Three Things I Discovered at SAP TechEd Las Vegas: HANA, Hybrid Cloud and Data Replication
In my first SAP TechEd post, I focused on disruption and how companies can become disruptors by leveraging massive amounts of data. TechEd was loaded with content but I want to share three particular takeaways.
#1 Customers are SAP HANA Users and Believers
The potential of HANA is incredible, but when you hear about a customer’s success with HANA, you really get it. Two customer examples highlighted at TechEd were Danone and John Deere.
Session: SAP Business Suite Powered by HANA at John Deere
- This session really attracted some attention and was standing room only as attendees scrambled to find the right “listening” spot. John Deere is a conservative company, so they don’t dive into anything without some serious due diligence. But even a company with this mind set has seen the value of running ERP on HANA for the past five months. Deere’s 15,000 ERP users felt the “need for speed.” And HANA delivered. One example of speed that really resonated with the crowd: John Deere noted that one process that ran on a conventional database could take up to 7-8 hours. On HANA the same process runs in an hour.
- Danone opened a call center in South Africa and was looking to replace its old UI and decided to move to the cloud and selected the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The cloud enabled Danone to start fast, without the need for new hardware and the project came in on budget and on time.
#2 What does “Hybrid” mean to you?
Merriam Webster defines “hybrid” as “something that is formed by combining two or more things.” There are hybrid plants, hybrid cars and even hybrid music. But when “hybrid” comes before the word “cloud,” what does it mean?
An answer was provided by SAP cloud guru, Sven Denecken who ran a number of sessions on the cloud at TechEd, including Update on SAP’s Cloud Strategy. While I am pretty comfortable with the SAP cloud strategy, Sven was nice enough to explicitly define “hybrid.”
Hybrid can either mean:
- A) A combination of public and private cloud
- B) A combination of on premise applications and cloud applications – think Ariba integrated with SAP ERP
A good rule of thumb is when using the term “hybrid” make sure you qualify the context.
What do you think of when you hear “hybrid + cloud?”
#3 Can you explain Data Replication? Here goes nothing
Being a non-technical “Marketing” guy (do all Marketers say that?), I wanted to come away from TechEd with at least one technical tid-bit. As fate would have it, I had the opportunity to sit down to breakfast with an SAP colleague from Colorado who is an expert in data replication. After our intros, I held my breath, took a sip of coffee and asked, “Can you explain data replication?”
After a lengthy discussion, I was able to sum it all up with this example: Say you have an Excel file that includes multiple sheets. Each individual sheet includes specific regional sales data by product. All of these sheets roll up into a main sheet for a global view.
Data replication allows you to send each individual sheet to the respective owner and allows them to update their particular information. As this information is updated, it is sent back to the master spreadsheet so the data is synched. Data is replicated to each region, but also still remains connected to the main source.
Customers used data replication when running HANA for instance, allowing reporting to run on a sub set of a larger database – this way you are not touching the master data and maintain the integrity of the source.
Let me know what you think about this on-techie’s point of view? Just remember, change and disruption are constant, so go with the flow.
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