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InfoQ Homepage News SAP Launched New Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA

SAP Launched New Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA

At an event hosted at the New York Stock Exchange, SAP launched its flagship Business Suite, SAP S/4HANA, which includes a new user interface, mobile capabilities and HANA in-memory analytics.

According to SAP, SAP S/4HANA is a new product that is built on top of it’s own in-memory database Hana, citing benefits such as cutting the time it takes to compile business accounts and forecasts from hours to minutes. They claim it is designed to analyse vast amounts of data in local memory, and can cache frequently retrieved data from sources like hard disks, CDs and tapes to provide instance access. In effect SAP is betting that many of its customers will be happy to to migrate away from third party databases such as Oracle to its own database platform.

SAP S/4HANA is also built with a design based on principles of SAP Fiori user experience (UX), a result of a relatively new focus on UX by the vendor. Flori is designed to make S/4Hana work well on mobile devices, but SAP says the interfaces will also be compatible with desktops and laptops. S/4Hana will be sold in software-as-service style on public clouds (starting with SAP's cloud), as a managed service on private clouds, or on-premises.

SAP S/4HANA will also expand the SAP portfolio of cloud solutions including those from SAP companies Ariba, Fieldglass and SuccessFactors.

Analysts from Pierre Audoin Consultants said,

SAP proves it is ambitious and still believes in a suite in the cloud. In a way, challenging the status quo where the cloud portfolio becomes fragmented from a marketing and product perspective.

They also raised a number of questions that impact existing SAP customers.

Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief at ZDNet expressed a similar view.

Let’s face it—any SAP customer considering HANA is already running the business on the software vendor’s app. The move to HANA doesn’t seem like much more lock-in—especially if SAP can undercut Oracle. What remains to be seen is whether SAP customers squirm at betting an entire stack on the company. At least with Oracle in the fold, there’s always another app provider to pit against SAP. Rest assured that Oracle and SAP are both playing the same optimized stack and business transformation game.

SAP has said that the full, simplified suite, which includes modules for finance, inventory management, procurement, sales, and transportation will be available as a beta S/4Hana Public Cloud offering in February. This will be followed by a managed private-cloud service in May and on-premises software by October.

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