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SAP may not be known for speed, but if SAP Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe has his way, that will change in 2012.
Speaking today at an SAP Influencer Summit in Boston, Hagemann Snabe says that SAP's strategy now revolves around four basic components: the core SAP application platform, mobile computing, cloud computing and in-memory computing.
Beginning in 2012, Hagemann Snabe says SAP will drive fundamental changes in each of these areas, starting with the rollout of a series of quarterly updates and enhancement packs for the core SAP application suite that customers can deploy rapidly at a pace of their own choosing. Rather than forcing an upgrade, Hagemann Snabe says customers can opt to add various enhancement pacts through 2020 without having to upgrade the core SAP application framework. The goal, says Hagemann Snabe, is to make it easier for customers to consume the 250 million lines of code that make up the SAP framework.
The second major element of the company's core strategy, says Hagemann Snabe, is business intelligence. According to Hagemann Snabe, analytics and transaction processing systems are converging as part of an effort to redefine the relationship between traditional systems of record and emerging systems of engagement applications.
As part of the company's overall strategy, Hagemann Snabe says that in-memory computing is a critical element because it enables huge volumes of data to be processed and analyzed in memory on the SAP High-Performance Analytics Appliance (HANA) platform. As part of the strategy, SAP plans to more aggressively move application code onto virtual machines in the cloud that can access shared RAM across distributed systems in the cloud. HANA, says Hagemann Snabe, is at the core of a new architecture that will change the way enterprise applications are developed, deployed, managed and integrated.
As more application code moves into the cloud, Hagemann Snabe says SAP's goal is to provide applications in a format that require zero integration efforts, are instantly accessible and always available by leveraging a common SAP framework. Part of that effort, says Hagemann Snabe is anchored around the recent acquisition of SuccessFactors, which provides a series of enterprise business management and collaboration applications in the cloud that are currently used by 15 million users. Beyond the installed base, Hagemann Snabe says that the acquisition of SuccessFactors brings real "cloud DNA" to SAP that will bolster the company's core SAP application platform and its BusinessOne offerings for the small-to-medium business market..
A major push into in-memory computing coupled with a major change in the way the lifecycle of SAP applications are managed may soon change the perception of SAP at a time when several new emerging technologies are all starting to converge on the enterprise at the same time.