Dec 18, 2014

Mistakes To Avoid in a SAP HANA Initiative

Smart, connected products, machines, devices and operational data sources all have the potential to offer extremely rich, and valuable, opportunities for business benefit creation and exponential growth opportunities. However, efforts to seize these opportunities seem to be getting quite elusive if Gartner reports are to be believed.  
Agreed, these new disruptive technology opportunities, like SAP HANA,  will not come without challenges, yet there are some very simple strategic outliers that have the potential to provide the highest benefits to global enterprises taking the SAP HANA leap. The key is to work with proven scientific standards and processes and not get dazzled by neon lights of promises built on the ashes of the last generation technology enablement.

Some of the greatest strategic risks for SAP HANA initiatives include the following:

FOR BW-on-HANA  MIGRATION CLIENTS - (apply similar rules for SoH)
1. Not estimating the strategic benefits of HANA: Most customers that we worked with, over 19 migrations were moving to HANA for one of two, and often both, reasons . [1] Real-time visibility to very large date sets (internal big data); [2] A desire to dwell out into the www. to collect streaming data, customer sentiments, enterprise contextual nuggets out of the world of Big Data.  So without realizing customer are firstly betting into Big Data (step 1 internal and step 2 external); IoE (Internet of Everything),and then SAP HANA. Companies that simply jump into HANA without strategic considerations of Big-Data, IoE integration and HANA will firstly waste around 50% on initial start up and then may times over as they reach new stages of inevitable maturity.

2. What Got you Here Will Not Get you There: It is important to dwell on the Gartner reports of 2003 and 2012, dwell very deep indeed. Here is defined by a PRD environment where more than 70% of reports are not being used or will never be used by your business users. Facts show that the larger your Partner the harder they find to adapt, and change, to meet the requirements of the new SAP HANA platform. Their 'expert' minions will take years to adapt to the new HANA platform- during this period they will continue to deliver the same stuff that has got you here. So your safeguard is to find yourself a SAP HANA Business Benefit team with experience in BVA methodology with the BVA  acid test process.

3. Treating HANA as just another Technical Install: Our message continues to be - HANA is a strategic business solution and not a technical install.  Yet, a rather large percentage of HANA migrations, especially the BW ones we have been tracking were done more as a technical upgrade. The signature of these migrations is 'As-Is' migration, i.e. lets rapidly take your current BW environment as-is to HANA. These companies have just wasted a minimum of 40% on their initial cost for HW and SW and will continue to pay an average of 40% more annually on support SLA's.

4. Underestimating Strategic Partner Risks: Selecting your HW & SI partner because they have been your partner I the past resonates with point #1 & 2 above.  When moving to the new Big-Data, IoE and SAP HANA platform think HANA4IoE. For more details view the HANA4IoE event in Palo Alto on Nov 11th 2014. Ask your HANA SW partner about IoE questions to build SMART or INTELLIGENT enterprises, industries, Farms, Hospitals, Planes, etc. Select your HW partner based on their experience in networked and communication devices because with a SAP certification all HW providers are kind of similar (other than the 'mine is bigger' statements one may find). However if you done need a 100TB appliance why think along those lines. Select your SI partner based on their focus on new HANA methodologies, ways to guarantee 40% reduction in TCO, ROI comparisons, automated tools for optimization-and not simply their size. Think Big-Data, IoE and HANA when selecting your Triad partners and no less. Ask them for Business Benefit deliverables. Demand the BVA Acid Test deliverables for your SAP HANA.

A. Not estimating the strategic pitfalls of your HW & SI partners: Most new customers in 2014 and possibly 2015 will be the large customers. Large customers tend to prefer what we term as Tier-1 Partners.  So for their HW and SI partner their natural choice may be incumbents or companies with large names. This is an excellent choice, however, these companies need to also understand that a lot of the Gartner surveys may have been  the result of these very Tier-1 companies and their inability to change to the strict 'Business Benefit' drivers that Gartner has reported in 2003 and then in 2012. You can send the author an email to the 2012 Gartner report interpretation.  New companies that simply jump into HANA without strategic [1] quality assurance checklists and audits,  considerations of Big-Data, IoE integration and HANA will similarly waste around 50% of their assets on initial start up costs,  and then may times over as they reach new stages of SAP maturity.

B. HANA is not just another ERP, CRM, SCM, or BW install: Most of the large companies have 10 to 30 thousand SAP resources that have been implementing SAP from the time SAP started. Most of these 'experts' have set ideas to SAP standards, processes and global methodologies. Most of these companies will find it pretty hard to retool their 10 to 30,000 resources to the new SAP HANA platform. So what you will get is a lot of old thinking that will begin to dive your new platforms. As a new enterprise you do not want to take your organization to the Gartner nightmare, point 2 above. Despite every assurance the main question is how will you safeguard your self from this possibility. You do not need most of the things that drove the traditional SAP ERP, yet there is a small likelihood that you will be driven down that same legacy path because your 'experts'  know no better. You need to safeguard yourself from waste, abuse and ignorance about the optimal standards, processes and methodologies for SAP HANA. [1] Ask your partner to work on the BVA methodology for your BI initiatives and apply the Acid test for deliverables; [2] To start with find yourself a neutral trust-worthy HANA Business Value Architect whose sole job is to protect your business value  as your neutral right-hand advisor if you are the project owner.[3] Ensure your advisor is someone that you can trust and that is working  only for your and your company's business interests without any conflict of interest. Its a small expense that will save your many times over in waste and headaches.

i. Adding functionalities that you do not want to pay for: You need to tell me the business benefit of taking a report that used to take 715 seconds and accelerating it to 2 seconds if business will never use it. Performance alone is nota great reason to move to HANA. Just because HANA will improve performance 3, 5 or 10,000 folds does not guarantee your business benefit will be high. Taking 70%of redundant objects and reports to HANA will reach a point of diminishing returns - sometimes rather rapidly. We have been delivering some RBS (Rapid Business Solutions) for HANA customers as 100% custom analytics driven by business owners. This has consistently resulted in users satisfaction scores of above 85%, 20 weeks after go-live.

