The next step on our HANA journey was to migrate CRM to HAN. After BW, CRM is the second mission-critical system running on HANA, with 15.000+ users who rely on a stable system. All sales and service-related activities depend on CRM. The support teams also use CRM to manage escalations and customer support. In March 2013, we successfully migrated our first OLTP system and SAP was the first productive customer running its central global CRM instance on HANA. This HANA project demonstrates that HANA is ready for mission-critical operations and that it is possible to run also big transactional systems on HANA.

The benefit of having CRM on HANA is obvious: First of all, the overall performance of CRM improved, so for example, the business partner or enterprise search improved by a factor of 250x. Runtime of standard sales reports went down from five minutes to 30 seconds. These functions are heavily used in CRM, as you can imagine. Secondly, we previously had to move reporting into BW since the performance impact to the transactional system was too significant. With HANA underneath CRM, we were able to bring operational reporting back into CRM. This means less data duplication, less operational effort, less content in BW. In addition to this the CRM database size was reduced from 3,3 terabytes to 1,1 terabytes in SAP HANA, which reduced our overall infrastructure costs.

Encouraged by this and reaizing all the benefits the board decided to migrate our biggest and most important backbone OLTP system on HANA: ERP

ERP is SAP’s biggest internal system, heavily used by more than 65.000+ users and more than 9.000 concurrent users during peak times.

The ERP system is used by each and every employee – time recording, expense claiming, finance, controlling, logistic and material management – just to mention some of the key functions Partners and externals also use the ERP system to manage their time recording and billing.

We migrated ERP in a short timeframe including all tests and risk mitigation activities and the overall project ran very smoothly with zero business disruption during quarter end. As part of the migration we performed also a code remediation and retirement as well as implementing several HANA value scenarios such as the new fast close cockpit, optimized financial closing and a central planning and cash management solution.

The database size of ERP was reduced from 6,2 terabytes down to 2 terabytes in SAP HANA during the migration and this reduced infrastructure and operational costs significantly – in stark contrast to the former classical server configuration.

The challenge was that the ERP is connected to many systems and due to the fact that as of today there is no HANA scale-out scenario available for OLTP systems. Nevertheless, CRM and ERP are running on single instances with 4 terabytes of memory. That might sound like a bottleneck but Intel will release its new chipset “Ivy-bridge” at the beginning of 2014 and with this architecture much bigger machines are already in the pipeline: 12, 24 and even 48 terabyte machines will be available soon. 

So far, SAP’s internal HANA journey was very successful and we continue on our HANA roadmap. SAP’s IT organization has tough cost reduction targets and each migration has to be judged based on costs and the delivered benefits – just like any other customer.

So stay tuned – there is more good news to come …

This is part four in a series ‘SAP’s Road to HANA’. See part one (Sales pipeline on HANA), two (Shortening Quarter End with the COPA Accelerator) and three (Enable real-time analytics with BW on HANA) here!

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