SAP HANA is SAP’s in-memory database, available in the Cloud and on-premise. It’s primarily used for database management, analytical processing, and application development. It’s usually used alongside S/4HANA, SAP’s ERP software.
SAP HANA was released in 2011. It enabled customers to analyse data in seconds, rather than weeks or months, due to its in-memory capabilities. In 2015, S/4HANA was built on the SAP HANA database.
SAP’s primary ERP platform at the time, ECC, had one big flaw for SAP, which was that organisations were using it on competitor databases such as Oracle Database. This meant that SAP was losing a big chunk of its revenue to a key competitor. With the release of S/4HANA, SAP ensured that it received full remuneration for the product.
SAP HANA provided an entirely new product for SAP customers. The problem with this is that it isn’t a simple upgrade; SAP HANA means customers have to completely reimplement their systems. The cost and time involved in this makes SAP HANA particularly expensive to any organisation.
To make matters worse, SAP has introduced a deadline for all of its ERP customers to transition to S/4HANA, as it fazes out its ECC product. This means customers have to make the switch to a brand new product that might not be suitable for their organisation.