SAP Business Suite Runs On Hana – What Does That Mean For The Ecosystem?


Today, SAP announced that suite will now run on Hana. It was my first event as an SAP employee and it was fun. I even joined Vishal on a blogger meeting 🙂 . I just wanted to post some thoughts on what it means to SAP ecosystem to have business suite on Hana. It is not an SAP official position on the topic – just my personal opinion alone.

So what does this announcement mean to Customers?

It gives customers more choice now – technically and functionally. Technically – they now have an additional data base option, lower their TCO over time , make use of Hana’s platform features, eliminate performance bottlenecks and so on. But that is only one aspect – the bigger impact in my opinion is the opportunity to rethink business models. For example – if MRP does not take several hours, and can be run whenever there is a need to run it – then there are some tactical and strategic advantages. Tactically, it saves people having spreadsheets to manage demand and supply – usually several versions – between MRP runs and reconciliation. Strategically, it means you only use up working capital you absolutely need to, and you can inform your supply chain about your intentions a lot sooner.

If my CIO friends are reading this – this is a good time to make sure you consider Hana in your roadmap discussions – not just for software, but for infrastructure, skills upgrade of your team and so on.

Of course both business and technology changes come with the need to manage change. And it often takes someone who looks across multiple customers to figure this out in a scalable way. That is where the consulting partners can potentially come in to augment what customers and SAP can do. The consulting and SI business will see some disruption as more and more SAP products move over to Hana. There will always be some SI work – but the more meaningful opportunities will be for these partners to work with customers on defining how to adapt business processes to make use of real time and massively parallel processing and predictive capabilities and so on.

And it will be a good time for SAP functional consultants to start thinking outside suite transactions and IMG. A good case in point is warranties, maintenance etc. Typically when a warranty solution is created – it is primarily reactive in nature. Like how does a customer enter warranty claims, the workflow and so on. What mostly gets overlooked is to check if there was a way to have known that a failure is about to happen, so that proactive measures can be taken to minimize impact or even avoid it. This means you should also consider the option of seeing if a system like hana can somehow be upstream to the business suite to pick up and interpret signals before data even came to business suite. I would urge my buddies who are SAP functional consultants to start getting up to speed on what is possible with Hana so that they can educate their clients on art of the possible, in their projects.

And the basis experts of the SAP world will have a fun time learning how to install, administer and maintain Hana based systems. If you need to brush up your linux skills – now would be a good time to do that. Get an AWS instance spun up, and try a few things on Hana. Same for my ABAP buddies. Get a SQL book and learn how to do set operations etc. There are plenty of hana tutorials out there now. Even an obsolete programmer like me was able to learn from them – so it should be very very easy for programmers to get a hang of hana. And definitely don’t overlook how to develop cool stuff on XS – you will thank me later. I will tell you that it will be a bit frustrating since good programming in hana is counter to good programming in ABAP in some cases. But you will get there quickly enough.

Having been a consultant all my life, I know Hana cannot be the answer to everything. But I do know that it will be a great option to solve enough problems in the business world that it will make a difference. And that is what I have bet my career on.

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7 thoughts on “SAP Business Suite Runs On Hana – What Does That Mean For The Ecosystem?

  1. Pingback: Adil Fahim's Blog

  2. Hi Vijay

    I read your comments about HANA which is eye opener for many of us. But comments on warranty claims submission as reactive type of application also maintenance solution impacts with HANA, were not very clear.

    I have been working on warranty claims since 2004, but did not quite follow your comments on Hana in the area of warranty claims. Can you please elaborate your comments in this particular area to have more insights with this.

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    • Hi Vijay

      In today’s world, we only do warranty processing when a claim is actually raised. By that time, the mishap has happened and the provider has to incur expenses, and customer has to face the disruption.

      With predictive abilities – Hana can be used to figure out before the fact on failures. For example, a machine used in a customer’s factory might be creating logs as it is working. If a human was reading the log as it was being generated, he would have known that there are warning signs that this machine might stop in 10 days time. But normally, we dont check logs till machine actually stops working, and customer invokes warranty terms for repair and replacement. Using Hana creatively – the customer can figure out back up plans in advance of failure, and vendor can work on minimizing down time of that machine by proactive servicing which in many cases is cheaper than fixing a broken machine. And as this becomes widespread – the claims should start going down significantly. That is what I meant

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  3. What’s the recommended approach for longer term storage of Business Suite data for compliance, GRC, and other purposes? Makes little sense to keep 7-10 years of detail in HANA, so how will this best be managed?

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    • For the moment, it should be ok holding everything in Hana since compression will help reduce space required. As time progresses, SAP will introduce more sophistication in multi temperature models , so the older data can be moved to inexpensive storage , but still be available for use

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  4. Pingback: SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. – Adil Fahim's Blog

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