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Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

Deep Thoughts – HANA on-premise and not in the cloud, Why not?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog.

  • What would I say
  • How would I organize it
  • Do I have the knowledge to write it
  • Am I just stuck in the old way of doing things.

To answer all the above questions was I don’t have a complete picture.   I  probably don’t have all the knowledge needed to write this blog.    But I’m going to.   And I hope people comment.   People with more information than I have.   And those of us that have been quiet during this debate.

So these are my own thoughts and ideas.   Not tied to my company in any way.   (Now you know I’m about to write about something that is going to bring some disagreement.   I hope!)


I hear it being used a lot.  Nimble and quick.  Able to move quickly and easily.   Does on premise prevent you from doing those things?   Not at all.   We can quickly adapt to new requirements.   We can use different APIs when needed.   Constant change is normal.   But change too quickly and risk totally messing up our internal and external customers.   So agile – yes we need to be able to adjust to customer and internal support, but only at the pace that the changes need to be made.   Add to the fact that our business process, while not 100% correct are not standard.   They never will be standard.   To go completely standard would lose the edge we have created by not doing standard things.

The speed of change.   Implement too quickly and it will hurt business.   Implement too slowly and be at risk of losing customers.  This blog is interesting.  It can be used for both on-premise and could implementations/projects.

And I, of course, want to slant you to the darkside where you decide based on your requirements and not the hype.   Check out why a mature SAP customer or really any customer would be unwilling to move to the cloud.  Also their is a very strongly written blog by Jelena Perfiljeva about how their is not enough on-premise information on our community.


OK – so this was interesting too.  I love the fact that the cost completely ignores the cost of adding in some of the changes you’ve already made to your system on the cloud.   I’d also love to know how much that would cost us every time there is an upgrade around that change.  I’m sure it is around here somewhere.   Also there is a cost if a customization is needed

Actual implementation costs.   I’m not one of the people that is working with our consulting firm that will help/do our upgrade.   So I can’t write about the difference between on-premise and cloud.

I’m unsure as to where the statistics are coming from.   Is it new customers or older customers.  Quite frankly, I know data can be slanted to reflect what you want.  It also depends on how you ask the question.

At this point, your staff comes to mind.  It doesn’t matter, on the cloud or on-premise, your developers will need some learning time.  (Yes, Woohoo! ABAP is not on the cloud too)  However, I have to believe the learning curve on the cloud is more than on-premise.

However, yes of course, I am going to play with the newer technology that is given to me.   I love new stuff.   It’s just not going to be the 0 – 180 learning curve.  (Although that can be fun too)


You are moving all your data on the cloud.   Need I say more.   Un-hackable places have been hacked.

The Hype:

Well a lot of the blogs here are slanting information towards on the cloud.   I’m really curious as to why.   Yes, most of them are written my SAP folks.   But really, they shouldn’t care.   On-premise is their product too.    Wondering about the future of it.  Strange. Or interesting, very, very interesting.

Another thought – I write a lot of comments to ask if something is available on-premise.  The answer is varied.  Some say yes.  Some say the development will be strongly focused on the cloud as that is where businesses are moving.


According to surveys (not just on the community, everywhere)  the cloud is where company’s need to be.  Slanted? Maybe.  Brain-washed? Maybe.  Here’s a thought – not mine but I believe it – do the work that should be on the cloud, well on the cloud.  Then do the work that doesn’t need to be on the cloud, on-premise.  I know then I would want the best of both worlds.  A hybrid solution.  Ha!  That’s what I believe we need to be moving towards.

Even blogs, articles, etc say you make the choice based on your needs.   They then go back to reiterate why cloud is the better choice.   Smiling.  I’m smiling. 🙂

That much I agree – it depends on your business needs.  Period.



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      Author's profile photo Bartosz Jarkowski
      Bartosz Jarkowski

      Digital Transformation is a difficult topic for many customers. It's not about moving things to the cloud, just to move there. If you do it, you will fail in digital transformation - you'll pay more and you won't be happy about the outcome.

      To be successful in the transformation, you need to first understand your company. What are your biggest advantages? What are the risks? Based on the outcome you can decide how can you use modern technology to support your company. And it doesn't mean you need to have HANA at all!

      You can watch a session from Jeffrey Snover where he discusses the DT from Microsoft point of view (just the first 30 minutes):

      Technology gives you an opportunity to be ahead of your opponents by focusing on what is important for you. And if the powerful data processing can help, then yes, go for HANA. If you don't want to wait several weeks for the hardware to be delivered go for some sort of cloud offering.