ii. Underestimating your Big-Data, IoE, & Security impacts: As you mature with HANA Big-Data will inevitably come into play. As you mature in big-data you will into your machines, transport, partner production lines and their devices that produce data and rapidly enter the world of IoE (Internet of Everything). As you enter the world of IoE you will need to open your firewall doors to venture outside your safety zones. as you venture out of your Firewall you will face a minion of national, enterprise and singular hackers and viruses that you may not be ready or prepared for. You need to plan for all these stages today. Smart, connected enterprises will need smart network and communication devices and products. These in turn will open major new highways into the corporate infrastructures, systems and data. All this mandates you plan for this from today with partners that are global leaders in 'Single Pane of Glass' solutions for application security along with network security, device security sensor security, communication security, information security and content security (don't want to become something like the Target or Sony Hack).

ii. Underestimating competitive and alternatives threats. : On the competitive advantage positioning your competition could right now be starting to offer smart, networked products and services which can rapidly reshape the definition of your industry like what Amazon did to book retailing or digital imaging did to photography, films and reprographics. On the Alternatives advantage positioning you could chose HW partners that are strong for inside enterprise firewall solutions but are a security exposure for IoE and Big Data scenarios. They could be selling you black-boxed appliances that your IT cannot touch and where support costs are through the roof, while you may have a TDI option for best in world class options for a maturing SAP HANA. You could partner with a SI partner that plugs a school bus of legacy resources for your HANA initiative in a platform where your IT or business knows almost nothing. You could end up with a landscape that that is 400 to 700% of you maximum requirement because your team knew no better. New technologies and platforms like SAP HANA almost mandate you look at new partners in order to take a professional decision. Disruptive technologies have a pattern of tearing traditional partners, yet those that pursue incumbency often pay the price along the way.

iii. Spending too long planning: Spending too long to move into Big-Data, IoE devices and/or SAP HANA may slowly erode any competitive advantage you have in your market or industry. Competitors that move the fastest will be able to provide higher quality, more connected analytics at lower costs- and you want to be that competitor. Some large SI's are known to pend months and years in planning and discovering what the enterprise needs(especially for new HANA customers) and quite often by the time the audit is completed the market has already moved and the original business needs are no longer  relevant. Just like ideation we can no longer plan for years, design for years and then launch a product. We need to ideate and get to production in 9 to 12 months. The days of years of planning are long gone. Now we need to move rapidly. In a world of big-data and  Real-Time business we cannot take three years to ideate. Think Scrum. Think one step at a time.

So remember SAP HANA is a Strategic Business Solution and not a technical install.

You can only get to the destination that you plan and approve. So plan your work carefully before you work you Plan.

Dec 3, 2014

Is IoT +BiG Data making traditional polling obsolete?

Big-Data and IoT are changing not only the definition of industries but proving that polling is now an obsolete methodology; It's Time for Customers and Marketers to Rethink ‘Digital’

Whatever side you stand on the controversy over polling results continues on a daily basis. You are likely to agree on three things.

1.     The first that all polls can be designed with specific question to derive very specific results

2.     The polls of the democrats are consistently  different from those of the republicans

3.     Both polls cannot be right

So after decades of polling and despite the confusion it creates in the minds of everyone involved with its designed creation, the polling itself and the results –polling has come a long, long way and I a primary job of some companies. However a recent book and what it reveals now proves that polling is a dying process that is rapidly being replaced by digital processes that are changing the very game of ‘Who we actually are?’ and ‘How we actually think?’

I presented this on the Nov 11th ‘HANA4IoT’ event at SAP Palo Alto and thought it prudent to share it with the community because of the large number of emails I received on these few slides.

For traditional polling and marketing companies this may be a big transition. After all digital analytics has been the domain of direct response and access, whereas with traditional polling one needed teams of pollsters in select geographic locations. There is no doubt that there will be no shortage of traditionalists who will find enough reasons to stay the course, while the digital marketing and analytics will continue to be a direct marketer’s dream come true.

However, it is critical to remember that in a poll we mostly get what the polling person wants to get and we never get the whole truth. If you stop a person on the street and ask randomly ask them ‘What sex and age group interests them the most in a dating site?’ There is a high probability that most respondents will not tell the truth.

Just in the same way when we poll business users in a post go live BI business users and the IT team a simple question, ‘Do the reports in your BI system meet your needs and expectations ?’ the results are always very different. However, both answers cannot be the empirical truth but just different points of view. Based on our twenty plus years of BI implementation and support experience where is the average you should generally expect to get. [1] 20-30% satisfaction scores from actual business users; [2] 70-90%satisfaction scores from IT resources; [3] under 30% from Gartner report based on feedback from over 2,500 CIO’s globally. If you feel you have the integrity to be truthful take this poll and tell us what you think. (Remember if you lie then you prove this blog correct, if you tell the truth then you may face the reality Gartner and I have been preaching about since 2010).

What we are finding is that the reality is not on who we say we are but in what we actually do, and even thought the industry is still latched on to the last click, the truth still will hold sway. So while today there is a lot of focus on that people say the future lies solely in what people do. So rather than the top funneling their results into the poll questions and the way they could be answered, the future is dealing with life on the EDGE where people actually do what they do, without being asked what they do nor why but simply the reality of what the reality is ‘As-Is’

Here is the crux of this blog from a book I have recently read called ’Dataclysm’ by Christian Rudder who is one of the president and co-founders of a site called OKCupid- a dating site like, etc. As a Harvard graduate in math’s he delved into the data side of OKCupid and of humanity. The book reads like a thriller and the results are what prove that polling is quite redundant. Its reality that counts. To keep it simple will let the data do most of the differentiation between polls and reality. Caveat: [1] This is based on results from Dataclysm analysis only; [2] It’s my best explanation of what I saw and interpreted and may not represent the absolute truth.

