Dear SCN Members,
The big challenge for the Finance Area so far has been the information in the right time. Period-by-period and year-by-year performing data treatment (Sales Close, Marketing Analysis, MRP, Production Results, Finance Period Close, FP&A execution, Budget Definition, etc) to finally present the company and business result expectation or actual profitability in the CO-PA or sometime extracting data to BW for data mining increasing the workload and the information cost.
The current resources (people, software license and hardware maintenance) dedicated to generate information which guides the company for better decision making has a cost, a huge cost.
The SAP new technology of in-memory data processing pretend to delivery real-time information across all business financial and operational dimensions combining financial and management accounting and profitability data into one universal journal.
This is the finance goal delivered by SAP HANA described in the marketing slogan for finance: Create the possibility to run on-the-fly financial analysis to take the best decision in the right time. Bring the database to memory will provide instant information access, reducing physical disk read. The biggest SAP ECC performance bottleneck which drives SAP to a solution to attend current customers needs.
There is no doubt about cost of information reduction with SAP HANA comparing to the actual SAP ECC structure. Based on that, near from now, it will demand a huge number of SAP HANA migration projects.
This migration should start as soon as possible with the current key users and system specialist to get ready for the near future of in-memory technology.
The process definition sometimes has to be aligned with the information system and data flow which will have a new concept with in-memory technologies requiring a redesign of business process thru this new data treatment.
The following topics below describe actions that can be taken even if your company will or will not migrate to SAP HANA:
– Data centralization: Analyze your system landscape around your current ERP system and check data storage duplication, for example, legacy system storing same information as your ERP in another database. There is no sense to apply SAP HANA with a system landscape with a lot of legacy system and databases integrated by interfaces.
– Process redesign: some process cannot be applied in your current system due to data processing and management. For example, production process and online backflush in a repetitive manufacturing sometimes is not possible due to the high volume of database lock designing the current production process to have asynchronous generating WIP materials when actually it does not exists. At this point raise ideas that could be implemented or improved with in-memory technologies resources.
– Refresh and redirect your knowledge: your functional skills will be enlarged and not lost with SAP HANA technology. It’s the chance to redirect ways of working so far to in-memory technologies and suggest improvements currently undelivered for technical limitations. This way of think will refresh your knowledge and prepare yourself for the near future.
– Integration and cross-business process understand: the goal to delivery real-time information across all business process will require from us the cross-business understand. The information will be triggered and integrated in real-time all business areas involved. It will be necessary to understand the information from the start until the end.
These items above describe how I am understand SAP HANA so far and how I am preparing myself for this new technologies.