This IDC Energy Insights Perspective studies the recent SAP SAPPHIRE NOW event in Orlando, Florida, and examines what the event and the SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA announcements made at the event mean for the utility industry.
SAP has continued to develop its in-memory SAP HANA database technology, the SAP HANA platform, and the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, the next generation of which is SAP S/4HANA. With multiple technical pieces to the SAP HANA story, developing a SAP HANA strategy will be approached differently by different utilities.
While SAP has built a solid set of value propositions for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA, utilities may get the feeling that SAP is still building the case for SAP S/4HANA as a strategic imperative. Particularly given the predominance of heavily customized systems in the utility industry, the SAP utility customers that could stand to gain the most from migrating to a modern platform such as SAP S/4HANA may also find it the most difficult to justify and execute. Still, SAP presented some very good stories at SAPPHIRE as to what leading utilities are doing.