Baseline: During the process of joining OkCupid you fill a form and some of the questions deal with what you are looking for. This helps internal algorithms align you with the right match. So a 35 year old male may state (poll) that they are interested in meeting a 25-30 year old female, or a 35 year old female may say they are interested in meeting a 35-40 year old male. The analysis below demonstrates the delta between who we state we are (poll results) and what we actually do (fact).

Fact 1: Poll- women: According to over 10 years of dating data the delta between what women say and do is rather narrow. As demonstrated in this graph 20 year old women reported (polls)  that they were looking for a 20-23 year old man, just as 35 year old women reported that they are looking for a 34 -36 year old man. While a 41-45 old women were mostly looking for 39-40 year old men. Fact- women: most of the women actually viewed, communicated and met men within their specified tolerances to a very large degree. Thus the delta between polls and fact for women is rather low with regards to dating data.

 Fact 2: Poll- Men: According to over 10 years of data the delta between what men say and
do is exceptionally large. As demonstrated in this graph  20 year old men reported (polls)  that they were looking for a 20-30 year old women, just as 35 year old men reported that they are looking for a 35 -42 year old women. While a 41-50 old men stated they were looking for 35-50 year old women. Fact- Men: Here is where it gets truly bizarre and funny all at the same time. Most of the men consistently actually viewed, communicated and tried to meet women within the 20 to 24 year range. Whether the man was 20 year old or 50 year old their primary preference is to meet and date a 20-24 year old woman.

So according to reality ,this represents the true gap between polling and the actual facts on the ground, the mind of men, on dating sites, looks something like this. It a very narrowband of 20-24 year old girls that they all first want to date. So next time someone tells you that you have a narrow mind they may be closer to reality than most of us would like to admit.
Whereas a poll is a form of admittance reality has a zero bias of id or ego, right or wrong, good or bad. It simply records what is.

 So in this interesting example we scratch the surface of what people (poll) enter when they have to answer a question and then what they actually go and do which is so strikingly different that it crashes the whole foundation of every wanting to depend on polling results. As my wife likes to say, at least where men are concerned.

That’s not to say that polling will no longer be a valid medium of opinions as it shall continue, But now mainly due to the ability of some powerful groups, influencers and marketers ability in proving the direct relationship between polls and their ability to predict changes in human behavior based on poll declarations at precise times. However, as we move forward more and more companies, politicians, political parties and most of all the media companies are already becoming interested in ‘Reality as it truly stands’ and not knee-jerk answers to planned questions that seek specific results.
My aim in this blog is to continue a dialog in further understanding the link between the human id and ego, between who we say we are and who we actually are, between who we say we will vote for and what we actually do. Of decreasing the delta with our big-data predictable analytics via using social data as against random polling. This challenge is a human psychology one and not a polling or digital one. We, as humans, treat ourselves as personal brand ambassadors and what we state in polls is more about self-branding rather than the truth about what and who we actually are.

At a recent conference with over 20,000 attendees we were able to track ‘in-real-time’ the movement of attendees by conference floor and booth, the movement of support staff by individual task, density of attendees and services and most important of all the tweets about different sessions and topics even as they were being broadcast-like keynote speaker sessions. Global branding is rapidly exploding into the digital space, and the digital arena is rapidly adopting to big-data and social network analytics. IoT devices connected by a seamless network devices providing streaming data turned into real-time decision focused analytics. 
All marketing, including digital marketing, is driven by a baseline of assumptions as to what customers like to do most frequently. With new IoT driven digital marketing applications we are now reaching a point where they are able to stop people in their tracks with the power of ‘who we actually are’ and the customers' emotional experience. In other words it is now time for customers to shift their thinking from traditional polling methods to more scientific methods and get access to far greater truth than polls can ever hope to provide.  

This is not going to be an easy shift to get accustomed to or to pull off. Matching true actions in real-time response means tracing the customer journey from a bottoms-up, inverse funnel all the way to actionable predictions, through to validation of final actions. This will probably be a massive data undertaking no matter how we look at it. However, unlike polling the process is iterative and self-correcting so we never have to send out new minions out into the field and start afresh in every new poll. It will build on itself and become more and more automated and accurate with time.

Capturing this new inverted digital polling and market emotion needs new approaches that go far beyond standard the capabilities of traditional algorithms that we typically worked with.  That’s because customers now expect end-to-end analytics that often take place over months and are accompanies with branding, mail campaigns, direct tele-campaigns, and short burst efforts as we get closer to the close of the campaigns. The more real-time data you have the better you can manage the campaign, the more accurate the analytics the better your decisions become. In essence, rather than focusing on the polls and their accuracy now decision makers can focus on long-term goals, aligned to short term facts and the rapid realignment of strategies to facts in true real-time by geo location. Its hardly the process that traditional polling and marketing companies are used to.

None of these skills are rocket science, nor are they simple to develop or acquire. Traditional polling and marketing companies will continue to trudge in processes that they are familiar with simply because it is their playing field, period. But then these are digital assets that have seen tremendous breakthroughs over the past few years and are today critical for success in our new digital world.

It is now up to customers to decide if they want to embrace the new big-data and digital world that is rapidly encompassing everything we do, or stick with direct polling and marketing as we have done for the past few decades. The price to pay is obsolescence. Because no matter what you or I think the world of branding and marketing has already gone digital. Polling is the next game in town as we have moved past sending humans to the streets and asking questions to strangers with the only responses being [1] the way my questions are designed to be answered, and [2] what the respondent thinks they want to tell us. It has nothing to do with who we actually are.

Nov 28, 2014

Force Multiplier for Business Value + Big Data + SAP HANA

The word “Force Multiplier,” is used by the military usage, refers to any process that acts like an accelerator catalyst when combined with another process enabler. Force multiplier effect is when the joint impact becomes greater than either of the two processes ,or their individual additions, on the end result.

