SAP has announced that it is making immediately available an enhanced version of its Business Suite that will runs on its HANA in-memory platform.
At a press conference in Frankfurt, the launch was referred to as the beginning of a new era when enterprises will run their business in real time.
Jim Haggeman Snabe, Co-CEO, SAP, said that in the new world of "hyper-connected people", where product cycles are dramatically shortened, business needs to adapt.
In what may have been an oblique reference to recent Eurozone economic difficulties, he added that "It is very hard to predict what will happen in certain geographies around the world," even where there has been strong growth in the past, he said.
"We are clearly in a situation where cash and finance is not so easy to get around," said Haggeman Snabe.
In response to this, based on a three-part road map that was set out by one of the company founders, Hasso Plattner in 2010, the current announcement sees "the combination of in-memory analytics and the transactional world at the same time in main memory," said Haggeman Snabe.
In a live demonstration, from a Business Suite dashboard page showing various business reports, a custom query was performed by simply clicking on an individual report and refining parameters to produce a view that overlaid financial data from the past five years over the most recent six months, comprising some 80 million records, in realtime. This emphasised both the usability in terms of no requirement for custom queries, but more importantly the fact that the performance of the system made the results more or less instantaneous.
This kind of performance opens up opportunities for businesses to gain competitive advantage, according to SAP, allowing them to "sense and re-plan faster than competition", said Haggeman Snabe.
Haggeman Snabe was keen to emphasise that this enhancement to Business Suite was not to be called R4.
"We chose not to call it R4 for a very important reason. We are not in the business of creating disruption for our customers. We chose to spend a lot of engineering energy to ensure that it can be consumed in a non-disruptive way."
"Business Suite is available to run on HANA as an upgrade," said Haggeman Snabe.