German tech giant says rivals’ in-memory platforms are to blame for HANA ‘confusion’.
SAP claims its rivals have misled businesses over the potential of in-memory databases, saying Oracle’s solution is "rooted in the early ’70s".
Senior VP for database and technology, Irfan Khan, blamed SAP’s competitors for figures that suggest eight in 10 SAP customers struggling with big data won’t use its own in-memory platform, HANA.
He told CBR: "I don’t have any concerns that our customers don’t know what HANA is, but I do have a concern that they’re being dictated to by the incumbents in the industry that are far behind in terms of capabilities.
"If you go into an ironmonger’s and everything you see is nails, they’re only going to sell you a hammer."
HANA has 3,200 customers and more than 600,000 active users, according to the German ERP firm, while it serves as a development platform for 1,200 startups and 4,000 resellers.
UK & Ireland SAP User Group, which released the figures in May, suggested SAP could provide more customer stories to spur adoption, but Khan said its rivals in the in-memory space were responsible for playing down the potential of the technology.
"Other vendors are trying to dictate to them in terms of what they can and cannot do today," he said.
IBM, Teradata and Microsoft all have their own in-memory options to speed up data processing, but SAP has championed HANA, released in 2010, as a platform on which firms can run their entire businesses.
Oracle announced Database In-Memory back in early June, widely seen as a boon to its hundreds of thousands of existing customers, who could run it as part of an update to Oracle Database 12c come August.
Its product management VP, Tim Shetler, said at the time: "Within a year we’ll have more companies running on our in-memory option than all the others combined."
But SAP’s Khan slammed Oracle’s approach to in-memory. "We at SAP don’t believe it’s an option, we believe it’s an intrinsic part of the platform," he said.
"Oracle 12c is fundamentally ‘let’s do everything that we used to do and here’s this option for those edge conditions where some customers may feel in-memory is a benefit to them’."
He added: "I’ve got to congratulate them on one front, because when you have something rooted in the early ’70s of technology [its SQL relational database], it’s not easy.
"It reminded me of those combination players – a VHS player with a Blu-ray player stacked on top. That’s basically what they’ve introduced into the market."
CBR has approached Oracle for comment.