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Author's profile photo Dan Lahl

Fuel Innovation with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform

The digital enterprise is all about velocity and agility. Every speedup is a competitive advantage—whether you’re shortening time-to-market or accelerating decision-making.

I like to think of the cloud as the go-faster agility engine for the enterprise… and SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) as the fuel for innovation.

HCP has lots of cool features, but what really excites me is how our customers are using this platform as a service (PaaS) to become digital winners. I’m particularly pleased about the innovation I’m seeing in e-commerce, data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Add business services quickly and easily

The importance of e-commerce is obvious. But how to roll out new services is not so obvious. For example, how do you guarantee compliance everywhere you do business?

To help you zip around these speed bumps, HCP supports a wide range of e-commerce, customer loyalty, and customer engagement services. These services—available from SAP Hybris, and others—make it easy to add new lines of business.

Jaguar is a great example. The company wanted to offer its branded merchandise online, and needed a way to add world-class ecommerce without a gigantic effort. Jaguar chose HCP because e-commerce services could immediately connect with all the other SAP enterprise systems already in place.

Plus, Jaguar needed a premium visual experience consistent with its brand values, and a platform that could scale globally. HCP’s built-in support for responsive user interfaces, plus automatic connections to Jaguar’s merchandise inventory, means customers get a great experience whether they use desktops, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. And the business services are built for global markets, and have the scalability and intelligence to support sales worldwide.  Most importantly, Jaguar was up and running with this new e-commerce service for their customers in weeks, not months.

These are just a few of the ways HCP’s business services can help you innovate. Compliance features eliminate the headaches of dealing with the tangle of international regulations and tax structures. Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard keeps payment information safe.

You can even assemble your own business functions from a broad selection of SAP and 3rd-party microservices. However you do business, HCP can help you move faster.

Real-time analytics helps smarter decision-making

Big data has been a buzzword for several years. But to make full use of big data, you have to know how turn it into actionable information. That’s why HCP’s analytics are designed so even non-data scientists like me can quickly identify business insights.

The analytics capabilities start with services that integrate data from multiple sources and then transform the data into usable information. Charting and visualization tools help communicate insights in ways working executives, managers, and employees can easily grasp.


Figure 1. SAP HCP makes it easy to understand complex data [Source: — screenshot]

For example, customers like Live Oak Bank are making great use of HCP data analytics. This bank was at a stage where continued growth required more transparent and collaborative planning processes, as well as real-time analytics for faster and smarter decisions.

Bank management already understood its business processes. What they needed was technical expertise—and that’s where HCP and BusinessObjects Cloud made the difference. Using the built-in intelligence of HCP and BusinessObjects, Cloud Live Oak could easily make real-time updates to plans and decision metrics. Charting and one-click visualizations connected data to key performance indicators for tracking.

For cutting-edge capabilities, HCP also provides ready predictive analytics to get beyond reacting, so Live Oak could anticipate what needed to be done. Time series forecasting, key influencer and outlier detections, and model-based “what if” scenario planning are all available to business analysts without the need for experts with advanced data science degrees.

Connecting an enterprise from center to edge through IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) can give you a whole new level of visibility into your operations. It can tie data from the farthest edges of your business—such as logistics for your shipping operations right back to the center of the enterprise. Add in real-time and predictive analytics, and you can understand your business like never before.

Sounds great, but how do you actually do it? With HCP, you have a powerful set of Internet of Things (IoT) services that make it easy to connect and mange remote systems.

One example of how a company used these IoT services is Illumiti, which created a mobile app that could help save the lives of miners. The MineSafe Smartwatch provides real-time data that offers context to above-ground personnel. Such vital information can help managers reduce dangerous situations by being able to respond to them immediately.

Typically, IoT technology can be difficult to implement. But Illumiti was able to combine HCP’s ability to monitor remote data through IoT capabilities with its mobile device services to create an early warning system for miners working deep underground.

With HCP, every company can now connect all the information from remote sources to core business systems for more robust control than previously possible. A company can also use real-time predictive analysis to drive alerts to all appropriate systems and personnel.

Let’s go faster together

The way I see it, all three of these examples have one uniting theme—each time, the company found a way to move faster, work smarter and become more agile. It’s been a real pleasure to help customers like these pick up speed.

To see more ways HCP can help fuel your innovation, see

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