Future of Broadcasting Industry

Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. What’s next in the broadcast industry?

Radical transformation has taken place over the last decade in the broadcast industry with technology now delivering content to consumers in a “whatever, whenever and wherever” experience.

The Future is Digital

Over The Top (OTT) is the delivery of film and TV via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service. OTT is central to the recent major digital disruption of the broadcasting industry. Video is now driving mainstream broadcast strategies and it’s inevitable that the future of broadcasting will be digital.

SVOD players such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. are emerging from outside the traditional TV ecosystem and they were the pioneers of innovative business models to engage with consumers through video services.

So what’s Actually Changed?

In the digital era, broadcasting companies should strategically reinvent their offerings to move ahead of the massive shifts happening across the industry. To stay focused and competitive, it is  important to understand how the digital era has changed the key process of the broadcast industry such as consumers, technology, programming and advertising.

1. Consumers

As consumers like to view the content on-the-go and mobile continues to grow, the average consumer is watching 4 more hours of mobile video weekly than they did 4 years ago. The shift is partly because viewers prefer individually tailored content experiences, but also due to the increase in quality content created for smaller screens. Due to higher bandwidth of network and advances in technology, traditional scheduled TV watching is no longer the norm. Instead, OTT video accessible anytime and anywhere is now the mainstream. Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. That creates challenges for the industry as it looks for new ways to meet consumer interests.

2. Technology

People are watching more television, consuming more videos, but the key divergence has been the viewing experience, which has expanded to multiple screens. As screens get both smaller and larger, the consumer experience is key to survival. As OTT rises, it’s no wonder that smart TV and connected TV video streaming devices continue to lure audiences back into the living room.

The impact of pay TV providers is broadband, which continues to provide higher profits than video. Broadband home growth driven by OTT gains, is helping to offset the higher programming costs and the decline in video revenue caused by cord-cutting. Mobile data traffic is increasing everywhere due to rising amounts of videos and users. In the future, broadband and wireless will continue to influence the content bundle with faster data speeds, lower device costs and more connected screens.

As Virtual Reality ( VR ) technology moves into the consumer space, the industry is extremely interested in its potential impact on storytelling, audiences and revenue. Media companies such as Paramount Pictures and Disney have applied marketing campaigns creating interactive forms of media. Content produced for VR permit the audience to view the entire environment in every scene, creating an interactive viewing experience. Live events and games will help pave the way for VR adoption.

3. Programming

The consumer movement across platforms has created a major change in how content is made, distributed and monetised. Hit content has become a major differentiator and an increasing source of leverage. To free-up resources to create big-budget content, networks have begun to trim selling, general and admin expenses.

Live sporting events, hit content and original, niche programming continue to generate strong viewership and rates while middle tier entertainment networks are falling behind.

4. Advertising

The ad industry continues to be dynamic and volatile. Spending on digital media has increased in social and video formats, but the technology to deliver advertising in the online TV ecosystem lags behind usage. Consumers access content through subscription based, ad-free, video-on-demand services and as these services have become popular over the years it has led to a decrease in adverting spending.

Broadcast and cable networks have been the target for advertisers because of their capability to deliver a massive number of viewers in real-time. But advertisers can now aggregate viewers of similar size instantaneously through OTT videos. Online players are developing innovative ways to entice advertiser’s interest, to reach large and different digital viewers. And these platforms benefit from real-time bidding, with better demographic targeting at a more efficient cost.

Conclusion – Understand your Market and offer Outstanding Content

Factors such as high speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure, smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking and cutting-edge technology have transformed the television experience from linear to an era of “whatever, wherever and whenever experience”. As OTT becomes part of consumer’s everyday life, there are new methods and opportunities to drive growth and revenue in the broadcast industry.

To stay competitive in the digital era, broadcast companies should be strategically focused to understand market dynamics, content consumption patterns, audience interests and advertiser responses. Many new forms of multimedia services become possible with the introduction of digital delivery.  One thing is undeniable –  attractive content is certain to be the key factor to stay successful in the digital era.

Watch out! Competitors are now aiming to engage your loyal customers, what can you do?