So what processes would work as  force multipliers in an IoT and Big Data world? Based on our experience in identifying and often creating new products for the commercial and IoE world we believe that great products need three legs to become truly effective.

1.    The Human connection: At the end of everything the final interpretations should not be representative of how complex the data science was but how easily the human mind can interpret, and take necessary decision, from the information. Just like in traditional BI, when data is left to the technocrats we get a lot of reports and interpretations but not necessarily business transformational analytics. If you don’t plan for attaining business value then don’t expect to reach that destination by chance.  Without the human connection factor we can have solutions that only the scientists can understand, rather than answers that make all the underlying data invisible. Due consideration must be made as a user at a box manufacturer thinks very differently from a CPG user from an Army major or a CERN scientist. Never forget the human factor or what we refer to as Business Value Attainment. Success of any new technology initiative must be measured only by how much it optimizes the day-to-day tasks of the business consumer accomplish their tasks more efficiently
2.    Invisible Data Science: Data Science is the ability to use scientific principles with statistical algorithms by identifying patterns in very large volumes of data to identify previously unknown signals in a new and real-time manner. However, the big question in BI, SAP BW, BW on HANA and Big Data is how much of this complexity needs to be exposed to the consumer. The best deliverables are where the underlying data and the science becomes invisible and only the decision relevant information, alerts, predictions or prescriptions remain visible. Great analytics do not reek of complexities, data or algorithms but only of simple visualizations that enhance decisions. Simplicity is a not a technology solution but a human neural pathway nuance that gets activated by the right stimulus. Data Science has evolved quite a bit in the evolving definition on the role of data scientist. Initially in discovery phase it was very cold and technocratic. It then evolved by leveraging people from statistics and a background of working with very large data sets. It has now come to a point where simply producing interesting technical graphs is no longer the desired goal. The human factor is becoming more and more important. The new sauce is the ability to understand business benefits, human neural pathways, human behavioral science and user needs and then to deliver analytics where the underlying technical algorithms and data science becomes invisible. We are cross training our data scientists from being cold statisticians to warm behavioral science, business benefit and the human factor experts too.
3.    The Technology: the foundation of all this is the technical capability of available options that can perform the tasks in accordance to predictable timeframes. As a baseline there is a need to have a minimum technology platform and infrastructure to meet some of the new challenges as a lowest prequalification for playing the big data game. For SAP customers it could be HANA, Hadoop, Horton Works/ Cloudera/ Sparks and Business Objects.  

While there is a lot of ongoing discussion of the business benefits and the operational side of IoE and Big-Data, one thing is becoming very clear ‘ the near future enterprises should be less concerned about the sheer volume of of IoE device data, and more concerned about making it usable by different layers of consumers and administrators. For example Duke Energy is already thinking of the IoE competitive differentiator by enabling buildings, support vehicles, people, power plants and smart meters integrated into their operational analytics and management informatics. The problem here is no the data but in making it relevant for decision enhancement.
Based on our lessons learned from the BI projects in the last two to three decades we need to firstly level the playing field by accepting the Gartners 2003 and 2012 BI reports that empirically reported that 50% and then only 30% of BI projects will meet business expectations. Anyone having read my papers is probably familiar, or even bored, with these Gartner stats – but the major question is what have each of us done about it and how do we plan to mitigate this risk as our data volumes explode in the very near future. Do we still want to work with the same partners, their experts, their resources and their methodologies that have got us to our current state where according to Gartner ‘more than 70% of the reports in your current BI production environment are not being used, or will never be used, by your business users’. Do you plan to replicate this reality in your new big-data and HANA platform?

Here are three real-life examples that we would like to share with you:
Business Scenario 1: Using IoE for higher customer experience and lower operational risk in the Hospitality sector.  PrideVel is already a major provider of hospitality application for hotels and hospitals with applications and solutions for guest experience solutions. With the advent of the IoE connected device capabilities we are now looking at adding networked devices with capabilities of temp and humidity alerts from rooms, boilers, chillers, fire sensors, smoke sensors, humidity sensors, across hundreds of establishments and buildings in real-time. These centralized real-time streams are managed by a central command center that have a holistic view of a group of enterprise buildings, or hotels across a region, or a residential complex of high-rise buildings. These new IoT options for the hospitality sector provide real time alerts to critical risks like fire, leakages, unauthorized intrusion with a real-time visibility of mitigation assets in the proximity of the risk.
Business Scenario 2: Using IoE for higher customer experience and lower operational risk in the Utility sector. Three factors are making huge difference in the utilities segment. The first is Smart Meters and all the data they produce that can be mined, filtered and shared with consumers for changing their usage patterns. The second is the ability of a home or an alternative provider becoming a provider and consumer of electricity. Homes, institutions and providers by installing solar panels, or other forms of generation capacity, on their property. The third is aging gas pipelines that need to be professionally monitored, tracked and replaced and scientifically monitored in order to avoid a gas explosion in a residential area like it happened in the San Bruno fire that gutted many residential homes and resulted in more deaths. There are solutions available for each of the three scenarios today.
Business Scenario 3: Weaving IoE into the strategic selection of partners, methodology and deliverables applicable to general segments. In the strategic context almost every customer investing into SAP HANA has a high probability of using external data sources sometime in the near future. External here refers to the upstream and downstream value chain partners who have the potential to produce data that can impact decision efficiencies. This in a world where currently over 90% of enterprise analytics are currently conducted only on the midstream data, i.e. processes existing within the enterprise firewalls. Pridevel has created an asset base of SAP and SAP HANA strategic workshops combined with automated recalibration products. On one side our workshops provide executive checklists for strategic decisions including critical questions to ask for partner selection and at different phases of the HANA deployment initiatives. On the other we have a sleuth of automated products that meet our IQDCT (Increase Quality, Decrease Cost and Time) philosophy. By weaving strategic ‘business benefit’ considerations into the planning phase we have consistently saved companies millions of dollars in their HANA installation or migration plans.
Why is the human factor in HANA deployments important?
It has more than been validated that in most companies  business actually funds most IT projects. Thus, business is the prime customer for new initiative and most of the IT deliverables like SAP HANA. It is business that is the judge and jury of what IT finally delivers. If business users do not like what they receive the project becomes a disaster zone rather rapidly.
It is also currently prevalent to find that in many companies the following scenario: IT wants to deploy SAP HANA but business is stalling the decision with a ‘Show me the business benefit first’. Inn some cases IT has already deployed the technical solution but business is floundering with the true business value it brings. 
So why is this HUMAN factor important?
1.    It assures consumer satisfaction scores: At the end of the line for any BI project or BW-on-HANA project sits a bunch of humans. They either like to deliverables or sometimes totally dislike what it provides. It is critical to the success of all projects by assuring the technology platform is right. When IT starts to take decisions on behalf of business owners and users things can become a little tricky. By involving the business owners and users early projects can substantially increase its success factors.
2.   It focuses on 'business benefits' by making the technology transparent: From a technology perspective data is going to have volume, velocity and variety. It will be subject to machine learning, pattern recognition, map reduction, business filtering, textual mining, contextual visualization and a host of other filters that delineate the data and technology from the business needs of the end consumer. Business benefit focus allows solution architects to ‘box’ the transforms into neat bundles of ‘Consumer Relevant Matrix’ designs with a full understanding that consumers of information have different needs and think differently than the developers who create and transform data. It translates to that -business users have dynamic information needs that are driven by their sphere of influence vs. IT that has a historical view of reporting requirements based what their triad partner provide to them as solutions or what users have been using for the last 5 years. We call this as the CSS (Consumer Satisfaction Score) that measures the true success of any new technology installation. According to 2012 Gartner BI report most global BI projects will have a CSS of under 30% for the period of 2012-14.
3.    It identifies the true customer: It is more than proven that the human users in the enterprise are the true consumers and the final customers for most IT initiatives. Gartner has been pointing this fact out since 2006 that IT has been segregating business from BI project decisions, and that business stakeholders need to take ownership and accountability of their investments. The human focus allows projects to deploy BVA (Business Value Attainment) methodologies that have consistently raised end suer scores from their current 20-30% to above 80% simply be adopting a different methodology and roadmap to deploying IT solutions – mainly those dealing with BI and Analytics.

