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SAP partners with Intel, Hortonworks to resell big data platforms

SAP has announced partnerships with Intel and Hortonworks to redistribute and provide support for the two companies' Hadoop distributions.

SAP has announced plans to resell and provide support for Intel's Apache Hadoop distribution and Hortonworks' Data Platform. The announcement is part of an overall effort to expand the company's focus on big data.

"We've been partnering with both companies for quite some time so this is kind of a next step in both of the partnerships with Intel and Hortonworks," said David Jonker, senior director of big data marketing at Walldorf, Germany-based SAP.

Back in 2012, SAP announced they were working with companies in the big data space, Jonker explained. This focus on big data platforms and related technologies included agreements to co-sell with companies like Cloudera and Hortonworks. Last February, SAP announced a co-innovation partnership with Intel focused on the further development and integration of Hadoop and SAP HANA.

The new agreement means that rather than co-selling with Intel and Hortonworks, SAP will now be reselling the two companies' distributions directly to customers, promising tighter integration with HANA. "We're now providing a version that will take Hadoop and integrate it with HANA; it'll integrate it with your BI [business intelligence] tools, your data warehousing environment," Jonker said, "and do that in a way that's going to meet the kind of performance criteria that [you have] in a typical data center."

As a result of the partnerships, companies will be able to get a full range of support directly from SAP, rather than having to go to multiple vendors to get support for each of the individual technologies they are using. This can potentially simplify things for IT departments and provide a greater level of confidence and security for the customer, Jonker said.

For companies just getting started with big data, Jonker said the key is "starting with your problem; it's building it on a system that is going to be data-center-ready -- that involves Hadoop, that involves SAP HANA, in our opinion -- and then growing it from there. Those are the companies that are succeeding."

SAP acquires predictive analytics provider KXEN

SAP has also announced plans to acquire KXEN, a predictive analytics technology provider. According to the company's statement about the acquisition, the combination of KXEN technology with the analytics and business intelligence capabilities already available from SAP is intended to help customers "harness big data."

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SAP plans for KXEN's predictive analytics applications to serve as complementary tools alongside SAP's own advanced analytics software, such as SAP Predictive Analysis. Plans have also been announced for the incorporation of KXEN tools into SAP applications built on SAP HANA, both on-premises and in the cloud.

"Just as SAP is revolutionizing visualization, KXEN will allow us to bring predictive analytics to more business users, enabling easier-to-adopt solutions and the delivery of greater value via SAP solutions," said Michael Reh, SAP's executive vice president of business information technology, in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

SAP offers HANA migration assistance

SAP has announced it will now offer a service to assist its Business Suite customers with the adoption of the high-performance HANA in-memory data management platform.

Customers will be able to automate the process of migration to HANA through a combination of preconfigured software, an implementation assistant and standardized content, according to SAP. The goal will be to reduce downtime and other migration challenges to encourage customers to add the HANA platform.

"SAP provides a tested and reliable migration package that takes doubt and uncertainty out of the equation," Bernd Welz, SAP's executive vice president and global head of solution and knowledge packaging, said in a statement.

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