Enterprise software giant SAP has unveiled a 'unified' cloud strategy this week, which will see its cloud products supported by its in-memory database technology, HANA, within one or two years.

The move indicates SAP's dedication to the HANA platform and complements its announcement last week that HANA will now be offered as a third-party managed cloud service. In recent years SAP's focus on HANA has been the ability to run analytics in real-time, but has since revealed capabilities to run full ERP, CRM and SCM apps in-memory.

The company said this week at its annual customer and partner event in Orlando that the "SAP HANA Cloud Platform will serve as the foundation for the full portfolio of cloud solutions from SAP".

SAP's cloud portfolio covers a number of companies it has acquired in recent years, such as SuccessFactors and Ariba, as well as SAP Cloud for Financials and SAP Cloud for Travel.

Computerworld UK spoke to Sven Denecken, SAP's vice president of strategy for Cloud, and Roy Andrew Ng, senior vice president of business operations, who explained that the roadmap for getting cloud products on HANA has already begun and its progression will be rapid.

Ng said that SuccessFactors and Ariba had already begun using HANA for analytics, as this was where SAP "found the performance gain to be most obvious".

When asked how long customers could expect to wait for the likes of SuccessFactors and Ariba to be on HANA, Denecken said: "Roadmaps in the cloud are usually one or two years because the innovation speed in the quarters is so big.

"But we are also looking for new solutions, to build new kinds of solutions using the power of the [HANA] technology, so for me that roadmap will never end."

However, Ng said that the use of HANA is unlikely to be at the forefront of customer's minds when enquiring about the cloud, he said that they are simply interested in the speed that the application and its capabilities can be delivered.

"It's almost irrelevant for the customer whether the underlying technology is the HANA database or not. Are they getting the business applications at the speed that they want? Have we satisfied their business requirements? This is especially true on the analytics side."