The Strategic mindshare starters are
1.    STRATEGIC BENEFITS: how do we protect strategic investments based on decisions taken today?
2.    IoE CONSIDERATION: Audit every selection through the strategic enterprise IoT and IoE needs across the full value-chain.
3.    HUMANIZING: Replacing cold technical deliverables with warm ‘business benefit’ and user friendly ones by training and involving business stakeholders into the process.
4.    BVA Impact audit: Audit every report in the production system for its ability to amplify business benefits, outcomes achieved based on actual user inputs and output signals from across the full value chain. Leverage CSS scores to measure true success of initiatives.
5.    Leverage Business Benefit Force Multipliers: The solutions are clearly written on the walls the only issue is as to how many of us, as key decision makers, are willing to read the obvious.
These Force Multipliers come packaged into half-day workshops, executive one page checklists, IQDCT methodologies along with automated tools for remodeling, re-coding custom ABAP and accomplishing system mergers, i.e. merge multiple SAP system into 1 prior to HANA migration.

Actual Results achieved: At one of the world’s largest BW on HANA customer we reduced initial HW and SW investment by 68%, we reduced BW size from 97TB to under 20TB, we reduced NRR (New Run Rate on HANA) from CRR (Current Run Rate on BW) by 22%.
At another retail customer we reduced the HW requirements by 52% with a 1 day workshop and 3 weeks of workshops with their SI Basis leads.
At still another customer we merged 2SAP ERP system intone while in production, At still another we merged three regional BW systems into one prior to moving to HANA.
So as you take, plan to take, or after having taken the SAP HANA leap- it is your choice to make this yet another leap of faith or one based on scientific principles leveraging proven best practices that deliver the highest quality at the lowest cost and in the shortest time.






Nov 21, 2014

7 Tips on How To Deliver the Highest Quality at the Lowest Cost SAP HANA platform

‘Some of the most unhappy customers have been our greatest source of learning’, and 'the success of any new technology can only be measured by the business benefits it enables’
Are you planning to migrate to SAP HANA? Here are a few tips that come from real life experience or what we term to state as VOE (Voice of Experience). By following some of these and combining them with the tips by Zora Caklovic in her blog you can come up with a solid technical and business solution that is sound both tactically and strategically. For net new customers tip#3 is most critical with a slight flavor of all the other tips for consideration.

Tip #1:  HANA is a strategic business solution and not just another technical install
A lot of customer, with recommendations of their triad partners, have treated the SAP HANA migration as just another upgrade or migration.  In this methodology the SAP applications are migrated ’As-Is’ to HANA without much clean up or optimization.  This unfortunately is a tragic mistake due to which customer routinely pay far more and get a lot less.
Recommendation: Treat HANA as a strategic business benefit solution. Ask for a HANA BVA workshop for your business owners and key stakeholders so they are aligned to the business benefit aspects of migrating to SAP HANA.

Tip #2: Re-Size your current environment before you plan to migrate to HANA
Optimizing your current database prior to migrating is professionally a very critical decision for every customer. As a customer if you do not review the TCO and ROI impact of optimizing your database prior to migration then you are probably wasting more enterprise funds than what you will end up paying for the HANA migration.
Proper optimizing is very important. If you do not optimize you will end up paying 40% to 60% initially and the same ratio on an annual basis for support. Over a period of five years this can be more than your initial investment in the full HANA migration.
Recommendation: By undertaking some very simple steps we have been able to reduce TCO by an average of 50% with one workshop of 6 hours with 3 customers. In one of the world’s largest HANA migration we managed to reduce the TCO by 68%. This represented a 68% reduction in initial HW & SW costs. It also represented a decrease of annual support costs by 68%. You do the math.

