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.

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

SAP repeatedly made two different statements about HANA’s growth.

  1. HANA is the fastest growing product in SAP’s history.
  2. 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 at the time that 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. But both statements are incorrect. And they are inaccurate by a substantial amount.

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.

Advice on Enjoying the HANA Quiz

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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.

Financial Disclosure

Financial Bias Disclosure

Neither this article nor any other article on the Brightwork website is paid for by a software vendor, including Oracle, SAP or their competitors. As part of our commitment to publishing independent, unbiased research; no paid media placements, commissions or incentives of any nature are allowed.

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