OLTP meets OLAP, BI Conferences, Sybase Who? And Other News

The Big News

The big news over the last week has been, of course, the release of SAP Business Suite Powered by HANA. The first major change to SAP’s applications since R3, it was called “ein game-changer” by press around the world.

Ray Wang did a nice round-up in his post News Analysis: SAP Business Suite on HANA, and John Appleby declared 2013 the Year of the SAP Database.

As usual, some folks demanded “where are the real-life customers and business cases!”

Home Shopping Europe gave a compelling CRM example of how they plan to use the product. Today when customer service representatives receive a call, they can only do cross-selling based on the product the customer is interested in. Using the new capabilities of SAP HANA, they plan to do it based on the individual customer, demographics, and purchase history, in real-time. See the SAP web site for more examples.

Of course, by the time there are lots of compelling examples of people using a new technology to get real business benefit, it’s not new any more, but in the meantime, here’s a nice brochure with use cases for the new product, and some thoughts from Richard Barrett of the CFO Knowledge Blog on real real-time Finance.

Some people are just always ahead of the curve, and Dick Hirsch was already writing about what the NEXT big thing might be for SAP HANA, including cloud and Ariba.

As you can imagine, I believe that having a single source of data for both transactions and analytics is a big deal. As promised last year, it greatly simplifies application architectures, “collapsing the stack” and avoiding the problem shown in this this Best Practices in Application cartoon sent to me by Corey Adams?.

The natural inclination is to believe that if you try to do OLTP and OLAP on a single database, it will do both badly. But that’s not true (it’s like your digital camera: it’s better than old film cameras at both taking pictures AND processing them). But to get the full benefit, it’s true that SAP Applications could be optimized as outlined by Thorsten Franz.

And HANA isn’t only for boring old SAP-using companies, it’s also for cool startups like data-gathering and analysis company qunb, who won big at both the SAP Startup Forum in Paris and the Le Web conference.

Sybase Who?

With the lovefest around SAP HANA, CJ Thomas wondered Why did SAP buy Sybase and wondered why nobody was talking about it. My short answer – they are, but maybe not to you.

As InfoWeek points out, SAP is bundling a copy of Sybase ASE to customers that license SAP Business Suite to run on HANA.  And there’s lots of work going on to create a full end-to-end Real-Time Data Platform including HANA, Sybase ASE, IQ, ESP, Replication, etc…

Conference Season is on its Way!

I’ll be presenting at the Gartner BI and Analytics Summit, Feb 6-7 in Barcelona (hope to see you there?). Gartner released their annual 2013 survey of business and IT priorities. Unchanged from last year, the Nexus of Forces (Analytics, Mobile, Cloud, and Collaboration) were the top four IT priorities. Implementing analytics and big data showed up as only the number nine business priority, but the top priorities (increasing enterprise growth, delivering operational results, reducing enterprise costs, etc.) all rely on better analytics in one way or another.

If you’re in the UK, sign up for the London SAP Analytics Forum on Feb 13, featuring a keynote from SAP’s John Schweitzer (and a wine tasting!)

The SAPinsider BI 2013 conference is on March 19-22 in Las Vegas and Thierry Audas gave a short list of some sessions you might be interested in.

If you’re in the Nordics or Baltics, you can start signing up for the 2013 Innovation by SAP tour in March and April.

Social and Evangelism

Social Death: SAP JAM provides social collaboration tightly integrated with applications and at least one pundit believes that such platforms will take over from standalone social business software: This year, standalone social software will die.

It’s official, I’m a thought leader!: The Role Of The Thought Leader In Your Organization by Gerry Moran

I’m twitter-card enabled! Twitter cards (those little preview graphics that you sometimes get in twitter before actually clicking on a link) are now enabled for this blog. This also means that you can get preview of pictures posted from my photo diary via the @timopics twitter handle.

Nice data quote: “nobody born since 1976 has lived through a colder than average year” via Tom Raftery

A guide for techies: How to evangelize technology

Other News

Big Data instead of BI: The trend continues of the term “big data” taking over from “business intelligence”, as in this post, Fighting Pirates with Big Data, via Dave Rathbun

Lance Armstrong and BI? You could say it’s about paying attention to the accumulation of the evidence, rather than relying on gut feel (i.e how innocent he looked)…

Sweet as Raspberry Pi: After I mentioned that I really, really wanted to buy a Raspberry Pi, even though I didn’t need one, Karsten Ruf and Andrew Fox tipped me over the brink, and it’s on it’s way.

Time for a rant: Donald MacCormick  is on fine form — this time about extension-product pricing.

What about France: Bertrand Dupperin forwarded this nice evaluation of French people on various cultural and social scales – use it to compare any two countries!

I’m not much of a fan of infographics. But this one sure packs an emotional punch