BERLIN: SAP has touted its vision of a cloud-centric future that simplifies business adoption of the cloud, despite continuing to offer its latest HANA platform as an on-premise service.
Bernd Leukert, a member of the executive board at SAP, said at its TechEd event in Berlin that the company is adopting a cloud-first approach with software it calls 's-innovations'.
Leukert explained that SAP has defined its strategy to cope with the demand for cloud platforms and their scaling effects.
The s-innovations approach involves several additions to HANA SPS09, the latest version of the platform due for release at the end of November.
Highlights include the ability to support multiple databases and users running enterprise resource planning services on a single platform, and cutting down on the need for server versions of the platform for individual databases.
This approach aims to reduce the cost and resources that a business or cloud provider needs to allocate to the HANA platform.
Other improvements include dynamic tiering where regularly accessed data is stored in-memory for rapid retrieval, and less imperative data is allocated to traditional disk storage to cut costs.
Integrated data streaming has also been added to the latest version of HANA, allowing huge amounts of data to be processed and analysed in real time.
This will give companies the ability to make critical business decisions on the fly, which are particularly pertinent for cloud services, according to SAP.
However, despite listing several improvements to HANA and outlining the s-innovations and cloud-first approach, SAP remains unlikely to present its services as cloud-only offerings.
Leukert described HANA as having "a whole new level of software capabilities", but said that SAP is still happy to provide its services to on-premise IT infrastructures.
"We also support the deployment of the integration content in the on-premises world," he added.
However, some cloud providers are dubious about this approach. Zack Nelson, chief executive of NetSuite, said in an interview with V3 that the future of IT does not lie in on-premise services.
"The Oracles and SAPs of this world have to say why they are in the cloud, against us trying to convince the customer they should move to the cloud," he said.
"Even if you look at the startup community, no venture capitalist is ever going to invest in an on-premise software company again. Five years from now there won't even be an option for [non-cloud business apps]."
As a result of this Nelson said firms should be wary of software services that are no more than "fake clouds".
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