SAP to Provide SMEs with Real-Time Analytics Powered by HANA

SAP AG has announced two new offerings that will offer the benefits of the SAP HANA platform to small businesses and midsize enterprises (SMEs).  With analytics powered by SAP HANA for the SAP Business One application and SAP HANA, Edge edition, SMEs will be able to leverage in-memory technology from SAP.

The new offerings from SAP aim to provide SMEs with real-time access to information tailored to their individual requirements. SAP HANA is in-memory data management software on SAP partner hardware.

While most people think of big companies when they think of SAP, the reality is that the company has 88,000 SME customers - everything from mom and pop shots to companies using SME solutions for their subsidiaries, Jennifer Schulze, senior director, Small and Medium Enterprise Marketing, at SAP, tells 5 Minute Briefing.

The impetus for the new products, says Schulze, is that SAP recognizes the importance of addressing these customers' needs and has made this a strategic priority for the organization.  "We have continued to invest in our SME products, Business One being one of them, and of course the Edge products as well," says Schulze.

SME customers have many of the same problems as LEs (large enterprises), says Schulze. "They have got problems with linking to multiple networks, they have got the same issues with data coming to them from multiple devices, and both structured and unstructured content coming in," Schulze explains.  However, she notes, they do not have big data problems on the same scale as larger organizations and so "we have used HANA to come up with some offerings that are very SME specific and we have done that through offering a more friendly price point and we have also don't it by giving them a scaled down version of HANA."

Analytics powered by SAP HANA for SAP Business One are intended to provide a cost-effective new combination of a special product version of SAP HANA designed with the needs of small businesses in mind. Targeted at companies using SAP Business One, the channel-only solution aims to offer a small-scale, easy-to-use SAP HANA-based application including best in class operational reporting with SAPCrystal Reports software.

"With Business One Analytics, we have created an offering that really is conducive to the SMEs; it is offering the things that they  are looking for specifically which is obviously  the ability to take the data but more importantly the ability to really use it for analytical capabilities, to get the information they need quickly," explains Schulze.  SMEs don't have an IT dept that can run reports and a lot of times these companies like to work in Excel because that is what they feel comfortable with, she says. And, even though they might have Business One, they like to be able to pull the Business One into other types of sources and continue to work in those sources that they are most comfortable with. "And so those are some of the ways that we have designed this product," Schulze notes. "We have allowed companies to use it in the ways in which they are familiar."

In addition, SAP HANA, Edge edition, is an indirect offering compiled specifically for reselling in the midmarket. The software targets SAP customers in the midmarket - typically those running the SAP Business All-in-One solution. An additional value proposition is offered when the version of SAP HANA for midsize companies is bundled with SAP BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence (BI) software, with the combination delivering insight in real time to midsize organizations.

"SAP HANA, Edge edition complements our midmarket offerings by providing, like HANA does, a high performance analytical environment, an appliance, that can take in data from our midmarket offerings like All-in-One, as well as combine it with non-SAP data if needed, and then process that data at very fast speeds and potentially big volumes, but not always,  depending on the needs of the customers, and then make that data available through some kind of front-end business intelligence or analytical application such as  such as SAP Edge BI," says Dan Kearnan, director of Data Warehouse Marketing, SAP business analytics.

"We have a number of HANA editions, depending on the use case - so for the needs of large enterprises, we have a scaled up version of HANA, and for our SME customers, we have the HANA Edge edition," Kearnan says, explaining that this is appropriate since SME customers seek a lower price point but also do not have the same kinds of needs in terms of management of data volume that SAP's large enterprise customers do.