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May 20, 2016

Sapphire Now: SAP HANA and software updates show renewed focus on big data analytics

List: SAP paid close attention to cloud and software enhancements.

By James Nunns

SAP has had a busy week with updates to its cloud platform, analytics enhancements and a major partnership.

The software company, which has been holding its annual conference Sapphire Now in Orlando, has taken the opportunity to significantly develop the HANA Cloud Platform.

CBR highlights the biggest announcements from the show.


1. HANA Cloud Platform for Cloud Foundry

SAP released a Cloud Foundry beta version in order to help developers build apps and services using a combination of Cloud Foundry and HCP.

The open source cloud that was inspired by Pivotal will support Java, Node.js, HTML5, MongoDB, Redis, PostgresSQL and RabbitMQ.

These services will become available through the SAP HANA Cloud Platform cockpit.

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2. Digital Customer Insight

This is the first data-as-a-service offering that SAP has created and is designed to deliver insights that can be bought from the SAP store.

The service will be capable of offering demographic data about the people that are currently in a store, venue, or event. It works by capturing mobile data in and around specific locations and can provide details on where the consumers are coming from, age groups, gender, comparison with other locations, and the devices that they are using.

In addition to these insights, marketers will be able to gain competitive insight into store locations and how they compare to the competition.

SAP says that the data is both anonymised and encrypted so that individual privacy is protected.


3. BusinessObjects analytics

The company has gone for a rebranding exercise with the SAP Cloud for Analytics by renaming it SAP BusinessObjects Cloud, it has also introduced a number of enhancements.

SAP has introduced business intelligence features such as visualisation and storytelling, data wrangling and blending, geospatial analysis, trend analysis, custom filters and notifications. In addition to these features the company has also added predictive analytics capabilities; these have all been added to the BusinessObjects Cloud.

The BusinessObjects Enterprise offering, which is the on-premise version, has now been available in three editions, premium, professional, and standard.

Premium will give access to BI, mobile and predictive analytics features, while the standard version will offer tools for web, desktop, and mobile devices.

The idea is to make the company’s offerings available to a broader range of customer and to minimise the possibility of alienating customers on affordability.


4. Cloud platform updates

A number of extensions have been added to the HCP in order to increase functionality of the offering from SAP.

Built-in capabilities for the extensions include user single sign-on, access governance and automatic provisioning of services for the cloud platform into cloud solutions from SAP.

Extensions have been includes for the SuccessFactors solutions so that it will be easier for companies to extend HR capabilities, as well as integrate with existing business processes. The extension package includes the ability for apps built with HCP to use SuccessFactors intelligent services, as well as workflow integration between the two.


5. SAP & Microsoft

One of the biggest pieces of news from the conference came with SAP revealing it would be working more closely with Microsoft.

Integrations between Microsoft Office 365 and cloud solutions would form an important part of the deeper relationship between the two.

The HANA in-memory database from SAP is becoming available through Microsoft’s Azure cloud and SAP’s Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, and SuccessFactors applications will be integrated with Office 365 services.

The move is designed to provide greater simplicity to customers through ease of use. By integrating the technologies, users won’t have to dart between various applications as much.


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