Artificial Intelligence Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo

Artificial Intelligence: Article

Exclusive Cloud Interview with SAP

In the Boardroom with Martin Heisig, SVP, Cloud and Infrastructure Delivery at SAP SE

Martin Heisig, Senior Vice President of Cloud and Infrastructure Delivery at SAP SE, is responsible for SAP's global IT infrastructure including the operation of SAP's external cloud offerings.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Martin. Before discussing SAP cloud delivery and data center solutions in greater detail and the upcoming FORECAST 2014 please tell us about your background.

Martin Heisig: I am the head of SAP's Infrastructure Services Organization and responsible for SAP's global IT infrastructure including the operation of SAP's external cloud offerings. The SAP Cloud offering includes for example Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions (Success Factors, ARIBA, HANA Cloud Platform) as well as comprehensive cloud infrastructure combined with managed services for global enterprise customers (SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud).

This role combines also responsibility for SAPs office and workplace equipment, backend systems, data centers, network and WAN infrastructure as well as SAP system management for SAP's business, development and training & demo environment.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: May we have an overview of the key trends and highlights SAP will be discussing at FORECAST 2014?

Martin Heisig: The mega trends real-time platforms - Big Data, cloud, enterprise mobility as well as social media - continue to enable completely new business scenarios. In a tectonic shift, we witness how our most innovative customers reinvent their business models and processes by using in-memory technology, like SAP HANA. The world goes real-time across entire industries and in the private space.

As head of the HANA Enterprise cloud delivery function, I foresee that more and more companies will move to the cloud, and that we will see a leap in software, infrastructure and platform as services. Customers have existing environments and want to add cloud solutions to that. So, the reality for most of these companies is a hybrid cloud environment. Or they move their enterprise systems into private clouds, for example the HANA Enterprise Cloud. Security and process integration will continue to be big issues, and this is something at which SAP excels. Whatever the strategy, CIOs have to address both agility for the business and cost. The Cloud is a major factor in this equation.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: One will read on SAP.com that, "SAP HANA converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time". Please give us an overview of the HANA and do you use it internally, too?

Martin Heisig: The SAP HANA database is an in-memory database that combines transactional data processing, analytical data processing, and application logic processing functionality in memory. This new architecture enables converged OLTP and OLAP data processing within a single in-memory column-based data store, while eliminating data redundancy and latency. With SAP HANA our customers can leverage the power of in-memory technology to address growing data volume concerns and new business opportunities. It provides a modern platform for real-time applications and real-time analytics, while simplifying existing IT landscapes.

SAP, like all companies, must stay ahead of potentially disruptive technologies to remain at the top of its market. As one of the largest customers of SAP worldwide, SAP's own global IT organization has a strong focus on innovation and is on the leading edge of many new business and technology trends. Therefore new technology at SAP is first tested and used by internal users. The practice goes by many names: eating your own dog food, drinking your own champagne, or in our case "SAP Runs SAP." By using software internally both before and after making it available to customers, employees are not only able to alert developers to potential problems in an application and make suggestions for improvement, they are also the first to enjoy the benefits too.

The first company in the world to use the SAP's in-memory technology - SAP HANA, back in 2010, was none other than the global software enterprise that created it. At SAP, we run all of our mission critical systems on HANA. In 2013, we implemented ERP on HANA across all Lines of Business and regions. CRM and our Corporate Business Warehouse run in-memory. Some examples of immediate benefits are faster financial reporting and higher quality analysis as well as significant improvements in the IT landscape. Transactions and Analytics come together in a single system. And the batch job is dead.

While nowadays cloud computing becomes an even more important topic, SAP recognized this trend and reacted early by moving their core applications into their own cloud environment powered by SAP HANA.

Customers now have the opportunity to accelerate the deployment of their SAP HANA projects within the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, where infrastructure is combined with managed services tailored for the customers' individual needs. This enables the customers- including SAP as its own and first customer - to access further advantages by getting access and benefit from SAP's latest innovation and application technologies as well as having a huge increase of implementation speed, and with this reach a better time-to-value.

As of 2014, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud operates the largest HANA systems worldwide, including SAP's own single global SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (67,000 users), SAP Customer Relationship Management (15,000 Users), and SAP NetWeaver BW (4,500 users) applications.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What is your perspective Martin regarding the major benefits of HANA?

