Long rumored (see my colleague’s Doug Henschen pre-acquisition take here) and now it’s official, SAP has acquired Altiscale, a Big Data as a Service vendor.


So let’s dissect the press release in our customary style – it can be found here:

Today, September 27, SAP officially announces its completed acquisition of Altiscale, which provides a high-performance, scalable Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) solution that uniquely includes full operational services.
[…] Altiscale will operate as a focused and integrated BDaaS offering from SAP to help accelerate and operationalize Big Data deployment in the enterprise.

MyPOV – Good point on what Altiscale does and how it helps, key SAP will keep operating Altiscale. Important for existing customers, but also going forward.
Several key factors drove SAP’s decision to acquire Altiscale.
The two companies have complementary approaches to implementing enterprise Big Data solutions. SAP has taken the approach to build its distributed based on deep understanding of requirements coming from enterprise applications, analytics, data platform, data warehousing and cloud platform. Altiscale has focused on cloud and data infrastructure with its Altiscale Data Cloud offering, which starts with a highly optimized cloud infrastructure, continues with a Spark and Hadoop data platform.
Altiscale is a natural fit for SAP, as we share our overall focus of helping enterprises derive business value from data – and successfully leverage Big Data. Since Altiscale is a leader in Big Data-as-a-Service based on Hadoop and Spark, it enables SAP to drive end-to-end value in Big Data across the technology, data platform, PaaS, analytics, and application stack.
Altiscale offers high job performance, reliability, and economic performance for Hadoop and Spark in the cloud. It has an established and very satisfied customer base that includes a variety of industries, including financial services, telecommunications, media, ad tech, and marketing analytics.
SAP’s initial foray into Big Data processing began with its investment in SAP HANA Vora, a distributed computing framework that extends Spark’s execution engine to address some key inefficiencies in processing Big Data for business use. Through this experience, SAP saw the unique challenges faced by businesses in the provisioning, scaling, and operation of Hadoop in a production environment. Altiscale directly addresses these challenges, providing the customer with full-service Hadoop and Spark in the cloud to boost performance, eliminate roadblocks, and accelerate customer go-live. The combination of Altiscale and SAP HANA Vora will enable SAP to provide a holistic and accelerated Big Data solution, allowing businesses to quickly achieve positive business impact from Big Data.
Altiscale is a great fit beyond SAP’s Big Data strategy. It is also integrates well with a number of SAP strategic initiatives, such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, IoT, analytics, LoB cloud apps, and business networks. Altiscale’s Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS) capabilities enable SAP to offer a much more comprehensive and robust enterprise solution that meets the unique needs of customers on their digital transformation journey.

MyPOV – All points describe well how Altiscale is a fit for SAP: SAP has been slow warming up to Hadoop – as stated SAP HANA Vora was the first foray – but lots of questions had to be addressed till SAP would from in memory SAP HANA and SAP HANA Vora to ‘spinning rust’ on HDDs managed by Hadoop. This is truly complimentary to SAP – has Altiscale offers yhat SAP does not have and would have had to build from scratch: The dynamic provisioning of large scale BigData implementation for its customers.
There are many use cases for Altiscale in the following areas and industries:
IoT: Uses include manufacturing, utilities, transportation, smart cities, and more.
Financial services: Applications include fraud detection, cybersecurity, and achieving a 360-degree customer view.
Media: Examples include advertising optimization and recommendation engines.
Ad tech and marketing analytics: Uses include multi-channel analytics and advertising attribution.
Pharmaceutical: Drug research, market segmentation, and supply chain optimization are all examples.
Telecommunications: Altiscale can be used to optimize billing and facilitate churn analysis.
 MyPOV – Exactly, it is at the end not about Hadoop and BDaaS (which both are key for SAP extending functional capability and use cases as well as addressing the Hadoop know how / expert shortage questions) – but ultimately all technology is about enabling customer benefits through powering hands on use cases. It’s a good list. Sticklers will note the absence of security, which Altiscale featured high, replaced now with what matters to SAP customers at the moment – IoT). Fair enough 
SAP and Altiscale are currently working to synchronize both companies’ technology, products and market perspectives. We will be systematically evolving the Altiscale Data Cloud for integration into the SAP portfolio. […]
MyPOV – No surprise – looking forward to learning more specifics on the roadmap.
As we go forward, SAP remains committed to honoring all customer contracts and ensuring high customer satisfaction. SAP and Altiscale will work closely with customers in the coming months to determine how SAP’s future Big Data and other data analytics offerings can best meet each customer’s unique needs.
MyPOV – Good to see SAP honoring Altiscale contract – especially in BDaaS, because – it is BigData.

Overall MyPOV

A good move by SAP – that needed to have native Hadoop, HDD based BigData capabilities to operate use cases where in memory was either commercially or not even technically feasible. With Altiscale SAP now only addresses this part – but also the know-how challenge that is surrounding BigData. At Constellation we see more than 66% of BigData projects that are live and delivering value seeing interruption because of know how-issues, vendor changes, new software, new consultants etc. So SAP gains both product capabilities and services capabilities, the combination is crucial.

On the concern side, SAP took long to get here and needs to move fast. Clarity on where data resides, which IaaS platforms will be supported etc. needs to come soon, as enterprises make decisions on the providers and platforms for their next generation applications. SAP is always in the picture for ERP content, how much SAP can be in the picture for more of the next generation applications business will be determined by speed and clarity on moving to full Hadoop support.

But for now a truly synergistic acquisition for SAP, which also gets a Hadoop pioneer and its team with Raymie Stata, let’s see how far and fast it can get SAP to power a more complete set of next generation applications – that always need… Hadoop.

And more on SAP
  • First Take - SAP BW/4HANA - Data Gravity and Cloud win - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SConnect - Push on all fronts - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Insider Vienna - HCP, BI and SuccessFactors are the takeaways - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Sapphire 2016 - Top 3 Positives & Concerns: SAP changes - probably for the better - read here
  • First Take - SAP Sapphire Day #2 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and Microsoft usher in new era of partnership to accelerate digital transformation in the cloud - read here
  • First Take -  SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • Event Preview - SAP Sapphire 2016 - What to expect and look for - read here
  • News Analysis - Apple & SAP Partner to Revolutionize Work on iPhone & iPad - read here
  • Progress Report - SAP SuccessFactors makes good progress - now needs appeal beyond SAP - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP HANA Vora now available... - A key milestone for SAP - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Ariba Live - Make Procurement Cool Again - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors innovates in Performance Management with continuous feedback powered by 1 to 1s  - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo - read here
  • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
  • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
  • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
  • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
  • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
  • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
  • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
  • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here
  • First Take - SAP's IoT strategy becomes clearer - read here
  • SAP appoints a CTO - some musings - read here
  • Event Report - SAP's SAPtd - (Finally) more talk on PaaS, good progress and aligning with IBM and Oracle - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP and IBM partner for cloud success - good news - read here
  • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
  • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
  • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
  • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
  • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
  • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
  • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
  • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
  • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
  • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
  • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
  • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
  • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
  • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
  • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
  • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
  • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here
And more about SAP technology:
  • Event Prieview - SAP TechEd 2015 - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP Unveils New Cloud Platform Services and In-Memory Innovation on Hadoop to Accelerate Digital Transformation – A key milestone for SAP read here
  • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
  • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
  • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
  • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
  • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
  • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
  • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
  • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
  • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
  • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
  • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
  • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.

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