Customers can now exercise their might through strong online research and an even stronger feedback, you possibly would have experienced this too. The objective is clear for any business, ‘How can they identify the right set of customers for their key products and service offerings to improve their market share and margins’? This is the core to the businesses success.

However, there would be an internal IT team who have already invested and implemented legacy solutions to provide their business with just that.

So what has changed?

The expected turnaround time.

Businesses now expect their customer relevant analytics to be delivered right now, not in months from when they place their requirement, even more they want to analyse & fine tune it themselves.

Imagine your business or customer now requires you to:

1. Classify customers according to their contribution to your total revenue.
2. Then provide an exact breakdown of the customer-related margin, pocket margin and gross margin, which provides crucial information on discounts, surcharges and costs.
3. They then want a customer rating scorecard, which is based on several key performance indicators (KPIs) that are derived from the source data and calculated against a peer group.

Assuming the legacy systems are in place, this would be a two month timescale of a business intelligence & data warehousing project with the potential to extend beyond six months if the right solution is not put in place.

What if we could deliver this analysis within seconds? Irrespective of the data complexity & the volume of data.
customer_engagementThere are customers across the world who are utilising these solutions and driving your loyal customers towards their products and services, they are using this solution to create effective personas and actively engage with them through the right channel to ensure their patronage.

Invenio business solutions, provides you with services tailored around SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence to maximise the value of your promotions and marketing engagement to drive revenue. Our approach to deliver this solution provides a guaranteed delivery within weeks.

Keep an eye out for instalment of this blog by Sheejo Arvind.

SheejoSheejo Arvind, Practice Lead – Customer solutions (CEC) at Invenio Business solutions has 9 years of strong SAP Consulting experience, and 6 years of extensive sales experience including the implementation of SAP CRM Sales specific scenarios, delivered key billing revenue & innovation management (BRIM) solutions, actively engaged with Customer engagement & commerce solutions.

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.

SAP HANA Evaluation: Why invest?

278Today I was thinking have we connected with our blog readers enough? Have we told them of the progress we are making with SAP HANA? What it can do for them and their organisation? The conclusion I came to, was not enough! Here are a few answers to some questions you may have and also an opportunity to find out more. Happy reading!

So what is HANA?

HANA is an SAP platform to enable organisations and individuals to analyse huge volumes of ‘Big Data’ in a record breaking time. This In-Memory Appliance enables you to run real-time reports whilst continuing to add data, all at the same time as analysing and segmenting it, to plan and progress your business. HANA runs 3600 times faster than traditional disk based systems, meaning that data that can take hours or days to gather and analyse can be done in a matter of seconds.

The data that HANA uses can be captured from operational data or through the import of additional data, this means the data across the whole organisation can be utilised.

What have Invenio been doing with HANA?

The first and most important thing we realised is that there is not enough education around HANA, too few experts and too few knowledge sources. What did we do? We addressed it!

We have set up our own HANA lab, solely to make sure we are world class experts, we did this for you, our customer, to show the true capabilities of this superb software. We can perform test scenarios, using YOUR real data, to show you the true results that are relevant, meaningful and key to your organisation. We like to think of this as our ‘car showroom’, you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, we believe, HANA is the same.

Who has used the HANA lab?

Firstly, our employees. We used the lab to train and spread knowledge of HANA internally, growing the capabilities within our team. We aim to train our staff members to the highest levels, so they, in turn can help our customers.

Secondly the lab has been utilised by our customers considering HANA, we are able to run test scenarios using your personal data. We are able to manipulate it, run reports and show you in real-time what you can do with the vast volume of information your company generates. We are able to prove we can cut the time you spend analysing and segmenting the data.

Top 10 reasons for a customer to choose HANA

Here are some of the key reasons organisations are choosing to invest in HANA and the benefits they are receiving.

1. All data
HANA enables you to work with all data. Rather than working with lots of different and complex systems, HANA enables you to use one system with your complete data-set that is constantly being added to.

2. Any Source
HANA combines all of the data you gather, whether it is structured (fits into fields in a database) or unstructured (e-mail messages, word processing documents, videos, photos, audio files, presentations, webpages and many other kinds of business documents). You can then gain useful insights from this. This means you are not restricted to the data you already have in known and used databases and programmes.

