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SAP looks to innovation for further growth

Enhancements to core apps, cloud, HANA and mobility key to growth strategy

SAP is bringing innovation across all its product lines, says Snabe.
SAP is bringing innovation across all its product lines, says Snabe.

SAP has announced a range of enhancements around its core business applications and new technology area at SAP Sapphire/ TechEd, taking place in Madrid today.

Speaking in a keynote address at the event, SAP co-CEO Jim Snabe, said that the company has developed a vision for growth based on innovation.

"We have an obligation and opportunity to innovate, because innovation is the base for growth in companies and in countries. At SAP, we did exactly that, we chose to bet our company on a customer-centric innovation strategy," Snabe said.

Snabe said that SAP has shifted to a new high speed innovation cycle, to constantly develop its products in co-operation with customers and partners.

Among the announcements at the event, which is attended by 10,000 people, were improvements to SAP's core business suite, plus new developments in mobility, cloud and in-memory computing, three newer areas for SAP which currently account for 10% of its software revenue.

In the core Business Suite, SAP announced a new enhancement pack, which will offer customers the ability to add over 120 improvements to their existing deployments, without having to upgrade their whole application. SAP has also added new line-of-business innovations to address specific business functions, and allow companies to add new capabilities without disruption or delay.

In order to give customers more predictability for their deployments, SAP has also extended mainstream support for its SAP Business Suite 7 applications by five years to 2020. SAP also revealed more details of its new Business Objects Business Intelligence suite 4.0, with new features around in-memory computing, social BI, collaboration and mobility, to extend business intelligence across the enterprise.

In mobile offerings, where SAP has been extending access to its applications via platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, the company is showcasing 200 Apps from itself and partners at Sapphire. The company is also making 70 apps available for evaluation via its SAP Store, and expects developer partners to account for 80% of SAP mobile applications, built on the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) in the near future.

For cloud computing, SAP revealed that is now has over 700 customers on its Business ByDesign SaaS service, and it is also developing new on-demand services based on the needs of particular customer segments and job functions, including Sales OnDemand.
SAP spelled out more of its plans for its In-memory processing solution HANA. The company says that HANA will replace traditional relational databases in data warehousing deployments, although it will be a gradual process.

Snabe said that even after seven consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, SAP was not looking to rely just on maintenance revenue streams, but rather innovation across core and new solutions to thrive: "We are very focused on our ability to generate new revenue with new innovations. You have seen us accelerate that since February last year. In Q3, the first year of the three new categories, mobile, in-memory and cloud, they now deliver 10% of our software revenue, but we are not abandoning the core. We are very focused on driving innovation, but we are proud as well to be revitalizing the core, because it is the profound element that allows you to go to mobile, in-memory and cloud."