As I explore the details of HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) solution, I often consider HCI’s impact on other elements of SAP’s broader portfolio. In this blog, I’ll be exploring its impact on Rapid Deployment solutions (RDS).
RDSs provide a “ready-to-consume combination of SAP software, SAP predefined services, pre-configured content, enablement content at a predictable price, effectively eliminating cost overruns and project delays” [SOURCE]. There are currently 104 existing RDSs encompassing a wide variety of industries and based on a variety of SAP technologies. Although the main focus of RDS packages is usually on OnPremise environments, there are an increasing number of RDSs which also involve Cloud offerings (for example, this RDS for Ariba).
Some of these RDS packages are focused on integration and usually include NetWeaver Process Integration (PI). In this blog, I’ll be focusing on these RDSs.
Note: I’m not interested in the isolated use of integration technologies – there are other blogs that compare PI and HCI. RDSs include more than just the basic isolated technology – they also have service, project management, etc; therefore, there more perspectives / elements to consider.
One of the most important components of RDS packages is pre-configured content. HCI also provides this functionality in the form of “Pre-packaged Integration Content or Integration Flows, APIs, mappings, connectivity, preconfigured security” – therefore, there is already partial overlap between HCI and RDS fundamentals.
RDS packages that include PI
Here are some examples of RDSs that include PI:
Note: As I searched for the relevant RDSs, I was hard-pressed to track down the technical details of each solution; therefore, there may be other RDS packages which include PI but I didn’t find them.
Rapid deployment of SAP
Business Suite Integration with the Ariba
With this solution B2B integration scenarios related to the order-to-cash and/or procure-to-pay process of SAP ERP are being implemented through a service.
SAP ERP HCM Integration to SuccessFactors combines extended pre-configuration and consulting services with prepackaged integration between the 6.0 version of the SAP ERP Human Capital Management (SAP ERP HCM) solution and SuccessFactors Business Execution (BizX) suit
SAP rapid-deployment solution for integrated contract management in procurement enables customers to capture and realize savings from their sourcing process.
I’m assuming that these existing RDSs could be expanded to include the possibility of using HCI instead of PI.
Note: I’m not suggesting that HCI-based RDSs replace those PI-based RDSs but rather that they complement one another. For customers that already have an OnPremise PI environment, then the existing PI-based RDSs are probably the best bet. The last figures of PI adoption that I found, however, show about 5000 productive customers – HCI could address the larger market of those customers without PI.
At the current time, there are no RDSs using HCI – a HCI roadmap, however, shows that this possibility is already being considered.
The RDS Methodology
In order to assure that costs remain low in such solutions, there is a defined RDS methodology with “accelerators” and other tools.
Here is one “step” of the methodology as demonstrated by the CRM RDS for HANA.
It will be interesting to see how HCI usage would influence this methodology – if at all. There are other RDSs (such as that for SuccessFactors) that include cloud components so RDSs with HCI wouldn’t be the first solutions with OnDemand elements. Ideally, the methodology itself wouldn’t have to be changed due to the inclusion of a new technology.
HCI is still very much in its infancy and it hasn’t really entered the market yet (perhaps there will be some news in this area at the upcoming TechEds?). Its relative youth is the reason that there are no HCI-based RDSs.
The possibility of such HCI-based solutions, however, provides interesting new opportunities. For example, new HCI-based RDS packages that are based on the RDS methodology but focus on new areas. What about a RDS that uses HCI to integrate SuccessFactors with ADP? The unique characteristics of SaaS solutions (multi-tenancy, focus on configuration instead of customization, etc) would probably make such RDSs very attractive to customers as well as SIs.
Existing RDS consultants shouldn’t fear HCI-based projects. In such scenarios, RDS consultants would also perform the necessary changes/customizations in the various OnPremise environments – such activities wouldn’t disappear. PI consultants should also welcome such HCI –based RDSs – the associated work in the Cloud will scale better as more customers move to such integration environments.