Tip #3: What got you here will not get you there
Firstly understand what here stands for. Anyone who has read my communications from2009 has probably read this before. However, despite my shouting this for the last 4 years very few people seem to be listening. Here is how we validate what the aboe headline with a statement, my translation and my validation question ask of you

a.    2003 Gartner Statement ‘Fewer than 50% of BI projects will meet business expectations. Translation: over 50% of reports in your production system are not being used, or will never be used, by your business users’. Question: Is this true in your DW or BW environment
b.    2013 Author’s statement: ‘Someone tell me the business-benefit of taking a 700 second report and accelerating it to under 1 second if business will never use it. Translation: According to Gartner’s 2003 feedback 50% of your reports meet this criteria. Question: Do you really want to approve moving this 50% of dead objects to HANA
c.     2012 Gartner Statement: ‘Fewer than 30% of BI projects will meet business expectations. Translation: over 70% of reports in your production system are not being used, or will never be used, by your business users’. Question: Without planned intervention your dead data volume is growing faster than what you use. Finding all this manually will take years-use our automation tool and finish in days.
d.    Understand who got you to this here position: Statement: If you agree to the above reports from Gartner and out surveys then it is critical to identify who got you to this ‘Here’ status. Your existing partner. Translation: according to Gartner recommendation we have to rethink our architecture (FEDW), models (automated), resources (new) and our partners who continue to walk the old talk. Question: What is the probability your old partner, their experts and resources will continue to drive the new HANA platform on their old standards and methodologies.
HANA is a net new platform. HANA is a new database type. HANA requires net new Architecture, modeling, transformation, basis support, security and new standards and processes for optimal success.  We have been called to many post migration customers where things did not going accordance to customer expectations. Does this mean HANA did not meet their expectations? In every case the answer is a solid No. In every case the migration team used resources that were familiar with how things used to be and assumed that those rules could be cloned in HANA. In one case we were faced with reports on HANA that took 700 seconds to run. A solution was provided in 3 days that enabled the same report to run in under 3 seconds.
Recommendation:  Review what all needs to be re-tooled. Just because you have worked with your current SI and HW partner does not translate that they are your ideal partner moving forward.  Start from your existing methodology documents and convert them to the new global SAP HANA Methodology that includes HANA specific standards and processes that mostly are similar to your old application methodology, but in certain areas is very different from anything you have done in the past. Review your current partner, their advisors, their resources and methodologies for having adapted to HANA.

Tip #4:  Plan with the SAP HANA roadmap then align it to your strategic business goals and user expectations
HANA is a not only a net new platform, but it also has many options as we travel to the future.
The FIRST set of selections are
1.    Stand Alone: Also referred to as Side-Car. This is probably the premium HANA option with the maximum performance potential. It also comes with a bunch of SAP RDS (Rapid Deployment Solutions) options that can be deployed out-of-the-box. It is also the ideal place to build custom RBS® (Rapid Business Solutions).
2.    BoH: or BW on HANA. In BoH option 1 your typical BW database is migrated from your legacy db to SAP HANA. In this option transformation continue only in the application layer, as before. This option does not allow native HANA database transformations from HANA Studio. BoH option 2 is the Enterprise edition where we can roll-in the Stand Alone HANA under the BW umbrella and get all the true HANA functionalities incorporated under our BW. Data can be merged from Enterprise and BoH on HANA for Analytics.
3.    SoH: or Suite on HANA. This includes SAP ERP (ECC), CRM and SCM. Once again this is the typical SAP application where the database in initially migrated from your legacy db to SAP HANA. SoH on HANA comes with many reporting options, prebuilt reporting views and HANA Live for real-time operational reporting. In Option 1 your typical ERP database is migrated from legacy to SAP HANA. This database is entirely separate from your SAP BW HANA database for example. Operational data is still stored in ERP for HANA and analytics still run from BW on HANA. In Option 2, phase 1 we can drive BW analytics from the same HANA database under the ERP via leveraging HANA live as a datasource from our HANA ERP. In Phase 2 we merge the two application layers on a single HANA database under the ERP.
It is most critical to plan for the data merger in the near or distant future from today in order to avoid future database merge whenever that happens.
Recommendation:  No matter where you start, Stand Alone or BoH, there is a critical need to analyze where you plan to be in 5-8 years. Companies will save millions of dollars with proactive planning and future-proofing their environment. Without this critical exercise these unplanned migrations will need to be totally deconstructed sometime in the future as systems and databases start to merge. A stitch in time will truly save nine in this case.

The SECOND set of selections are
1.    Scale-Up: This is a single node where we keep adding memory. Until recently a scale-up was needed for any SoH installation or migration. However, recent functionalities where a common database may be possible, or where SP9 now provided multi-tenancy option this option is becoming a strong consideration.
2.    Scale-Out: This is a multi-node option where we keep adding additional appliances. Until recently a scale-out was recommended for BW implementations that might exceed around 1TB in size. However, recent functionalities that allow SoH installation on 3+1 scale-out models change the capabilities of how we may, or may not, leverage scale-out options.
Recommendation:  Different enterprises that are suited for the Scale-up and others for the Scale-Out. Different business needs are suited for one of the other. Companies needs a business and IT review of needs vs. options with a business value architect in order to undertake professional decisions based on empirical practices.

