Clamoring for Innovation Ideas Using SAP HANA at HANA 2014

Cross posted at the blog at…

As I leave the HANA 2014 conference in Orlando this week, I am simply impressed with the enthusiasm I felt from a room full of enterprise architects looking for ways to support innovation for their companies with SAP HANA.

When I was asked to present at SAP Insider’s HANA 2014 Conference in Orlando about business innovation as it relates to SAP HANA, one of my favorite topics, I jumped at the opportunity.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a room full of eager attendees waiting for me at my 8:30AM session this morning.

I always start by asking a few questions to get to know my audience. At HANA 2014 for both my sessions the audience responded as follows to my unscientific poll:

  •          50% work for SAP customers
  •          50% are consultants serving SAP customers
  •          25% are working for customers that already have or are actively considering  purchasing SAP HANA
  •          Less than 25% were business analysts concerned with software requirements
  •          75% said they are Enterprise Architects
  •          A smattering, around 5%, said they are developers

As I said, the poll was unscientific and audience members did answer multiple times in the poll choices.

You can get an idea of the perspective and interest of the people attending a session about building innovative custom applications on SAP HANA. They were not developers, but they were very interested in hearing about how they could support developers in creating innovative applications on SAP HANA.

While it’s not my intention to recreate my session in blog form, I have some interesting takeaways for myself as a result of interactions with the attendees in my sessions.  Check out the slides of my presentation on  Slideshare.


1.  When it comes to fostering a “culture of invention” 90% of my attendees companies appear not to partake in more forward looking approaches such as holding company Hackathons or cross functional innovation days with employees. Nor do many of them partake in crowd sourcing programs such as Kaggle, or check out SAP’s crowd sourcing program for SAP HANA customers: SAP Idea Incubator.

2.  Audience members appreciated my “3 Questions to know if you have a SAP HANA Application” slide. Many of their questions were related to geospatial data capabilities of SAP HANA and predictive analytics functionality.



[SOURCE: © SAP, used with permission] Three questions for determining if your custom application might be suitable for developing on SAP HANA.

3.   Apparently some of the same consultants are chasing the same high end customer applications. I had a couple of people come talk to me about the customer stories I shared saying they had bid on the projects I had showcased.

4.  Nobody thinks of innovation as starting from what you already have in terms of existing applications, but when I explained that SAP HANA supports so many languages and standards because we know many people will be porting existing applications and then add on, I got lots of nods.

5.  SAP Data Services were not in wide use by many attendees in the audience. This was very interesting to me since the conference was co-located with the BI 2014 conference.  However, perhaps my audience was very self-selecting.

6.  SAP River went over very well with the audience. Not only did they like the rapid prototyping capabilities, they were very entranced with the idea of being able to decouple and easily create HTML 5 UIs against the generated OData interfaces. In fact, next time I need to spend more time on UI capabilities you can build with SAP HANA powered apps. Get your own 7 day trial of SAP River here.

I had a great time interacting with the customers and consultants interested in SAP HANA.  Developing my session has renewed my blogging mews so expect a few topic deep dives in the next couple of weeks!


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