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SAP HANA and Esri integration leads to geospatial database platform

SAP and Esri are combining SAP HANA's in-memory database capabilities with Esri geospatial applications, and utilities are taking advantage to integrate GIS and enterprise data.

SAP and Esri are deepening their geospatial relationship, announcing at DistribuTECH 2018 that Esri now fully supports...

SAP HANA as an enterprise geospatial database. SAP HANA has been integrated with Esri's geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analytics applications for a few years, but this latest moves enhances the advanced visualizations capabilities of Esri's applications further.

The Esri geospatial database can now take advantage of the underlying processing speed and power of the in-memory HANA database to better integrate enterprise system data with geospatial data and improve the performance and scalability of geospatial applications, according to Matthew Zenus, global vice president of database and data management and solution go-to-market efforts at SAP.

The combination of SAP and Esri brings location intelligence to enterprise data and applications, allowing businesses to develop applications that use spatial analytics and advanced visualizations and embed geospatial data into core business processes. "GIS and mapping, combined with the richness of business data and business processes, is a very powerful combination that can benefit every industry," Jack Dangermond, Esri's founder and president, said in a press release. "Together, SAP and Esri are making GIS, mapping, advanced visualizations and spatial analytics available to everyone across the enterprise."

Utilities take on SAP HANA-based Esri apps

Utilities are among those organizations that are taking advantage of Esri applications, like ArcGIS, on the SAP HANA database.

  • The Omaha Metropolitan Utilities District, a political subdivision and public corporation that operates the drinking water and natural gas systems for Omaha, Neb., and surrounding areas, now deploys Esri's ArcGIS on SAP HANA to provide its field personnel with more timely and powerful analytics that simplify and digitalize its manual utility inspection system. According to the utility, it's deploying Esri ArcGIS directly on SAP HANA, which allows it to perform real-time analytics on business data without having to use manual data preparation and conversion processes. This reduces IT efforts, increases the timeliness and accuracy of analysis, and improves the effectiveness and efficiency of field operations.
  • Fairfax Water, Virginia's largest water utility, which provides clean drinking water to nearly 2 million people, is expected to use an Esri enterprise geodatabase supported by HANA. This will allow the utility to geo-enable its organization to ensure customers receive the highest possible water quality, according to the company. It is anticipated that by using the Esri geodatabase supported by SAP HANA it will simplify Fairfax Water's IT landscape, increase processing performance, provide seamless integration between enterprise SAP data and Esri GIS data, and allow the entire organization to be geo-enabled.

Providing a competitive advantage

This further deepening of SAP's integration with the Esri geospatial database provides users who want to combine geospatial data and enterprise data a clear competitive advantage and differentiation, Zenus said.

"To that end, at SAP, we have geo-enabled our entire stack, including our Business Suite, analytics, line-of-business cloud apps, SAP Cloud Platform and SAP HANA," Zenus said. "Geo-enabling the business for the intelligent enterprise is more than about just putting points on a map; it's about better insights, improved business decisions and, ultimately, to unlock innovation."

Esri requires an underlying database as the platform for its applications like Esri ArcPro and Esri ArcGIS to create, version and publish maps, and having SAP HANA as that database helps those overlapping customers that SAP has with Esri, particularly in asset- and location-intensive industries, like public sector, oil and gas and utilities, according to Zenus. 

This is something that many SAP companies have been asking for, he continued, because it can help them make better, faster critical business and operational decisions.

"Customers who have either adopted HANA or are adopting HANA have been asking for this capability for a while, so it's a big deal," Zenus said. "They can now run both their system of record for their enterprise data, like SAP, on the same platform as their system of record for geospatial data, Esri. This leads to better performance, platform consolidation, lower TCO [total cost of ownership] and administration costs and, ultimately, that seamless access between GIS and enterprise data."

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