APJ Channel Chief for SAP, Bronwyn Hastings talks about the company's vision around HANA and the business potential for channel partners.
CW: How has channel partners' perception of SAP changed today from being just an ERP or CRM vendor?
Everyone knows we have a legacy in ERP technology. But partners can certainly see more opportunities in other new technology markets as well. According to us, the five leading market categories currently are analytics, applications, mobility, database technology, and cloud. Second, we empower our partners to make appropriate choices to participate and take advantage of the new opportunities. Last year, partners saw us expanding into new market categories, and today, we are talking about different business models for channels. These two put together positions us as a compelling enterprise solutions company for partners to build their business around it.
CW: SAP seems to be giving a lot of push on HANA, the in-memory database platform. Is it a strategy to take share away from Oracle because many SAP customers also use Oracle's Database?
We have been talking extensively about our Business Suite on HANA. We are running our own applications on HANA to make sure that the platform delivers an incremental benefit to customers. The first strategy of actually taking our own applications through the whole environment with HANA is sort of moving our customer base and partnerships forward. Second, this is not about a database to database movement. It is about transforming the data environment in such a way that it helps organizations with predictive analytics, DB and all the other layers of big data. That is our strategy to transform the data discussion rather than going after this [Oracle database] or that.
CW: How do Indian CIOs differentiate HANA with the closest competition in the industry?
When they see what is available with HANA and what it accomplishes, they don't care much about the 'competition' in that space. They start looking at HANA as something very diverse, once they understand the concept. So, it is our responsibility to work with customers and partners, and educate them on the possibilities HANA offers. Customers taking a call on the Business Suite on HANA are not doing database comparison. It is not a discussion on competition, but more to do with the vision around HANA and how well it fits across the IT infrastructure. In fact, the first indirect Suite on HANA deal in APJ was done in India. The number of deals for HANA from the Indian partner community is good. It was earlier DB, which was the underlying layer for an enterprise customer. But it is not a database discussion anymore. Applications themselves have been reinvented in such a way that a different environment is not required even for a sophisticated technology like analytics.
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