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Enterprise Software veteran, with over twenty years' experience on every side of of business, from user and buyer to VP, CEO and Board Member roles; from Procter & Gamble to Oracle, SAP and OQO. Founder of the OracAlumni Network.
Aactively tracks the trends and strategies of the enterprise software world, shares his news digest and analysis at Next Gen Enterprise.

6 responses to “What Are the Killer Apps for SAP HANA and Other In-Memory Computing Systems?”

  1. Stefan Schaffer

    Hi Dennis,

    Very timely post. It’s again one of these days when predicting that a new technology will open a new chapter is much easier than identifying which use cases will fill this chapter. And in these phases we are always looking for the killer app.

    Remember when the Internet reached B2B, and the likes of Transora, or Covisint came up, built on the idea of aggregating buying power through an Internet platform? For a short while, they looked like the killer apps. And I am not sure to the day that there has ever been such, despite the fact that the Internet eventually and silently made its way into B2B computing.

    We may just see the same with in-memory computing and SAP HANA. The technologists are turning every stone in the search for the killer problem that this amazing technology can solve and by doing that spread the idea behind until the business people with the problems link them to the new solution.

    Let’s keep looking for the killer app. It’s worth the time in any case. And who knows, we may just find it.


    1. Dennis Moore

      Stefan –

      Thanks for the great comment. A historical perspective is definitely beneficial. I certainly remember the last bubble, and I’m sure there will be other such bubbles in our future.

      I think it was foreseeable that computerizing the procurement process could lead to significant efficiencies, in advance of that happening in the 80s and 90s, just as I would claim it was foreseeable that signing no long term contracts with suppliers and running every PO through an auction process would result in lower quality parts, higher overall prices, and shoddy supplier service. Nonetheless, your points are well taken!

      In general, I tried to stick with scenarios that are plausibly improved significantly with the elimination of time. But as you say, it’s worth the time to look for these scenarios, and it will likely take more than just one blog entry to find them and validate them.

      Thanks for the comments, hope all is well!

      – Dennis

  2. Kevin

    If BW is to electronic spreadsheets HANA would be to the PC/DOS. Something seems wrong in your last question about HANA being Excel or VisiCalc. Did you mean ‘will BW be excel or VisiCalc’?

    Makes me think about the first (demo) spreadsheet apps- checkbook balancing, hardly what we think of as a killer app. When there is such diverse utility on a platform it becomes the killer ‘app’ for the next lower technology on the stack. Is it the number of apps, the speed in which they are adopted and the utility that make something killer? Searching for ‘an’ app doesn’t sit right with me.

    Another great post, Dennis.


  3. Kevin

    Thanks for the clarification. I would think that since HANA can slide under existing apps it has a huge advantage (built in business content/context). Will it have staying power to lead the new category?…I don’t know but It’s nice to see SAP leading again.

    Let’s ask Dan Flystra what the first electronic spreadsheet ‘demo’ app was. Come to think of it Josh Greenbaum may have reported on it.

    As I recall (trust but verify) the 3 in Lotus 1-2-3 represented database functionality. (I really should google these ‘facts’)

    You share an interesting spreadsheet programming experience. Interactivity is a way one street.


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