HANA, SAP's in-memory database platform, continues to play an increasingly big role in the German software giant's strategy for both its on-premise and cloud enterprise applications.
Noting that cloud instances of HANA on Amazon Web Services have proven popular with developers, an SAP executive in July promised that HANA would become central to SAP's own cloud solutions. The company also reported early success with selected customer ERP systems running on HANA and its intention to offer its core ERP modules on HANA to all customers by the end of 2012.
Today at its ASUG BusinessObjects User Conference, SAP will demonstrate three new on-demand enterprise performance management (EPM) applications natively built on its HANA Application Cloud.
The new apps are meant to complement SAP's on-premise EPM software by giving customers easy-to-implement packaged apps designed to address specific business problems. They are:
- Expense Insight, which SAP promises helps managers "understand the details of anything charged to their cost center" and makes it easy to dispute and resolve miscoded, incorrect, or duplicate expenses.
- Real-time P&L Analysis, which SAP says delivers profit-and-loss reporting at by allocating costs based on consumption of resources.
- Capital Project Planning, which SAP says offers a "complete picture of the financial consequences of capital investments projects" and reveals opportunities to optimize the use of capital.
They are the first of a series of planned on-demand EPM apps, all of which SAP says can be deployed in a a "hybrid on premise/on demand scenario that is completely seamless to the end user." Like SAP's on-premise EPM applications, the new on-demand apps will allow users to work within interfaces popular with finance departments such as Microsoft Excel.
SAP says its solutions trump those of both traditional competitors like IBM and Oracle and cloud pureplays like Host Analytics and Adaptive Planning. Unlike competing EPM products from IBM and Oracle, SAP stresses its on-demand EPM apps were built for the cloud and are not simply hosted versions of on-premise software. Unlike the pureplays, with the new apps companies can leverage their existing SAP investments.
SAP is also introducing EPM Unwired, a mobile client through which companies will be able to access both SAP's on-demand and on-premise EPM apps. While the client is written in HTML5, it will also employ device-specific containers to leverage native functionality for Apple's iOS and (soon) Android and Windows Phone.
Though specific details are not yet available, SAP plans to offer subscription pricing on a per-user, per-month basis.