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.
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