In recent times SAP HANA cloud platform or HCP has ultimately got the attention which it has deserved so long. Almost every conference on SAP has been discussing at length the HCP and the various advantages of using HCP technologies. In keeping with this strain of events, the SAP had also announced that it would partner with Birst which was a leader of Cloud Business Intelligence solutions. The aim of this company is to provide clients with instant analytics inside the cloud on this revolutionary HCP. It is now being believed that businesses will be able to take advantage of a single cloud platform which will deliver instant analytics as well as the power to convert insights into action.
The reasons behind this union is the fact that the HCP is a rather innovative platform that is open for partners and customers alike for developing and offering cloud hosting solutions and extensions. This view was put forward by the President of the Platform Solutions Group, Steve Lucas. It seems that the word “extensions” has been deliberately included to suggest the platform’s Success Factors extensions. But Birst’s set up made it a little hard to understand how the Birst was using HANA. The brand HCP has undergone expansion beyond the PaaS to take in other offers too.
The HANA marketplace had many distinct offers; these were not related but they revealed different types of functions. While the DB services were HPC, App-Services provide many other types of services like documents, identity etc and those which were included within DB Services. The DB Services was available in public PaaS and private clouds while the App Services could be used only in the public PaaS. The HANA native apps operate in the public PaaS and these are highly popular.
Partnership between the SAP HANA and Birst allows customers to use HCP for database management. Birst uses its DB Services more than App Services. So, it uses the HCP features to create user-data which forms the basis of its visualization functionality. SAP has been pushing the ides of HCP as a platform instead of a database. Birst however is not the sole application which uses HANA platform in the cloud form. There have been transitions of many existing SAP applications too to HANA. With this new multi-tenancy function nature of the HANA SP9 current SAP applications are also better able to use features of HANA Platform.
Differentiating between the HCP and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC), Mc. Dermott stated that while the former is a PaaS which customizes SAP in the cloud, the latter is meant for hosting on-site software. But this distinction may not be as simple as stated. For instance, Mitsui Knowledge Industry Co. Ltd. has launched a new forecasting-analysis product which uses the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. This is a managed cloud solution offered by SAP. This new solution is going to be offered like a service-as-a-solution product. It will be dependent on the high performance of the HEC and wide range of predictive analytical capabilities of SAP HANA. Using this it will be possible to predict market conditions, by drawing data from the SAP ERP apps and using this with external data on the HEC. So, the distinction between HCP and HEC will not hold good for long. The brand “HEC” is also likely to disappear very soon. The view that the HEC is a private cloud and the HCP is a public cloud will also fade.
SAP cannot disregard the on-site traditional ERP and this is evident in its focus on HEC for on-premise applications that run on HANA and hosted by SAP and the partners. Eventually there will be the growth of ERP in the cloud. So, the analysis of how Birst uses HANA shows that HCP covers a much wider scope than was originally thought. The boundaries between HCP and HEC are actually porous and this is definitely not something undesirable because it lets customers understand the vision behind SAP’s cloud strategy.