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How cloud speeds up SAP implementation projects

SAP implementation projects are highly complex projects based on long lists of functional and non-functional requirements with high organizational and IT dependencies. Such projects normally comprise the complete Enterprise Architecture layers of

1. Business processes and organizations

2. Data and information flows

3. Application architecture

4. Technology and infrastructure

Enterprises need to have a deep transparency into these layers following a complex blueprint and project plan. The project scope normally covers core and context areas of the layers. The value of Cloud contributes in the instant provisioning and inclusion of services  in context areas.

Steer up with cloud services

With the evaluation of pre-defined services customers can try and test their scope and fit instead of trusting the blueprinting only which heavily reduces risks. It also moves the evaluation phase to the beginning of the project with the requirement engineering instead of having this after initial implementation.

1. gear: Gain speed on infrastructure and technology

On the technology and infrastructure with ready to use Infrastructure as a as a service (IaaS). Enterprises gain speed by using pre-configured IaaS offerings which already include the service in provisioning and maintaining infrastructure in the exact scalable size and with pre-defined qualities (SLAs). Enterprises can rent or subscribe to these IaaS offering and do not need to purchase and setup the infrastructure themselves which reduces technology and infrastructure use by several weeks or months.

  • SAP offers with its SAP HANA Cloud Platform offering Servicer capacity and performance in different packages for monthly subscription.
  • SAP offers with its SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud a fully managed hosting offering which provides productive and non-productive SAP environments with SLAs suitable for implementation projects

2. gear: Gain speed on application layer

On the application architecture layer SAP provides with its

  • Cloud Appliance Library (CAL) pre-packaged SAP products which can be directly deployed on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform or in Amazon Web Services. Therefore enterprises do not need to setup the required solution landscape with its latest patches and upgrades themselves but receive a ready-to use core-application platform which can be configured to the specific needs. This reduces the time spend on installation by several days to weeks.
  • With its Pre-Assembly Service for Rapid Deployment Solutions  (RDS) SAP provides the ability for customers to pre-build a template and ready to use solution environment based on customers specific scope by technically harmonizing the required SAP software products and activate the necessary content packages. The template is provided as a virtual image in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud or it can be deployed in any defined target data center. Customers can start configuring the solution to their needs instead of installing and testing the software themselves. This cuts the technical preparation phase of implementation projects down to 25%. More information can be found on the SAP Service Marketplace (user account required)
  • With the usage of a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) such as the SAP HANA Cloud Platform customers can build extensions and customizations outside the standard solution with using a rich platform providing pre-coded code-elements for database and process and analytics capabilities of the underlying core system, APIs and integration adapters. This decreases the implementation time as the reuse of patterns speed up the project without the need to code and test these elements themselves.

3. gear: shift data to the lowest complexity

Using a data platform as a service (DBaaS) enterprises can use the latest capabilities of designing and maintaining data and information flows.

  • With the DBaaS offering as part of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform from customers can use subscribe to the capacity they need with using the standard integration points and maintain the business and data flows through a hosted Solution Manager. This ensures direct execution from process and data modelling to SAP systems without the need to code it. Test scenarios can directly be defined and executed using Testing tools or the SAP Solution Manager capability. This reduces the implementation time up to 50%

4.gear: Full speed with standard process usage

With the use of software as a service (SaaS) offerings like

– SAP Cloud for customers (CRM processes)

– SuccessFactors (HR processes)

– Hybris (marketing, ecommerce processes)

– Ariba (procurement, SRM processes

– Field glass (workforce management processes)

– Concur (travel and expense processes)

customers can reuse pre-defined business functionality and integrate it into their business processes instead of rebuilding the functionality. With the adoption of the given process steps it is often quicker to adjust the internal process flow instead of customizing the solution to the internal process. This saves money and time of future functional updates and extensions as backward compatibility is ensured by the vendor and need to be elaborated by the enterprise.

Get your tailored roadmap for cloud adoption within a 2 weeks consulting engagement with the Cloud Strategy and Roadmap Service. SAP supports its customer in adopting cloud to their needs with providing the right solution selection, reference architecture, business case and cloud adoption methodology.

Decision trees, capability mappings and cloud integration checklists speed up the definition of hybrid landscape between on-premise and cloud-based SAP solution and components as well as third party products. More information on the Cloud Strategy and Roadmap Service can be found on the SAP Service Marketplace (user account required).