3. Real-Time
HANA works in real-time. You can continue to collect the data, it can be constantly updating, but HANA will still be capable of turning that data into meaningful results. The fact you don’t need to add additional data, or stop the process and start at a dedicated time, means that the results are accurate and up to date.

4. Analysis
With HANA you can now unlock new insights and more complex data analysis. HANA is predictive and so is able to suggest and aid your analysis. Things that were previously too complex or impossible to analyse can now be done through HANA.

5. Applications
HANA has been designed to run on the next generation of applications. It will enable extra capabilities going forward.

6. Cloud
Despite being such a large and complex system, HANA has been step up to run all its capabilities on the cloud.

7. Innovation
With the capabilities of HANA, its strength of performance and the ability to analyse data like never before, it truly is the ultimate platform for business innovation. Forward thinking and development ideas are assisted by this functional and essential platform. It frees up the business to think of new ideas, rather than sitting with the existing time consuming reports.

8. Simplicity
We want to keep things simple. So HANA has been designed with fewer layers and a much simpler landscape, making using it so much easier and less complex. It also has a lower cost, essential for any organisation, considering change.

9. Value
‘Innovation without disruption adds value to legacy investments’ this summarises the true value in HANA. What is to be achieved by adopting this within your organisation.

10. Choice
As with any SAP solution, there are choices to be made, how it works best for you, what your organisation will achieve by utilising it. With HANA there is open choice at every layer.

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What we have achieved with HANA

So why should you look at HANA with Invenio? We are fully committed to achieving the best from HANA for you, our customers. We are very proud to have received recognition for the work we have done with HANA and are recognised as a Partner who has expertise in this application.
Invenio are the SAP EMEA Regional Excellence Award Winner 2014 in the category ‘Database and Technology’ this was awarded for SAP HANA, having invested in a HANA laboratory and won the largest EMEA Partner Deal for HANA.

Wanting to evaluate HANA further?

I imagine you may still have some questions about HANA and what it can do for you. Why not come along to our evaluation event on the 6th March and meet the team, this event gives you the opportunity to meet with Universal Music, who are speaking about HANA and what it has done for them. Click here to contact us.

It's all about SAP HANA

Would you like to cut through the clutter of unwanted data? SAP HANA is an in-memory database that can help your applications zero-in on the information they need – without wasting time sifting through irrelevant data. The result? Instant answers to your complex queries – and better decision making across your enterprise.

  • Get lightning-quick results from complex data queries
  • Run multiple queries in parallel – without sacrificing performance
  • Develop intricate, predictive models to meet your business needs

Powerful In-Memory Appliance for Real-Time Insight

SAP In-Memory Appliance (SAP HANA™) software enables organisations to analyse their business operations using huge volumes of detailed information while business is happening. Organisations can instantly explore and analyse all of their transactional and analytical data in real time from virtually any data source. Operational data is captured in-memory as it occurs, and flexible views expose analytic information at the speed of thought. External data can be added to analytic models to incorporate data from across the entire organisation.

Key Features

  • Real-time analytics – Analyse business operations using huge volumes of detailed information while business is happening.
  • Multipurpose, in-memory technology – Instantly explore and analyse all transactional and analytical data in real time from virtuallyany data source.
  • Adaptable, powerful analytic models – Create flexible views that expose analytic information at the speed of thought
  • Extensive, source-agnostic data access – Add external data to analytic models to incorporate data from across the entire organisation.

Business Challenges

Information is the lifeblood of business today. Organisations demand insight into business operations while those operations are running. But the volume of operational data available for business insight often exceeds the amount of data that traditional disk-based systems can process within a reasonable period of time. As a result, organisations are forced to reduce the data from operational applications into analytic models for even the most basic analyses. That means that analytic environments are disconnected from operational applications, resulting in significant lag times between gathering data and gaining insight into that data.

Organisations also want to employ flexible analytic models when working with information in order to uncover trends and patterns or to improve planning, forecasting, and financial close processes.

