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Invenio – Three fantastic days at SAPPHIRE NOW

Well Invenio are no longer a SAPPHIRE NOW ‘newbie’… And our first experience of the world’s premier business technology conference was certainly a good one.

The marketing team arrived in Orlando on the Saturday, and by the Monday we were raring to go. We headed over to Americas second largest exhibition centre – Orange Country Convention Centre, to get the ball rolling and to prepare the finishing touches to our stand.

Before long – Tuesday morning had arrived, the rest of the Invenio team had touched down in Orlando, and by 8am the whole team were present at booth 1807 amongst 25,000 other SAP enthusiasts ready to kick start the event!

So what happened at SAPPHIRE NOW?…Here are a couple of Invenio’s key takeaways

Interest in Procure to Pay:
After showcasing our very own procure to pay portal; Invenio’s P2P Solutions – at SAPPHIRE NOW, we discovered a great deal of interest.
The Invenio’s P2P Solutions software helps companies who are using SAP to dramatically cut costs in non-revenue-generating purchasing activities. Meaning companies can increase their bottom line.

The delegates who visited our stand found this a compelling proposition, and as explained by Bill McDermott in his keynote session – many people were seeing a real life example of… “Simplify everything so we can do anything.” In the same way Universal Music did when they implemented Invenio’s P2P Solutions.

HANA is everywhere:
One thing was made very clear at SAPPHIRE and that was that HANA is EVERYWHERE!
Many of the keynote sessions involved HANA presentations or examples of how customers had used HANA successfully – giving them the opportunity to ‘share their story.’
Across many of the exhibitions stands lay HANA demos, whitepapers and discussions around how SAP and their partners can help. It was clear that HANA is a major focus for SAP and its partners right now.

Invenio are very much supporting the HANA revolution and have created their very own HANA Lab. The HANA Lab allows prospected users to test real-time scenarios and also it will enable Invenio to deepen their knowledge.

Invenio has just been awarded the SAP EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award (Database and Technology) for the HANA Laboratory and the work they did with Universal Music Group.

In the following few weeks we will be running a series of blogs to talk about further takeaways and verdicts from SAPPHIRE Now. Look out for the following topics:

  • SAP wants to become simple
  • FREE SAP Fiori and Personas
  • SAP’s partnerships with hardware Vendors and platform partnerships with eBay

In the meantime if you missed out or would like to re-cap on the highlights from SAPPHIRE NOW, here are a few blogs which we recommend:

• Day 1 recap: What Happened on Day 1 of #SAPPHIRENOW?
• Day 2 recap: SAP HANA filled day at #SAPPHIRENOW
• Day 3 recap: SAPPHIRE NOW, Day 3: #SAP #HANA Changes Everything

We would like to give a special mention to our three prize draw winners from the event:

Brian Docili from Technicolor
Gretchen Shaw from Baker Mckenzie
Alex Glatman from RBS citizens

Speaking on behalf of the Invenio team after three days of manning our sponsored booth at Sapphire in Orlando, we all returned with a fresh perspective. The whole experience was both motivational and revitalising.

Thank you for visiting!

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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.

Big Data in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Mankind is generating more data in two days than we did from the dawn of man until 2003 (Eric Schmidt, Google).

The use of Big Data has become a very important tool in helping businesses to outperform competition. In most industries, existing businesses and new entrants will use data-driven strategies to innovate, compete successfully and capture value.

Among the biggest challenges confronting the pharmaceutical industry is bringing a drug to market. This is among the riskiest and most expensive endeavours a pharmaceutical company can undertake. Here are some statistics –

  • Only 10 -12% drugs make it from discovery to commercial launch.
  • Cost per successful drug averages US $4 Billion
  • Average time from discovery to launch is 12 years

Against this backdrop, pharmaceutical business are constantly looking for ways and means of getting new drugs to market quickly, cost-effectively, at reduced risk and ensuring maximum patient benefit. Pharmaceutical businesses are constantly looking at ways to help take more intelligent decisions on which drugs to pursue.

To be able to take these decisions, pharmaceutical businesses needs to access / analyse huge volumes of clinical, market and legal data to help zero in which drug has the best chance of moving from the R & D labs to the consumer.

Areas where big data comes into play are:

Tracking data pertaining to previous clinical trials

There are a number of sources of information pertaining to historical clinical data that provide valuable insight into negative or other effects on trial patient populations.

Commercial viability of a product

A historical analysis of similar products factoring current and future regulatory environments, market conditions and market size helps assess profitability of a potential new drug.

Tracking regulations – globally and in regional markets

Pharmaceutical businesses are global. Any new drug that is launched is almost necessarily for the global market. In this context understanding regulatory frameworks in global markets and their impact on a new endeavour is critical and timely, successful global launch.

Monitoring current clinical trials

Tracking current clinical trials and any insights to be had from such trials helps re-adjust and re-align on-going trials factoring in any new insights that might be available.

Providing personalised treatment

 

pills assortment on white bakcground

Medicines imageDoctors always aim for treatment which will have the highest probability of success. In such cases, knowing the patient’s past history and marrying it with results of clinical trial results for a particular drug could result in the most optimal course of treatment.

