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SAP launches next-gen, HANA-based Business Suite

Vendor promises 'Facebook-like' user experience and real-time performance

SAP launches next-gen, HANA-based Business Suite
McDermott: It's beautiful to consume on the mobile, and completely game changing

At a launch event at the New York Stock Exchange, SAP yesterday took the wraps off its next-generation business suite, dubbed SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA, or S/4HANA.

The new product is fully built on the HANA in-memory platform, SAP said, though the vendor said that one of the main selling points would be the re-worked user experience, which is aimed at simplifying things for customers. Speaking to ITP.net ahead of the launch, SAP CEO Bill McDermott promised "Facebook-like quality and beauty".

"It's beautiful to consume on the mobile, and completely game changing," he said.

McDermott added that S/4HANA was "the biggest launch that SAP will have done in the last 20 years".

In terms of its capabilities, SAP said that S/4HANA will offer cloud, on-promise and hybrid deployment options, and that it leverages the in-memory and real-time capabilities of HANA - indeed, the new suite is only built for HANA. With this, the vendor promised the ability to use the solution on almost any device, a simplified data model, on-the-fly insight and real-time business processes.

At the launch event, McDermott said: "When Hasso Plattner invented SAP HANA, we knew the day would come for SAP Business Suite to be reinvented for the digital age. At a moment when businesses around the world need to enter new markets and engage with their consumers in any channel, there's now an innovation platform designed to drive their growth. This is an historic day and we believe it marks the beginning of the end for the 20th century IT stack and all the complexity that came with it."

SAP said that one of the main focus points of S/4HANA was to support the development of new business models by accelerating adoption of the internet of things and big data. The vendor said that the solution provides a simplified data model that will help customers "re-imagine" their IT operations, providing cost savings and greater efficiency.

SAP added that S/4HANA will also expand its portfolio of cloud solutions such as those from SAP companies Ariba, Fieldglass and SuccessFactors. SAP said it would allow customers to define their own pace to the cloud based on their needs while keeping all the integration and business benefits of their existing SAP solutions.

"Now you can have a fully integrated database and application stack where you can run the whole suite on HANA. And, yes, if you choose to, you can also run it in the cloud," McDermott told ITP.net before the launch.

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