In traditional analytics, high data volumes require that assumptions be made during modelling in order to reduce the data set to a manageable size. Such simplified models don’t accurately reflect the multifaceted nature of operational data, often resulting in suboptimal forecasting, planning, or trend analysis – items all critical to monitoring and enabling a rapid response to business performance.

  • Process huge volumes of operational data to gain business insight while those operations are running.
  • Perform analyses based on all data from operational applications.
  • Employ flexible analytic models when working with information to uncover trends and patterns.
  • Keep analytic environments connected to operational applications.
  • Eliminate lag times between gathering data and gaining insight into that data.

Benefits of SAP HANA

SAP HANA provides organisations with better insight into business operations more quickly by analysing all the data available and enabling you to respond to changing business conditions, no matter how rapid. With SAP HANA, organisations can make better decisions more quickly by gaining immediate access to relevant information – requiring far less reliance on IT to gain the insight needed.

SAP HANA provides a flexible, cost-effective, real-time approach for managing large data volumes, allowing organisations to reduce dramatically the hardware and maintenance costs associated with running multiple data warehouses and operational and analytical systems. SAP HANA will form the technology foundation for new, innovative applications based on in-memory technology, thus enabling business applications – such as planning, forecasting, operational performance, and simulation solutions – to perform better.

SAP HANA provides direct access to operational data without affecting the performance of the SAP ERP application or any other operational software.

  • Real-time business insight by analysing business operations as they happen.
  • Better decisions more quickly by gaining immediate access to all relevant information.
  • Greater analytic flexibility through less reliance on IT.
  • Dramatically reduced hardware / maintenance costs through a cost-effective, real-time approach for managing large data volumes.
  • Improved planning, forecasting, and financial close processes by employing analytic models that uncover trends and patterns.

To find out more about SAP HANA please contact us

How Tax Agencies can use Big Data

Tax_Fraud_TechTax authorities these days face challenges across the board, but recently tax evasion, fraud, insufficient taxpayer compliance and data overload are the main topics addressed by international media. With the availability and sourcing of data and information, more and more,
people and organisations believe in data analytics to gain value out of Big Data.

Since increasing data volumes are available for tax agencies they must consider new ways , to analyse this data and to address the challenges it brings.

The volume of data produced in recent years could possibly be described as an ocean of data and to look at the analytics, as searching for ‘fish in a big ocean!’ The tax inspectors are searching out these ‘fish’ (pieces of data).

The need for tax inspectors to understand analytics is mandatory and a valuable skillset needed by governments and assess and also, to identify the answers to some of the following questions:

  • What data sources are available to address key issues, such as tax evasion?
  • What interfaces are required to update the data on a regular basis?
  • What are the costs of having the data available in comparison to the potential tax recovery?
  • How can the available data be merged to address specific needs e.g. auditing requirements?
  • What are the hidden relationships between corporate and individual taxpayers?
  • How can the data be visualised?
  • How to support risk assessments and taxpayer creditworthiness in data processing?
  • Does the data also support digital foot printing to generate taxpayer profiles?

The questions above are indicative and reflect only some of the potential topics that need to be addressed and the requirements with regards to legislation. Nevertheless, the answers to the given questions are not easy to give as special analytical skills and tools are required to retrieve the business value out of the available data to tackle the challenges and to meet the information needs.

Although a variety of tools have been around for some time, the way in which public sector organisations are using these systems is changing. Developments in mobility and cloud computing, together with improvements in communication infrastructures and data security means that tax officers can now access Big Data anytime and anywhere.

In the context of tax authorities, for example, it’s now perfectly feasible to equip field-based tax officers and remote compliance inspectors with real-time information – making their jobs more efficient, and improving overall job effectiveness. Office-based tax officers can now visualise and drill down into a much deeper range of data more quickly and efficiently than ever before. The technology enables them to analyse taxable operations based on a larger volume of tax returns, external information and a variety of other detailed taxpayer data in real time.

