June 27, 2013
SAP’s baby girl is coming into her own, she turned 2 last week and has come a long way in a short time. We at Vendavo have something special for her birthday present…THE killer app. As SAP HANA matures, there has been a lot of talk about what the killer app for HANA is. There are a number of innovative uses for HANA – if you have been to SAPPHIRE or done much research on it, you will know that the solutions HANA is powering go far beyond traditional Enterprise problems. There are some really cool applications of HANA, but at the end of the day, SAP is an Enterprise software company. I believe that HANA will prove to be a disruptive technology in Enterprise software, but the applications it powers are what will make it truly game changing.
That led me to think, what would the killer app for HANA look like? Let’s break it down by looking at the key characteristics it would need:
1. The problem the solution solves is urgent, in other words companies that are experiencing the problem understand the need to solve it and the benefits of solving the problem are clear.
2. The problem is pervasive: it exists across companies of varying size in multiple industries, markets, and geographies.
3. The speed and scale of HANA enable a solution to the problem that was previously too costly or not possible.
4. There is a clear ROI that makes the investment worthwhile.
With that in mind, I would contend that Price and Margin Management that enables more Profitable Selling is THE Killer App. Why?
1. It is urgent: Companies are in business to make profits, and since the downturn, they are increasingly looking for ways to increase profitability. Pricing is a proven lever in improving profitability.
2. It is pervasive: Suboptimal pricing processes and practices exist in a dozen industries, span mid-market to large enterprises, and occur in all geographies.
3. The speed and scale of HANA enable a solution to the problem that was previously too costly and time consuming: The in-memory speed combined with reduced ETL and simplified data architecture make a previously impossible to solve problem now affordable to address.
4. Clear ROI: Price and margin management is, simply put, the most valuable enterprise software investment most companies can make. Returns of 3%-7% on sales of pure profit are proven, demonstrable, and measurable.
Is there another HANA powered application that can provide that kind of value by solving an urgent and pervasive problem? If so, I would love to hear about it.