Applications for SAP HANA

Feature Article | December 21, 2011 by Christiane Stagge

As such, high speed data analysis is nothing special. If the data is stored in the working memory, it can be accessed and utilized immediately. But SAP HANA goes one step further. SAP HANA is a combination of software and hardware that harnesses the principle of in-memory technology. With the application, it becomes possible to evaluate entire databases in the working memory.

There are various deployment scenarios for SAP HANA:

–          As a technology platform

–          For generating content

–          As an accelerator

–          For products that are based on an in-memory database

–          As a basis for new applications

On the following pages, you can learn more about these deployment scenarios and discover which applications are already available for SAP HANA or are at the planning stage.

SAP HANA as a technology platform

SAP HANA can serve as the basis for customer-specific software developments. For example, the Nomura Research Institute analyzed all of Tokyo’s traffic information using SAP HANA. This involved searching 360 million data records in approximately a second. The data itself was located in the in-memory database. To analyze the data, the Nomura Research Institute used its own analysis model on top.

SAP HANA to generate content

Currently, SAP HANA is mainly being used with business intelligence solutions for creating reports or analyses in real time. Among the solutions based on SAP HANA are: SAP ERP rapid-deployment solution for operational reporting, SAP ERP rapid-deployment solution for profitability analysis, SAP Bank Analyzer rapid-deployment solution for financial reporting, and SAP rapid-deployment solution for customer segmentation.

SAP HANA as an accelerator

As an accelerator, SAP HANA increases the performance of solutions such as SAP ERP or SAP CRM. In such cases, SAP HANA acts like a second database, in which data is replicated. Special applications can read high numbers of data records in the in-memory database. SAP CO-PA Accelerator copies the data from SAP ERP to SAP HANA in real time. This means that reports and analyses are immediately available to SAP users and don’t have to be loaded into SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse first. The application also supports unstructured data from various data sources.

Products that are based on an in-memory database

With conventional applications, all the data is stored on the hard disk. Software that is based on an in-memory database gets its data from the working memory. Thanks to higher access speeds, data can be analyzed faster. Here, the in-memory database is used as the basis for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and the data is stored in columns. SAP NetWeaver BW version 7.3 runs on SAP HANA.

This principle is especially useful for analysis programs. It includes account intelligence, a function within SAP CRM that enables 360-degree analysis of customer accounts. SAP Accelerated Trade Promotion Planning and SAP Demand Signal Management are also powered by SAP HANA. With the latter, sales and marketing employees can analyze terabytes of data, taking various user roles into account. The data may be from external or internal sources.

SAP HANA as the basis for applications

In addition, there are native in-memory applications that are based on SAP HANA. These include: SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning, SAP Smart Meter Analytics, and SAP Dynamic Cash Management.

With SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning, you can analyze your workforce resources. The software helps you devise task lists, plan your workforce, and calculate your personnel costs. What’s more, the program gives you an insight into organizations and routings.

SAP Dynamic Cash Management gives you an overview of costs when it comes to large data quantities. With the software, forecasts can be made and cash flows can be managed. SAP Dynamic Cash Management gives you a real-time overview of costs and data records from various data sources, for example, from the customer, the manufacturing process, and the supplier.

Road map for SAP HANA applications

Among the solutions that already support SAP HANA are: SAP BusinessObjects Strategic Workforce Planning, SAP Smart Meter Analytics, and SAP ERP rapid-deployment solution for profitability analysis with SAP HANA. In the future, there will be other applications that are based on in-memory technology. There are plans for sales & operations planning, merchandise & assortment planning, and personal energy apps to be powered by SAP HANA.

If you want to implement SAP HANA particularly fast, look out for rapid-deployment solutions for SAP HANA. To find out more about these solutions, read the SAP.info article, “How to Get HANA Now”. Lenovo, for example, performs operational reporting with SAP HANA. The front end comprises SAP BusinessObjects solutions. As a result, the company can make use of a large volume of data in real time. Watch this video to learn more about Lenovo’s implementation of the solution.

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