Big Data offers the ability to analyse vast quantities of data which is central to making tailored treatment plans the norm. With the in-depth analyses that are made possible through Big Data analytics, pharma companies can match patients to a specific drug or course of treatment that is most likely to work for them. It also enables medical organisations to access information that will help to develop comparative effectiveness models for specific treatment scenarios which can, in turn, enable accelerated development of more cost-effective approaches to the delivery of a wide range of healthcare services.

Drug Safety

Predictable information on the side effects of a certain drug or drug combinations is the outcome of clinical trial reports. However field reports of a drug i.e. after the drug has been released and used by patient groups can be more easily accessible by accessing data from a range of sources- prescription data combined with online forums and patient records.

Applicability of drugs across other conditions

Innovation is not merely about discovering new drugs. It is also about being able to reuse active ingredients to treat other medical conditions. Accessing bio-chemical data on a drug along with patient outcomes and information on side-effects could help the healthcare industry take informed decisions on the wider applicability of a drug.

In each of the quoted instances above, there is a necessity to access tomes of data both internal and external. Internal in the form of clinical trial data, bio-chemical information on a product; external in the form of social media, drug safety data available in the public domain etc. There is also the challenge of sifting through and reacting in real-time to the large volume of chatter on the social web.

Given these humungous data volumes that need to be manipulated, processing times and response times could run into days – even weeks. Clichéd as it sounds, time is money. This is literally so in context of pharmaceutical businesses looking to get meaningful information to enable them take decisions. Decisions to discontinue an R & D initiative, to modify a product recipe, to modify a research initiative to incorporate new clinical findings etc…

SAP’s High Performance Analytic Appliance – SAP HANA – can potentially allow companies to process millions of interactions in real-time to deliver deep, actionable insights. HANA reduces processing times from months, weeks and days to days, hours and seconds. Some of SAP’s partners like Invenio have actually set up HANA labs where they are actually demonstrating the effectiveness of HANA in manipulating terabytes of data in real-time.

Please contact us for more information

What is Big Data? What does it mean for your company?

101Big Data is everywhere; and can be found wherever we have the capability to capture any form of data. This can be personal data, online web traffic, social media outputs, purchase transaction histories, to name just a few. This data is captured from many different sources meaning these all individual pieces of information can make a data set that is so large and complex that it becomes almost impossible to manage using ‘traditional’ data processing tools. It also means that the processing power needed to make sense of this information can become incredibly costly and complex to manage.

Clearly each organisation’s maximum capacity for data varies – and so the point at which having a high volume of data becomes a problem also fluctuates. But, as the volume of data increases, the length of time to analyse, predict and to seek trends is greatly increased. So, as well as the cost of additional processing power, the number of people needed to process data increases – and the time taken to extract meaningful information increases in line with the amount of data stored. Below we take a closer look at the key advantages you can realise through deploying a Big Data solution.

Increased and unnecessary headcount

The number of staff it takes to sort, analyse and report on massive data sets can be extensive. You can have a whole team whose function it is to sit and produce the necessary reports on a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly basis. If an organisation invests in the right tools to address Big Data, these staff can be freed up to concentrate on more useful value-added reporting that is faster and more accurate. This gives you more effective use of your biggest asset, your people! Clearly if you are in human resources and finance, the benefits of improved efficiencies and reduced headcount can be very compelling when considering any Big Data project.

Time

Time is probably one of the biggest factors in the requirement for analysing Big Data; time is precious to every organisation and every person, and so the more time effective we are the better… as they say, time is money! Big Data solutions can help to drastically cut the amount of time personnel are taking to extract information and work with data sets. It means more time can be spent on increasing the number – and the value – of reports. A good Big Data solution will enable you to free up time to improve your productivity and increase reporting, making a much better and streamlined department that can add more value to the organisation.

Expense

Rising costs are a problem for any organisation and so the added expense caused by data capture and analyses should be reduced where possible. All elements have a cost associated with them – whether it is data capture, data storage or the cost of personnel. To collect data and do nothing with it will still cost the organisation – whether this is a loss of the opportunity you have available, missing trends or key insights into your organisation’s performance. Some data has a requirement to be kept for up to 7 years i.e. financial. To just store this information, rather than use it to your advantage, is not making the most of your assets. The way to look at the data is how it can make the most for you, your team and your organisation. To be able to see peaks in sales figures for example, and then pre-empt these with the necessary logistics to fulfil these orders quickly, can actually help save you money and help to grow a loyal customer base.

Keeping ahead of competition/Overperformance

Using a Big Data solution that is accurate, fast and works, can have a massive impact on an organisation. SAP for example found that installing Big Data analytics for their CRM system resulted in a system that was 250 times faster — resulting in 30% cost savings compared to the previous CRM installation. If your organisation is working at these increased speeds and with relevant and accurate data, you will be able to move faster – giving you a distinct advantage over competitors.

How can SAP HANA from Invenio help you?

SAP HANA is SAP’s answer to the Big Data challenge. SAP HANA can transform the speed at which your company operates by enabling real-time insight into every aspect of your business operation as it happens. And by taking advantage of high-speed analyses of all of your data, the second it’s created, you get answers based on information right now.

Invenio are a certified SAP HANA reseller, and can help you to understand how this ground-breaking technology can help you to improve business insight and performance at speeds you never thought possible. For more information contact us.

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.