You may have seen an interesting (and possibly unexpected) announcement that was made at TechEd Las Vegas. SAP and SAS will be entering into a strategic partnership that will see HANA become a supported back end for the SAS Analytics toolset.
The full announcement can be found here
A few people have been in touch asking me what I think this means for us as itelligence, for customers, for SAP and for SAS. It is very early days to make any big pronouncements but there are a few obvious questions…
Are SAP going to buy SAS? — they could do, they have enough money and SAS are a privately held business making a sale simple in theory. There would of course be huge overlap in products and people and I am not sure SAP can manage another major integration at this point, but ultimately who knows where this could lead?
Does this mean that SAP Predictive Analytics is doomed? — unlikely (not withstanding the previous answer), SAP Predictive Analytics is competing with the SAS solutions by being different. PA is all about taking a previously niche capability (the application of complex statistical algorithms) and democratising it to the wider business. This is a great strategy that SAP are accelerating with the KXEN acquisition. So do I think that SAP PA is doomed? No.
What does it mean for customers?
A very interesting area to think about, immediately this gives SAP the ability to get a conversation started with SAS customers. But not everyone has SAS and not everyone has SAP. I knocked up the following quick matrix.
As you can see the immediate winners are those who already have investments in both technology sets as the addition of HANA can impact across many fronts. However as you can also see this presents a real opportunity to talk with SAS only customers about how they can accelerate their Predictive Analytics with the SAP HANA Platform.
Hopefully SAP will be able to share more information at the Database and Technology Summit and TechEd events that I will be attending over the next couple of weeks.
As always, happy to carry on the conversation.
— written by Andy Steer, Chief Technology Officer, itelligence Business Solutions (UK) —