Invenio’s Public Sector practice is uniquely placed to offer a rapid, efficient and cost effective deployment of SAP Tax and Revenue Management solutions. Invenio helps Tax Agencies to create a stable foundation for the entire tax management lifecycle across all tax types to aid efficiency of the entire collection process. SAP Fraud Management has been designed as a platform solution to prevent fraud and non-compliance in various areas tackling the large volume of tax related data. The analytical tools and reporting capabilities enable tax authorities to gain value from the processed data to increase recovery rates on a wider scale. For more information, please contact us.

Top 5 Problems Companies Seek to Address with Big Data

The Big Data trend is sweeping across every industry – and companies everywhere are keen to learn more about the subject so they can better understand what it can do for their business.

Gartner, as you might expect, is very much at the forefront of bringing fresh insight into the subject. And it seems from a survey report they released earlier this year that there is good reason for this. Even though the Big Data concept has really only taken hold in recent times, their research suggests that 64% of organisations are now planning to invest in Big Data solutions within the next two years (news that is almost certain to keep Big Data in the headlines for several years to come!).

Although actual adoption of Big Data technologies in the here and now is still in its infancy (8% according to the Gartner research), there are a wide range of business challenges that have the potential to be transformed. In this post, we take a look at the top 5 business problems that are highlighted as areas which companies are looking to address through Big Data solutions.

1. Enhancing Customer Experience
There’s a growing body of research which suggests that businesses who invest in understanding their customers better can outperform their peers by a significant margin – and Big Data technologies can play a pivotal role in this understanding.

The entire Big Data concept as it relates to customer-centricity lies in taking multiple sources of information, aggregating it, and using it to produce real-time business insights that deliver improved insight into customer behaviours. One of the early adopters of Big Data is the retail industry. As an example, by using Loyalty Card data combined with other sources of information, retailers can quickly track and record what their customer’s habits are. This helps them to predict which discounts or promotions would have the most likelihood of enticing them back to their store. The result? Improved customer retention, increased add-on sales and improved brand awareness. Retailers with more advanced mobility enhanced systems can even run these types of discounts and promotions when the customer enters their shop, helping to increase average transaction size with real-time offers.

2. Process Efficiency
Achieving process efficiency is the Holy Grail for both manufacturing and service organisations alike. However, this has been difficult to achieve in the past since there was no way to capture huge, disparate data sets for processing and analyses. A simple activity like month end closing used to produce financial statements is a great example of an onerous, iterative challenge experienced by many organisations. This is simply because of the lack of tools and technology available to process huge sales data multiple times, from many different sources and data feeds. This leads to an inability to aggregate and allocate costs being incurred through various sources and to crunch the numbers to produce figures under the various heads in financial statements. Appropriate use of Big Data technologies can reduce the time taken to perform month end closing activities from days to hours!

3. New Product Development
In their 2013 Innovation Monitor report (*subscription req’d), the British Manufacturers’ Association – EEF – revealed that 75% of manufacturers believe that speed to market is more important than it was in the past.

A key factor that’s driving this need for speed is that in today’s global marketplace product lifecycles are shorter. Competition from previously low cost manufacturing bases has started to intensify, with companies in these countries increasing their own levels of innovation in order to move up the value chain. As these competitors start to innovate more so the product lifecycle is shortened as technical edge is lost to other, newer ideas.

Deploying applications that can analyse Big Data sources can help build an overall picture of consumer demand and help identify market gaps that might be filled with a new product or business service innovations In addition, having an iterative, constant flow of real-time data means companies can be increasingly responsive in adapting their product developments to the needs of the market today – and they can gain that all important first-mover advantage when taking new products to market.

Another key advantage is that product development also requires a certain amount of time in research labs – be it a physical product or software. Big Data technology can potentially help in simulating various outcomes during the development phase or in analysing various test results quickly which of course allows for course correction actions before it’s too late.

4. Targeted Marketing
Gaining the tools needed to analyse Big Data stores means companies can more quickly and efficiently segment and analyse patterns, trends and sentiments that help them better understand buying behaviours. For example, banks and financial institutions are using insights gleaned from daily transactions, market feeds, customer service records, location data and click streams to create new business propositions and improve their go to market strategies.

