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The HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) is increasing in importance in SAP’s Cloud and HANA strategies. Yet, this emphasis is usually relatively primitive in that it just considers the hosted applications (Business Suite, BW, etc) in isolation rather than embedding them in broader / realistic scenarios in which such applications interact with other entities.

I’ve already blogged about the HEC as a generic extension platform and as an environment for Big Data applications but there are a variety of other perspectives that I wanted to examine in more detail.

The HEC is like a pretty but shy teenager that desperately needs to get out and meet others. In this vein, I’d like to send the HEC on a few dates


Date 1:  The HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)

The HCP is SAP’s PaaS offering and provides an excellent platform to extend other environments including the HANA Enterprise Cloud.  This possibility was also mentioned by Björn Goerke in a recent blog.

Yet, there are so many details that are unclear in such scenarios. Usually, HCP applications accessing OnPremise applications (such as CRM, Business Suite, etc) use the Cloud Connector to access such applications. In scenarios where the back-ends are located in the HANA Enterprise Cloud, this scenario would probably look different.

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This scenario raises some interesting questions:

  • Is the Cloud Connector even necessary? Both environments run in SAP data centers. My assumption is that the internal network is secure. Or are there other security concerns that might prevent such simplification?
  • Who configures the Cloud Connector in the HEC? The customer? SAP?  If SAP performs this configuration, is it part of the existing HEC service offering?
  • What happens when the HEC is being hosted by a partner? Do they have experience in this area?

Date 2:  Rapid Deployment Scenarios (RDS)

There are a variety of RDS available – there are also a few RDS that focus on supporting migrations to the HEC. My interest, however, is on the normal RDS solutions. What happens when a customer has their Business Suite running on the HEC? Are the same prerequisites necessary? Do partners who offer the RDS solution have access to the HEC instance of their customers? Since the application servers in the HEC are virtualized, are there possibilities to simplify RDS’ by using preconfigured instances?   

Date 3:  Fiori

Fiori mobile apps are all the rage but no one has really looked at the possibility of a customer using a Business Suite running in the HEC for such apps.   The architecture of Fiori apps has three main components (UI Tools, SAP NW Gateway, SAP Backend) – all of which could easily run in the HEC.  I assume that HEC service offers are in the works to provide such functionality to HEC customers. There is already a Cloud Appliance Library – Virtual Appliance for Fiori but HEC would provide such functionality in a managed service that could exploit the existing on-boarding services to quickly / easily provide Fiori-related content.

MyPOV

I’m stopping after three dates but you get the picture.  Many of the typical usage scenarios that include OnPremise applications (Gateway usage, relationship to SAP Mobile Platform 3.0, etc) you can also apply to the HEC.  It is only when you more realistically depict such scenarios that the power of HEC is evident. I have the feeling that current marketing campaigns concentrate primarily on the “cloud-angle” rather focusing on broader scenarios which will emerge as customers move to this new environment and reflect on their experience in OnPremise settings.

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4 Comments

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  1. Bjoern Goerke

    Hi Rick,

    thanks for the compliment! Yes, HEC is pretty 😉 But not as shy as you might think. The first three dates you are proposing, have already happened or are scheduled to happen soon.

    Date 1: HEC and HCP are coming together. We are bringing together ALL SAP Cloud offerings into a consistent data center strategy, infrastructure and cloud management strategy. HCP is THE Cloud extension platform for all our Lob Cloud portfolio and our classical Business Suite portfolio. Whether this “classical” portfolio runs on premise with our customers or is operated in our HANA Enterprise Cloud doesn’t make a difference, of course. So clearly, HEC and HCP have come together for a date. In the works…

    Date 2: Rapid Deployment Solutions are at the core of what we deliver in HEC to allow customers to quickly get implementations going. Of course we make use of preconfigured virtual images to deploy e.g. a BW on HANA within 30 minutes as a trial. We worked with a German manufacturing company and were able to bring their solution — an ERP on HANA with Financials and Logistics — to live within 6 weeks implementation time from first exploration to go-live. Given time and cost, this is a 10x improvement to former times.

    Date 3: We are offering Suite on HANA with a Fiori UX in HEC, of course. Fiori UX is a compelling example of why HEC in particular makes sense for our customers: once you have your solution operated in our Cloud, bringing new innovations like Fiori UX, SAP Lumira analytics or Hybris Web Channel is an easy thing where our customers don’t have to worry about implementation projects and required skills any more — we can simply provide this in our infrastructure and with our teams and basically “switch it on” for our customers as a service. Much faster than they would ever be able to do it on their own.

    All three dates were great. We had a lot of fun 😉

    Björn | SAP CIO, Head of HEC and Global Cloud Delivery

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    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      It is great to hear that HEC has been dating.

      I’m also impressed that the HEC has been able to avoid the prying eyes of the usual paparazzi – I have not seen anything (blogs, articles, etc) about these “dates” – I still picture a lonely HEC waiting at home for the phone to ring. I would love to hear some of the details about the dates – for example, HEC + HCP and customers who are thinking about / implementing this integration.

      D.

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  2. John Appleby

    Hey Richard,

    You are asking the right questions here. I think it’s extensible to the wider issue which is that there are a bunch of great products which don’t obviously interact in a cohesive fashion.

    Hopefully Bjorne will present at TechEd to describe how these can, do and will join together to solve customer problems!

    John

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