Meet Project Orca, SAP's new, Hana-based analytics tool

Due in Q4, it will be built natively on the Hana Cloud Platform

New analytics tools are popping up just about every day in the enterprise software arena, and on Tuesday, more details emerged on a brand-new offering from SAP.

Dubbed "Project Orca," the software is a cloud-based offering from the ERP giant that's slated to arrive in the fourth quarter of this year, the company confirmed.

Equipped with the new tool, business users will be able to easily sample, wrangle, combine and blend data and to quickly build and modify plans to take action, said Steve Lucas, SAP's president of platform solutions.

It will be built natively on the SAP Hana Cloud Platform, which features the company's Hana in-memory database at its core. That should enable faster processing of data and real-time business intelligence.

"All this will be delivered in a fully scalable, multi-tenant environment at a price point that enables any individual or company to sign up and get going quickly," Lucas said.

Orca will not, however, replace any of SAP's existing analytics tools delivered on-premises or in the cloud, he said.

Further details were not available.

Gartner recently identified analytics and business intelligence as a top investment priority for CIOs, and there are countless tools vying for a share of that spending. SAP's Orca is likely to face competition from Amazon as well.

Amazon Web Services is planning an analytics entry of its own, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. Dubbed "Space Needle," the tool could go head-to-head with SAP's Orca -- a potentially awkward situation given the two companies' existing collaborative relationship that lets SAP software to run on AWS.

"We’ll have to see what Amazon announces," Lucas said. "SAP and Amazon have had the least amount of overlap among the big tech vendors."

SAP partners with Amazon in some areas and competes in others, he said.

"This is the reality in the tech sector today and is the case with many of our relationships," he said. "Amazon is a strong SAP partner, and their entry into the space would help accelerate customer adoption of analytics in the cloud, which is good for all."

AWS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"It’s more the rule than the exception for large vendors to compete and partner with each other at the same time," said Strativa industry analyst Frank Scavo.

"SAP is already a major player in business intelligence and data analytics, and that hasn’t stopped Amazon from working with SAP," Scavo said. "I don’t see how these latest announcements from SAP and Amazon change that a bit."

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