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SAP HANA – the beginning of a new era!

Very few times we have seen such frenzy in SAP arena like we are seeing today with SAP HANA.

Few other similar events in the past were the BusinessObjects acquisition and the launch of SAP NetWeaver. And what generally follow such big events are activities which define a new era:

  1. Re-architecture of the systems
  2. Re-evaluation of the technology roadmap
  3. Big spending

This time it is no different. Most of the SAP customers are in awe of the capabilities offered by SAP HANA. Some are impressed with performance, some are with low maintenance, some are with the agility in fulfillment of business requests and believe me most are impressed with all of these.

The developer community is abuzz with the new development framework, tools, modeling approach, language. Developers are busy updating their skill set and know that it is here to stay.

Architects are busy understanding the new product and its implications on the existing architecture. They are excited with the new offerings as it gives them a fresh perspective to solve some of the existing problems. For example, BI architects will no longer have to build complicated data warehousing models to ensure quick and easy reporting.

Managers are in the process of revising the technology roadmap with their architects to either re-allocate the funds or earmark new funds for various HANA projects. They are working with the CIO office to prioritize numerous projects which have surfaced due to a sudden spurt in demand for HANA from the business users.

No doubt SAP has done a great job in marketing since almost everyone in SAP space knows about HANA today. It didn’t happen overnight though. For last 12 months SAP has been working towards creating awareness and excitement in the market. The SAP Sales team is also not far behind and is engaging deeply with the customers, helping them identify business use cases and then providing guidance and resources to work on the proof of concepts. This has been a very well-orchestrated effort from SAP. They have opened numerous channels of communications: social networking (Facebook), HANA communities, conferences, local events and direct customer engagements.

But why am I writing about this now if SAP announced HANA a long time back?

Because now is the time when the product has come out of infancy and reached some maturity. I say “some” because it will take some time to become fully mature. Current version has more stability than previous version as well as integration capability with the Business Intelligence layer.

And because now is the time when most of the PoCs are either done or close to finish. Customers now believe what they have been told by SAP and they have seen the benefits in action. This is the time they want to launch the real projects and thus they need to cut through the noise and get some clarity on the design alternatives.

I have worked on SAP HANA and completed some proof of concepts and pilot projects for various business use cases. I can vouch for the promise it brings to solve many business problems.

As I did earlier with my blog series on BusinessObjects, I will be sharing the real life use cases with the challenges and quick tips on SAP HANA implementation. I plan to discuss the SAP HANA architecture along with the pros and cons for various design approaches thereby showcasing the value proposition for both IT and business.

Please feel free to share your feedback and your experiences with SAP HANA too.  Signing off for now, see you soon!


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