Martin Heisig: I believe that significant competitive advantage awaits early adopters. Let me start with where I think the biggest potential lies for customers who want to make breakthrough improvements. If you sit back and really think about your business model and core processes - and where the next disruption can come from whether you lead it or others pose be threat - you will see that real-time computing, collaborative commerce and harvesting the vast amounts of data have a huge potential. A lot of industries have been transformed via massive disruption, and it often starts with innovators finding innovative approaches to capitalize on their data, moving to digital products and services and creating totally new experiences. I believe that SAP is addressing the most important and critical needs of these companies. We help customers achieve these breakthroughs, and this should be the focus.

With Big Data, in my opinion, the problem of ever-increasing complexity has not commonly been addressed. With our SAP HANA technology we strive for exactly this missing element of simplification in how we bring structured, unstructured and event related big data into a single, coherent view to allow to derive the right decisions at the right time - in realtime. This is the real game changer.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Are there new features and solutions you would like to discuss?

Martin Heisig: We have recently introduced SAP Simple Finance, a set of solutions to bring the simplicity of SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA to finance departments worldwide. Simple Finance doesn't displace the existing Business Suite finance apps but we simplify and modernize key workflows, introduce new interfaces, and strip out antiquated code. It takes full advantage of the in-memory SAP HANA platform with new finance capabilities, offers a new and beautiful user experience for easy access, all deployed in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud under a full subscription model, making it easy for finance departments to adopt these solutions.

And of course, we were the first to implement it. Today, we have simplified our code, dramatically reduced our data footprint and have significant performance gains. For example, all materialized aggregates are replaced by SQL statements on the fly and database indices are dropped. Our data footprint will be reduced dramatically to less than 500GB for our whole ERP data. With better financial insights and inherent reconciliation we enabled our Finance executives to make better decisions and operate more effectively.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Can we discuss Cloud and security for a moment...we all know the benefits of being online...in seconds with our various devices we can pay a bill, send a gift, make a dinner reservation, and in growing numbers, control the HVAC and security systems in our home. But, what about businesses, are they more vulnerable to the bad guys out there? Your thoughts, Martin?

Martin Heisig: Security concerns in a cloud model are similar to those for the application service provider model: whether people will steal information, or that leaks will compromise confidential data. The top security concerns for the cloud model focus on identity management, data storage location, system operations, and data transmission and flow controls.

A seasoned team of industry experts from SAP who specialize in creating secure and reliable cloud environments help businesses safeguard critical applications and data during the implementation and keep business operations intact. Our comprehensive approach - at the physical, database, middleware, application, and network and communication layers - literally builds security into every aspect of a business.

For example, SAP operates its own data centers, and we partner with local leaders in colocation hosting centers to provide secure, environmentally controlled facilities that offer an integrated security management system. On-site security measures include electronic photo-ID badging, cardholder access control, biometrics, recorded digital video surveillance, and alarm monitoring. All SAP data centers comply with the latest telecommunications industry standards, such as ANSI/TIA/EIA-942 Tier III or higher.

We also implemented a so called security monitoring center to immediately react to all kind of security risks no matter that applies to applications, infrastructure or even global crisis situations.

I believe it is a challenge for companies - especially for smaller companies - to implement such comprehensive security models on their own. More and more companies will realize that it is time to re-focus on their core business and that the cloud can help them to do so.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Martin. Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?

Martin Heisig: Let me finally elaborate shortly on a new role of CIOs. IT purchasing power moves more to the lines of businesses (LoBs). The new role of the CIO is changing from a functional to a more strategic innovation and business enabler, the "Chief Innovation Officer." The new CIO has to stay ahead of the trends and make sure that employees can take advantage of new technology quickly. IT leaders are expected to find ways to come up with new ways of using technology to create new business opportunities and how IT contributes to the bottom line.

Cloud presents a huge opportunity for IT to drive innovation, but it also poses a challenge because the business can partner with external sources and run applications. A CIO can only be successful if there's a strong partnership and collaboration with the business. It's important for CIOs to embrace the cloud and IT's role as an integrator. This being said IT organizations need to change their mindset and the way how they operate.

I think, it's clear, that we have no option here. The cloud is a reality that one might ignore for a while but in the end this will only set you back in the transition that will anyhow happen. So, I rather like to address it heads-on and be first - and thus turn it into an advantage over competition. Nobody likes chasing up with others because of a missed advantage of a good start in the first place.

This interview originally appeared in SecuritySolutionsWatch.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...