Sep 5, 2013

7 emerging trends in Big Data – SAP BW-on-HANA focused

Today it does not matter where on the planet one lives if we’re involved with SAP then HANA is a very bright light that is no longer on the horizon but getting closer every day. Many large customer are now inside this light and are reaping the benefits of moving to HANA, some are struggling to get to terms. Here are the 7 trends that are ensuring that HANA initiatives are not only successful but also the ROI is substantially lower. Today no matter where you live on the globe you are living in your own silicon valley

1. HANA is not a technology installation but a business solution
Customers and service providers: Despite repeating this singularity since 2010 we still see companies taking to HANA as just a technology installation. A technology installation is defined as lets take our current BW as is and migrate to HANA.  This is a very engineering and technocratic view of deploying HANA and is delivering results but lacking in maximizing its true potential. To these customers we ask a few fundamental questions.
Question 1: What is the business-benefit of accelerating your 700 second query to 1 second if businesses will never use the query?
Question 2: What is your interpretation when Gartner in 2003 stated that ‘fewer than 50% of BI projects will meet business expectations’ or when in 2012 they revalidated that ‘less than 30% of BI project will meet business expectations? Our interpretation is that there are over 50%, or 70% in 2012, of queries in your production BW that business does not need or is not using. Why take all these to HANA
HANA is very sexy but there are bonus points for all concerned to ensure that we clean up the landscape and environment before we migrate to HANA. We have witnessed anywhere from 20% to 60% reduction in database size by clean-up efforts. This translates to 20 to 60% reduction in initial costs and annual SLA’s that can be millions of dollars in each bucket.

2. Apps, Apps and more Apps
Service Providers: The shortest way to HANA success is in building applications for HANA. SAP has already committed a $1 billion fund for HANA start-ups, and this is the actionable roadmap for thinkers and doers to launch their billion dollar company and idea. Without a doubt, this solution cannot be a technocratic solution but need to be a business solution that impacts the business bottom line. The higher the demonstrable impact the higher the probability of success.

3. Big data is now a way of business-success-life

As we dive deeper into traditional RDBMS databases meeting our commitment to provide a query response in a 10 second timeframe is becoming more and more difficult. One simple solution is to decrease the time frame. So when we started BW we saw a year worth of data, then we shrank this to six months, then a quarter, then a month. With each spurt of growth our decision vision is becoming smaller. In driving we call this a tunnel-vision and in driving this can cause accidents. Another method of meeting the 10 second query response is caching, pre-summarizing, and other ‘tunnel-vision’ solutions.
Now suddenly, as big data is becoming more and more a reality from things like social network analysis, customer emotion analysis, running global scenarios, looking at five year trends and other such analytics as a minimum requirement. In addition customer are no longer willing to wait for once a month cost and profitability analysis because it takes 24 hours to run, and this includes global MRP runs, financial closings detailed P&L reports by plant and sales office, etc. All these business expectations and having to deal with very large and very complex runs are converging tin what is becoming best business practice.
So big data is here to stay and grow, business expectations are not going to go backwards and we all need to create dynamic and real-time business solutions to meet, and often, exceed business expectations

4. The Socially connected economy

Days when customers waited for days or weeks before responding to their stock allocations are now gone – people trade in real time and business needs to react similarly. Days when customer lived outside the firewall and marketing firms provided customer sentiments once a year are now gone- now companies measure customer emotions in real-time as they release new products or trade promotions. Days when customers talked with one or two individuals with little global impact are gone- now customer constantly communicate over social networks and can literally make of break a product launch in a matter of hours- companies now track thee customer in real-time and we are now living in a PR golden years as we can see emotions in real time. Days when service was only dispatched when a machine broke-down are now gone- now machine parts talk to other machine parts and call for service parts before they breakdown- companies are now working with machine talk in order to save billions of dollars in machine downtime and service outages. Our cars routinely tell us it is time for servicing or something is not optimal, like the tire pressure is low.  All of this is just the beginning of the socially connected economy where not only human but all kinds of devices talk to each other and automated consolidators for global optimization.
5. The globally linked economy
More and more people are now citizens of social groups some larger that many nations. These groups talk about families in Facebook or focused discussions on HANA like in ‘In-Memory SAP HANA’ group and learn and share their experiences with other members in the socially connected groups. Each of these members is influencing others in small and great ways and these links are becoming the source of global sharing of ideas and concerns.

6. SAP HANA is truly not as costly as you perceive it to be
All companies that have taken the route to ‘technocratic-HANA-Installation’ have mostly overpaid for their assets, and often compromised their ROI to a very large degree. Proactive companies are coming out with scientific principles on how to increase quality, lower costs and decrease time for deployment. Today there are few hurdles, as many customers have built all the proof points and what customers get today is extremely efficient ways to decrease their HANA costs, accelerators to rethink their global HANA methodology, many ways to reduce their HANA costs and more ways to get higher and higher user satisfaction. Very few of these are based on simple HANA installations. What one gets reminded day after day on the road is the 2010 Gartner statement ‘Without business in business intelligence, BI is dead’. So business stakeholders roll-up your sleeves and become part of the HANA deployment, architecture, modeling and deliverables decision flow.

 7. What got you here will not take you there
If we believe Gartner’s statements in -section 1, question 2- are true then our current architecture, standards and processes are currently pretty flawed. In fact they represent a 50% to 70% flaw. Proactive companies are spending a little time planning and laying a strong foundation of ‘Global HANA methodology’ and working with new HANA based paradigms, architecture, modelling, standards and processes and realizing user success scores over and above 85%- after 20 weeks of go-live. I state this based on another research that came back with ‘98% of BI projects are declared successful in week 1 after go live, yet only 50% remain successful by week 10’.
So your thought of the day is to measure the success of your BI project only 15 weeks after go-live, i.e. when business is actually using and familiar with that they have received.

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