The terms “Big Data” and “analytics” usually bring to mind images of office workers in front of PCs or tablets, pecking away at datasets and graphs predicting revenue over the next quarter. However, some major IT vendors are deploying analytics platforms in real-world—and perhaps life-saving—ways.
One of those vendors is SAP, which will integrate HANA, its in-memory database technology, with its Situational Awareness rapid-deployment solution for public sector. HANA can aggregate massive amounts of data, execute parallel searches, and rapidly deliver answers to queries; when integrated with the Situational Awareness tool, that will (at least in theory) deliver lots of data to public-safety and emergency officials who might be involved in what SAP rather euphemistically refers to as “rapidly evolving situations.”
SAP is also emphasizing the mobile component of this latest integration—users can access relevant data on smartphones and other devices—as well as its supposed speed of setup. “We’re offering pre-assembled, easy-to-consumer answers to real problems,” Steven Birdsall, senior vice president and general manager for SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions, wrote in a May 9 statement.
SAP’s acquisition of Sybase in 2010 for $5.8 billion greatly increased the former’s mobile capabilities, which some analysts had viewed as severely wanting. “Sybase’s strong presence in global mobile telephony offers intriguing opportunities for SAP to further leverage and extend its business solutions,” Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, wrote in a research note at the time. Almost exactly two years later, those added mobile assets are trickling down to the product level in a variety of ways.
SAP is also offering a cloud-based “quick start” for its rapid-deployment solutions, meaning that projects can be pre-assembled (and tested) in the cloud before delivery to the final production environment and an on-premise set-up. That jump-start capability is available for 11 solutions, including profitability analysis with SAP HANA.
“By using the cloud, we can provide customers with an end-to-end approach—showing them what the solution would look like with a demo using their own company data,” Eric Verniaut, senior vice president and head of SAP’s Next-Generation Services, wrote in a statement. In addition, the jump-start capability involves rapid prototyping “to identify and validate the use case” as well as “leveraging the prototype to jump-start the project in the cloud.”
That’s all to say that SAP’s focused on becoming increasingly mobile and streamlined in terms of its products—perhaps the only corporate move it can make, considering the increased prevalence of the cloud with regard to analytics and Big Data applications, and workers’ seemingly insatiable desire to do everything on a tablet or mobile device.