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.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing new even after years ... :)

    Happy New Year!