How Accurate Was SAP on HANA Growth?

Executive Summary

  • What SAP Said About HANA as the Fastest Growing Product In SAP’s History
  • HANA has not grown anything like SAP predicted and has stopped growing as of 2013.

Video Introduction: What SAP Said About HANA as the Fastest Growing Product In SAP’s History

Text Introduction (Skip if You Watched the Video)

SAP repeatedly made two different statements about HANA’s growth. One is that HANA is the fastest growing product in SAP’s history. A second is that HANA is the fastest growing software product in the history of the world. These are two vastly different statements, although it did not seem apparent how different they were when Bill McDermott made these statements. No database can be the fastest growing software product of all time because this would put that database in competition with products that are far less expensive and broadly purchased, which means video games and apps. You will learn how accurate SAP was on HANA’s growth.

Our References for This Article

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Notice of Lack of Financial Bias: We have no financial ties to SAP or any other entity mentioned in this article.

  • This is published by a research entity, not some lowbrow entity that is part of the SAP ecosystem. 
  • Second, no one paid for this article to be written, and it is not pretending to inform you while being rigged to sell you software or consulting services. Unlike nearly every other article you will find from Google on this topic, it has had no input from any company's marketing or sales department. As you are reading this article, consider how rare this is. The vast majority of information on the Internet on SAP is provided by SAP, which is filled with false claims and sleazy consulting companies and SAP consultants who will tell any lie for personal benefit. Furthermore, SAP pays off all IT analysts -- who have the same concern for accuracy as SAP. Not one of these entities will disclose their pro-SAP financial bias to their readers. 

What Actually Happened with HANA’s Growth?

In the article How Popular is SAP HANA? We question SAP’s statements regarding popularity. We quoted Peter Goldmacher, an analyst who asked SAP’s statements about HANA’s growth back in 2013.

“If we take management at its word and believe that HANA’s two-year license growth [rate] through FY13 is about 120 percent, then this means that the other 90 percent of SAP’s license business, Apps and BI, is growing at … roughly 2 percent, materially below category growth rates … Our research and experience lead us to believe that SAP is allocating product revenue subjectively and that this is resulting in an inflated HANA growth rate.”

SAP pushed back hard on this analysis, but Peter ended up being right. DB-Engines, which tracks database popularity, contradicted SAP’s claims about HANA’s reputation. HANA is far more popular than a product like S/4HANA, for instance, but it is not close to the fastest growing database of all time. It has never been in its history, even a particularly fast growing database.

If we were Politifact, SAP’s claims here would receive the “Pants on Fire” designation.

Conclusion and Calculation

SAP receives a 0% accuracy rating on SAP being the fastest growing SAP product or the fastest growing software product in history.

Link to the Parent Article

This is one of many research articles on a specific topic that support a larger research calculation. For the overview of the research calculation for all of the SAP topics that were part of the study, see the following primary research A Study into SAP’s Accuracy.