Computers have become adept at extracting patterns from very large collections of data. For example, shopping transactions can reveal consumers' preferences and message traffic on social networks can reveal political trends.
SAP has added some new capabilities to SAP Vora, its in-memory distributed computing system based on Apache Spark and Hadoop. Version 1.3 of Vora includes a number of new distributed, in-memory data-processing engines, including ones for time-series data, graph data and schema-less JSON data, that accelerate complex processing. Common uses for the graph engine might be analyzing social graphs or supply chain graphs, said Ken Tsai, SAP's head of product marketing for database and data management. One application that would benefit from the new time-series engine is looking for patterns of electricity consumption in smart metering data. "You can certainly do it without the time-series engine, but it's not as efficient," Tsai said.
Machine Learning involves algorithms that learn from and make predictions on data and, generally speaking, more data means better predictions. Combine that with the vast amounts of data that most organizations are now generating, and the transformational potential of Machine Learning is nothing short of amazing. It's no surprise that Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning are two of the hottest areas in analytics today, as organizations see their potential to help with Digital Transformation. Enterprises are investing heavily with the hope of reaping big business benefits from smarter business processes & better decisions that improve their Return on Investment. Let's be honest though, many of us don't understand how the complex algorithms that make Machine Learning work translate into measureable business results, and there is so much hype that it's difficult to separate great marketing from great products.
As more organizations make serious efforts to digitally mature next year -- a surprising 74% are still early or just beginning to mature according to Deloitte's latest digital future's report -- one key question they're asking is what the right technology stack is to use as the basis. Given the breadth and depth required of most transformation efforts -- from the requisite technologies and operating processes to digital talent and business models -- the industry has learned that establishing an effective foundation for the digital future state is vital. In fact, I've found that transforming digitally on top of a strong set of digital fundamentals is a leading best practice that has been validated repeatedly as we look as recent examples of digital transformation, most notably at Nordstrom, General Electric, and TravelEx. So my trip to Barcelona a few weeks ago to SAP's information packed yearly TechEd event afforded me the opportunity to assess the company's latest platform evolution. My goal was to size it up with a lens towards assessing it as a digital transformation-ready platform.
For its next act, SAP steps up its high availability, storage tiering, database architecture design, plus additions to the analytics function library, among others. See also: SAP launches HANA 2 SAP adds Microsoft Surface Hub, big data source support to BusinessObjects Cloud SAP to make SuccessFactors available on Microsoft's Azure SAP's Q3 solid, company ups outlook and touts cloud subscriptions But SAP is planting its stake with enhancing high-availability by adding a new active/active mode that allows read-intensive workloads to be diverted to a secondary server without taking the system down. It's a feature expected of databases supporting heartbeat applications; by comparison, Oracle requires buying an enhancement of its high-availability tool. Other highlights include a new version of SAP's Architecture Designer modeling tool that allows you to reverse engineer table layouts from other databases such as Oracle or Teradata onto HANA.
SAP National Security Services, which describes itself as an independent subsidiary of the German-based software giant that's operated by U.S. citizens on American soil, works with homeland government agencies to find ways to track potential terrorists across social media. And in the national security sphere, NS2's government partners--Testoni says he's not at liberty to name specific agencies--use SAP's HANA data processing platform to analyze thousands of terabytes of data from social media and other public online sources. It also includes features for network graph analysis, automated machine learning, and sophisticated text processing that can extract meaning from written language, including online posts, according to Testoni. For ThreatConnect, HANA provides processing speed that helps clients keep track of potential security-related events happening on their networks in real time, while also reducing the number of false alarms about harmless noise, says the company's cofounder and CEO, Adam Vincent.
In 1997 IBM's Big Blue defeated chess master Garry Gasparov; In 2011 IBM Watson defeated two of Jeopardy's greatest champions; and most recently, Google's AlphaGo bested reigning champ Lee Sedol in the game of GO, a 2,500-year-old game that's exponentially more complex than chess and, form the human perspective, requires intuition as well as calculation to execute a winning strategy. Check out these expert predictions and insights into Machine Learning's impact on business: Leveraging the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to embed Machine Learning into enterprise applications was a major theme at this year's SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. SAP's Machine-Learning strategy is customer driven and application led. SAP Predictive Analysis, including its extensive library of statistical and data mining techniques and the SAP HANA predictive analytic library, combined with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for IoT and SAP HANA Vora software provides a solid foundation for a new breed of Machine-Learning enterprise applications that can predict the future (and take appropriate action) in real-time.
The Andhra Pradesh Government and SAP have signed a MoU here on Thursday to set up a start-up accelerator here. The MoU was signed by SAP Director (Start-up Focus Programme) Mayank Mathur and IT Adviser to AP Government J.A. SAP will invite ideas from prospective entrepreneurs from all over Andhra Pradesh through their website in the first week of August. AP Innovation Society CEO Nikhil Agarwal and AP Electronics and IT Agency CEO Srinivasa Murthy described the partnering of SAP with AP Government as a major milestone to boost IT in enterprise big data, analytics, internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, healthcare and agriculture.
Although the growth in volume of data sitting in HDFS has been incredible and continues to grow exponentially, much of this has been contextual data – e.g., social data, click-stream data, sensor data, logs, 3rd party data sources – and historical data. Real-time operational data – e.g., data from foundational enterprise applications such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and Supply Chain and Inventory Management (SCM) systems – has historically been maintained separately and moving data across in either direction to allow for analytics across the data set is cumbersome at best. A similar mechanism works for HANA users, where TGFs (Table Generating Functions) and Custom UDFs (User Defined functions) provide access to the full breadth of Spark's capabilities through the Smart Data Access functionality. That's why they've been adamant that any SAP Spark distribution is a Certified Spark Distribution – and hence capable of supporting the rapidly growing set of "Certified on Spark" applications and the development ecosystem.
The world's biggest tech companies are investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI): software that can learn to think and solve problems in a human-like way. Each company takes a slightly different approach to making business processes smarter through the development and deployment of machine learning, or cognitive computing. David Schatsky, head of the trend-sensing program for the US innovation team at Deloitte said at the AI Summit in London earlier this year that the big victories in artificial intelligence over the last couple of decades have all been in games, from IBM's Deep Blue mastering chess in 1997, to Deep Mind's AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol at Go this year. Read next: 10 innovative businesses using IBM Watson: Which companies are using Watson's big data and analytics to power their business?
Expanded partnerships with big cloud providers Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) were among the announcements at Sapphire Now in Orlando, Fla. SAP said it will deliver broader support for SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure to enable big data apps to run while still being protected by enterprise-level security and compliance. SAP said that Amazon's new instances, called X1, are available for SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and SAP Business Warehouse on HANA. Dell and SAP are also collaborating on an IoT effort, including an IoT client for SAP HANA and transaction availability for remote suites working in connection with Dell Edge Gateways for industries such as oil and gas, and retail. Finally this week, AtScale, a company that provides a self-service BI platform that works with Hadoop data, has secured a B-round of funding that brings its total funding to date to 20 million.