Will SAP Make Companies More "User-Centric?"

Just weeks after SAP brought CRM to its HANA cloud through the SAP 360 Customer Solution, the company announced today the launch of the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.

In the words of Hasso Plattner, SAP's founder and chairman of the board, who addressed an audience in New York and observers remotely gathered in Palo Alto and Frankfurt, Germany, systems "have to become end-user-centric." The argument is that HANA in-memory computing can help companies make business decisions in a matter of minutes with access to real-time information on the fly.

One early user of the HANA-powered platform ws customer company John Deere Worldwide, which says it needs access to three key elements in order to run and power business expansion in emerging markets--real-time information, business processes, and analytics.

"When SAP HANA was first introduced, we were excited about the high-performance capabilities," said Derek Dyer, director of global SAP Services for Deere & Co. One of the first areas John Deere looked at was the product management process, which Dyer said had relied on "static" run reports and analysis in systems past. "We needed real-time data to change this aspect of our business. This was the 'Wow' we were seeking."

Dyer said a couple of factors contributed to John Deere's decision to run its ERP system on HANA, namely SAP's proof of concepts and a simplification of the IT stack. John Deere has its own captive data center and "we think it will reduce the total cost of ownership" of its IT infrastructure, he explained.

Other use cases could be consumer packaged goods companies with high volume data stacks and product information, as well as companies that do manufacturing resource planning and that need a way to better predict supply and demand needs. According to Carter Lusher, chief analyst for enterprise applications at Ovum, there is real opportunity for companies that run the Business Suite on HANA if they look beyond mere database speed and "radically change how they work and how they deliver business value to their customers."

SAP says it will continue to provide support and innovation for all of its databases with help from 70 database partners. Customers that choose to migrate to SAP HANA will have access to collective services and rapid-deployment options to get their business up and running on HANA within six months or less, the company says.


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