All smiles over Hana, SAP Labs to focus on genomics

By : |September 12, 2012 0

[image_library_tag 716/18716, align=”left” width=”490″ height=”351″ title=”SAP Labs India Bangalore campus” alt=”SAP Labs India Bangalore campus” border=”0″ vspace=”10″ hspace=”10″ complete=”complete” complete=”complete” style=”width: 490px; height: 351px” ,default]KRABI, THAILAND: At the moment, SAP Labs India is all pumped up about certain innovations, solutions and services being designed and evolved at their research and development (R&D) centres in the country.

There is Hana, an in-memory database platform that promises real-time data analytics at lightning speeds, then there is ChariTra, SAP’s charity transformation programme, its ambitious genomics project and finally, other social initiatives the company has taken up in India.

Hana takes the cake among all. Understandably, SAP is betting big on the platform, which, vice-president of In-Memory Platform Technology, Anirban Dey, puts as an ultimate solution that would help compress data 10 times, run deeper analysis, aggregate and process big data even up to 100 times faster.

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For instance, 1 TB of data can be compressed up to 100 GB on Hana to enable quicker processing in a matter of microseconds. "In Hana world, a typical system would be of 1 TB, like some 10 CPUs put together. Here, you can run analytics and transactions on one database," he says, adding that they have done away with the need for businesses to use two separate platforms to serve these purposes.

As for its functionalities, Dey uses three ‘V’s to illustrate his point: Volume, Variety and Velocity. "It is the fastest growing product in the history of SAP."

According to the SAP top management, Hana would bolster their other products and solutions, which include its flagship ERP solution. They have put in four years in R&D to come up with this platform, which has made $85 mn out of its $1 bn revenues last year.

While they wanted just to generate faster reports at the beginning, they integrated it with SAP Business Warehouse later and finally, hosted their entire Business Suite on Hana. It can also be employed for cloud solutions. As Pravin Agarwala, vice-president, SAP by Design, says, they would make the best out of Hana, as the basic understanding on cloud-based solutions has been increasing over the last three  years.

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SAP’s ChariTra is a platform to reach out to deserving people and to bring together volunteers from different sections of society to get their needs fulfilled. "On ChariTra, volunteers can go, register and then the system aggregates and connects them with the rightful deserving people. It’s like a marketplace," says vice-president, Design & New Applications, Ganapathy Subramanian.

"It might become the process to track what one is giving, including corporate, who are mandated to earmark about 2 per cent of their revenues for CSR. It adds social capital and brand credibility to SAP. This product is more about the mindset. We wanted to make use of technology to touch lives of people."

It is the mindset to touch people’s lives that has made them venture into the uncharted terrain of genomics. In association with the Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) in Bangalore, SAP is developing a system to analyze human DNA sequences to aid quicker diagnosis of cancer.

Also read: ‘We want to take SAP to people, touch their lives’

"It would be exciting to tell the world that we are not mere code-writers, but change-agents who can make the difference between life and death," says Ferose, managing director, SAP Labs India.

It was actually when a colleague’s father gave up his fight against cancer after prolonged diagnosis, Subramanian says that they realized the importance of processing data faster. And their previous experience in the domain came in handy. They are planning to power this research through Hana.

Mobility solutions is another domain where SAP is finetuning its focus on. For quite a while now, it is following a ‘mobile first’ approach to software development, owing to the increasing usage of mobiles and tablets in businesses. In this respect, their acquistion of mobile platforms sofware developing company Sybase in 2010 gave a big boost to their presence in the mobility sector.

(The writer was in Krabi, Thailand, on the invitation of SAP Labs India)

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