HANA Cloud Platform for the CIO
By Prakash Darji, SVP and GM, SAP HANA Cloud Platform
Anyone paying attention to the changing landscape of enterprise business today can see that doing business in the cloud results in lower IT costs and increased efficiencies. Even more importantly, it also leads to new opportunities to drive business growth. CIOs are uniquely qualified to influence a cloud strategy because of their familiarity with how IT works within their company. In today’s ever-changing business environment, it is critical to understand how an effective cloud strategy extends value to business.
“HCP brings next-generation modern and open development techniques to SAP including rapid development, prototyping, and deployment of production applications”
SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform (HCP), the in-memory Platform-as-a-Service offering from SAP, enables customers and developers to build, extend, and run applications in the cloud. With flexible subscription models and optional services for applications, database, and infrastructure, it provides instant access to the full power of SAP HANA.
HCP helps bi-modal IT by providing a rich set of capabilities for companies to quickly innovate on top of a stable core. SAP HANA Cloud Platform adds an agile layer to SAP solutions, providing customers the ability to build new applications, extend existing applications, and integrate SAP and non-SAP solutions. By integrating Line of Business (LoB) applications with core SAP solutions, companies maintain a complete picture of their business across cloud, on-premise, and hybrid solutions. Additionally, HCP brings next-generation modern and open development techniques to SAP including rapid development, prototyping, and deployment of production applications.
A good example is the Accenture HR Audit and Compliance as-a-service solution extension. This service tool integrates with SAP Success Factors Employee Central and enhances reporting capabilities by automatically checking human resources (HR) data against specified criteria and rules.
What are some surprises from the implementation process that CIOs should know?
As a CIO, you likely have a history with SAP or other enterprise software companies. What I find most exciting about HCP is how it changes our relationship with our customers for the better. Implementing SAP’s HCP opens our customers’ eyes to the ease and agility of innovation that is available to you. It truly changes what people thought they knew about SAP. The user experience is remarkably enjoyable. Be prepared to for new revenue opportunities that come from unlocking massive amounts of data that currently reside within your current SAP and non-SAP systems. Implementation does require some changes to the development process to fully take advantage of micro-services and service based architectures, but developers have reported being thrilled with the simplified process and enhanced capabilities.
What are some of the CIO pain points that you try to solve?
Over many years of working closely with CIOs, we have identified common pain points that we can help ease. For example, with HANA Cloud Platform you can build custom Fiori applications without needing additional infrastructure, thereby reducing your spend and simplifying your landscape. Your team can now build cross-platform and native mobile applications much faster. HCP reduces development times from years to days, thereby accelerating the digital transformation.
We hear a lot about adoption. Many times, enterprise apps are much less user-friendly than what we have gotten used to in our personal lives. As a result, employees dread using them or do not use them at all. I am proud to say that the SAP HANA Cloud Platform makes a real difference in terms of adoption and user experience. In follow up conversations with our CIOs, they commonly express that user adoption was significantly faster than expected. Not only are the business users happier, but we also found that Developers are too. They are taking advantage of the full range of HCP services every step of the way, from security to deployment.
What are keys to success in an enterprise business environment?
The most critical factor for success with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is identifying business use-cases that allow you to turn an idea into an application. Your team or the business users are likely full of great ideas. This is the perfect opportunity to engage them in the process and turn some of their good ideas into real solutions that make their lives easier.
We have a great example from the medical field where Roche used the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to personalize health management. About 347 million people worldwide have diabetes. Total deaths by diabetes are projected to rise by 50 percent in the next 10 years (WHO). However, diabetes is not inevitable. SAP and Roche created a mobile application based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for doctors and patients to share health data and follow their progress in real-time on a user-friendly dashboard.
At Danone, SAP HANA Cloud Platform helped power a B2B Self-Service e-Commerce Site. Fueled by a desire to create delicious and nutritious food, Danone wants to remove barriers that separate them from their customers. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, they are able to scale the creation of web and mobile applications that link customers directly to the company’s back-end systems, giving Danone the ability to react to billions of customers worldwide in real-time. “With SAP HANA Cloud Portal we can extend our business at Danone by creating attractive, highly functional websites using a reliable and secured backed connectivity,” said Ged Hurst, Head of Development, Danone. HCP allowed for rapid deployment to different business units around the world, easy and secured integration with backend systems, and a variety of tools to design custom branded sites for Danone.