      DT can also help you to deal with the "legacy" IT problems that you have today. For example e-mail - is it really worth to keep your old mail server alive when you have great mail services offered by Microsoft or Google? Or how quickly are you able to continue your business if your ERP server failed? Four weeks until a new hardware is delivered? Very often cloud services have built-in capabilities that let you focus on the important things.

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      There isn't a I love this button.  I do miss that.   Great comments.  I really do think taking a step back and looking at your business and processes are huge.   Excellent video.  It's worth the time to check it out.

      Totally right, the change may not include HANA at all.

      So now some quotes that stuck with me from the video: "Build the things that differentiate you, buy the things that don't."   That really hit me.  It's where so many companies will make their decisions on.

      Freeing up bandwidth for internal resources doing support - YES!  That means the people currently working internally will be working on projects.  Now that would make me happy. 20% support and 80% innovation, I'm not sure we will get to that fast.  But as the video states, one piece at a time.

      Disrupting factors - I've heard that before.  Patti Fletcher is one of the people I follow.  And that deserves a hole new blog.  If you are interested google her.  She's done many speeches on it.

      Such a great comment.  I've learned so much today!

      Author's profile photo Bartosz Jarkowski
      Bartosz Jarkowski

      Thank you Michelle for a great comment and time spent watching the video.

      You touched two very interesting topics:

      Build the things that differentiate you, buy the things that don’t.

      Let's have a look at ERP implementation. SAP developed an ERP system that supports various business processes. On top, the company delivers you the best practices for implementation - which basically says how your company should be running. Use it for the standard processes. The power of SAP is that it also lets you build custom things - the things that differentiate you as a company (and no, it's probably not a Z-copy of a standard report to hide a field).

      I think that for many organizations the first step towards the digital transformation is the decision to re-implement their ERP system. But again, you need to understand your company - do you really need 10 approvers for a small PO? Can you run the process easier? How others are doing it? Best practices can act as a source of truth to benchmark your company and establish business processes that support the organization growth.

      Think also about the opportunities coming with a new ERP system. Maybe an AI algorithm can precisely estimate customer demand and it could be something that differentiates you? I don't want to stress you, but you need to hurry up. Believe me or not, but in 10-15 years such algorithm will be a standard for many organizations and it won't accelerate your company any longer!

      Freeing up bandwidth for internal resources doing support – YES! That means the people currently working internally will be working on projects. Now that would make me happy. 20% support and 80% innovation, I’m not sure we will get to that fast. But as the video states, one piece at a time.

      That's even more interesting. I have two colleagues. The first one is a BASIS consultant and he is very afraid of losing his job when the cloud solutions are widely used. He is worried because what will he do, once the servers are away? The second college have spent some time to learn SAP Fiori. He is happy about the upcoming changes because he knows that even when servers are away, someone still has to perform the system set-up. Even better. He can ACTUALLY do the work because he already knows how. The mentioned above 20/80 rule applies especially to employees - it will be required that they innovate almost all the time. And it means a lot of learning!


      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      Learning is constant.  I am always learning!  When I stop, that will be a sad day indeed.  Yes, I'm learning Fiori.  Yes, I'm learning SAPGUI5.  I'm learning CDS too!  I can't wait to use all those skills on new projects. CDS has already become a very handy tool.    I've been playing with BUILD.   It's amazing.  It will give quite an accurate straw man for me to work with.  My internal customers will start to be happy about that.  Personas are on the list too.  But so far we haven't implemented them as a company.

      I am probably 50/50.  50% technical and 50% business side.  Meaning I don't have the depth in either, but I have fun at both.  Off-shore.  Sigh.  My last two jobs where off-shored.  This one... This job I love so if that happens.  I'll be very sad.  I honestly don't think the new projects can be done off-shore without a lot of help.  The support - if they move that away - I'm happy.  I can work on more projects that increase the bottom line.  Hopefully I'll have that chance.   🙂

      AI is going to be cool.  But I think too much of Terminator.  The chances of that are about 0.000001 percent.  Probably a lot more zeros too.  Will AI write our code?  Perhaps.  But as you say that could be 10 years out.  So a couple of years before I worry about that.

      Author's profile photo Bartosz Jarkowski
      Bartosz Jarkowski

      Yeah, the AI is a bit scary, isn't it? 🙂