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There is a lot of documentation on Hana Cloud Integration, what it is and what it can do and how it looks like. There is not much said for which types of company it’s suitable for. Is it more suitable for the large or small and midsize companies or both? Let’s start with looking at the key benefits from SAP and see if there is an answer for which type of company it’s suitable for.

Standard SAP Content

SAP provides a lot of standard content which can be used in order to connect SAP ERP, HCM, SRM, APO and SAP Financial services with On Premise or On Demand solutions. The benefits of using standards are that they are working as expected and are of good quality. This will leverage the implementation costs and effort of devising a ‘new standard’. It’s more likely that a large enterprise has the need to integrate with different SAP products than a small or midsize enterprise. The small and midsize are often using one (or a few) SAP products.

SAP takes control of maintenance

The Hana Cloud Integration software runs in the datacentres of SAP. SAP is in control of the maintenance and monitoring of the system in terms of scalability. There is no one who needs to check if the system reaches the 80% CPU usage or space limits for example. In addition upgrades will be done by SAP too. When starting using SAP Hana Cloud Integration there is a minimal up-front investment needed, no costs for hardware and software installation are needed. In general there is no need to have in-depth technical knowledge on SAP HCI as it can be treated as a black box. This is interesting for both small and midsize enterprises and large enterprises as there is no need to invest into technical monitoring and doing upgrades.

Strategic platform

SAP states that SAP Hana Cloud Integration will be the strategic platform for On Demand to On Demand and On Premise to On Demand integration for all SAP customers. In addition, with the previously said, SAP Hana Cloud Integration will become a more open platform and therefore customers, ecosystem and community can extend and create new content. The result will be further simplification of processes and more innovation. This is more in line for large enterprises. Simplification and innovation will help large enterprises to be more cost effective.

Answer

Based on the key benefits from SAP which are mentioned above my answer would be that SAP Hana Cloud Integration is suitable for both types of enterprises. The type of enterprise which will have the most advantage of SAP Hana Cloud Integration are the large enterprises. The main reasons is that SAP Hana Cloud Integration is part of a bigger picture. At this moment it’s optimized to integrate SAP applications (On Demand and On Premise) with the help of standard content. Think about SAP Business By Design towards On Premise ERP system. Also the fact that it is SAP’s a strategic platform,  more and more content will be created to simplify processes. Simplification of processes has the most cost effect on large enterprises, because they usually have more employees who are doing the same work. On top of that the outsourcing of maintenance is a bonus.

What do you think?

I would love to know what the members of the SCN community think about this topic. Please feel free to comment and share your insights?

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9 Comments

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  1. M. Igor

    I totally agree that the bigger companies will most benefit from HCI but at the same time the scalability of HCI can be a success factor for the SME’s to make the next big step. You see often that the IT can’t keep up with the growth of the company. This can provide the solution for it.

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  2. John Studdert

    Thanks for posting. With my skeptical hat on, I would say that the major drawback for large enterprises is that HCI appears to be relatively immature as a solution, which is an issue as large enterprise tends to be more conservative. To get that maturity it might first have to be driven by SMEs.

    In addition, with the previously said, SAP Hana Cloud Integration will become a more open platform and therefore customers, ecosystem and community can extend and create new content. The result will be further simplification of processes and more innovation.

    With my possibly too-pessimistic hat on, I can on the contrary see a more open platform leading to many large customers ending up with overly-complex and highly customised solutions built on HCI to satisfy short-term end-user requirements, when a better long-term solution might have been to push back and get the business to re-design processes to better fit the core integration solution. It’s the age-old balance of customisation versus SAP standard applied to new platforms, essentially.

    But that’s down to the individual customer and their partner SIs (with, you would hope, some guidance from SAP both in their official documentation and via engagement in the community they foster). I’m still all for a more open community around this, and indeed all SAP products.

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    1. Guido Koopmann Post author

      HI John,

      Thanks for reply’en with some interesting thoughts.

