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SAP HANA, it is not about the speed !

December 22, 2012

My experience with SAP HANA started, more than 18 months ago, when I was selected, to run in the Program Management lead role, one of the first HANA Enterprise Edition “Real” projects in the World. The amazing results, and project itself was presented by SAP’s Vishal in the last SAPPHIRE-2012 in Orlando.

From that experience, it was understood, by myself and by my implementation team, that this new great technology “SAP HANA” was not all about speed, but rather, about the real capabilities to improve business performance, that can be achieved via increasing the Analytical Maturity Level of the corporation implementing.

The SAP HANA Technology is an expensive proposition, for a Chief Technology Officer, if this one, is justified as a Technology project, in which the main business benefits, are to be presented, as “fast” reporting, and easiest transformation.

In this challenging business environment, your CFO, CEO, will come back to you, in one hand, with your Investment request ready to be scrapped, and in the other hand a new timer, with the message, if my old, poor, and not mature report before took me 40 or 50 minutes to be produced, and now, after hundreds of thousands of dollars invested, it will take me, less than 30 seconds, my friend, I can wait !, and I can save this investment, and maybe, I can save in your Salary as well..

In my last 20 experiences, during the last 9 months, helping CIO’s across the U.S. understanding the best, way to analyze and decide their SAP HANA Road Maps, my main suggestions and findings can be summarized as follow.

I) Do not approach a SAP HANA Project, with a Technology hat, ran by the IT areas of your company.
II) Work this initiative, from the top business executive levels, and the management levels, those are the key decision makers, that need tools to understand and adapt their businesses to the rapid, changing environment.
III) Leverage if possible, the use of Data scientist, either from your corporation, or from your Business Consultant firm supporting you.
IV) Validate the real experience in SAP HANA Projects of the Firm, or Business Partner, selling their consulting services.
The majority of the firms, even though, claim to have experience, they really don’t have it, and base their presentations, in information learned from others, and not based on real experience.

Ask for references, ask to talk to their previous clients, if they cannot provide any reference, or they don’t bring to you another company that can talk about their work, don’t waste your time.

Bringing the right business approach to your HANA project, will help you understand from the Business perspective, the real value that you can bring to your business, the return on your investment.

At the end, you invest to make a Profit, not to experience a cool technology.

I leave you with a final thought.

The Largest Retailer in the world, is investing Millions of dollars, to refine their analytical capabilities, using SAP HANA, they will better understand their complex operations and their complex business environment.

This is the first large Private investment in SAP HANA, that will bring a significant business advantage to this corporation. We are refering to a multi million dollar investement in this new SAP HANA Technology.

If they do it, trust, me you should consider as well. We are talking about a +70 Terabyte scalable system, and we are not talking about Big Data.

Today this corporation has the most complex Business Analytical system in the world, with this improvement they will ensure their dominance in their markets around the world.

This is an example, on how to be and continue to be at the Top.


** Legal Disclaimer :My opinions reflected in this article, are totally independent and not related to my current employer opinions.

  1. Guillermo
    Thank You for share your experience with us, it will be helpful.
    Joel Gopfert

  2. Great points Guillermo!!!

    One more selling point for SAP HANA is by quantifying to Sr. Management, the potential to eliminate or minimize business processes and manpower involved in preparing / supporting periodic, month-end, quarterly and annual reports to run the business .

    I firmly believe that SAP HANA will eventually be the leading database to run any non-SAP and SAP applications in the near future.

  3. Devendra permalink

    Its true that HANA is not only about Speed… and as you mentioned any CIO or COO can delegate the responsibility to execute the required report to back office or to assistant and can save big dollars. So what is point in going for HANA. For Me HANA is:
    1. Like google of your enterprise and it answers next WHY in seconds
    2. It helps you making decision on the fly with real time data
    3. It helps your customer making decision on real time (like offer in retail based on his current profile)


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