The THIRD set of selections are
1.    Appliance Model: These are traditional HANA builds that most customers have got used to. The appliance model was first introduced in 2005with the BW Accelerator, and I still remember a comment by a data-center manager at a large Pharmaceutical customer where I was the PMO for a BWA installation. Their datacenter was located in South San-Francisco and he would not allow the BWA to enter his data center as an appliance. SAP and the HW vendor would not deconstruct the appliance. His reason was that in accordance to his data-centers governance all servers had to be on a earth-quake proof box. The HW vendor had nothing like that. To cut the story short in one of the meeting he stated “Your technology must be pretty unstable that you have to certify to the degree that you do. Is your solution so immature that you cannot even allow re-racking of the servers or a different power plug on the appliance..”. This statement has stuck in my mind and the appliance still is that same. The appliance is a ‘Black-Box’ that cannot be touched by the customer. It comes with comes with a stiff annual support charge of varying options and most of the components in the appliance are from the HW supplier own solution, i.e. they cannot be the best-world-class option today. In this option customers are locked into the contractual whims and fancies of a single provider. See my paper on ‘Is TDI going to make the HANA appliance model obsolete’
2.    TDI: As the SAP HANA has matured it has also stabilized. It has today stabilized to a point where SAP currently allows customers to choose the HW to their preference and selection. My datacenter manager in the Pharma company can today chose the box separate from the compute and still separate from the storage. He can choose the best of best in each category, provided the company has a SAP certified component. For example he can chose the Cisco UCS as the world’s best Compute for HANA, then chose EMC as the world’s best storage and so on and so forth. What he now ends is a best-in-class configuration that is higher in quality than any appliance, is lower in cost and strategically aligned to their future of IoT and IoE network device integration needs. The only con is finding a partner that can certify the combination and support the platform –which is what we do as part of our daily operational support services.
3.    Virtual: With VMWare now providing virtual options it will be a short time before we also have virtual production HANA servers. A lot of companies are already leveraging virtual environments for their non-Production systems. It is only a matter of time before virtual technology is approved for production environments
Recommendation:  I personally strongly recommend undertaking an executive workshop of two to four hours with business and IT stakeholders. Reviewing the enterprise and business expectations and then taking this key decision in a professional and planned manner. There are companies that are suited for the appliance model and other that must chose the TDI platform. The future is clearly the TDI model.
The FOURTH set of selections are
1.    Customer Data Center: A number of large companies have their own data-centers where they keep and host their infrastructure and servers. Some of these data centers are maintained by the enterprise while others are outsourced to external vendors. These datacenters are designed for installing bare-metal severs that are either owned by the enterprise or leased from their HW providers for fixed contractual time periods.
2.    Hosted: Hosting is undertaken either in your HW partners data centers, or in third party datacenters. For example SAP,IBM and HP have their own data-centers where they will install your HW and maintain it in accordance to their contractual SLA’s.
3.    Hybrid: A number of customers that are planning to move to the cloud but not ready yet for a full blown cloud move. Currently they are moving their non-production environments to hosted/cloud environments and keeping their production environments in their own data-centers.
4.    Cloud: We see a big potential and an upcoming swell for moving applications and appliances to the cloud. Clouds too come in different flavors and locations. Private-clouds, hybrid-clouds and public-clouds.
Recommendation:  I personally strongly recommend taking the hybrid approach as a starter for SAP HANA. The future is looking like a migration to the cloud for now as all large providers are building more and more petabyte cloud options. At current rates of expansion there is a remote possibility that supply will soon exceed demand and the customers will gain in moving to the cloud. However, the larger question is the inter-connections between all these public, hybrid and private clouds for seamless access to real-time data and decision support. So while SAP,IBM, HP, Amazon are all racing to building ever lower cost cloud options, Cisco is focusing on building the Intercloud fabric – a secure networked solution that links all these various clouds securely in a seamless manner. Decision has to be based on business goals and then aligned to available options.

Tip #5:  Fully comprehend every available option for reducing the HANA TCO
According to all surveys one of the barriers for moving to SAP HANA is the sticker shock. However the bigger questions are [1] Is it is really so; [2] Can we reduce the cost without compromising the quality
1.    Is it really so: It depends totally on who one speaks to and their experience, clubbed with deployment methodology.
a.    According to SAP and Forester:  By moving to HANA in a planned way- SW costs can be decreased by 70%; HW costs by 15%; and admin / development costs by 20%. Forester interviewed various customers and then came up with an average manufacturing company of 40,000 employees. Over a period of 3 years TCO across modified scenarios was 37%.Total cost with HANA came to $19,663,124 and without HANA it came to 31,324, 017.  This represents a clear TCO reduction of $11,660,893 as visualized in figure 6 below.
b.    According to Cisco & IDC Report:  By moving to SAP HANA on a Cisco UCS platform. By leveraging the unified computing fabric and single pane fabric for administration-   companies reduced server support expenses by 68%; server deployment times by 84% and reduced productive employee downtime due to HW downtime by 96%. Over a 5 year period ROI was 368%, Business benefits achieved $4.79 million payback period was a low 10 months.

c.     Actual facts on the field:  One of the immediate questions that bubbles forth is – this is all conjecture- what represents real-life experience in the field with actual customers and real HANA installations. I’ll give you three of my personal BoH (BW on HANA) migration examples based on a matrix of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

c.1 The Good: Customer 1 is one of the world’s largest CPG companies wanting to migrate their BW environment to HANA. Their corporate BW was currently between 93 to 107TB uncompressed and an 82 blade BW Accelerator that was bursting at the seams. They had 3 additional regional BW’s totaling around 200TB. Our HANA solutioning was done along with SAP. The standard consensus was to migrate all BW environments as-is. Looking at the sticker-price the customer decided to review moving to HANA in 2016-17. We proposed a pilot and prove that we could-[1] Reduce their global BW costs by 68%; [2] Their NRR (New Run Rate-post HANA monthly support cost) would below their CRR (Current run Rate) by 22%; [3] we could merge their 3 global BW environments into a single BW on HANA; [4] By using our proprietary cube cleaning SW we identified potential cubes for cleanup in the global environment and remodeled 10% of the cubes in the regional merge-thus reducing 15% of their BW footprint. Overall we reduced TCO by 68% for their HANA migration due to which the customer commenced to move to HANA in 2014 itself. This converted to an initial saving of 68% and an annual decrease of support costs by around 70%.