      I can relate to the fact that larger enterprises are more conservative. I also had several experiences where large enterprises drove the maturity of a new product, so I am not sure if SME’s will going to drive it. I shure going to follow it.

      Kind regards,

      Guido Koopmann

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  3. Julie Plummer

    Hi Guido, You asked for my thoughts ;-), so… : I am very much from an ABAP on-Premise world, and am taking my first steps in the Cloud, so I’ll leave the technical analysis to others.

    From a business POV, I recommended and retweeted this blog because I liked the approach: I think too often, we at SAP focus on the features, rather than the benefits – what the benefits are, and who gets most out of them. Also, HCI has the potential to be a complex topic, so shout-out for writing it for noobs like me.

    In terms of scepticism and maturity – I think it is important that we raise this issue openly – and push for greater maturity as a matter of urgency (even at the expense of new features) – my question to you Guido: How mature is HCI exactly? Do you have a link to the roadmap?

    Regarding conservative enterprises: everyone’s experience is different – my own experience (in the UI area) is that larger enterprises are in fact the early adopters – perhaps because they are the ones with the large inhouse teams of experts, or they can afford the most forward-thinking CIOs, … or perhaps because being successful means stealing a march on your rivals, and the market leader has more budget to do this… I don’t know, but I do know of the 4 customers our team are talking to right now about new UX, 2 of them are in the top 20 customers.

    Anyway – nice blog ;-).

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    1. Guido Koopmann Post author

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The most important view is a business POV, all we technical achieve for our clients, is to run better business 😉 In the end we’re doing projects to earn or save money for our clients.

      When I was in the HCI trial program, I got insights about what the product can and cannot do. My view is that SAP still needs to do some work regarding SAP HCI. For example monitoring possibilities needs to be extended. Different adapters could be easily added so that should not be any issue but haven’t seen it though. Furthermore SAP needs to be open on the subscription fee they want. The most important thing is that I believe that SAP HCI can change the world of SAP Integration as we know it. (On my initiative we are hosting a SAP CodeJam on Hana Cloud Integration)

      My personal view is that within 7 years we do not have any on Premise SAP Integration tools like SAP PI or Business Connector left. The first steps has been taken by SAP right now with SAP HCI. I really think SAP HCI can be the successor of SAP PI but then some smart choices needs to be made. I am writing a new blog about this subject.  ( link to the roadmap: http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-49305 )

      I also have the experience that large enterprises are the early adopters. In my case about 9 years ago I was part of a project team  which was implementing Salesforce.com globally. Salesforce.com did not have an office or people in The Netherlands at that time. The company and salesforce.com were really partnering. I think this can make a difference, partnering with your clients. This is just one example, for others this can be the exception for me it’s more the rule.


      Kind regards,


      Guido Koopmann

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  4. Twan van den Broek

    Hi Guido – great discussion that you started.

    Say I’m a cloud solution provider and I want to offer my functionality to customer with SAP on premise. The architecture challenge is to have the possibility to connect to very diverse customer solutions (backend system(s) and their releases, security policies, available integration middleware). Do you think SAP HCI can support in this?

    – Easier to offer my functional solution?

    – Easier to connect to already existing middleware solutions?

    – Easier to deal with differences in SAP backend releases?

    – Easier to connect to SAP backend without an existing middleware integration?

    Kind regards, look forward to your next blog.

    Twan

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  5. Maarten van IJzendoorn

    Hi Guido,

    Interesting discussion. But I think it’s also important what the current situation of a company is. If they have alreay a very complex infrastructure and are already running a lot of interfaces via PI, will they also benefit from HCI?

    Kind regards, Maarten

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    1. Guido Koopmann Post author

      Hi Maarten,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Difficult one to answer. When you have a very complex infrastructure with already running interfaces via PI, I would initially keep it that way. When SAP HCI is evolving I would definitely do a study to see if we can move SAP PI objects towards SAP HCI.

      The benefit you can get out of using SAP HCI will be in connecting on Premise and on Demand systems via standard content. This standard content is offered here: http://cloudintegration.hana.ondemand.com

      Kind regards,

      Guido Koopmann

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