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As the global head of our SAP HANA program at SAP Custom Development, I’m in contact with many of our customers in all major industries. Over time, our discussions about SAP HANA have changed quite a bit. We still talk about it as a means of accelerating analytics, but more and more customers are coming up with very specific business problems.  They are eager to discuss how SAP Custom Development can create tailored-made “real” real time solutions that are “just for them” on the SAP HANA platform.

So, I thought I would take the time to jot down a couple of questions you can ask yourself to help you understand some of the things SAP HANA can be used for – you just need to open your mind really, really wide!

·      Making Real Time Decisions:  Are there times when you need make quick decisions but can’t because you need to processes millions (or even billons) of transactions every day and you can’t see through all the data?
Make Your Business Processes Run Real Time:  Which of your business processes run way too slow for you to be quick and flexible and react in the moment? How would your business change if you could finally get rid of those overnight batch jobs and long-running transactions and empower your employees to experience real time processes that allow them to “play” with the results in a “live” and responsive manner?

·      Making Use of Mass Data: What are the areas, where you compile the largest amounts of data? They may come from SAP systems or Non-SAP systems. You know there is significant business value in that data, but today you can’t use it, because your systems aren’t ready to do so.

·      Analysis on Multiple Levels: Do you wish you had the details of what really happens in your business, but the sheer amount of data only allows you to do analyses on an aggregate level? Where would it make sense for you to go down to an atomic level? For the retailers, I am not only talking store level here … I am talking about the individual market basket level.

·      Coping with the ‘Internet of Things’:  Is your company collecting data from many different devices? These days, more and more devices are connected to the internet creating an ever-growing mountain of data for each customer.  For example, a utility company could be collecting customer data from not just the power meter, but individual appliances. Can your company manage and analyze that data in a timeframe that can make a difference to your business or will it take months and months before it can be used to have an impact?

·      Performing Complex Computations: Do you need or want to perform data-intensive computations like statistical analyses that help optimize your performance?  Want to know more about that one? Take a few minutes to read my colleague’s blog post about the SAP Performance and Insight Optimization group… might be an eye-opener! Here’s the link.

·      Tackling Unstructured Data: Now we’re getting technical … Is your data a mixture of structured, semi-structured or even unstructured content? We have strategies and tools that deal with all types of data.

·      Eliminating Legacy Systems: Is your data buried in multiple systems making it hard to find the information you need?  Are you debating month after month about high TCO of your legacy systems and feel it’s time to finally retire a couple of them? Think about the cost reduction you could achieve through simplifying your landscape and the modern data compression SAP HANA brings to the table.

·      Competitive Advantage: What are the areas, where a new innovative application leveraging the latest technology could bring you ahead of the pack? Most of our customers don’t want us to speak about their projects because they don’t want their competitors to know what advantage they have with technology.

So let me try to make it more tangible with a real example. Think about that last flight cancelation you had the pleasure of enduring. Coming back from SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando back in May, I was stranded in D.C. That wasn’t much fun. In the flight industry, the process that deals with this is called Passenger Recovery. It’s a major, time critical problem for the airline industry that we’ve been working on with a leading airline. After flight cancellations, airlines need to run a complex calculation that often requires twenty minutes or more to come up with alternative travel plans for each individual affected passenger. I’ll bet many of you have found yourselves standing in that line! Being able to come up with results A LOT faster would lead to a reduction of costs and much happier customers – including you and me. Its real business scenarios like this one where SAP HANA becomes tangible.

TO SUM IT UP:  If you’ve got a crucial process that needs to be fast and flexible (but isn’t), and you would save a pile of money PLUS have happier customers if you were real time … then your business is ready for SAP HANA. 

Learn more about how you can create custom solutions powered by SAP HANA.  Read the brochure.

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