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Author's profile photo John McDonnell

HANA is a 10-year-old ready to lead the way!

Everyone is wondering what is next.  With Covid in full swing, health and safety concerns are at the top of everyone’s list, economies have changed dramatically, digital transformation is accelerating.  However, many companies’ everyday issues make responding to the Covid challenge that much more difficult:  legacy systems based on unreliable processes and inconsistent data requiring manual reporting.  For businesses to recover and be better prepared for the next big challenge, they will need to fortify their business practices, consolidate and modernize their systems in order to become a more agile enterprise.  SAP’s determined work over the last decade has delivered a future-ready ERP system built on SAP HANA that will build resilience and help companies navigate in these uncertain times.

10 YEARS AGO:  The creation of the SAP HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) database, evolved from the development in 2008 of in-memory technology at the Hasso Plattner Institute.  The goal was to invent a new, modern ERP system to overcome the limitations that have developed with existing ERPs.  In-memory allows for business data to be managed in main memory so that the data is available in real-time.  Traditionally, separate, specialized systems are required for transactional (OLTP) processes and analytical (OLAP) jobs.  With in-memory technology both OLTP and OLAP are possible in one system.  When SAP first introduced the idea of the in-memory database SAP HANA in 2010, some questioned whether the approach could really work.  Fast forward 10 years, there are now more than 32,000 customers benefiting from SAP HANA and it has become the engine of the “Intelligent Enterprise”.  As SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner explained, an in-memory database paved the way to do things that had previously been considered impossible.

5 YEARS AGO:  SAP HANA quickly advanced from an in-memory database into a platform.  It paved the way for an entirely new approach to building solutions and an optimized and enhanced ERP.  On February 3rd, 2015 (my 25th wedding anniversary), SAP launched the next-generation, modern ERP … SAP S/4HANA.  The “S” for simple, “4” for fourth generation and “HANA” allowing the system to take full advantage of the design and performance benefits offered from an in-memory platform.  SAP S/4HANA enables streamlined, enhanced & accelerated business processes, all the benefits of a simplified data models, and the ability to analyze transactional data in real time.  As Hasso described, it’s a game changer.

TODAY:  Beyond S/4, HANA is now the foundation for many other SAP solutions, including SAP SuccessFactors and Ariba, bringing similar benefits to these solutions.

In the decade since SAP HANA was first born, we have seen an explosion in the amount of data produced, the impact of digitalization, and the growth of cloud computing.  But none of this quite prepared us for the Covid-19 pandemic.  For businesses to recover from this enormous challenge and be better prepared for the next one, companies will need replace business-limiting legacy technology with the next generation ERP, SAP S/4HANA, designed to take advantage of in-memory computing and artificial intelligence.  It allows companies to reconsider the status quo and lead the way by delivering speed, agility, and visibility to operate as a “live business” and invent the new business models of the future.  Can’t wait to see what she does the next 10 years!!

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