SAP has since ported HANA to its Business Warehouse data warehousing platform, which has some 16,000 implementations around the world. While SAP still intends to roll out a series of specialized HANA applications, the BW integration will help it make "real money" on HANA, Snabe said.
It will be a painless transition for customers, he claimed. "The first customer went live, and it took two weeks," he said. "This is not a high-touch consulting effort."
In fact, a move to a HANA-based Business Warehouse is paid back by the infrastructure savings alone, Snabe claimed.
He stressed that SAP has no interest in getting into the hardware game itself, given the double-threat posed by rapidly increasing processing power alongside sharply falling costs.
Snabe also took a sideways shot at rival Oracle and its growing family of integrated data-processing appliances.
"Our competitor is saying well, you cannot optimize a system without having control of the hardware," he said. "We're not disputing that. We're just saying we think we can control the hardware without owning it." SAP issues firm specifications to partners for the hardware needed to run HANA, he said.
In this way, SAP avoids "going into a very complicated business with low margins that's undergoing a transformation," he said.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.