In advance of a SAP TechEd Barcelona conference this week, SAP today moved to turn the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) into an application integration hub by offering more extensive support for application programming interfaces (APIs) and the ability to run third-party applications using virtual machines that it is now making available directly on the platform.
Dan Lahl, vice president of product marketing for SAP HCP, says SAP HCP is now ready to function as an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) environment as well as an application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS) environment, in addition to being able to host SAP applications.
“We heard from customers that they wanted to be able to host their applications on the same cloud as SAP,” says Lahl. “Now it’s everything-as-a-service.”
As part of that effort, SAP is also adding integration between SAP HCP and the SAP Ariba Integration Hub to bolster e-commerce applications as well as support for new workflow and business rules services.
In addition, SAP is now making use of microservices to validate data being imported into SAP HCP.
Finally, SAP is adding support for streaming data at high speeds into SAP HCP and embedding predictive analytics capabilities.
Obviously, IT organizations have no shortage of places in the cloud to host SAP applications. Naturally, SAP would prefer they choose a cloud managed by SAP. But to make that a truly viable option, SAP first has to be able to provide bi-directional access to data residing in multiple types of applications regardless of where SAP HCP winds up being deployed.
Longer term, SAP is betting that once organizations move enough of their data into various SAP cloud services, it will have achieved enough data gravity to make SAP a viable public cloud service for enterprise IT organizations for years to come. In the meantime, the sooner SAP can pull more applications into its orbit, the more intense the gravity surrounding SAP in the cloud becomes.