SAP HANA dramatically reshapes the underlying structure and capability of your IT landscape. Undergoing an SAP HANA upgrade transforms your conventional, row-based database into an in-memory column-based database, re-engineered from the ground up to provide better performance, flexibility, and memory compression.
The most obvious SAP HANA benefits come from the speed boost that transformation provides. Traditional databases can only keep a small portion of data in memory at once. The system is constrained by the time it takes to read data off the hard drive into memory, creating a performance bottleneck. HANA solves this problem by keeping everything in memory, which allows your system to access and operate on data much more quickly.
That improves everything from customer transaction speed to complex reporting and analytics. Other innovations in the underlying structure of the database provide even better speed — particularly for complex queries and processes. But the more profound benefits of SAP HANA come from the way its new capabilities are harnessed within your industry, use case, and organization.
Overall SAP HANA Benefits
The HANA speed boost isn’t just good for things like productivity and customer satisfaction — it also qualitatively transforms what you can do with your database. Realtime analytics aren’t really an option on traditional relational databases, because digging up data and crunching the numbers takes too long and uses up too many resources. Complex reports can take days to process, which imposes workflow constraints.
That means you can’t simply model a new financial strategy, or game out a new way of organizing logistics at will — someone else needs that bandwidth at the moment. This tends to limit the kinds of questions you can ask, and makes your organization slower to react to changing market conditions.
SAP HANA benefits customers by changing the rules that govern how you can use information. You can access your data in real time, use predictive modeling and flexible queries to get answers to complex questions, and evaluate options that would have been too computationally intensive to consider on SAP ERP. This translates into a lot of department and industry-specific gains, depending on your application stack. SAP S/4HANA gives you new tools you won’t have access to in Suite on HANA, and different businesses may choose a different balance of SAP and third-party applications depending on use case.
With SAP S/HANA Finance for example, you’ll have real-time reporting of financial data throughout your organization, with detailed reporting on every asset. You can simulate new business models or changes to your organization, detect and remediate fraud risks as they occur, close faster, and optimize the way your organization manages assets and resources.
With SAP Solution Manager, you’ll have better control over project management, which can help you optimize anything from worker onboarding, to complex internal business initiatives, to monitoring and upgrading your own landscape to insure consistent performance and efficient resource usage.
SAP HANA also brings with it SAP Fiori and Screen Personas, which have benefits affecting both day-to-day operations, and long-term capabilities. On a superficial level, it standardizes and streamlines workflow. Tasks that used to require digging through menus can be performed with a few clicks, making roles easier to train and improving productivity.
The improved workflow also improves mobility, giving your workers the ability to use their phones and tablets for tasks that used to require a keyboard and a mouse. But by improving workflow, Fiori can also provide organizations deeper SAP HANA benefits. Because tasks are easier, you can promote workers and optimize workflow and allocation of human resources more readily. Because it’s easier to interact with data and controls, meetings are more efficient, and workers can readily develop deeper insights into your process, further improving efficiency.
But the specific benefits of SAP HANA depend on your company. Improved mobility might be a game changer for a mid-market manufacturer in a way it might not be for, say, an accounting firm. One marketing company might make extensive use of SAP BPC’s project planning capabilities, while another might only use it for technical monitoring. Here are the ways a few companies harnessed SAP HANA features.
3 Industries That Benefit From SAP HANA
- Biotech Research — New England BiolabsThere aren’t many industries that are more demanding than biotechnology. 21 CFR Part 11 compliance requires excellent visibility and control at every level, from granting access to resources, down to monitoring and maintaining hardware. When New England Biolabs (NEB) chose to move to HANA, they faced additional challenges. The company is a global leader in genomic research, driving innovation in the way recombinant and native enzymes are discovered, developed, and delivered to labs across the world.Their new service — the NEBNow Freezer Program— was set to majorly disrupt the industry by providing labs with stocked freezers, which would be automatically restocked, eliminating the complex task of anticipating enzyme needs and ordering from suppliers. That required sophisticated production planning, costing, and eProcurement functionality that SAP ECC 6.0 couldn’t deliver. Migrating to SAP HANA allowed NEB to introduce this key innovation to their industry. In the HANA cloud, they could manage the complex logistics and governance needs of their industry, allowing researchers to control costs, spend less time waiting for reagents to be delivered, and more time performing innovative biotech research.
- Luxury Car Manufacturing — Karma Automotive The manufacturing industry is intensely competitive. Profit margins are often low, and it can be extremely difficult to effectively meet consumer demand while minimizing waste. As a luxury hybrid automotive manufacturer, Karma Automotive faced a particularly challenging market. They needed to offer their demanding customers extensive customizability and a seamless purchasing experience, on a platform that could quickly adapt to changing market demands.Karma was able to harness the benefits of SAP HANA with an agile S/4HANA solution, capable of rapid scaling up to 12TB, shattering the 1TB virtualization limit, ensuring they’ll be able to continue to grow without disrupting production. They can use real-time analytics to react to changing markets dynamically, and ensure customers always have the most up-to-date technological and pricing information.
- Construction Supplies — Carlisle Construction Materials Carlisle Construction Materials is a leading supplier and manufacturer of premium building products, for both the commercial and residential market. As a diversified company, offering a wide range of products and services across multiple customer channels, Carlisle was processing a massive data load, and its existing SAP landscape was in need of an upgrade.Carlisle worked with Symmetry to upgrade its landscape, starting with an SAP HANA Proof of Concept Lab to demonstrate the value of the new solution. We cleaned up and consolidated their database prior to compression, and created an end solution that way six times faster than their original landscape. That translated to a range of SAP HANA benefits, from improved productivity, more strategic business decisions supported by better analytics, and high ROI.
Gain the SAP HANA Advantage For Your Business
The benefits of SAP HANA can go way beyond incremental performance improvements, but they’re not automatic. To get the most out of your new landscape, you need a partner who can help you evaluate the options, implement a strategic roadmap, and execute a flawless deployment.