Sunday, February 23, 2014

When is SAP HANA right for you?

If you’re reading this blog, SAP HANA has caught your attention. By now, you’ve probably heard a significant amount about SAP HANA. It’s the next-generation platform with blazing speed, real-time reporting, and powerful analytics, able to capitalize on unprecedented opportunities and deliver significant competitive advantages. As the SAP HANA topic has matured, you’ve probably also heard of different ways to deploy it in your business; solutions such as SAP Business Suite accelerators, SAP HANA applications, SAP BW on HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and more.
You’ve possibly heard so much in fact that you feel the need to take a step back and ask – so what does it all mean to me? It’s fast – great. It can help me – fine. But, where do I start, and how do I take advantage of it? Do accelerators help me? Should I start with SAP BW on SAP HANA? Does the introduction of SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA now change everything? Like other break-through innovations, SAP HANA on its own will not deliver value.
But, SAP HANA applied to a particular business problem or challenge can deliver exceptional value. So, if you still have some questions about whether SAP HANA is right for you, or more importantly, how it’s right for you, then read on to determine how best to realize value from SAP HANA.
sap-hanaWhen evaluating SAP HANA for your business, remember to keep the following in mind: (1) how can HANA help my business? (2) what type of HANA solution do I need to achieve this? (3) how should I plan my deployment strategy? These high level concepts are summarized below in Figure 1, as well as further examined in the text which follows.
1. Understanding Value Opportunities in Your Business: before deploying SAP HANA, an organization should take the time to understand where SAP HANA can deliver maximum benefit based on your business goals. Some examples to consider:
a.Are analytics a problem in your organization? Do you have plans to grow the business, but need to stay lean in terms of your total operations? Would access to real-time information allow you to accomplish that more economically? Are you an SAP BW customer, looking to improve the way you deploy your analytics today?
b.What about your day-to-day business processes? If you could run your materials planning processes faster or differently, would that change your business? For Consumer Products, do you have access into the real-time demand in your various markets, allowing you to focus on the right ones? For Retail, could you grow customer loyalty and in-store excellence through access to customer data by your sales personnel while your customers are still in the store?
c.Finally, are there new business processes you could create today, something that could transform your business but you haven’t thought about doing because of technical limitations? Could a new application be developed, purpose-built to bring these new ideas to reality? For Healthcare, is there a way to manage patient data, allowing you to better serve patients or deliver medical care.
2. Map Value Opportunities to SAP HANA Solutions: once an organization understands the business value – how SAP HANA can enable business solutions – you next need to understand how to implement SAP HANA. As identified in the opening to this blog, SAP continues to enhance HANA and offer additional capabilities.

Business Story: Managing the Sweet Business of Sugar with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

From a teaspoon or two in our morning coffee to that oh-so-decadent desert covered in chocolate and caramel, we certainly love our sugar. So consider this: The world consumes more than 165 million tons of sugar each year, according to estimates. That’s an average of about 23 kilograms (roughly 50 pounds) for every man, woman and child on the planet.

No doubt about it, sugar is big business
In the United States, the Florida Crystals Corporation is a giant of the sugar industry. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, it is a privately owned, vertically integrated operation that takes sugar all the way from the cane field to the store shelf. It farms some 185,000 acres in Florida, where it also owns two sugar mills, a sugar refinery, a packaging and distribution center, a rice mill and what is arguably the largest renewable power plant in North America.
In recent years, the company has grown far beyond the Sunshine State. Acquisitions and global expansion have made Florida Crystals the world’s largest sugar refiner, with an annual production capacity of around 7 million tons. Florida Crystals and its subsidiaries deliver some of the best-known brand names in the business: Domino, Jack Frost, C&H, Redpath and Tate & Lyle.
All this might sound like a pretty sweet deal, but this kind of success only happens when your current operations run smoothly and your future vision stays clear. And these days, Florida Crystals is harvesting a bumper crop of both business efficiencies and clarity.
Recipe for Success
That’s because Florida Crystals uses SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service to power a full stack of SAP ERP application software for everything from finance and materials management to sales and distribution, as the company’s Vice President and CIO Don Whittington described in a recent SAP video. Florida Crystals is speeding up core business processes and getting information faster than ever before from across its extensive supply chain. As a result, the company is providing faster response and delivery to its customers.
SAP HANA represents “a new frontier,” Whittington stated, and the business agility it enables is both liberating and extremely empowering.
“Our workforce can move from transactional to analytical,” Whittington said. “When your day is no longer spent running transactions, you have time to take the results of those transactions and use that to a business advantage.”
And Florida Crystals can do it all with the speed and breadth of analysis made possible by SAP HANA.
Sweet Leftovers
The company is also changing the sugar industry in ways that might affect all of us.
Florida Crystals is already using leftover sugar cane fiber to produce clean, environmentally-friendly electricity that powers the company’s sugar operations, as well as 60,000 Florida homes. The company is also partnering with leading universities to develop cellulosic ethanol from sugar cane after the sucrose juice has been extracted.
So, no need to choose between food and fuel. That’s good because millions of us look forward to taking our morning coffee just the way we like it. For me, that’s with one and a half teaspoons of sugar, please. 01_SAP_HANA_powered_by_R_neg