SAP's effort to get startups on HANA bandwagon chugging along

More than 200 startups have joined a program SAP began last year to help startups build products leveraging the in-memory database

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

The company, which won a startup competition at the LeWeb conference in December, had initially used a Hadoop cluster for its architecture. It soon found, however, that Hadoop wasn't ideal for manipulating corporate data, such as that from a CRM (customer relationship management) system, in the way it desired, said Qunb CEO Cyrille Vincey, in an interview at Friday's event.

Corporate data can have many dimensions and involve real-time feeds, problems better handled by HANA, he said. Hadoop is commonly used to process large amounts of unstructured data, typically in batch form.

Hence Qunb is using a hybrid architecture, with HANA "solving one part of the problem and our tech another," he said. "This is what we've prototyped and I think it makes a lot of sense. It's not a dual fight between two techs, with one winner in the end."

SAP is expected to heavily feature startups from the HANA program in May, during its Sapphire conference in Orlando.

It's not clear when startup-built products will start to make a major contribution to HANA revenue, which is obviously SAP's hope and the main reason for its investment in the program.

SAP has called HANA the fastest-growing product in its history, and in January reported that HANA pulled in nearly €400 million ($521 million) in 2012. This week, Cowen and Company financial analyst Peter Goldmacher issued a report alleging SAP has made various machinations behind the scenes in order to inflate HANA's reported growth rate. SAP vigorously denied the claim.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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