Counterpoint - To SAP HANA or NOT

By Stuart Dickinson, CEO on
Last week the SAP US User Group (ASUG) released the results of survey around SAP HANA adoption in the customer base.

Last week the SAP US User Group (ASUG) released the results of survey around SAP HANA adoption in the customer base. To say it caused a raucous is an understatement.

The survey results contend that SAP customers are failing to see the benefits and adopt the SAP HANA platform beyond a small segment in the market.

As an SAP solutions and cloud integration provider the survey results are not that different to what we are seeing in the market across Australia and New Zealand for existing SAP customers. The investment required and the clear benefits cases are both hurdles to early adoption.

Our experience suggests that the benefits of SAP HANA come when an organisation rethinks key business processes and imagines new ways of either delivering a better customer experience or improving operational efficiency. This is hard work and often requires undoing previous decisions and challenging the status quo. It is not impossible and we are starting to see movement in this direction but predominantly organisations that have adopted so far have come mainly through an easier path. By applying SAP HANA technology to an underlying SAP BW environment it is possible to radically improve business reporting and analytics outcomes. This provides immediate performance improvements but does not however really take advantage of the true power of a complete SAP HANA based solution.

Ultimately SAP HANA provides customers with an ability to rethink the customer interaction and experience, supply chain efficiencies and indeed how business and infrastructure assets are deployed and managed. It also provides finance organisations with the ability to improve transparency, governance and risk management.

SAP's President, SAP Platform Solutions, Steven Lucas in his counterpoint blog to the ASUG survey results points to a number of case studies where SAP customers have benefited from implementing SAP HANA based solutions. These case studies are real but installed based adoption remains slow.

For new SAP customers, or those expanding their SAP solution footprint the story is much more clear-cut. There are real benefits in implementing directly into the SAP HANA environment. It is where the platform is going and is the focus of SAP's investment in the future. Major components of the ERP solution have already been written to take advantage of an underlying SAP HANA infrastructure and this process will accelerate into the future. As we work with new SAP customers we are seeing real opportunities to use this power to radically rethink the way a business process works and the real time business opportunity it delivers.