Access to this kind of information means an opportunity to make better targeted marketing approaches – much faster than ever before. In a recent Guardian article on the subject of Big Data, Matthew Bayfield, group director of data for marketing agency Ogilvy EMEA said: “The new way of thinking about [data] is more like trying to read the river, you’re trying to spot patterns. There are numerous pots of information that exist in a digital ecosystem that [companies] can tap into to try and understand more about the consumer and what the consumer wants.”

The greater the visibility of data, the greater the opportunity to market successfully. And, with more and more consumers using digital technologies, the more important a solution that addresses that challenge becomes.

5. Cost Reduction
We normally think of Big Data solutions as expensive, so you may be surprised to see cost reduction at 5th on the list. Even though the initial outlay for a solution can seem expensive, the benefits of deploying such technologies can help to reduce cost in other areas of the business. For example, eBay use SAP’s latest Big Data innovation – the SAP HANA Platform – to manage foreign exchange and improve the hedging process. By using analytics solutions powered by the SAP HANA platform, eBay gets a complete view of cash across its entire organisation – meaning they can drive proactive currency management, increase profitability, and improve operations. This has resulted in estimated savings of $40M per quarter from better decision making on currency hedges based on real-time data and trend analysis.

Invenio Business Solutions work with one of the most talked about Big Data products in the market today, SAP HANA. SAP HANA can analyse huge quantities of data in real-time, meaning companies can get instant answers to questions and use the insight to improve multiple areas of the business.

Invenio’s SAP HANA Lab allows us to create test scenarios that enable clients to experience what they can achieve using Big Data solutions before they embark on an implementation. For more details on how we can help you achieve success using Big Data, please contact us.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose SAP HANA

SAP HANA is one of the fastest growing products in SAP’s history and is viewed by the industry as a break through solution for in-memory databases. SAP HANA boasts that it accelerates analytics and applications on a single, in-memory platform as well as combining databases, data processing, and application platform capabilities. You may be thinking, “So what?” or “How does this help my business?” In this blog post below, we look at what we consider to be the top 5 reasons why SAP HANA should be on your list of new software enhancements for your business.

1. Speed – Manage massive data volumes at high speed

A live analysis was taken of a consumer products companies data revealed how SAP HANA analyses current point-of-sale data in real time–empowering the organisation to review segmentation, merchandising, inventory management, and forecasting information at the speed of thought. SAPHANA
2. Any Data – Gain insights from structured and unstructured data.

SAP HANA integrates structured and unstructured data from internal and external sources, and can work on detailed data without aggregations. SAP HANA can be integrated into a wide range of enterprise environments, allowing it to handle data from Oracle databases, Microsoft SQL Server, and IBM DB2

3. Insight – Unlock new insights with predictive, complex analysis. Before SAP HANA, analytics meant:

  • Quickly and easily create ad-hoc views without needing to know the data or query type – allowing you to formulate your actions based on deep insights
  • Receive quick reactions to newly articulated queries so you can innovate new processes and business models to outpace the competition.
  • Enable state-of-the-art, interactive analyses such as simulations and pattern recognition to create measurable, targeted actions.

4. Innovation – The ultimate platform for business innovation.

SAP HANA is an early innovator for in-memory computing. Its configurability, easy integration, and revolutionary capabilities make it flexible enough for virtually anything your business requires. Some examples of this include: ENERGY MANAGEMENT Utility companies use SAP HANA to process and analyse vast amounts of data generated by smart meter technology, improving customers’ energy efficiency, and driving sustainability initiatives. REAL-TIME TRANSIT ROUTING SAP HANA is helping research firms calculate optimal driving routes using real-time GPS data transmitted from thousands of taxis. SOFTWARE PIRACY DETECTION & PREVENTION Tech companies use SAP HANA to analyse large volumes of complex data to gain business insights into software piracy, develop preventive strategies, and recover revenue

5. Simplicity – Fewer layers, simpler landscape, lower cost.

  • Reduce or eliminate the data aggregation, indexing, mapping and exchange-transfer-load (ETL) needed in complex data warehouses and marts
  • Incorporate pre-packaged business logic, in-memory calculations, and optimization for multicore, 64-bit processors
  • Spend less on real-time computing

If you are considering your in-memory database , why not book a consultation with our experienced SAP HANA team to find out how this can really integrate and improve your business. Contact us here

Big Data, Hype or Reality?

