Two of enterprise computing’s heavyweights, HP and SAP have entered the big data ring as a tag team. The deal will see both companies sell SAP’s in-memory Hana engine as a cloud service to customers who want to get big data projects off the ground fast and without the frighteningly large capital expenditure normally needed to make these things fly.
Interestingly the partnership’s first roll-out is in Australia and New Zealand. SAP general manager Jeremy Goddard says the region came first because the two companies were already working together on ways of delivering Hana to local customers.
It helps that HP and SAP don’t often conflict in the market. Goddard says: “We have a lot of joint customers, some are large. We don’t compete at all, our relationship is synergistic”.
And to cap it, he says cloud adoption is high in Australia and New Zealand.
Fewer barriers in ANZ
HP Enterprise services senior director Anita Paul says there were fewer barriers to getting the partnership rolling in the region. “We have a suitable data centre and a management structure that understands the signals coming from the market. We may not have got the sponsorship to act on this in another region,” she says.
Nevertheless Paul makes it clear both companies had to get approval from their respective corporate headquarters. If it works, then they plan to roll it out worldwide.
The deal will see the pair something charmingly labelled HP As-a-service. The implication being that for a monthly subscription customers can call on the full might of the world’s largest computer maker.
HP to bundle SAP
Paul says the name reflects the way her company will sell the big data. She says: “We have the ability ot bundle the necessary licenses which we will then sell back to our clients”.
She says HP is selling Hana as a service first, but the company has the means to add value for clients and can help them solve big data problems. One part of this involves developing a series of user-cases so that expertise can be sold on: “Our next endeavour is to go to every relevant industry and catalogue the knowledge”.
Big data, big companies, big bikkies
Big data, SAP and HP tend to operate mainly at the big end of town. Yet Paul says the offering is designed to scale down as well as up.
Given that many smaller companies would invest in big data if the entry price was lower, this sounds like a smart move. And the right one for New Zealand were large corporate customers are thin on the ground.
Goddard says the partners have identified at least 20 prospects among their customers including a handful from New Zealand.
There’s another barrier between SAP and potential customers. The world’s largest business software companies has a reputation for large-scale projects which take months, even years to implement and can run well past their deadlines. Paul says getting past that is one of the advantages of the cloud approach: “we have examples where it only takes eight to ten weeks to get running”.
HP has been doing it tough lately. In the quarter ended on July 31, the companies overall revenues were down 8.3 percent. Following the announcement CEO Meg Whitman told US analysts the deterioration in HP’s Enterprise Group, which makes and sells servers, storage, and networking along with the support for these products, was deeper than expected. So it’s good to see the company try new things.