Can Microsoft’s SQL Server 2014 Compete with SAP HANA?

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CEO Satya Nadella took the lid off several new innovations from Microsoft with the launch of SQL Server 2014. But what’s got many people buzzing is the so-called “big data in a box” appliance that could help Microsoft compete against the likes of SAP.

SQL Server 2014 is the latest version of the industry’s most deployed database. After announcing the new software, Nadella shared the company’s path to deliver a platform for the next era of “ambient intelligence.” Ambient intelligence deals with electronic environments that are both sensitive and responsive to people’s presence. It’s one vision for the future of consumer electronics.

“Developing the ability to convert data into the fuel for ambient intelligence is an ambitious challenge. It requires technology to understand context, derive intent and separate signal from noise,” said Nadella. “Building out a comprehensive platform that can enable this kind of ambient intelligence is a whole company initiative that we are uniquely qualified to undertake.”

The Benefits of Big Data

At the launch event, Nadella stressed the importance of a data culture — one that encourages curiosity, action and experimentation — for everyone and every organization. Also showcased were the results of a new IDC study that demonstrates the clear benefits for companies that take a comprehensive data approach. Specifically, these companies realize an additional 60 percent return on data assets. IDC figures it’s a $ 1.6 trillion opportunity worldwide.

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