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We have been working closely with a growing number of SAP System Integrators over the last several months. In this blog I like to share how we are able to significantly support many of these System Integrators with their important and strategic SAP HANA businesses and even more importantly, help their customers to materialize the tremendous opportunity and business value that SAP HANA brings to their digital transformation journey.
Of course, at the heart of this is the Ocean9 cloud service for SAP HANA on AWS or Azure. But I do not want to focus on any technical specifics, but rather the new type of qualities and value it brings to projects by making them, simply put, simpler (no pun intended). – Let me get started.
Let’s face it: While SAP HANA based offerings like the next generation S4/HANA are game changers based on their revolutionary architecture and obvious business advantages, it is definitely not easy to quantify the business benefits and compare them to the migration time and effort as well as the need and cost of new HANA skills within the organization. Best way to come towards solid estimates are hands-on HANA evaluation and assessment projects. But traditionally, even proof-of-concept (POC) infrastructure is expensive and time consuming to procure, especially for on-premise deployment, but even when leveraging existing cloud providers. At least this is what our System Integration partners have told us.
The result: SAP System Integrators are frequently faced with an invisible hurdle standing between them and starting an SAP HANA customer project at any particular customer. And for firms with established and fully staffed SAP HANA practices, this creates a serious challenge around consultant utilization and ultimately bottom line.
Now, with the help of the Ocean9 cloud service for SAP HANA, our SI partners are able to start projects immediately.
“Imagine ... Signing a consulting project contract on a Friday and starting the actual hands-on SAP HANA implementation the following Monday!”
The same exercise and challenge described above will repeat with most successful initial POCs that leads to a full blown project. Now, serious implementation and transformation work is starting and a more elaborate SAP landscape for SAP HANA as well as the application server is needed. – Again, time and money to account for in the project plan for deploying non value-added dedicated on premise infrastructure or working with a traditional managed cloud service provider.
As opposed to this, with the Ocean9 cloud service for SAP HANA, all this can be accomplished via very simple operations that take only a couple of minutes to execute. At the push of a button, the team can provision all development and test systems it need. And if you need an additional system for some extra data migration test runs for example, again, click a button and voila the system is ready.
In terms of cost, with public cloud and Ocean9, you also have options. For example turn the systems off outside of normal working hours or weekends. Or rely on automatic system idle detection for shut down.
"Imagine ... gaining tremendous project flexibility and business agility while saving CAPEX and reducing total spent!"
The big day is coming closer and the team is counting down for go-live. But while – again – infrastructure needs to be sized and ordered, a lot of open questions remain. Imagine the data archiving project got delayed due to concerns by the business and it is not yet clear how much data can be moved either into warm storage or off line. And this will affect database size obviously and hence HANA infrastructure size. – Most prudent project managers, god bless them, will now opt towards a conservatively sized larger infrastructure. And that also before the final full data load including full test of HANA compression was performed.
The result: Most likely, the SAP HANA system will be over-sized, frequently also accounting for data growth over the typical three year depreciation horizon.
In contrast, with Ocean9 for SAP HANA, you can again wait until late in the project to finalize your configurations. And these final configs can be based on a multitude of live tests on actual cloud infrastructure. This allows to optimally size the systems.
"Imagine ... Perfectly sizing your production system to actual need without any wasteful over-provisioning ... plus simple adjustments down the road!"
And while I do not want to talk about technical features of Ocean9 for SAP HANA, I do want to emphasize that a seamless transition from a project setup to an enterprise class production setup is again as simple as a few button clicks. And just to be clear: This does include sophisticated Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery configurations using SAP HANA System Replication with up to three redundant systems!
"Imagine ... SAP HANA System Replication at the Push-of-a-Button, across three redundant sites if you like!"
Imagine, the project is finally done, and is a huge success. More users want access and additional business units want to be on-boarded asap. Wow, isn’t that great? Well, except, the hardware and infrastructure game from previous phases is starting yet again … And with the new S/4HANA capabilities and paradigm, the chance of such a scenario is very likely. In fact, I have heard the exact same story from a customer in Australia years ago. Here is what had happened.
A large Australian multinational had been using SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse for many years and was plagued by typical issues of inflexibility and performance, resulting in a lack of user adoption and satisfaction. So when SAP launched BW on HANA, the company took a very early dive into the new technology and, guess what, BW on HANA solved all the previous problems. Combined with a related mobile deployment and the solution became so popular overnight, that new hardware was required immediately. Plus, suddenly the reporting system, which was not even the system of record, became business critical! Hence, the company invested in an expensive secondary system and implemented one of the first SAP HANA System Replication solutions. – A great story, highlighting required speed and agility for deploying additional infrastructure for projects gone right.
"Imagine ... Accelerating your SAP HANA project or roll-out following business and user demand!"
I promised not to turn this into a blog of technical details. But I do want to quickly highlight key solution qualities of Ocean9 that solve the above challenges and enable a smooth project progression all the way to productive deployment while minimizing the amount of related forecasting, planning and investment and therefore significantly reducing project cost and risk while increasing delivery speed. – Here the key qualities:
Quite likely it may. But to be honest, we have met some System Integrators that have such scale that they can afford their own SAP HANA infrastructure for any kind of POC or project, plus they have all the required staff, skill and resources to get projects and customers off the ground quickly. And if you can do this in a profitable way, and do not want to rock the boat, stay with it. There is lots of truth in the following sentence:
“Never change a running system!”
If you have invested in a solid SAP HANA Practice, you have groomed and discussed SAP HANA with your customers, but are not able to launch into as many SAP HANA projects as you had forecasted, maybe the Ocean9 cloud service could help you?!
What we have seen with our current SI relationships is, that being able to bust the myth of SAP HANA infrastructure complexity is a key puzzle piece to get the HANA project pipeline going.
"Imagine ... You and Your System Integrator Business is the most agile and nimble player around, starting projects faster and working through them more smoothly!"
What have been your experiences around HANA adoption and complexities around infrastructure procurement and provisioning? – Please leave a comment below or reach out to us with our experiences and needs.