SAP's HANA database aims at Oracle

SAP AG, the German business software giant whose US arm is based in Newtown Square, has started selling "a sizeable catalist to the company's business" -- the HANA in-memory database program tied to SAP Business Suite -- reports Yun Kim, software analyst at Janney Capital Markets in Philadelphia.

Kim told investors he's called corporate software users and found "a pent-up demand for HANA," which should boost SAP sales "much like how Exadata provided a sizeable sales lift" for SAP rival Oracle.

But SAP's new products are "not a near-term threat" to Oracle's core database business, and "the near-term impact will be minimal" since it's expensive to switch, Kim added. Rather, HANA strengthens SAP's position as a long-term competitor, Kim argues. He says SAP currently trades at a discount -- just 18X 2013 expected earnings, bleow the industry average of 20X; he argues it's underpriced.