At SAP TechEd 2011 in Las Vegas, SAP AG announced two new solutions built on SAP HANA, the company's in-memory computing platform. The two new solutions - SAP Smart Meter Analytics software powered by SAP HANA and SAP COPA Accelerator software - were developed by SAP product and design teams working in collaboration with customers. According to SAP the new applications will provide users with real-time insight into "big data," allowing them to leverage large amounts of information for analysis, planning, and forecasting and simulations in a more fluid, natural way versus traditional approaches.
The solutions join the SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning application, announced at the end of last year and delivered earlier this year, as part of the family of applications enabled by the SAP HANA platform.
"HANA has evolved from a core database engine, an in-memory-based computing engine, into a platform solution that supports what we believe should be the next generation of business applications," Amit Sinha, vice president, In-Memory Computing and SAP HANA, Solution Marketing, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "HANA started as a big data, enterprise data, appliance to solve real-time analytic issues, and along the way we have started embedding some very key components to make it into a platform."
Deployable as an appliance, or delivered later this year via the cloud, SAP HANA delivers the following core capabilities, according to SAP:
- Single database with native support for row and columnar data stores
- Powerful and flexible data calculation engine
- SQL and MDX interfaces
- Unified information modeling design environment
- Data repository to persist views of business information
- Data integration capabilities for accessing SAP - the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse component, the SAP ERP application, etc. - and non-SAP data sources
The new SAP Smart Meter Analytics application aims to help utility companies that are facing an exponential increase in data volume generated by smart meters to gain insights from this "big data" that they can use to develop more tailored customer offering and incentives as well do load forecasting more accurately, explains Kijoon Lee, senior director, In-Memory Computing and SAP HANA, Solution Marketing.
With the new in-memory solution, utility companies can quickly aggregate and analyze customers' energy consumption profiles by any dimension or level of granularity such as neighborhood location, home size, and businesses or building type; more precisely segment customers based on energy consumption patterns so they can create more targeted energy-saving programs; and enable customers to have direct access to energy usage insights via web portals and mobile devices connected to the software via web services. The real-time access to smart meter data can also help utility companies improve fraud detection capabilities and design new rate structures that correspond with energy use patterns, according to SAP.
The second new application, the SAP COPA Accelerator aims to improve the speed and depth of working with large volumes of financial data, helping corporate finance departments to derive much faster insights around profitability. Planned functionality within the software will enable corporate finance departments to perform real-time profitability reporting on large-scale data volumes; conduct on-the-fly analysis of profitability data at any level of granularity, aggregation and dimension; run cost allocations at significantly faster processing time; provide business users with self-service access to trusted profitability information.
Deployed either by the SAP Consulting organization as a rapid-deployment solution or by an experienced SAP partner, the software aims to help companies engage in faster and more efficient profitability cycles and month-end closing processes. It is also planned for implementation alongside the wider portfolio of SAP BusinessObjects enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions to help organizations create a complete picture of the drivers of cost and profitability.
Details on the applications - including demos, solution briefs and collaboration with customers and product experts - are now available on a new site, Experience SAP HANA community.