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Can the iconic transporter provide insight into how next-generation enterprise software can transform your business?

One of the most recognized phrases to ever hit our collective psyche, “Beam me up” conjures up a vision of technology nirvana.  Alongside such marvels as the instant-healing medical tricorder and warp drive, the transporter represents a fundamentally different approach to interacting with the world around us.  However, in this fantastic future world, imagine for a moment the time before the transporter.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/transporter_338978.pngImage source:  Transporter room – Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki


Most of us are not too keen on experiencing heavy turbulence on flights, but can you imagine the turbulent experience of taking a shuttle down through the atmosphere?  And relatively speaking, shuttling down to the surface from a starship was soooooo slow.  Transporters didn’t just take the head-jarring atmospheric bumps away, but converted travel from a time-consuming affair into an essentially instantaneous experience.  And this in turn presented an amazing opportunity – how would life change as a result?  Herein lies an interesting corollary to the “real” world.

Today I live with my family on a few acres in the countryside.  While we treasure the star-filled night skies and quiet environment, it does take almost 30 minutes just to reach a highway.  As such, we frequently plan ahead even before the smallest of trips in order to efficiently combine multiple stops and errands and thus save time and gas.  I’ve imagined utilizing technologies such as jet packs or drones to address this challenge.  While I can certainly see advantages in the speed of travel, drawbacks such as inclement weather, hauling it around or crashing into a drone do tend to keep my excitement at bay. 

But a transporter – that would change the game.  Yes, it is faster, but it’s how that speed would change my day to day life that excites me.  At first, my thoughts centered around how I could simply improve the way I approach tasks today, such as transporting to a store and back to pick up a few goods.  But a transporter can actually change the way I live, not just make it faster.  What if my purchased items were just transported to me instead? 

Unfortunately, technology has not quite advanced to the level of creating the still mythical transporter, but in accordance with Moore’s Law, it has produced some incredible innovations.   Advances in hardware have result in very powerful systems with dramatically lower costs per unit.  As a result, a shift within enterprise architectures from slow, disk-based systems to “in-memory” computing is providing data-access time improvement multipliers measured in the thousands to hundreds-of-thousands with higher figures around the corner. 

However, SAP cofounder Hasso Plattner and his team realized that simply caching a chunk of data into memory wasn’t the answer.  Such platforms needed intelligent software  to effectively utilize and optimize the potential that in-memory technology provides.  After all, hopping into a transporter without proper software could very well beam you into a wall or outer space.

Hasso realized the incredible opportunity at-hand and began to rethink what could be done with such a technology.  He questioned the status quo in many ways, asking “ludicrous” questions such as whether conventional, disparate transactional and analytics systems could be combined.  And through this innovative process, SAP HANA was born, combining database, data processing and application platform capabilities in-memory. 

Instant, intelligent access to enterprise data anywhere – SAP HANA is a transporter for enterprise data.


SAP HANA enables you to move from today’s slow & bumpy shuttle-like architectures to a platform built on top of this enterprise data transporter, providing you the unique opportunity to rethink your business and industry ahead of your competition.  SAP is already re-imagining business, and one powerful example that realizes this potential is SAP Business Suite powered by HANA (BSoH).  BSoH provides native support of numerous business processes optimized for the HANA in-memory platform. While dramatically accelerating core business processes may seem the most obvious benefit, you will also uncover new growth opportunities and empower your people with greatly simplified business insights empowering real-time decision making.

Imagine…

…executing a fast financial close  with real-time visibility down to the lowest level of detail for all interested parties.

running Material Requirements Planning (MRP) in real-time, enabling you to react instantly to changes in demand and perform what-if scenarios in real-time to optimize decisions regarding reallocation and outsourcing.

…real-time analysis of security roles and their usage to uncover hidden access violations and opportunities to reduce role complexity.

When presented with such a radical new technology, it can be difficult to step outside of the daily grind long enough to imagine the possibilities.  But as we’ve seen so many times before, radical ideas today quickly become the norm and it is essential now more than ever to rethink.  SAP is questioning everything about business and exploring the art of the possible.  Join us on the journey.

Ping me if you’d like to ponder how an enterprise data transporter can change your business.

Beam me up Hasso.

Dwayne

dwayne.desylvia@sap.com

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