“Code enables freedom” was the theme of Bernd Leukert’s keynote at SAP TechEd in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “Liberty is the fundamental principle that empowers people to innovate. And technology gives us the freedom to communicate and access to knowledge.” That’s why liberal and tolerant Amsterdam is the perfect place to bring together SAP’s developer community to learn how SAP HANA gives them greater freedom, said Bernd Leukert, Member of the SAP Global Managing Board and Head of Application Innovation. “You have the freedom to develop your own applications or adapt existing ones on the platform,” he said.
There is another connection to the Netherlands: 19th Century Dutch artist Van Gogh’s technique of applying fine dots of color to canvass means that only distance reveals the entire image. Just as van Gogh’s dots merge into a whole, data points do not reveal insights at first glance. Big data enables us to form the complete picture and see the real significance of each data point.
Flights from Las Vegas to Amsterdam in 30 seconds
To describe just how fast SAP HANA is, Leukert calculated that his flight from the US TechEd in Las Vegas to TechEd in Amsterdam would, at the speed of SAP HANA, take 30 seconds. Teleportation might still be the stuff of science fiction, but SAP HANA as the platform for all SAP applications will soon be reality. (Learn more: Vishal Sikka’s SAP TechEd Keynote)
Next page: Real-time processing replaces batch jobs
Helen Arnold, who drives the “SAP runs SAP” initiative, described how SAP HANA benefits companies by taking the example of SAP: “All our core components – ERP, CRM, BW – now run on SAP HANA – and serve over 65,000 users.” SAP has reduced the time its financial close takes by 400 hours. Real-time processing has replaced batch jobs, which has vastly accelerated intercompany reconciliation, for example, which typically involves 70,000 transactions. The SAP HANA Accelerator for COPA means that managers don’t have to wait for BW reports, and costs can be analyzed 86 percent faster.
SAP Fiori improves user experience
SAP Fiori makes user experience of our applications simpler and more transparent, said Leukert, and emphasized that: “SAP Fiori is not a second Enjoy.” Instead, it is part of SAP’s usability strategy that aims to make its applications simple and consistent no matter whether customers interact with them on desktop computers or mobile devices. SAP Fiori was developed on SAP’s own version of HTML5 (SAPUI5). In combination with SAP HANA, this opens up completely new opportunities. The platform makes applications simpler and the work of developers easier, as they don’t always have to replicate data across multiple systems.
Michael Reh, SAP Business Information Technology, presented the SAP HANA facts and figures: 2,280 customers and 1,300 implementations, 20,000 developers in the community, and 3,000 certified consultants. With SAP HANA Service Pack 7, which is available from November, SAP wants to make the platform even more attractive. Developers can discover the advantages on the SAP HANA Academy cloud learning platform.
Next page: SAP HANA and smart glasses
Björn Görke, new Chief Information Officer at SAP AG, said: “With the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud we make it easier for our customers to move to SAP HANA.” Anyone who needs convincing can try out the BW test version or request a demonstration of a live data migration of their company’s data.
The Fact Book at www.factbook.saphana.com has numerous examples of how SAP HANA benefits businesses. SAP TechEd in Amsterdam showcased some of them, including innovative scenarios with augmented reality. One well-known scenario is that used by e-commerce trader Bechtle: Warehouse staff use smart glasses to scan bar codes on goods simply by directing their gaze toward the packaging, consigning paper pick lists to the waste bin forever. Messages they receive in an earpiece direct them from shelf to shelf. When they arrive at the right place, the voice tells them how many of which product to pick. The smart glasses’ display even warns them if they are on collision course with a co-worker. Thorsten Stephan, SAP Application Innovation, explains: “Augmented reality applications such as SAP Visual Enterprise have been around a while, but with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud we can now access all the data we need and process it in real time – even at the customer’s site.”
Hands free with Google Glass
Google Glass means everyone is talking about smart glasses, but they are not always necessary. In field services, for example, staff can use their tablets to scan plant machinery on site and compare the data with the database. This doesn’t just tell them that a component is already broken. Thanks to Predictive Analysis it also warns them if a part is likely to break sometime soon. A 3D visualization of the machine shows how the part is to be repaired, and it shows a different view depending on where the user is standing. That’s where smart glasses do come in: staff can load the instructions onto the glasses, leaving their hands free to get on with the repair work.