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“Speed alone is of little value if you’re headed the wrong way,” SAP’s lars.dalgaard2 said in his Wired blog post Wednesday. “The combination of direction and speed is critical as companies extend and evolve their current IT systems and lines of business applications for the 21st century workplace.”

“HANA is the biggest innovation in the last 20 years in business software,” SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe told SAPPHIRE NOW during Wednesday’s keynote.

It’s not enough to be fast -- you might just race yourself off a cliff. You’ve got to be in control. And you’ve got to know exactly where you’re going.

“I call this Business Velocity,” said Dalgaard, a member of both SAP’s executive and global managing boards. “Business Velocity is about empowering companies to out-execute competitors by engaging their customers, partners, and employees in new ways to innovate and create deeper relationships, and empowering them to execute at scale.”

Full Speed Ahead

Dalgaard’s post goes on to extol the profound value of cloud computing, which he surely would have done at the SAPPHIRE NOW keynote Wednesday. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend SAP’s annual conference in Orlando.

But speed and direction were both part of SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe’s keynote on Wednesday. SAP will continue its primary focus on the customer, recommending in-memory for all data and the cloud for all systems.

“We are committed to deliver the most exciting user experience in the industry,” Snabe said. “Business evolves through innovation.”

Flying high and innovating in the cloud won’t be the only thing on SAP’s agenda. Snabe also set SAP’s course for mobile and in-memory.

“HANA is the biggest innovation in the last 20 years in business software,” Snabe said. Around 1,500 customers are using SAP HANA, which provides real-time optimization of business processes while reducing consumption.

Setting the Record Straight

SAPPHIRE NOW has also been an opportunity to clear up misperceptions about SAP’s flagship in-memory platform. For example, some are under the impression that HANA isn’t a database.

“The reality is that HANA is a complete platform of application services for database,” John Appleby, global head of Business Analytics & Technology at London-based global management consultancy Bluefin Solutions, told SiliconANGLE on Wednesday. “It’s the end-to-end, it keeps your information safe, secure, and it makes it fast.”

Fast is only part of the equation, as Dalgaard noted in Wired. When a firm clearly defines the plan, and gets its employees, clients and partners on the same page, it can truly run better and outcompete its rivals.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

Related Media:

Velocity Wins in Today’s Fast-Changing Business World” in Wired Innovation Insights

Live Blog: Sapphire Now, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe on HANA in the Enterprise” in The VAR Guy

Have We Been Properly Introduced? Dispelling Misconceptions About SAP HANA” in Silicon ANGLE