As Digital Transformation Continues, Big Talks on Big Data

In what was the largest SAPPHIRE NOW conference in attendance, a community of business and technology customers delved into a wide range of SAP products, with all eyes on the SAP HANA platform.

The global software company wrapped up its three day conference in Orlando, Florida to encourage customers to transition their enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) to the new S/4 HANA platform.

“We have a completeness of vision,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott, stating that HANA should be the new standard for businesses.

Although McDermott focused on an empathy-based approach to valuing customers; even giving out his e-mail address to prove his point (, it was SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner that laid out the case for the value of S/4 HANA adoption.

“Everyone understands how superior the architecture is. It’s not about the quality, speed or simplicity of S/4HANA. It’s only about how customers get there,” said Plattner.

Hasso showcased the SAP Digital Boardroom as an example of how S/4 HANA allows businesses to use real-time data to make decisions.

The Digital Boardroom aims to simplify performance reporting across all areas of business in real time.

During his demo, SAP COO Christian Klein showed how big data can visualized simply, and how looking at real-time data can be used in different situations.

“It’s about making faster, and better educated decisions across the whole value chain in your company,” said Klein.

The company also announced, among many things, a partnership with Microsoft on Monday.

According to Bill McDermott and special guest Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, SAP HANA will be supported on Microsoft Azure.

Office 365 will also be integrated with SAP cloud applications.

“At Microsoft, we are focused on empowering organizations to advance their digital transformations,” said Nadella.

SAP HANA and S/4 HANA apps will be certified to run development on the Azure cloud, so users won’t have to download any SAP software on their servers to use it.

“We’ve never been in better shape as a company,” said McDermott, citing that 76 per cent of the world’s transactions run through an SAP product.

The company also announced the Spring 2016 edition of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, which will allow the platform to build new cloud applications and extend existing applications both in the cloud and on premise.

This move is aimed at being faster, simpler, and more reliable.

Just a week ago, SAP and Apple released news of their partnership, which covers the adoption of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for iOS.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was among the many star-studded keynote speakers during the conference.

This year’s conference theme focused on digital transformation and disruption.