Invenio Business Solutions – HANA Labs Innovation

If you’re in any way associated with the technology industry then you’ll know that 2013 has been the year of “Big Data”. The subject has attracted massive interest (some might say “hype”!) and everyone, it seems, is talking about the potential benefits that can be gained by implementing a Big Data Strategy.

But despite the voluminous amounts written on the subject (1.9 billion “Big Data” search results on Google at the time of writing!), many company execs are still grappling with the question of how a Big Data strategy will help them improve their business’s performance.

278Naturally the Big Data trend has not gone unnoticed by large and small IT vendors alike. And SAP in particular have been at the forefront of developing solutions that can help manage Big Data. The SAP HANA solution was specifically designed to help organisations tackle the many challenges posed by Big Data. But, because so many firms are still figuring out what those “many challenges” are, we thought the time was right to invest in our own SAP HANA Lab so we can actually show its potential.

The best way to really get under the skin of HANA’s potential was to build and test a range of scenarios so we could measure what can be achieved. Only then can we show customers the ‘why’ of Big Data – and the potential impact this can have their organisation’s performance. And, preliminary tests conclude that the potential is huge.

Below is an interview we held with our Chief Technology Officer, Naveen Agarwal. Naveen has been tasked with leading the development of Invenio’s SAP HANA Lab and, in this interview, he shares with us his thoughts on what the Lab will deliver to our customers as they start to explore the potential of Big Data.

1. What is the rationale behind setting up the HANA Lab here in Invenio?
HANA as a solution is now 3 years old, and a lot of hype was created about it at launch. However, the adoption rate we are seeing is still very low – which we think is due, in part, to the fact that it’s a very expensive proposition. HANA started maturing as a product only in the last 12 months but even today, our customers are still struggling to determine an achievable, realistic ROI that will justify the high capital outlay it demands.

A knock-on effect of low adoption is that first-hand HANA skills are still rare. There are a lot of certified consultants who have attended courses – but very few of them have actual hands-on experience of implementing HANA.

The HANA Lab solves these two problems – helping customers to identify ROI and skilling up our Consultants on a live HANA platform. To do this, in Invenio style, we had to have first-hand, hands-on skills with the product, not just certifications. We have therefore invested in an expensive infrastructure, dedicated a high-calibre team, certified them and got busy developing real applications (Proof of Concepts). The result of this activity is that we now have a hands-on, experienced HANA team that really understands the product – and we can build multiple scenarios for our customers that showcases what HANA can do, thereby helping to de-risk a procurement decision

2. In what way will the HANA Labs benefit our customers?
Customers can see actual adoption of their application before taking a procurement decision. When they decide to buy, they can benefit from our first hand experience with the product for a successful deployment. We are also investing in ground breaking application developments which are only possible on HANA and not on a traditional SAP ERP platform.

3. What is your roadmap for developing Invenio’s HANA competencies?
The Lab is now well established and the team is working on our Proof of Concept for Fast Month End Close, Real Time Reporting and COPA processing. This will finish in early December. Thereafter we are embarking on development of a National Tax Fraud Detection System that a country like the UK for example can adopt to increase tax collection. As our experience grows, more ground breaking applications will quickly follow.

4. From a technical perspective, what are the advantages to CTO’s in embracing a Big Data strategy?
The main advantage of HANA is the magnitude of speed increase which is staggering. HANA has shown it can sometimes be tens of thousands times faster than traditional databases. That brings a whole new perspective of how an IT system can be used. For example, if an analysis of National Tax Payer database to detect fraud was previously taking months, it can now be done in seconds – even while a tax raid is underway.

Next Steps
Invenio Solutions are an SAP Gold Partner providing services and solutions worldwide. If you would like more information on our HANA Lab or other services please contact us.

Online Consumer Privacy. How will it affect the media brands you love?

