SAP lures startups to its Startup Forum in Paris

Aug 21, 2012
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Earlier this month, SAP announced that its startup event, the SAP Startup Forum, is coming to Paris on September 6th. The event hopes to bring together startups using SAP HANA, an application and analytics management system intended to help early stage startups grow. The forum event comes just months after the launch of its Startup Focus Program earlier this year.

SAP HANA: Late to the game?

With multinationals like Microsoft and Amazon already beckoning startups in promises of IT infrastructure, mentoring, and even money, one must wonder whether SAP is a too late to appeal to developers. Focusing on their ability to process big data, SAP invites SAP ABAP developers and non-SAP developers to their environment, saying

“While simplifying the IT stack, it provides powerful features like: significant processing speed, the ability to handle big data, predictive capabilities and text mining capabilities.”

ZDNet reported earlier this year that SAP was now offering HANA for free after they found that even fellow SAP developers were saying “So what?” to the idea of switching from their  ABAP environment to HANA, although developers admit an initial ‘wow’ moment, citing that HANA improves big data processing tremendously.

Getting back to its Roots

Talk to a French entrepreneur about the startup ecosystem, and Business Objects is likely to come up. Back in the 90’s, SAP was making several acquisitions from great companies, but it seems to have lost its startup roots. Hopefully a move towards tailoring their services towards startups isn’t just following the wave of other multi-nationals who realize that betting on 100 startups pays itself off in full if any one of them succeeds – this is the attitude that has driven most startup programs in the past, when it could have just as easily been “if any one of these startups innovates in a way that is complementary to our business strategy, we could purchase them before any one else gets their hands on them.”

For early stage startups just getting started and planning on processing a lot of data (that should be everyone), I recommend taking a look at SAP HANA, as there is a lot of case studies from other startups. Regardless, I can’t imagine why a startup wouldn’t apply to the Startup Forum. For startups not located in Paris, the event is also simultaneously taking place in Dublin, Singapore, and Sydney the following week.