HANA and the Business of the Future
The digital economy is driving a fast-changing business and regulatory climate that puts tremendous pressure on organizations as they race to streamline and digitally transform their businesses to avoid disruption and stay in the game. Data is at the center of this digital transformation. The speed with which relevant and useful information and business intelligence can be extracted from the overwhelming flow of data is what sets companies apart from their competition.
Imagine having business intelligence at your fingertips any time, anywhere and on any device to speed up decision making, drive strategy, guide expansion, respond to new regulations and model necessary reorganizations. Think of a large grocery chain where decision makers can not only see every market basket of goods purchased over the past few years, but also what is being purchased today and how it impacts profitability, all in real time.
If you could get a true, 360-degree view of in store and online transactions and add customer feedback from Twitter or Yelp, derive accurate predictions to guide your marketing campaigns and tie initiatives directly into your profit analysis in seconds, not weeks or months, it would change the entire dynamic of your business. You might say this would be the business of the future.
This vision of the business of the future is why HANA was developed. While it is a powerfully fast, in-memory database, designed from the ground up, this is not why HANA came to be. The purpose was to enable businesses to use data and next generation ERP tools to be more productive and agile, while lowering the total cost gathering, storing, maintaining, accessing and analyzing enormous amounts of nonstop data.
HANA is Much More than a Database
Enabling the business of the future is a daunting task. It requires not just developing a next generation database, but also radically simplifying existing data infrastructure, combining transaction processing and analytics, seamlessly integrating third party applications, quickly gathering data from multiple sources, providing access to any device and doing all of this in a cost-effective way.
HANA addresses these challenges as a database, a platform and a technology. As a database, HANA is a game changer. It was specifically designed from the ground up to leverage the rapid advances in processor chip technology that deliver plentiful memory and as many as 16 computers on a single chip. Data is stored and processed in memory, not on external drives, and in columns not rows.
HANA’s in- memory columnar approach dramatically increases speed because processors do not need to spin their wheels looking for actual row-based business data amid all the extra data padding, such as aggregation and indexes that can account for up to 95% of all an organization’s data. HANA reduces and stores all this padding in memory, which can reduce an organization’s data footprint by that same 95%. The reduced footprint and higher speed not only dramatically improves transaction processing, reporting and analytics, but it also reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) by simplifying the supporting data warehouse and storage hardware infrastructure.
HANA is also a powerful platform that easily integrates third party applications and data from other sources, such as social media and sensor readings, from the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT). In today’s SAP environment, as much as 60% of applications supported by HANA are third party. The HANA platform enables on-the-fly business intelligence by quickly aggregating data from different sources and integrating it with SAP Business Suite, as well as third party tools.
In fact, HANA can help reduce the overall number of analytics and reporting tools, which results in fewer licenses and lower TCO. HANA is also very compact and can run on a single server, which includes an in-house application server. Organizations can choose from a wide selection of preconfigured servers from leading industry providers and are not locked into one hardware platform.
Thus, the business of the future is enabled, which is both the why and the what of HANA; access to data in real time, complex modeling and analytics in real time, useable and actionable business intelligence in real time anywhere on any device. HANA is cloud ready and integral to SAP’s next generation S/4 ERP environment, which is truly game changing.
SAP HANA vs. Oracle and Other Traditional Databases – Apples to Oranges
In this context, looking at SAP HANA vs. Oracle and other traditional databases, such as Microsoft SQL and IBM’s DB2, is not about databases and how fast they operate. These databases do deliver in memory processing, but unlike HANA, this capability is bolted on to an existing row database and acts like an accelerator. Yet they remain databases and not platforms that enable the business of the future.
Other database environments are also likely to be quite complex, built up over the years with an accumulation of data warehouses and tools running on dedicated or proprietary hardware. It might seem like a safe bet to keep things as they are because they work. However, this complexity can reduce productivity and business agility as data from new sources dramatically increases and real time business intelligence remains elusive. All the while, TCO continues to increase. It is also important to remember that SAP S/4 will require HANA, and a migration will eventually become necessary.
Symmetry Will Make Your HANA Migration a Success
Migrating to HANA will be a complex task. The journey requires strong project management from planning to testing to production. Symmetry has the experience and people to guide you in the transition journey. With unparalleled support, managed services and one of the industry’s leading Net Promoter scores, Symmetry gives you peace of mind, knowing that your HANA migration will be a complete success.
Over 10,000 SAP customers are using HANA to transform and streamline their businesses to stay ahead in the digital economy. Your migration will be well worth the effort to experience the increased productivity, agility and lower TCO HANA can deliver. Start your journey to the business of the future by talking to Symmetry today.