 c.2. The Bad: Customer 2 is one of the top 5 CPG companies that decided to move their BW environment to HANA. Their BW was around 52TB and the sticker-shock was hindering a rapid decision. We requested a workshop during where in 4 hours we along with SAP experts prove to them that we could reduce their BW footprint from 52TB to 27TB. The decision was made to move to HANA with our achieving around 50% reduction. Based on advice from their incumbent experts, this customer did not opt for further cleaning and automated optimization and went live on a BoH that could have been further slimmed by an additional 25-20%. After go-live we were brought in for various tasks including further post-migration cleanup and enhancing some of the performance in data loads and query performance.  This customer stopped optimization discussions the moment we achieved some threshold in their forecasts.

c.3. The Ugly: Customer 3 is a large manufacturing companies that migrated to BoH on an advised ‘As-Is’ basis. The customer has 5 year binding contract with one of the big-known companies. They had an 18TB BW with a BW Accelerator. Post migration - performance enhancements promised to the customer were not achieved, the queries ran approximately as fast as they did before migration. The project installed a new Business Objects 4.xOLAP where some of the queries were taking 300 to 700 seconds to execute, where customer expectations were for sub-second executions. Their production environment had crashed twice adding to the user experience dilemma. We are currently working with the customer. In week one we identified the reason for their BOBJ query failure, being that they had retooled their existing BW resources with internal training for BOBJ which was the root of all problems as they continued to think BW while developing on WebI and Crystal Reports. Within the week we identified 3 reports and increased performance of the BOBJ queries from 500-700 to under 3 seconds. We found that the reasons for the production crash was that their partner basis support did not have SAP HANA skills and did some steps that were logical in the old BW but not recommended in the new SAP HANA platform. The customer has now given their HANA basis oversight to our more mature SAP HANA team. The customer has now reached a point where they need to order around 30% additional memory due to  data growth- our recommendation to increase data quality and decrease database by 40% has been accepted and we are currently providing proposals that could reduce BW size by 50% to 70%.The probability of our achieving this target 0.9.
Recommendation:  The sticker-shock for HANA has many options that business and IT stakeholders need to fully comprehend. We provide an executive SAP HANA workshop of4hours to understand. I personally strongly recommend taking the IQDCT (Increase Quality, Decrease Cost and Time) approach where our proven methodology provides higher quality while at the same time reducing costs. We used the same scientific principles in each and every of the above projects. In addition to this when budgeting for the HANA migration think of the total landscape with the production pipeline, DR, HA, Backup, projects pipeline and then work with HANA Solution experts that can scientifically provide optimal solutions.

For SAP customers it is critical to realize that most customers are taking the SAP HANA leap for one of two, or both, maturity reasons. The first is to increase the performance of existing analytics and reports and to be able to view more decision relevant information in Real-time.  The second, normally after the first is realized, is to find the diamonds in big data consisting of streaming, networked device and customer emotion data- the true big-data endeavors from outside your enterprise firewall. It is most critical to remember this as strategic planning for optimization for the future where the Internet of Everything is today a reality providing solid competitive differentiation. For example currently there are around 4,200 HANA customers- how many of them have [1] actually conducted a strategic workshop to align strategic business goals with technology roadmaps; [2] Reviewed their HW and SI partners through the strategic IoT and IoE lens of shared network devices and connected communications capabilities; [3] reviewed how to maximize business benefits, data quality and decision capabilities as the lowest cost (TCO). From my personal experience of having visited over 42 HANA implementations less than 5%.
Recommendation:  Ultimately the success of deploying any technology or new platform can only be measured by the business benefits it enables. It’s impact on the bottom line. Just as an example we routinely build our custom HANA RBS® solutions that start from the ground up with business stakeholder with an aim to identifying business needs and then delivering them in an 18-24 week time frame to production quality level. Our last RBS solution realized its ROI in 10 months. With another customer we are using HANA for analyzing deep sea video for real-time alerts to leaks hundreds of feet under water. With still another customer we are building a Smart building solution for managing building security and operations with real-time alerts and decision assistance support.

Tip #7: Focus on what is important to your company, users and industry
Identify the focus of your business owners, users, company, enterprise and industry competitive positioning. Keep a close tab of what the global CIO priorities are. For example the 2014 Gartner symposium projects that the top 4 areas for the next 5 year enterprise spend are digital marketing, e-commerce, customer experience management and business analytics. Have worked with 2 pharmaceutical companies where each of them had different strategic charters. The top priority for the first was ‘Shareholder value’, for the second it was ‘number of FDA approval elements in pipeline'. While for the third telecom company it was ‘digital revenue generation’. Identify what decisions are most critical for your business stakeholders, even if some of them are not available. Then review each of them through two filters of competitive differentiation and business benefit. Attached below is that the global CIO community is indicating as their priority in IT spending is going to be over the next 5 years

Recommendation:  There is an old saying that ‘No wind is a good wind if the captain knows not their destination’. Some of the highest benefits we have realized in our HANA projects is with 100% custom business solutions that were identified, designed, tested and validated with actual business stakeholders and users. My personal recommendation is to ‘0-baseline’your business benefits sans your existing IT environments and with your current knowledge of business. Your competitive differentiators are unique and can easily be further catalyzed with high-performance and real-time analytics. Plan your work before you work any plan. Plan it with business owners and stakeholders

Conclusion Tip:  Think business-benefits from the start to the end and beyond go-live
Some of my favorite books tend to start and end with the same point of reference as does this blog. Business stakeholders are the judge and jury of all our HANA initiatives – once they give a thumbs-down we usually witness project teams running around like headless chickens and getting into unplanned project approvals that are both costly and unproductive as they tend to be even less planned than the prior one that failed. All this comes not from a bad technology, or platform, but bad system integration, planning and lack of strategic business alignment. My book BI Valuenomics deals with this specific problem and draws an actionable roadmap out of this dilemma. So before your commence your SAP HANA project- please go and set your user expectations and only then proceed to leverage some of these above tips. Then proceed to build your own world-class highest quality and lowest cost HANA platform that work better than your prior environment with an aim to exceed user expectations.