October 31, 2012 – The biggest news for SAP to come out of last week’s Strata conference in New York was a series of partnerships intended to marry data warehousing environments with Apache Hadoop. Rather than supplant existing information architectures, SAP executives said their approach was to serve customers with SAP and partner software and hardware to leverage a mix of technologies.

“We’re running into customers and prospects who have been going down the path of Hadoop, trying to figure it all out and it’s not uncommon for them to get stalled,” says David Jonker, who heads up SAP’s big data strategy. “The open source stuff is very interesting in a mix of ways but they want to make it something that can work in their IT environment at kind of enterprise class scale.”

SAP is offering what’s called a “big data bundle” that involves Hadoop open source software partners Cloudera and Hortonworks. The deal also includes hardware partners IBM, HP and Hitachi Data Systems, which support open source frameworks and also SAP databases.

SAP products in the deal include the HANA in-memory database, the Sybase columnar database, SAP Data Integrator and the Business Objects BI suite. One strategy would allow customers with Data Integrator to read HDFS or Hive and load data into HANA or Sybase IQ for use by existing reporting and analytic tools.

The greater product mix lets companies accommodate increasing data volumes while taking advantage of columnar and in-memory analytic databases, Jonker says. “With our partners we can make it easier for customers to get the hardware and software to deploy solutions and address value where they see it.”

The companies plan to release software certifications, reference architectures and white papers for a more cohesive portfolio.