HANA, the British Sunshine and a Naval Ship: What an event!

photo-32Following the previous blog “SAP HANA Evaluation: Why Invest?” it’s only right we update you on the event. Well what can I say? Yesterday was an exciting day for the Invenio team; it marked our first 2014 event for HANA. We held the event on HMS Belfast in London, a unique ship and venue. She is the Royal Navy’s last surviving cruiser, the largest preserved warship, and the only surviving cruiser built in the 1930s.

Luckily for us, the weather was kind, and you can’t help but love our capital city in the sunshine! We were really looking forward to showing the audience our capabilities with HANA, we have a good reputation in the marketplace for our work with this superb appliance. We currently hold the SAP EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014 in the category “Database and Technology”, awarded to us for our HANA Lab Innovation. Invenio have the largest HANA Partner deal worldwide, so we are becoming known as an organisation with expertise.

We wanted the day to be very open, to have a relaxed and casual feel to it; it was all about the delegates getting the best out of the day and giving them the opportunity to ask questions specific to their business needs. We had a large table with the speakers sitting amongst the delegates, to really allow open discussions amongst everyone.

The day started with a short and informal introduction from our Managing Director, Partho Bhattacharya, who has worked with the teams in the UK and India on the Universal Music HANA project. He explained that as an organisation, we started investing in HANA in mid 2013, despite HANA being available for the past 3 years. The reasons for this can be seen in our previous blog ‘Big Data, Hype of Reality?’ As Partho explained “if you use a PC, you will somewhere be using in-memory technology”, although you may not realise it!

SAP: Zach Dover

Our first speaker was Zach Dover from SAP, he presented ‘Reinventing Businesses through Innovation, Value & Simplicity’, a relevant, entertaining and understandable piece. This raised a number of questions from the delegates and helped them to understand HANA alongside business needs. As he explained, the way a consumer purchases is different. The way we interact and engage in 1-2-1 relationships with consumers has changed. You can send an e-mail to a customer service centre and wait a day or two for a response, if you tweet a complaint, you will receive an almost immediate response. All this creates data, a lot of which is unformatted and text, such as e-mails and social media tweets, postings and updates. With HANA you can uncover the value in your data and make it accessible to all in your organisation. HANA has shown people, they can unlock questions they never thought possible to answer, or even to discover it can answer questions they never realised they needed an answer to. Zach’s presentation was well received and really opened up the areas for discussion.

Universal Music

Universal Music, came to present a HANA case study using their evaluation, what it has done for them and where they hope to take the developments in the future. They started by explaining that an artist is no longer just someone that makes music, they are now becoming a brand, a shift seen over the past 5/10 years. Life with these artists is a lot more complicated – not just because some are divas! But due to the different streams and aspects that comes with an artist, such as merchandising, social media, direct-to-fan, brand partnerships, to name a few. With all of this comes data and lots of it!

Universal is fairly unique in the fact it has one SAP instance across the whole organisation; information can be seen across some 70 countries. So whatever is done can be replicated in the other 70 countries. With the revenue reducing from the music, the shift in emphasis is on the other elements. Universal can use the revenue from the various data streams when in negotiation with artists, to show the number of sales they need, number of downloads/streamings to generate target revenue, etc. This also varies in different countries, some are now into streaming music, but places such as Japan, still like to buy a physical CD, so these elements can be accounted for.

Universal Music are not looking at HANA as a quick term fix and have looked at this from a long term roadmap, where they are now, where they would like to be and then future developments. The current installation of HANA has been all about month end, for 20 days per month the system is unused and then the billions of records are uploaded towards the end of the month, as a result month end can take up to 10 days. Because of the native features of an SAP system, a journal entry in SAP can take up to 4 hours to appear in the consolidation tool (Hyperion).

In the POC that Invenio conducted in the HANA Lab, it was demonstrated that the delay of 4 hours, can be brought down to 5 minutes. Also, HANA’s power can be utilised, to make data upload much faster and allow the business to run reports much quicker.

‘Words of Wisdom’

To close their section, Universal Music shared with the delegates what they call ‘words of wisdom’ from the HANA Evaluation:

  • Identify your Business, Financial and Technical Drivers /Objectives/Constraints for the HANA project
  • Liaise closely with SAP and Support partners ensure your Roadmap is in-line with the SAP Roadmap
  • Limit the number of HANA options reviewed
  • Keep the POC process as short and focused as possible
  • Define measurable deliverables
  • HANA alone is not the answer to all of your businesses problems!
  • Don’t underestimate the hardware and architecture required

Following all the presentations, a panel discussion took place around the table; here are just a few of the questions asked by delegates.

  • Why wouldn’t a new ECC customer go straight to HANA?
  • What happens to commitments with commercials such as Oracle, if moving to ECC with HANA?
  • HANA is all about data in one place; our organisation has data everywhere, what is the process to get data in one place?
  • Total drilldown: Can you drill down to the original data with HANA? Other systems, don’t seem to be able to do this
  • Currently data is taking days to load, will this also be cut down?
  • If taking data from multiple systems, does the data need modelling?

To finish the day, there was a complimentary tour of HMS Belfast, what a remarkable experience, to see a piece of British history and to experience what life was like aboard for the 1963 crew. You are able to see the quarters, go aboard the 9 decks and onto the top deck with its spectacular view of London. HANA, the British sunshine and HMS Belfast made for a wonderful event!

 

HMSBelfastTo ask your own question, to see the comprehensive answers given to the questions raised or to understand more about HANA, please do get in touch with us.