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Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort

SAP HANA Blogseries Part 1: What is SAP HANA and what is the “value” of SAP HANA ?

Last week Vishal Sikka announced SAP HANA and in this blog series I will try to explain what SAP HANA really means for our customers and uncover some of the components.

So let’s start with a very simple question: What is SAP HANA ?


What is SAP HANA ?

First of all the acronym HANA stands for High-performanceANalytic Appliance.


In the next paragraphs I would like to focus on SAP HANA 1.0 and then come back later in another blog part of this series to the topic of the roadmap and how SAP HANA 1.0 will evolve in the future.



SAP HANA 1.0 consists of several components:


  • An integration with Sybase Replication Server for real-time replication of your SAP BusinessSuite data
  • An integration with SAP BusinessObjects Data Services 4.0 for loading of all other data
  • The heart of the solution is the In-memory Computing Engine (IMCE) allowing you to create and perform calculations on accelerated data
  • SAP IMCE Studio which includes tools for data modeling, data and life cycle management, and data security
  • Support for multiple client interfaces
  • An integration with the SAP BusinessObjects BI product offerings



Now what are some of the capabilities of SAP HANA 1.0?


You probably already heard very often people saying that SAP HANA provides the capabilities to analyze large volumes of information with a fast performance resulting in quick response time. In addition to this, SAP HANA also allows you to leverage SAP IMCE Studio and create new and flexible data models based on your operational information and your historic data and in that way combine data from the past, with data from now so that you can make the best decision for your business.


Recently people tried to describe SAP HANA as a “better data mart engine for SAP BusinessSuite”. Now this is for sure one of the capabilities of SAP HANA – creating a data mart based on operational data from SAP BusinessSuite – but it is for sure not everything and not the only thing. SAP HANA also allows you due to the integration with SAP BusinessObjects Data Services to leverage any kind of data source (supported by SAP BusinessObjects Data Services) and load the information into the In-Memory Computing Engine and in that way enrich the operational information with additional data.



Now the above description of the capabilities of SAP HANA 1.0 is for sure a very short description and perhaps it also does not very well articulate what SAP HANA 1.0 can do for our customers. So let’s take two business scenarios and see how SAP HANA 1.0 would be able to improve the situation of our customers.


Business Scenario #1


In our first example we are taking the role of John, who is the head of the Sales Department and given the current economics is under huge pressure to hit his sales target but also look at new opportunities and possible new markets. Now John is going to meeting with his IT team and presents the following business problems:


  • John needs to be able to analyze up-to-date information and cannot rely on data from the last day
  • John also would like to be able to combine his own information with data John bought from an outside company so that he can compare his sales performance with the market and his industry
  • John clearly is looking for an overall environment that will allow him and his sales team to analyze the information without the need to go through the IT department for every single report or analytics.



So how can SAP HANA 1.0 help in this situation?:


  • SAP HANA 1.0 allows John to leverage real time replicated data from his SAP BusinessSuite environment so that he can analyze his situation with real-time data
  • SAP HANA 1.0 also allows John to not only leverage SAP BusinessSuite data but to also bring in other data sources using SAP BusinessObjects Data Services
  • SAP HANA 1.0 is integrated with the SAP BusinessObjects BI stack and therefore John and his team can also leverage products such as Web Intelligence or Dashboards to leverage the self-service aspect of these products


So with SAP HANA 1.0 John would be able to leverage real-time data, enrich the data with market and industry information, and provide his sales management team an environment where they are able to analyze the information quicker and reach decisions faster.


Business Scenario #2


In our second example we will play the role of George, who works for a large Utilities company and is responsible for buying the energy at the best possible price. Now for George to be able to do his job as good as possible he will need several sets of data:


  • Historical customer energy consumption profiles
  • Current customer energy consumption – basically in real-time
  • Energy market price and trend
  • Information about other influencing factors, such as weather



Now to be able to analyze the current energy consumption George’s company implemented Smart Meters and these Smart Meters provide every 10 minutes a status on the energy consumption of each household. That is giving George the most current data and he also has the historical data in the data warehouse.


By using SAP HANA 1.0 George is able to combine the information – similar to what we did in our first business scenario – but here also the amount of data is important and being able to leverage in-memory technology to provide the necessary performance to analyze the information. George needs to be able to react quickly on market trends and therefore cannot afford to wait for information to be processed, extracted and loaded into a datawarehouse – he needs instant access to the information.  In addition to the fact that George then could use the real-time information from the operational system and combine it with historical information from the datawarehouse, George could even move beyond that and also bring in up-to-date information from the Internet and include weather information into his planning for the energy consumption and in that way reduce costs for the company because George can now predict much more accurate the consumption level and in that way he is able to not only reduce the costs but also increase the profitability.


I hope that with the short overview and these two concrete examples I gave you a good start into the topic of SAP HANA.


Additional Resources for SAP HANA:


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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      HANA - very easy to follow.


      Author's profile photo Kenneth Murray
      Kenneth Murray
      I'm interested in hearing about the database technology behind.  I keep hearing about column based databases and thought I heard mention of this along with HANA.  It would be really nice if they would bring along this "Column Based" Database without HANA for the rest of us...
      Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki
      Witalij Rudnicki
      Hi Ken. The database component of HANA is In-memory computing engine (ICE, or IMCE), which feaqtures hybrid - both column and row - stores. Although it has all features of a database (, it is referenced as "platform" because of calculation engine being integral part of it. In the database product line SAP had MaxDB and now Sybase ASE, ASA and IQ. Regards. -Vitaliy
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      HANA will actually resolve many issues , one of that is long running huge reports on application system, due to real time requirement many user are insisting to have report from application system instead of BI which increasing the load on app. system ... now it can be easier with HANA...
      Author's profile photo Francisco Milán Campos
      Francisco Milán Campos
      To view the Release Restrictions for SAP HANA 1.0, please refer to SAP Note 1513496.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Be accurate at a choice of a name for Russia. Because HANA(хана) in russian is slang of end or death. As result SAP HANA is "Death of SAP"
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      at least it's "spelled" differently.
      "na, ja" is German for "oh, well"
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
          just adding another.... Ha = yes, NA = no, in Hindi. Opt the choice 😉


      Author's profile photo Reza Rostami
      Reza Rostami
      unlike some languages ,Hana is easy to say and is a name for girls in Persian(Farsi) language.