Integration between SAP HANA, ERP Financials grows tighter

In this news roundup, SAP makes changes to ERP Financials and lets customers deploy analytics in the HANA Enterprise cloud on a subscription basis.

SAP made further progress on its stated commitment to release versions of Business Suite that are optimized to run on its HANA in-memory platform, beginning with  improvements to its SAP Financials software announced today.

For one, the financial and controlling software will share a common source of data that resides in the HANA database, according to Amit Sinha, senior vice president for platform and applications at SAP.

"The [biggest] change that people will see is around a common source of information," Sinha said. "If you think about the finance and costing modules in SAP, there's a lot of manual reconciliation processes in between the two modules because there's essentially two different documents being used by finance and controlling people. [With] HANA, there's one single copy of data."

As a result, customers will be able to do on-the-fly reporting when performing calculations for the end of the day, week, or month, for example.

"All of these things move from batch to real time," Sinha said. "It's not just running Suite on HANA, it's really taking advantage of the real-time nature of HANA."

Analyst Jon Reed said the news doesn't rise to the level of a major announcement, but is important because it illustrates SAP’s continuing effort to making further use of HANA.

"SAP has been rethinking and redoing Financials with HANA in mind. It's a process and it seems another threshold has been achieved," he said.

Reed said he still expects SAP to use the upcoming SAP Sapphire Now user conference to make more news regarding its financials software.

"To me the part we are waiting for is whether this 'new financials' will also become SAP's Cloud Financials solution for large enterprises. I believe it will, but have no confirmation from SAP on that at this time, so it's purely speculation on my part," Reed said. "It will be interesting to watch for that at Sapphire."

SAP analytics in the SAP Enterprise Cloud

In other news, SAP announced late last week that customers can now run SAP analytics applications in the SAP Enterprise Cloud on a subscription basis.  That includes applications such as the traditional business intelligence (BI) applications in the BusinessObjects portfolio, as well as Lumira data-visualization software and Infinite Insight, SAP's predictive analytics tool that combines SAP’s Predictive Analytics software with technology SAP acquired with  predictive analytics vendor KXEN last year. Users can also deploy the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) portfolios in the same subscription basis.

"SAP [is becoming] a cloud company, powered by HANA," said Christian Rodatus, senior vice president and general manager for SAP analytics.

The news follows SAP's announcement roughly a month earlier that  HANA Enterprise Cloud now allows  Business Suite,  Business Warehouse and the HANA platform to be deployed on a subscription model.

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