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Driving Client-Focused Innovation

IBM is partnering with SAP to foster client innovation.

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August 2019 marks the fourth anniversary of SAP releasing HANA on the IBM Power Systems* platform. As we look back at what we achieved, we have to say thank you to all the clients, business partners and SAP teams who made us successful in a highly competitive market.

From the very start, our focus was to address the pain points of clients who were already burning money on hardware appliances that often failed and needed to be replaced as certifications expired, but before reaching the expected ROI. This differentiated our SAP HANA on POWER* offering and clients found value in it.

Lessons Learned From Successful Migrations

The results have been fantastic! We now have over 2,500 clients worldwide representing all industries and company sizes—from the largest multinational conglomerates with logos we all recognize to small startups and local companies. These successes include clients who are using Power Systems servers on-premises and hybrid deployments where production is on premises (with Power Systems servers) and non-production is on a public cloud (running x86 or Power*).

One question we often got from analysts and clients was, “Is IBM simply shifting clients from AIX* or IBM i to Linux*?” The answer was and still is “no.” Looking back at almost 16 quarters, we see that clients who were running their mission-critical applications on AIX or IBM i are more likely to continue to invest in those technologies now that HANA also runs on the same hardware (with Linux). We’ve also been very successful acquiring net new clients who only know POWER servers as Linux servers for HANA and SAP applications.

Partnering With SAP

Early on, we had to fight against FUD campaigns from x86 server vendors who blurred the line between ethical and unethical with claims like: “IBM Power Systems was so unimportant for SAP HANA development that SAP had given IBM its own copy of HANA code for IBM to maintain on our own.” The reality is, over the last four years, SAP and IBM jointly unleashed HANA capabilities and functionalities that, quite often, were available first on IBM Power Systems and not on x86—LPARs without virtualization restrictions, the capability to address greater than 24 TB memory space regardless of how much memory was officially supported, shared processor pools, etc.

With the recent announcement of support for shared processor pools in production for IBM Power Systems, IBM and SAP have reached a technology inflection point that will allow even faster adoption of SAP HANA by clients that will be able to deploy more HANA with fewer physical hardware resources. In essence, shared processor pools for SAP HANA is the “appliance-killer” that many clients have been eager to find and allows SAP HANA deployment to be done with all of the benefits of virtualization and none of the restrictions.

While our competitors often seem to spend more money on campaigns to spread misinformation than on innovative solutions, the IBM Power Systems platform will continue to deliver technology that enables clients to be innovators in their industries. Three of our clients—Coop, Technical University of Munich and Indus Motors Company—won the SAP Innovation Award 2019.

Going forward, clients can continue to expect the same client-focused innovation that SAP and IBM have brought to market, including memory technologies that give clients persistent solutions without performance degradation of x86. Stay tuned for more advancements! 

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