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SAP HANA Vora allows access to Hadoop big data lakes

SAP announces SAP HANA Vora, an in-memory query engine for Apache Spark/Hadoop frameworks. Also, an ASUG survey reports on members' SuccessFactors plans.

SAP wants to make the Hadoop data lake more accessible for those that want to take a big data dip. SAP HANA Vora, announced this week, is an in-memory query engine that plugs into Apache Spark frameworks, allowing interactive analytics on data that's stored in Hadoop, according to the company.

The goal is to allow companies to democratize the data stored in Hadoop for developers and data scientists, combining it with enterprise data to come up with answers to unknown questions, said Ken Tsai, head of data management for SAP product marketing.

"We're taking the lessons learned with what we've done with HANA, the real-time, interactive experiences which you can do in the enterprise cloud and applying this to Hadoop," Tsai said. "But it's not just making Hadoop interactive -- a lot of people are working on that -- but how you also provide those real-time, interactive experiences and that business semantic understanding in Hadoop, and I think that's the biggest thing that SAP has put in."

There are three main use cases for SAP HANA Vora that should make it compelling for organizations that want to take advantage of Hadoop data, but have had few ways to do this, Tsai explained.

  • By adding contextual awareness to enterprise data and analytics, SAP HANA VORA enables speedier and more precise decisions.
  • It democratizes access to Hadoop data lakes for developers and data scientists, allowing them access to data which was previously difficult to access and process.
  • It simplifies ownership of big data by allowing access to enterprise and Hadoop data from a single source.

There are a number of industries for which the combination of big data analytics and business process context can be extremely valuable, including financial services, telecommunications, healthcare and manufacturing. For example, a financial institution may be able to mitigate risk and fraud by quickly detecting anomalies in transactions and customer history data, or a telecommunications company could better analyze network traffic patterns to avoid bottlenecks and improve quality of service.

SAP HANA Vora is due to be released on Sept. 18 with an enterprise edition, which includes a complete license to interact with all SAP platforms, and a standalone edition, which includes the same software but no license to interact with SAP platforms. A free, cloud-based developer edition is expected to be available at the same time. Licenses will be by subscription on a per-node basis.

ASUG survey shows SAP HR implementations quickly moving to the cloud

The landscape for companies that run SAP's human resources software is changing rapidly, according to a new survey from ASUG (America's SAP Users' Group).

We're taking the lessons learned with what we’ve done with HANA … and applying this to Hadoop.
Ken TsaiHead of Data Management, SAP Product Marketing

While a solid majority of survey respondents (67%) run SAP's core HR on-premises software now and just over 20% have implemented the cloud-based SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC), nearly half of the respondents plan to invest in EC within the next two years, while only 25% say they will invest in on-premises core HR during that time frame.

These results are not too surprising, said ASUG's Sherryanne Meyer, because although most enterprises are reluctant to rip and replace their entire on-premises HR systems, many functions are heading to the cloud.

"They're looking a lot into recruiting now, into onboarding, and of course there's always performance management, and these things are always going to be driven to the cloud," said Meyer, who is the group's community advocate for SAP HR. "It's a pretty significant drop to me, and it's really telling that in two years many people expect to be moving to the cloud in some way, shape or form. I believe that they've been talking about it as far back as the SuccessFactors acquisition that it's something to very seriously consider. That makes sense because they have to put their dollars where it has the most growth potential, and any company that was talking to SAP at the time at the CIO/CFO level would have seen that and had it on their radar in the future."

Although Meyer believes that the movement to the cloud gives companies the opportunity to kick the tires on other platforms, loyalty to SAP remains strong. About 50% of the survey respondents said they would not be looking at products other than SAP, while just 20% said they were looking at other software.

"Because everything is changing so much, I would expect many customers to think, 'If I have to go out and install and rebuild HR or payroll, I may as well go out and see what's in the market,' but the survey showed there's a great deal of loyalty to SAP, which demonstrates that they have strong partnerships with their customers," Meyer said. "There's sexy hot software out there, but it's a pretty significant effort to rebuild that software and make another partnership, and I think people are recognizing that."

The ASUG survey was conducted in May and June 2015 with a total of 373 respondents, of which 81% were ASUG members and 16% were SAP partners.

Next Steps

Five useful features in SuccessFactors Employee Central

Hadoop data lake concept presents plenty of challenges for organizations

SAP plans to embrace Hadoop

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