HCP team has kicked into high gear

    – new site http://www.hcp.sap.com is awesome, brings together the customer, developer and partner experience to learn, develop and sell,

    – there are some strong early wins with partners, startups and developers. we are getting some partner lift

    – there are also a large number of new training videos/code samples on github etc of SAP HANA Academy with HCP that seemed to have added traffic,

    – SuccessConnect just happened and we have a number of extension use cases there to highlight

    – I love API event brought out a number of people building extensions of that and writing about their experience.

    HEC on the other hand is a large managed cloud business focused on moving a customer’s HANA centric landscape – HANA DB, Suite, related apps to a managed private cloud with SAP. There are a number of marketing activities (e.g. setting up a customer advisory council, regional events) that tends to be 1:1 or 1:few. Bill recently talked about HEC to Information Week. SAP’s McDermott: Say Goodbye To ‘Too Complex’ – InformationWeek and we are doubling our effort to communicate the offering and wins too.

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      I like the distinction in marketing efforts between the target audiences for HCP (broader developer outreach) vs. HEC (1:1 or 1:few) but I still think that the HEC brand is in danger and am pleased to hear that more attention will be placed on pushing the message about the offering. In possible, there should be stories about customer wins. The last such stories that I remember were the original ones that came out at HEC’s launch.

      It would also be very helpful if SAP’s SimpleFinance installation was announced to be running on HEC.

      Dick

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      1. Joao Sousa

        I for one find the two too familiar SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP HANA Cloud platform. 4 words only one different, but the two products are complete different.

        The second problem is the migration path. Should I really migrate to SimpleFinance today, when there is no simple logistics? I would ssy most companies use SAP for its integration, whats the business case for running only Financials with SAP? I fail to see one, unless its very cheap.

        I can’t even get a simple information regarding Simple Finance integration with Non Simple Logistics in HEC. Is it even possible?

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