In a move to advance in-memory data analysis capabilities for businesses across industries, SAP and SAS are working together to create a joint technology and product roadmap. The solution will leverage the SAP HANA platform and SAS analytics capabilities.
By incorporating the in-memory SAP HANA platform into SAS applications and enabling SAS’ advanced analytics algorithms to run on SAP HANA, the companies said, decision makers can tap into the value of real-time data analysis. The partnership is promising, given that the companies are both leaders in the in-memory platform technology space, as well as the advanced analytics and business apps markets.
“The partnership of SAS, the market-leading advanced analytics provider, with SAP will simplify big data and analytics efforts by reducing data movement and allowing for faster decision making,” said Henry Morris, senior vice president of Worldwide Software and Services, Research at market research firm IDC. “It can be more efficient to move the model to the data than the data to the model. This relationship will significantly drive value to joint customers.”
The Fruit of Collaboration
SAS and SAP expect their collaboration to harness the power of combined platforms to help eliminate data movement, duplication and reconciliation. The companies said their work together will also make possible parallelization of computationally intense workloads, all in-memory. The result: new big data solutions that could not previously be delivered.
The in-memory functionality is designed to improve the productivity of data scientists by accelerating model development, iteration and deployment. The single environment for business applications and advanced analytics is also expected to simplify the IT landscape, help reduce costs and deliver real-time performance.
SAS and SAP plan to execute a co-sell pilot program to engage joint customers to validate SAS applications running on SAP HANA. The goal is to build and prioritize the two firms' joint technology throughout 2014, with a special focus on financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer products and manufacturing.
Specifically, the applications are expected to target business areas that require a combination of advanced analytics running on an in-memory platform that will be designed to yield high-value results. The companies see opportunities in customer intelligence, risk management, asset management and anti-money laundering, among others.
Why SAP HANA Stands Out
We turned to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on SAP’s recent HANA moves. He told us in-memory database technology is an area where SAP’s pioneering efforts have led to a firm and rapidly expanding leadership position evidenced by the growth of HANA sales and customers.
“In the IT industry, like elsewhere, imitation is an obvious form of flattery, as in-memory efforts by vendors -- including IBM with the Blu Acceleration for DB2 10.5 it launched in April and Oracle with the In-Memory Option for Oracle Database announced at OpenWorld last month -- would seem to prove,” King said. “However, neither of those offerings is entirely analogous to HANA.
As King sees it, that’s largely because rather than being a systems vendor with proprietary solutions to promote, SAP remains devoted to software and open to working with virtually any vendor willing to develop systems that are able to pass the company‘s rigorous HANA certification process.
“Nearly every major server vendor is a SAP HANA partner -- Oracle, unsurprisingly, is the main holdout -- and many have achieved significant market success,” King said. “Consider the fact that the $204 million in third quarter revenues SAP accrued from HANA software sales represents a fraction of the total spent on related systems and services. In essence, HANA qualifies as a classic case of a vendor doing well for itself by doing good for its partners and customers.”