Another telling indication of HANA's success is the fact that customers in every region around the world have made second purchases of it, Sikka said.
CSC is in the process of implementing HANA, said David McCue, vice president and CIO, in an interview. The first production instance will involve about 1TB of data, but CSC is still figuring out exactly what types of jobs it plans to run, he added.
HANA is "a young product," but also a viable one, McCue said. CSC grew confident enough to buy in after it performed a number of implementations on behalf of clients, he said.
McCue offered a measured view of SAP's long-term plan for HANA. "If materially realized, it will have a very good return," he said. "Certainly [HANA] has demonstrated in its current version that it has enough substance to make it worth looking at. But like any visions that stretch over several years, events will occur that will cause tweaking of it as we go."
Also Tuesday, SAP touched upon its cloud software strategy, which was recently shaken up by its $3.4 billion purchase of SuccessFactors. The on-demand HCM (human capital management) vendor's CEO, Lars Dalgaard, will be put in charge of SAP's cloud business once the deal closes.
The acquisition came after SAP had spent a few years fine-tuning exactly how it wanted to approach cloud-based software. This is not a small task for vendors such as SAP, which are dependent on the on-premise software model and its predictable, lucrative perpetual-license-plus-annual-maintenance revenue stream, a construct upended by the subscription pricing common in the cloud.
But SAP still has time to figure it out, and SuccessFactors' experience will be a key asset, co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said during a keynote address. "Eighty percent of large customers have not made up their minds about their cloud strategy, and they think in private cloud terms. You see only the edge applications outsourced to [public cloud services] for now."
"The combination of our assets and SuccessFactors moves us from a company that has been trying to get it right ... to one that will accelerate rapidly in this world," he added. "We're now going from a defensive mode to an offensive mode."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com