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      Author's profile photo Ramesh Babu Nagarajan
      Ramesh Babu Nagarajan

      All these claims seems to be valid only for new SAP installations which is a rare occurrence now-a-days. The value proposition of SAP on the cloud for an existing customer who has an on premise solution doesn't seem to fly on its own.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ramesh,

      thank you for your thought to which I not fully agree. Of course cloud is attractive if you can make a clean start, but all of this allies to existing customers too.

      keep in mind that a certain business requirement or change of the business model is the main driver and not cloud. If you have a complex core ERP system and plan to improve or add a certain business process you definetely should consider SaaS offerings which can be integrated using standard integration points. For example SAP offers with the SAP HCI dozens of pre-packaged integration adapters for many SaaS based business process to classic ERP.

      Using IaaS can be adopted with the next hardware exchange or contract renegotiation and at least for SBX, DEV and TEST systems IaaS is a valid choice.

      It is more a strategic definition of how much servicefication should be added to the enterprise architecture. For this it is important to quantify the value if cloud computing benefits: business agility, simplicity, flexibility, scalability and pay-per-use.

      Author's profile photo Abdul Hakim
      Abdul Hakim

      Hi Florian, Thanks for sharing this great blog.

      Question: " How an existing customer who has thousands of customization for instance extensions in the form of Badi, exits etc and stand alone custom applications can migrate to cloud (Public or Managed). Can you clarify the migration path without re implementation (rewrite) option?"



      Author's profile photo Pushkar Ranjan
      Pushkar Ranjan

      Part of the responsibilities in the mix is to help the customer also simplify their business processes and the underlying ENSW needs in light of the simpler business processes.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Hakim,

      such an approach you outline should not be the considered way to move forward. Adopting cloud means a phased approach and long-term journey where business requirements must be the driver (unless technical TCO impact is amzaingly high enough).

      If you extend the value chain, adopt a new business model, substitute an existing business process you take a portion of the installed base and replace it ideally with a cloud-based solution. In the planning phase re-adjusting business processes to the selected vendor standard is to be evaluated. As more you adjust and match the less modification will you need to develop and maintain in the future. This works well for commodity processes.

      A possible support offing here is the refactoring of custom code. While you consume regular maintenance and application management services the unused volume (time) is used to rewrite/remove modification in favor of standard functionality of the solution now available but not back in time the solution got implemented.

      Author's profile photo Abdul Hakim
      Abdul Hakim

      Hi Florian, Thanks for the clarification. The suggested approach looks like re implementation. This will work for new customers. Let us say after analysis we find that 70% of the customization is not yet addressed in the Standard SAP software. In such case do we need to rewrite all the 70% of customization in HCP (this is actual re implementation) or you suggest such customers to stick with on premise option? Kindly clarify.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Hakim, without making here a common statemtn and knowing the situation I am using your example and my previous answer: if mapping a new solutions features to your requirements and 70% is not available you better find a more suitable solution or rethink how you can change your business process to reduce the 70% to something lower. And very important ... on-premise is not wrong. If you are fine with the current landscape stick with it. If you have a new business requirement or model to implement consider the move to a cloud service and platform instead of reimplementing it on a legacy platform not made for cloud computing benefits (agility, simplicity, flexibility, scalability and pay-per-use).

      Author's profile photo Abdul Hakim
      Abdul Hakim

      Hi Florian, Thanks for the clarification.


      Author's profile photo Nash Gajic
      Nash Gajic

      Hi Florian,

      Just a question on the application architecture layer using CAL and AWS.

      I'm just wondering is there any SAP solution that can help us to allow existing ABAP systems to scale up as fast as possible in order to adapt to the real load. Just the way web application leverage resources using AWS Auto Scaling.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Nash

      For AWS, Auto Scaling is only supported for Web applications and is not supported for SAP Applications. They are in the process of testing Auto Scaling for HANA. Also Auto Scaling is basically adding additional instances to existing one using a load balancer and will not make changes to existing instance. CPU, Memory and Storage will not be changed dynamically. Also there is no provision to add these dynamically (except additional Storage using manual method) In SAP environment, we have the SAP Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM) solution for these maintenance operations.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      It’s amazing to see how many different ways the speed of SAP implementation can be affected by using the Cloud, especially when you use an SAP hosting solution manager.