Having just returned from the SAP UK World Tour which included the key note speech by Vishal Sikka (@vsikka) it is clear that the answer is “HANA”. Sitting in the audience in the UK you could hear a pin drop as Vishal spoke passionately about the agile implementation of HANA at a number of core customers. The stats and figures spoke for themselves and anyone following the twitter feeds would have been impressed with what they were reading. The tool itself has only been implemented by a core set of SAP foot soldiers. The common message was SAP wanted its customers to set it a challenge to see if HANA was up to the test.
The technology and solution seem to speak for themselves and from what I have read and heard the product will slowly evolve and grow. With the examples we were shown, SAP’s customers should have some confidence around the solution and I can only assume that there will be plenty of interested parties.
However the main thing I took away from the session, and also the session by Carl Streatfield at the SAP World Tour, was that the ball is in the customer’s court now. SAP is laying down a challenge to you. All of the reports and processes that you have been told you can’t have in the past perhaps you can now. All of the flexibility of data and combinations of data that you could not get in a report you can now. Customers should not be concerned around the time it takes to create or prepare a report, and all data is now available with HANA.
This got me thinking – customers need to up their game. There are many customers who have highly qualified individuals churning data to create reports. Customers need to get these people and change their mindset to see if they can identify potential benefit. If data and speed is no longer an issue business users can now start to add real value. Whilst customers may change their technology to adapt HANA they should also look to change what they do on a day to day basis. The simple opportunity of reducing headcount which currently perform manual exercises is one thing, but a braver tact is to re-engineer those business users who understand the data to make better business decisions. From a personal note I attended a track on PCM. By having product and customer information more detailed analysis can be performed on lower level costs enabling change to occur to reduce unnecessary costs or identify new revenue opportunities.