Most folks using procurement technology would rather not get into the underlying bits and bytes of technology architecture, let alone the nuances of database technology. For the most part this makes sense, though we'd argue that for systems integration, a lot of incremental business value in the P2P and services procurement areas can be derived from tighter linkages between systems (e.g., eProcurement, vendor management system, asset management, inventory, badging, and credentialing). But procurement practitioners and executives should begin to pay greater attention to the database itself. This is what SAP has introduced with its in-memory HANA technology.
Over on Supply Chain Matters, Bob Ferrari provides a helpful summary of the news regarding SAP's recent announcement and availability of the SAP Business Suite powered by HANA. We've already covered some of the capabilities that HANA can bring to such applications as supply risk management (see SAP Supplier InfoNet coverage here from Sapphire in 2012) and SAP Spend Performance Management. FYI, with massive data set juggling and on-the-fly heuristics and analysis, the SAP's Supplier InfoNet app is purpose built to run on HANA.
Going beyond Supplier InfoNet, at last SAP is bringing the power of HANA to a broader set of business applications. As Bob Ferrari notes, "This release offers SAP Business Suite applications on the in-memory architecture based SAP HANA platform, including transactions and business intelligence. This includes SAP Supplier Relationship Management and SAP Supply Chain Management suites. The primary marketing message is supporting a real-time business platform. There is a SAP HANA Analytics Foundation offered as a separate package to support analytical needs."
Bob continues by providing a useful list of aggregated coverage of the announcement from other bloggers and columnists. Here at Spend Matters, when we began to consider the power of HANA as applied to SAP procurement applications, we came to the conclusion that the power of an in-memory database approach matters the most when it comes to network-centric applications alongside analytics (including the predictive analytics SAP features in its Supplier InfoNet solution).
As SAP shares more with us about the impact of HANA to SRM and related applications areas, we'll update our analysis on Spend Matters and Spend Matters PRO. In the meantime, we'll feature some additional analysis today from previous commentary on Spend Matters PRO on the power of HANA applied to new procurement areas and the Ariba Supplier Network.