Leveraging new technologies while keeping the costs and IT complexity in check? Seems far-fetched. Or not?
Today’s companies are running mostly on-premise solutions that enable to support their core processes. Those are sophisticated on-premise solutions that are running on several to many instances which lead to a complex infrastructure. Keeping these systems running smoothly eats up already a big part of the companies’ IT budget.
But in today’s world it is not enough to keep the status quo.
The business is evolving faster and faster providing them with new challenges and opportunities. Topics like big data that everyone talks about. Being able to analyse huge amounts of data to a degree and at a speed that wasn’t possible before, gives business leaders the opportunity to base their decisions on real-time data. Also there is now data emergent that we never considered being able to capture and mine for insight. And this data can be of a tremendous size. Just think of what the introduction of passive sensors means in manufacturing plants. These sensors are sending continuously data from the machines from the plant floor, e.g. calibrations values. In the consumer or retail industry mining of weblogs is crucial for success for product sales. Companies need to know if there are bad reviews of one of their products in the internet.
Don’t you yourself search the internet for reviews of product you intend to buy? I do. And if I find bad reviews, I most likely won’t buy the product.
So the IT leaders are challenged more than ever before to innovate beyond keeping their current business systems running smoothly.
So what are their options?
New technologies for big data have been emerging, one of them being in-memory computing. SAP HANA is an in-memory computing appliance that combines SAP database software with pre-tuned server, storage, and networking hardware from one of several SAP hardware partners. It allows inventing new business models and processes and providing the base for merging and analysing the data across lines of business and industries.
While leveraging these new technologies, companies are looking for ways to lower their TCO, increase the speed of adoption and their ability to consume the new innovative solutions much faster.
Cloud computing is a way for IT leaders to accomplish these goals. Cloud computing is the use of computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over the internet. Software as a Service (SaaS) is one aspect of it. Here end users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or a light-weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and user’s data are stored on servers at a remote location. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run. This means companies can start to use new solutions right away without the need to change their infrastructure and to worry about operating these new solutions.
On-demand applications powered by SAP HANA are great examples where companies can leverage new technology and leverage innovative solutions that are readily accessible. These on-demand applications are built natively on the SAP HANA Application Cloud. So they are delivered as SaaS (with a subscription pricing model) for “instant on” solutions for common business problems. And since they are built on the SAP HANA Application Cloud they possess the same high-performance attributes that SAP HANA delivers.
SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) OnDemand and SAP Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) are examples on-demand applications powered by SAP HANA.
SAP Sales and Operations Planning is a next-generation planning application, which can help you bring key stakeholders together in an integrated planning environment that allows them to rapidly translate dynamic fluctuations in company demand into actionable operational plans for logistics, manufacturing and procurement.
Last month the first SAP EPM OnDemand applications were released. These include Capital Project Planning, which offers a view of how capital investment projects could play out financially, as well as Real-time Profit and Loss (P & L) Analysis. There’s also Expense Insight, which lets managers see costs in detail. These three applications have a heavy mobile focus, with workers able to interact with them on the iPad. These EPM on-demand solutions complement SAP EPM 10.0 applications such as Planning and Consolidation, so companies can leverage existing investments in EPM 10.0 for hybrid on demand and on premise scenarios that are seamless to the end user as both EPM 10.0 and SAP EPM OnDemand can be accessed by a mobile and excel user interface.
I am sure as time evolves we will see more and more these kind of innovative solutions combining new big data technologies and cloud computing. Giving IT leaders the chance to become the drivers of innovation at their company! Exciting times for companies!
To learn more about
- SAP S&OP, go to www.sap.com/sop .
- SAP EPM OnDemand, go to www.sap.com/solutions/technology/cloud/enterprise-performance-management-on-demand/index.epx .