I’ve shared what the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA has done for some of our early customers, including the German Football League, Pacific Drilling, and Florida Crystals. In the nine months since we launched, we already have more than 450 customers signed up for the Business Suite on SAP HANA.


/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/finance_339570.jpgBut the earliest adopter was SAP itself. And with our head start we’ve been able to employ this platform not just to deliver speed (converting batch jobs into real-time online reports) but also to produce business innovation.


After a successful go-live of CRM on SAP HANA earlier this year, we decided to follow suit with our global ERP system. Three months after installing ERP on SAP HANA, we’re seeing up to 100 times improvement in process performance. We’ve been able to cut our ERP database size in half and reduce our database response time on complex reports by 90 percent. Bringing back operational reporting to the transactional system and avoiding duplication of data when doing analytics were also huge benefits for us. As Hasso Plattner recently pointed out in his blog, massive simplification is now possible in IT with online transaction processing and online analytical processing occurring together on a single in-memory platform.


But most importantly, we’re reinventing key business processes.


Take our finance organization. Our ERP installation runs all key financial processes, serves 65,000 users around the world, and connects with more than 30 downstream systems. We were able to migrate to SAP HANA with no business disruption and close our third quarter books on time. But now that we’ve completed the first quarter end close for our more than 150 operating entities in the new environment, we’re beginning to take advantage of the full power of SAP HANA.


When you’re closing the books, speed is a game changer. We were able to cut more than 380 hours of processing time out of the closing process and provide dashboards, easing the work of our accountants. Having all of our finance data available in real-time also improves the quality of our reporting. Errors are detected—and corrected—instantly rather than waiting for a report leveraging old data. Our financial analysts can run profitability analyses in just 15 percent of the time needed previously to discover new insights.


Our CFOs—wherever they are in the world—can now use their mobile devices to drill down from the total accounts receivables report to discover the most critical overdue payments. That puts them in perfect sync with collections and sales so that they can take immediate action. And that action has an instant positive impact on cash flow.


Delivering personal insight in order to drive more precise actions is now possible. We’re actually reinventing the finance function. The platform is more than a new piece of technology; it’s an innovation platform. It’s the foundation for the introduction of completely new business processes in finance, like our invoice and goods receipts reconciliation and working capital analysis. And we’ll take what we’ve learned there to rethink the rest of our enterprise processes that run on SAP HANA, using real-time simulation and prediction to help drive future performance.

To hear SAP’s leaders talk about their experience with SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, check out this video.

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