Channel will bring SAP’s big data appliances to SMBs

Some six months after launching its its HANA in-memory database for the enterprise market, SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) has announced the first HANA offerings for the small and medium-sized business market, and will deliver them exclusively through the solution provider channel.

The products are a new Edge edition of the software as well as HANA-powered analytics for the Business One ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite, and both have been optimized for the scale and costs requirements of the SMB market. SMBs are more than 79 per cent of SAP’s customer base said Eric Duffaut, president of global ecosystem and channels, during a conference call with press and analysts.

HANA places data to be processed in RAM instead of moving it on and off of traditional disk systems, providing a performance boost. It can handle both analytic and transactional workloads, and is sold in appliance form from a number of vendors.

The Edge edition of HANA is now available and is functionally identical to the enterprise version, said Bobby Vetter, SAP’s senior vice-president of ecosystems and channels readiness. It will also follow the same release schedule as the enterprise edition, he said.However, the amount of RAM in HANA Edge appliances will be capped at a lower level. HANA Edge can also be sold as a bundle with SAP’s BusinessObjects Edge BI (business intelligence) software.

Meanwhile, the Business One analytics offering is a “small-scale, easy-to-use SAP HANA-based application including best in class operational reporting with SAP Crystal Reports software,” SAP said in a statement. That product is scheduled to enter “ramp-up,” SAP’s term for early-adopter programs, with a general release later this year.

Vetter and Duffaut declined to provide pricing details for the products, but stressed that the cost will be appropriate. “We know this market is price sensitive,” Duffaut said. “You can trust us with one thing, we have the right price point.”

SAP is working with hardware partners such as Dell, IBM and Fujitsu to certify the hardware required to run HANA in the SMB, and is also working with trial partners to develop further applications to run on top of HANA in the SMB. The application development process is expected to be opened to the wider channel soon.

Also, Duffault reported that roughly 30 per cent of SAP’s overall worldwide revenue in 2011 came though the indirect channel, putting SAP on course toward its goal to drive 40 per cent of revenue through partners by 2015.

SAP has called HANA the fastest-growing product in its history, with sales reaching more than US$209 million last year.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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