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How well do you Know Your Customers?

Using audience data to monetise your digital content.

hospital-clubAfter a very busy summer, Invenio are now gearing up to host their next SAP HANA event for the media industry, aiming to inform and educate the media delegates about Big Data.

Digital consumers demand content on a variety of platforms and media companies must engage with consumers across all channels. Consumers leave a fascinating trail of valuable data, including content preferences, behaviour, attitudes and opinions. But once you have collected this data how do you use it to build, target and engage a loyal audience? And how can you monetise the information?

We hope to address these questions in our morning briefing.

Matthew Hembrow, previous Global Account Director of SAP, now working with Invenio’s Media practice, will take the stand to talk about how demystifying your data can help to understand customers and viewers online habits. Matthew will also discuss how the industry has moved from demographic marketing to personalised adverts that are more relevant and less invasive. This gives the media companies providing the content a positive effect rather than disruption and leaves the content providers to concentrate on the sourcing or making best content.

Our next presentation will be a real scenario involving one of Invenio’s long standing customers. The business had some pain points with their processes, mostly related to the huge data causing delays in the month end closing process. Invenio spent time studying the key pain points and planned the objectives for the proof of concept (POC). After understanding the existing landscape and processes, Invenio were able to re-design using SAP HANA and present a more robust, dynamic, maintainable and quick on performance solution. SAP HANA made significant improvements to company and the presentation will lead onto an open Q&A session.

Registrations are free and are still available so don’t miss out on this must attend event!

Book a slot with Invenio at Sapphire® Now

Less than 1 week to go:

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The SAP community are in the final stages of preparation for this year’s Sapphire Now event on 3 – 5 June in Orlando, Florida. A must event for SAP partners and customers, coming together over 3 action packed days, to learn and discuss SAP and how it can help them. Invenio are incredibly excited to be exhibiting at Sapphire Now for the first time and have a fantastic agenda lined up. Invenio personally invite you to booth 1807 at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference.

If you’re registered to attend this prestigious event, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Invenio. Go to your agenda builder and look up exhibitor information where you’ll find us. – to secure a meeting slot with our team of Industry Experts please drop me an email and I will be happy to schedule some time during your visit. You can also receive a free cross pen by bringing the confirmation with you to our stand!

Throughout these 3 exciting days, we will be demonstrating some of our latest innovations and achievements, as well as showing you how to get more from your investment in SAP.

Here’s a quick preview of what to expect at Invenio’s booth:

Using the SAP HANA® platform

HANA is one of the best technologies to fulfill large data needs. Invenio can help companies using SAP HANA to keep less-frequently needed information easily available and ready to use.

Invenio’s HANA focus and expertise has caught the attention of SAP. Invenio has just been awarded the SAP EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award (Database and Technology) for our HANA Laboratory, designed to introduce the power of SAP HANA to customers, and further deepen our knowledge of the solution

SAP Tax & Revenue Management (TRM)

Invenio in this area of expertise are pleased to announce that they will be implementing a new SAP Tax and Revenue Management system at the Department of Zakat and Income Tax, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The implementation will comprise the full cycle of modern SAP TRM functionalities. The Invenio team will be available at SAPPHIRE to showcase their competence, experience and capabilities in the Public Sector space and across other disciplines.

Invenio’s SAP Tax & Revenue Management practice is uniquely placed to offer a rapid, efficient and cost effective deployment of your solution. As an authorised SAP Partner we have a team of experienced consultants fully certified in the SAP Tax & Revenue Management solution for end to end project delivery.

Invenio’s P2P Solutions P2P for SAP

Invenio will be showcasing Invenio’s P2P Solutions P2P compelling goal: to help companies using SAP to dramatically cut costs in non-revenue generating purchasing activities by at least 50%, so that companies can increase their bottom line. The journey to unlocking these cost savings begins with your suppliers.

Invenio are proud of their unique IP in Invenio’s P2P Solutions Procure to Pay (P2P) portal for SAP. It’s another example of their innovation, commitment to SAP, and passion for driving real results for SAP customers.

This event is guaranteed to be action packed and a great opportunity to get valuable hands-on insight and hear success stories from other customers in your role and industry, subject matter experts, and SAP partners and executives.

We would be delighted to see you at Booth number 1807 where you’ll also be in for the chance to win some fantastic prizes in our business card prize draw and quiz including: A Polaroid POGO – Instant mobile printer, Digital video memo, Toshiba Camileo S30 Camcorder and a Sony S- Frame – digital photo frame.

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando in less than 1 week!

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.

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.