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You will notice in the title that I have asked how you will use SAP HANA, not if you will use SAP HANA. This may not be true for all the readers of this blog, but those who currently have an investment in SAP software,  I predict that 90% of them will use SAP HANA in some shape or form over the next 2 years.

So how might Vishal’s little girl, HANA, make her way into your life?

  1. BW on HANA
  2. Enterprise HANA as an Enterprise Data Warehouse
  3. Enterprise HANA to power bespoke Applications
  4. Sidecar HANA accelerators for Classic SAP Applications (COPA, MRP, Customer Segmentation etc.)
  5. Classic SAP Applications Accelerated by HANA (CRM, ERP etc.)
  6. New on premise SAP Applications powered by HANA (Operational Process Intelligence etc.)
  7. Cloud based SAP Application powered by HANA (BI-OD, Expense Insight, Sales On Demand, Business One etc.)
  8. Bespoke cloud Applications built on the HANA Cloud or NetWeaver Cloud
  9. HANA “Start Up” applications

This probably doesn’t cover it all, but shows how widespread HANA is within the SAP application and technology portfolio.

Part of how you adopt HANA will obviously depend upon the industry that you are in (if you could go broad and deep and in real time – could you do something amazing?) and also your approach to new stuff.

Sit on your Hands

If your industry has low data volumes and hates new stuff, you might take the approach that you will just sit on your hands and wait.

If you do this, then I can see HANA arriving in your organization in 2 ways.

The first is that you sit on your hands for so long, that eventually you feel compelled to upgrade your ERP or BW system to use HANA, as you discover everyone else in your industry has done so. Now their SAP system is faster than yours and this speed is enabling them to do more than you can – even at a marginal level because of your industry. In effect they move away from batch processing before you do (or perhaps more correctly, they run batch jobs every minute.)

The second is that your business drives you to implement one of the new solutions from SAP (or partners / start ups) that use HANA by default. Examples would be Operational Process Intelligence to provide end to end real time process monitoring for key business processes or BI-On Demand which is powered by HANA.

Fast Follower

If your industry has large data volumes and you like new stuff you can reference, I can see a few more ways that HANA might make herself at home.

Firstly, if you are happy with the data model and reports you get from BW, but would like to see both the load and reports faster, then BW on HANA will be a good place to start. If you are not happy with the data model you have in BW you may choose to adopt HANA as your data warehouse without BW. This may be the time to look at the Business Objects portfolio and start to deliver reports to different user populations using different tools.

The second way would be to implement one of the Business Suite accelerators that run alongside your classic Business Suite landscape. Could you start to drive value from CO-PA or start to use MRP for what-if scenarios ? You may choose to go the whole hog and start to use HANA as your operational database.

The third way will be to look at new applications available from SAP and partners (such as Operational Process Intelligence) that have been created to exploit the power of HANA (stuff you couldn’t do before). Now one of these has the potential to be a “killer” app – and if you implement it first perhaps you can get a jump on the competition.


Searching for a (serial) Killer

If your industry has large volumes of data and you love new stuff you probably need a more aggressive HANA adoption strategy so you find the killer app before your competitors do.

You will probably do everything that the fast follower does, plus looking at how you could create your own killer app. This killer app may be powered at it’s heart by HANA but it will probably also use some of the other new technologies such as mobile, cloud, social and process automation. It is the job of IT to help the business understand the power HANA delivers and it is the job of the business to imagine what can be done !


Get HANA today

Whatever group you fall into, you should probably get your hands on HANA and have a play. Load some data from your Business Suite system or BW and see what you can do with it – you can get HANA for free at developer.sap.com

Perhaps with some HANA knowledge you could become the next king maker at your organisation.

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