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SAP’s HANA: A challenge to Oracle’s database market leadership

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HANA is SAP’s bedrock

SAP (SAP) HANA, or High-Performance Analytic Appliance, is an in-memory database that uses the server’s main memory instead of the hard drive to store information. SAP values HANA very highly and calls it the bedrock of its brand. SAP’s management explains it as follows, “HANA is SAP; HANA is the bedrock of our brand, of our soul. So it’s built into everything we do in the cloud, everything we do on-premise and yes, it will also stand on its own and the database market and we like our chances against anybody.” HANA directly competes with Oracle (ORCL), which is the leader in the relational database market with a revenue share of 48.3%. As shown in the image below, IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), SAP, and Teradata (TDC) are the four close competitors for Oracle in this market.

Oracle Database market share

SAP claims that it has achieved 12 times better compression than Oracle with HANA

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During the conference call to announce earnings, SAP mentioned, “So we think that there is an opportunity for us to completely renew our entire installed base and our entire portfolio of existing applications towards this. And this applies not only to the Business Suite, but also to the cloud applications. As Bill said, we just launched the first wave of customers of Ariba on HANA and we see 100x performance improvement in operational reporting. As a result of that, we see a 5x to 10x increase in the usage of these systems. And actually, we also saw 12x better compression compared to Oracle.”

HANA gets broad adoption in the industry

SAP claims that, “We’re also leading the industry transition to in-memory computing with the broad adoption of HANA, as the real-time business platform. We now have more than 3,200 HANA customers since market launch in 2011, and we have close to 1,000 customers for SAP Business Suite on HANA, which was launched just one year ago. We are the only large enterprise software company that is innovating in the core, while transitioning to the cloud and doing both profitably. We’re bringing the simplicity of the cloud to our customers by offering the broadest cloud portfolio in the market.”

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