Small Companies Crunch Big Data

March 15, 2013 by Susan Galer

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Most small and midsize companies don’t think they have a problem with managing Big Data. But real-time information is crucial for companies to maintain a competitive edge, regardless of their size. This is especially the case in volatile markets with small profit margins, fierce competition, and demanding customers.

Nashua Communications and Koehler Paper Group are among a growing cadre of leading small and midsize businesses that have realized Big Data is not just an issue for large companies. Technologies like SAP HANA can solve every company’s toughest problems, enabling competitive advantage and powering growth.

Here’s how two midsize companies from very different regions and market sectors use SAP HANA software to make better, faster decisions from real-time data.

Example 1: Koehler Paper Group

Example 2: Nashua Communications

Next page: Koehler Paper Group on SAP HANA

For over 200 years, the family-run Koehler Paper Group has been a leading paper manufacturer. Today, from its headquarters Oberkirch in the Black Forest in Germany, Koehler supplies the world with thermal paper, carbonless paper, fine paper, recycled paper, coasters and decor paper for the furniture industry.

Facing over-capacity challenges due to global competition and declining demand, Koehler turned to SAP HANA. The idea was to obtain quality data that would support fact-based, faster decision-making. With real-time information on important variables like raw material costs and exchange rates, Koehler has been able to react faster to market developments while growing its business.

Speedier decisions from a forest of data

More than 100 employees at Koehler use SAP HANA to analyze over 14 million data sets in seconds. Anyone – from CEO to line employee – can conduct queries at any time. “Because it’s so fast, I can do analysis I wouldn’t have thought possible in the past, even though I am not an IT expert,” says Stephan Schwietzke, director of the Carbonless Paper Division at Koehler.

Next page: Nashua Communications on SAP HANA 

More than 25,000 corporate customers in South Africa rely on Nashua Communications for world-class services in a region that often has infrastructure challenges. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nashua is a leading provider of enterprise network and communication solutions. To deliver the level of service that customers demand and manage its own growth, Nashua extended its SAP Business One platform to include analytics powered by SAP HANA.

Speed is paramount. “We have a lot of very stringent service level agreements with our customers, meaning that we have to respond to calls within a very short space of time,” explains Darren de Vries, CIO at Nashua. He credits SAP HANA with reducing IT overhead and allowing Nashua to react quickly to consumer demands.

Delivering world-class services in South Africa

Using SAP HANA’s interactive analysis capabilities, Nashua employees have real-time access to crucial information through tools they’re already comfortable with. Now employees can quickly generate their own reports instead of relying on the IT department.

“With the drive to a single platform with the analytic ability that HANA brings us, that gives us the comfort to move forward and expand our business,” says Andy Openshaw, Managing Director at Nashua Communications. As a result, Openshaw says Nashua has the right applications that meet customer service demands. This differentiates not only Nashua’s products and solutions, but the company itself. To learn more about how SAP HANA is helping power Nashua’s growth across South Africa, watch this SAP TV video.

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