by Scott Sleeper, Senior Director, Global HANA CoE, SAP

I come from a background of solving big data problems both from a performance aspect and can it even be done. Over the years,  big has changed. Today, it seems that the discussion is about just a few technologies for handling volume. However, engineers in our industry have been applying reasonable enterprise architecture principals to the problems and, for the most part, produced very workable and cost-efficient solutions.  This engineering-minded approach, applied to special-purpose problems, has yielded special-purpose techniques (relational, parallel databases, and parallel programming like MapReduce and Hadoop), which seem to find their way into mainstream use.

In the end, I’m always a bit dismayed when technology discussions forget to include the actual business process as a requirement. Since most business processes try to be efficient and remove latency, many of the batch-oriented techniques can play a supporting role. The problem is, they don’t make analyzed data available to the business process in the time frame required.  In the end, isn’t that what really matters , applying these techniques to improve business processes ?

My point is rather simple – there are lots of cool technologies, but what is way cool is the ability to solve the big data problem in the context of analytics to affect the actual business process. SAP HANA is a very efficient, scalable, and extensible in-memory database that applies the latest parallel techniques for ingesting, storing, processing, and querying data. At its core is the ability to deliver complex analysis directly into the business process in real time, when it’s most valuable whether that business process  exists and needs analytics embedded into it,  is too long or complicated and needs latency removed, or addresses a business problem that previously couldn’t be solved.

SAP is in a very unique position to improve business processes with its technology. The SAP HANA application:

  • Leverages in-memory efficiency
  • Processes huge amounts of data
  • Applies analytic processes, including predictive calculations
  • Delivers results that can be consumed by any device – effectively meeting the big-data challenge

Recently, I was reading various opinions about what big meant in big data. I liked the one that said it meant more than you could comfortably manage and process within a useful time frame. SAP HANA makes analytics in business processes more comfortable.