Kathy Gibson is at SAP TechEd in Barcelona – Insight-driven business are more successful, which is why this is the end goal for digital transformation initiatives.

SAP is taking its role in this transformation seriously, and aims to give customers the fastest way to turn data into business value.

This is the word from, Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and executive board member at SAP, who says the company is undergoing a cultural change to meet this goal.

“We are becoming more business-centric and outcome-oriented,” he says.

“At the same time, we have incrementally evolved our platform to become a business technology platform.”

A key element in this strategy is providing easier access to SAP data and better openness in terms of hyper-scaler services, and an easier way to consume services by paying based on usage.

Intelligence has become key to customer operations, and Mueller cites the example of a brewery customer that embarked on an ERP implementation project 18 months ago.

“The chief financial officer believed this was going to be the most boring project he had ever worked on – and because it was a technical discussion, it did seem very dull.”

But within nine months, the picture was very different. The company had cleaned its master data and brought together all data silos, offering a single source of the truth.

The company had implemented both SAP and non-SAP applications with SAP extensions; and they has introduced analytics for realtime insights

It is also deploying intelligent technologies to further automate processes.

“The chief financial officer is now extremely excited,” Mueller says. “He has realtime access to all data in the company, and is able to make business decisions based on realtime data.

“He has become insight-driven and has changed from saving money to investing in opportunities.”

In fact, insight-driven business grow seven-times faster than global GDP, Mueller points out.

“You need to have data under control,” he says. “And, with SAP HANA you can do this.”

SAP today announced SAP HANA Cloud, – a cloud-native implementation that will be available for purchase by the end of the year

It leverages microservice, containerisation and Kubernetes, and gives users choices for data storage and offering scaling flexibility.

Users can set up HANA Cloud very easily and only pay for the memory, disk and data storage used, while a single access layer removes the need for data replication.

“You get the freedom to assign data from high performance, high cost storage to low performance, low cost storage – and it is easy to do this because it is all in one stack.”

SAP HANA Cloud lets users scale up and down computer and storage capacity quickly, so they can respond to varying workloads.

SAP HANA Cloud can be deployed either as a stand-alone solution or as an extension to customers’ existing on-premise environments, allowing them to benefit from the cloud and the ability of SAP HANA to analyse live, transactional data.

General availability for SAP HANA Cloud is planned for the fourth quarter of this year.

SAP HANA Cloud Services are also available to infuse intelligence into data.

Comprising the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solution, SAP Hana Cloud and SA Analytics Cloud solution, SAP HANA Cloud Services combines all data and analytics capabilities as one set of interconnected services to store, process, govern and consume large volumes of data.

The Intelligent Enterprise is build on a business technology platform that brings together integration, data, analytics and experience.

Analytics is key to business success in the digital age, but it’s predicated on the availability of data that can be translated into value.

The SAP formula for data value is amount x quality x usage = value, and Gareth Kazmaier, head of SAP HANA and analytics at SAP, explains that the company’s offerings are about filling the gaps in the this formula.

“So many companies fail to deliver value,” he explains. “We all have data lakes that are no use because they are data swamps. And there are initiatives that fail to deliver because there is no confidence in the data.”

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud addresses those issues, Kazmeier says.

He explains that data warehousing is built on the idea of having one view across heterogenous data. But data got bigger and more distributed, creating new challenges in accessing it.

Rather than keep all data in one place, the modern data warehouse offers a way to connect to data and allow users to access it wherever it is held.

The SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, which uses HANA Cloud for persistence, data tiering and its memory engine, will be generally available by the end of this year.

There’s a lot of interest in the offering, with a massive 2 000 customers having registered for the SAP Data Warehouse beta.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a business-ready data warehouse in the cloud, offers users a self-service solution to easily and quickly tie all their business data together and translate it into value for their specific line of business.

With a simple and flexible pricing model, customers can avoid the high up-front investment costs of a traditional data warehouse and easily and cost-effectively scale their data warehouse as data demands continue to grow.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can be deployed either stand-alone or as an extension to customers’ existing on-premise SAP BW/4HANA solution or the SAP HANA platform.

SAP Analytics Cloud, announced last month, includes enhancements for enterprise planning.

These updates enable business users to automate typical planning processes using new tools such as a wizard that simplifies the creation of planning workflows by automatically creating calendar tasks for planning process contributors.

The new “builder tool” creates different versions of rolling forecasts. Improved “data actions” include prompts and variables to cover the same calculations across plans to help save time by maintaining a single, complex calculation rather than managing multiple versions.

In addition, SAP Analytics Cloud is planned to be embedded in SAP SuccessFactors solutions as well as SAP S/4HANA and made available in Q4/2019, giving companies better insight into their HR and business data to improve people and organizational decisions.

To help developers, the embedded edition of SAP Analytics Cloud is planned to be offered as a service under the SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement. Developers can easily activate this analytics service to quickly build and integrate analytics into their applications through live connectivity with SAP HANA.

SAP recognises that every customer’s journey to the cloud is unique and many organisations are operating in a mixed landscape with on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployments.

The 4.3 release of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence suite aims to support customers with on-premise enhancements while providing tighter integration with SAP Analytics Cloud.

Benefits of the new version include an improved user experience, enhanced ease of deployment and support for the latest industry standards. A beta programme will be announced this quarter.