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One firm looking to the HANA Enterprise Cloud to reach new customers

Phemi Health Systems, a maker of data warehousing software, is looking to the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud to reach new customers in the public sector.

Phemi Health Systems says it has decided to offer its healthcare data warehousing software solution in the HANA Enterprise Cloud as it looks to reach new, non-medical customers.

"That's where the opportunity is most attractive, and the fit is the best, is for [our software to be hosted] in an SAP HANA cloud environment," said Adam Lorant, Phemi's vice president of marketing in product management.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the company makes Phemi Central, data warehousing software for managing massive amounts of data in hospitals and other large healthcare organizations.

"What we do is aggregate the information from a variety of different data sources," including unstructured data like Microsoft Word [documents], PDFs, images, text files and telemetry information, Lorant said.

The software is designed to be used in conjunction with HANA, SAP's in-memory database platform.

"The complement between the two is fantastic. We handle the big data, we then generate what we call 'small data' and we pass that small data up to HANA. So we break down the information silos that exist in the organization," he said.

Because of their concerns about medical data privacy, all of Phemi's customers to date have opted to run their data operations on-premises. In the meantime, Lorant said Phemi is adapting its software for municipal governments and other vertical-market customers.

"[SAP is] introducing us to customers in public sector and utilities who also have very significant big data problems where privacy, security and governance are an integral part of the customer requirement," he said.

Lorant said that helping them with analytics is only the start of fully serving public-sector clients.

"There's a big trend toward 'citizen services,' and open data," he said. "They want to be able to roll out services and that give the public access to information and access to services, on top of this curated data set."

Developing big data mining apps

Lorant said Phemi is working on giving private sector customers the option of accessing the software via the HANA Enterprise Cloud, a private cloud hosting service tailor-made to run off of the HANA platform.

Lorant drew a comparison between what Phemi and its clients are striving for, and Google.

"Google goes out, they scrape the Internet, and they index the whole Internet, [which sits] in Google's big data warehouse," Lorant said. It then develops applications that mine the data in the warehouse.

"They create [a] Google news application, Google Flights, Google Alerts, a Google Images search," he said. "These are all applications unto themselves that are sitting on top of that vast body of knowledge that they have curated in their big data warehouse."

It already has one customer, a Canadian municipal government, but declined to identify which one.

"It allows [users] to focus on those core competencies, and Phemi and SAP can focus on what they do, Lorant said. "It lowers the barriers for our customers to be able to adopt the system, to be able to start small … in a controlled space, in a portion of their business, and then grow as their comfort levels grow."

Next Steps

What's the difference between the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and the HANA Cloud Platform?

What does the advent of SAP Simple Finance say about HANA's potential for disruption?

The HANA Enterprise Cloud is helping to enable "a baseline of innovation," says one analyst.

This was first published in August 2014

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