Advertising and the data that helps drive personalised ad targeting dominates the virtual world. For some, it helps to make online browsing, shopping and searching more relevant. But the number of online users not wanting to be seen, or sold to, is increasing – and that is driving a worrying rise in the number of people who are amending their privacy settings to block unwanted ads or promotions.

As consumers, many of us welcome the opportunity to stop annoying pop-ups and continuous ads being served up on the basis of a search we’ve made some days before. But, from a business perspective, what does ad blocking mean for today’s media companies who rely on advertising revenues to help them make money in today’s digital era? And should media companies be looking at ways to offset a potential decline in ad revenues as the adoption of ad blocking technology grows?

A recent report from PageFair – a technology provider that helps businesses detect site visitors using ad blocking – stated that an average of 22.7% of internet users are now blocking ads – and it’s a number that’s growing at around 43% per year. The report said “[The] high adblocking rate translates directly into revenue loss for advertising-funded web businesses. One typical PageFair client site suffers from 25% adblocking, costing them nearly $500,000 per year. This scale of revenue loss can be fatal. Indeed, several sites that formerly reported data are no longer online”.

The chart below breaks down some of the Pagefair findings into industries that are most affected

adblockingSites that attract more technically advanced audiences such as the gaming and technology industries are particularly affected by this trend. These internet-savvy visitors are more likely to know how to block ads and/or change their security settings which shows in the higher incidence of ad blocking on these sites. As for the news and entertainment industries, their ads are currently being blocked by 16% and 18% of visitors respectively. Should PageFair’s reported growth in adoption prove to be accurate, then these figures are likely to climb significantly during the coming years.

Research from Google Trends also shows that over a number of years the interest in ad blocking has grown at a significant rate

GoogleTrends

 

Although ad blocking may still be in its infancy, these trends do suggest that the number of internet users deploying ad blockers is highly likely to rise in the future. And with new security settings such as the Google keyword blocking coming into force this month, media brands need to be prepared in the event that these trends do ultimately trigger a decline in revenues from the sale of online advertising space.

Is Paid Content the Answer?

One way to mitigate the possible decline in ad revenues is to offer paid and subscription-based media content. Reports around newspaper giants such as The Sun newspaper which has recently erected a paywall on its site have made the headlines in recent months. Although the paywall has resulted in a substantial decline in the paper’s online readership, The Sun’s owners, News UK, still believe that the overall profit to be gained from the paywall will prove to be a winner in the long term. The rationale behind this move is two-fold: build a revenue stream through subscription based sales, and exploit the rich data set that a subscriber’s digital footprint can offer to sell relevant advertising and cross-sell various products and services.

But of course many of us consumers are used to accessing free information – and are loathe to pay money for content that can be found for free elsewhere. If advertising revenues start to decline, News UK’s move may well be prescient in that a paywall will be one of the very few ways in which news publishers can survive online.

How technology can help protect and grow revenues

Protecting and growing revenues in the midst of shifting consumer behaviour is never easy but using technology to support business decision-making can help. Tools such as SAP solutions for the media industry are specifically designed to help companies address these kinds of challenges. They provide a good supporting mechanism in helping media brands overcoming challenges in a dynamic, ever-changing environment.

SAP Business Intelligences solutions can also help to support decision-making around content and content monetisation which can help media companies to:

  • Improve the delivery of relevant premium content based on current consumer demand.
  • Optimise sales by formulating pricing strategies that accommodate different audience segments.
  • Deliver relevant content and offers that help improve subscriber relationships and foster loyalty.
  • Better analyse feedback and behavioural metrics to assess content popularity.
  • Manage complex financial workflow to improve operational efficiencies.
  • Provide highly granular reporting on all content segments for more informed decision-making
  • Communicate up-to-date key performance indicators to relevant parties throughout the business, quickly and efficiently.
  • Better use intelligence to forecast and predict trends thereby helping to identify challenges and opportunities for increased revenues.
  • Visually represent objectives, goals and key performance indicators for improve internal collaboration and confident decision-making.
  • In today’s business climate, a well-designed technology platform can make the world of difference across many areas of your business – allowing you to take decisions with confidence and chart new courses for growth and profitability.

To explore your options in more detail please get in touch with Kedar