It has been a collection of events that lead me to finally blog again here on SCN, apologies for the absence!. In correct order was a nice mail from Mark Finnern which helped me to find the right subject and angle. Then I came across this photo which I found on Linkedin and I thought it was simply brilliant since it described a reality in such direct beauty that it was almost brutal.
What you see is the reality of many managers in IT. They are too busy to “keep the lights on” that they cannot focus on innovation. I come across those situations almost everyday at customers. In a former job I used to say that I will write the book “1001 reasons to not do anything” in reference to an attitude of people who were not willing to think outside of the box or maybe even not capable. Just in case somebody feels this is a Rant, wrong!!! Simply when we talk to customers or partners we find often times motivations on their side which leads them to say “No” and it is important to understand what those motivations could be and what could be “goodies” we can offer in order to drive the motivation in the right direction.
Hint: There is not Penicillin at this point in time. Most customers have different motivations and triggers which will lead them to drive change in their organisation, for sure this will change over the time as adoption is growing.
I saw yesterday on Twitter a link to the following ASUG Survey: ASUG Member Survey Reveals Successes, Challenges of SAP HANA Adoption Thought it is just the preview but I did find some things that I were really interesting.
- 3/4 of the respondents who said that they have not purchased yet SAP HANA said it is because they have not found the right business case yet for it
- 65% of the respondents started their SAP HANA journey with BW on HANA
Please take the time to read the full document in the link provided. Whilst I have seen already comments that those numbers are “not good” I would be more positive and say well we have some points on which to work and there must be a starting point somwhere.
The first point to me is not really a surprise which does not mean that it is not an area that deserves much more focus. In a recent conversation with an IT Director of a Retailer he told me “You know, HANA is really expensive and I do not think that we need it”. This is a very standard answer that I hear, yet it is the moment when the emotions rise and I like to ask some questions. Especially in a retailer who have many times 60-90.000 cost centers, how do you measure the profit of your sku? Can you tell me at what profit you are selling for example a 1.5l Water Bottle of Brand X in your stores, differentiated by store. The answer is in 99.9999% of the case “No”. Taking this a step further it means that an IT Department today is not able to respond to the business with one of the que KPI for a retailer (profit of good sold). Yet he says that he does not need it. Where am I going?
I agree that customers need more guidance in order to understand what are the fundamental differences he / she can achieve with HANA. There are many and this is actually the beauty of it. Cost is an important factor? For sure but if you look at how customers are operating today with many disperse systems, ETL etc there is huge cost in there as well which after all delivers very little to no added value. Being able to drive down cost is very important and, yes we are doing it!
In most of my customer engagements we are doing a HANA journey and use the DesignThinking in order to help them identify the areas of where HANA would be driving value for them. It is a very important step in a sales cycle since this moves us out of pure IT but talks to business.
What I like about HANA is the fact that allows you to take the journey. It is your decision on how much you get out of it. Just like you can take a sports car to just drive in the city or on a speed limit highway at 100km/h, but you can take it much further and this is when you really get to the most of it.
Most of my customer have started the conversation with Cost Reduction and Increased Productivity. By reducing the IT Stack significantly we are helping to lower the overall cost. Productivity is being increased by use cases like BW. If a BW System is slow the tendency of the users is to use it only if there is not other way around or not at all. This makes the investment even more expensive since there is no ROI!
I am very critical on using the speedfactor of HANA as an argument. But yes it is also an argument but by far not the only one! If the BW is fast and has a simplier structure (allowing more drill down to the user) this will increment their satisfaction level = usage level!
These two points alone already justify the move towards HANA by themselves. But then we come to the areas of Innovation and Innovation (DataDriven – BigData) and Transformation where you do really disruptive things. Remember the phrase of Henry Ford “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” yet he drove the revolution!
With traditional solutions most people try to answer the three dark squares. The real value however lies in the area of “I don’t know that I don’t know”. Many times this is related to IT. Coming back to my example of the retailer and the profit calculation. Why do they not have this on their #1 priority list? Mainly because it was not thinkable to do such complex and data intensive operations in a timely and cost-efficiently manner, though it is a core question of retail!
There is a lot more todo and even more to explain and educate but it is really on us.
Last but not least: This might be a good analogy
Of course this should not be done by one person alone!