2016 Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award: Autobahn to SAP S/4HANA

By pulling all relevant organization data into one hub, a services team from SAP helped DuPont reap the benefits of SAP HANA immediately — in real time and without disruption.

When DuPont announced its merger with Dow — and the plan to split off into three different companies — the need to harmonize company data become not just necessary, but urgent. Luckily, the Digital Business Services’ North America Center of Excellence & Data Management & Landscape Transformation (DM&LT) team had a plan to help DuPont consolidate its IT system into one single SAP platform.

That plan centered on a concept called the Data-In Hub, which provided DuPont with a holistic, technology-neutral tool to approach its data needs, and which allowed them to get up and running with parts of an SAP HANA implementation in two months.

By pulling all relevant organization data into one hub, and using that as the basis for all implementation activities, the SAP team helped DuPont start to reap the benefit of SAP HANA immediately – in real time, without disruption on their systems of records.

And for this, the team – SAP employees Bernhard Wallner, Alexandre Garske, and Koustubh Waikar – has been selected as the finalist for the 2016 Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award in the Digital Business Services Board Area.

The Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award is the highest employee recognition at SAP, awarded annually by the CEO to an individual or a team.

Finalist Fast Facts

  • Submission title: “Data-in Hub: Autobahn to SAP S/4HANA”
  • Board area: Digital Business Services
  • Team: Autobahn to S4
  • Number of employees: 3
  • Achievement: Data-In Hub leverages SAP HANA and SLT to solve the problem of extended SAP S/4HANA adoption timelines by eliminating the need for incremental upgrades, conversions, and migrations.
  • Impact: Tangible results for the customer, fast!

According to Bernhard Wallner, who works on the product development side of DM&LT, the beauty of this technology is that is proven for high throughput and is optimized to minimize business downtime. ‘Because it is an evolution of technologies, rather than a revolution, the Data-In Hub minimizes risk and has little to no effect on source systems. DuPont didn’t need a huge blueprint; instead we started working on the data right away, getting to the quality they needed iteratively while showing early results.’

In order to get such a complex customer running on SAP HANA in two months, the team divided the work into four parallel work streams:

  • Replicating real time data for report creation: With the Data-In Hub, DuPont was using live reports within eight weeks
  • Master Data profiling: With real-time data available in Data-In Hub, users were able to identify relevant master data based on various business parameters within the first  two months, and they were able to filter and approve master data that was required to be migrated to the target environment.
  • Data transformation to help DuPont transform, merge, and split data objects for the divested entities.
  • Preparation of a target environment on SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA with the required base configuration and organizational structures in a merged scenario.

Alexandre Garske, who is director of Global Center of Excellence, System Landscape Optimization, North America, says this parallel work was also key to the success of the Data-In Hub, because both the project and the DuPont team were able to look at the data while also looking at their processes.

“By getting the data of their ERP system and into the Data-In Hub meant that we could use our Landscape Transformation tools to replicate, cleanse and transform their data in the consolidated system. Within weeks we were doing analytics and reporting out of the consolidated SAP HANA system in real time, without disruption.”

By repurposing their data into a unified environment via the Data-In Hub, DuPont was quickly able to see the benefits of SAP HANA – especially in terms of reporting. They were getting real-time work reports on the unified data within seconds, instead of within days.

According to Koustubh Waikar, who is team lead for  Delivery, DM&LT Center of Excellence, North America, what was ground-breaking about the Data-In Hub is that it removed multiple test cycles: “With the DiH, we always work on live data in real time, so that when users pointed out issues with the data, we could fix it immediately.”

Impact for Other SAP Customers

The greatest impact of Data In-Hub will be to accelerate the SAP S/4HANA migration process and offer SAP’s biggest customers a fast-track transition to SAP S/4HANA while minimizing the time to business value. Because Data-In Hub utilizes an agile approach, it also helps reduce transformation risk, because customers are able to test systems in real time during the actual transformation, instead of only when the migration project is complete. As a result, customers can identify issues on the fly and proactively work with SAP to correct them.

Wallner, Garske, and Waikar all say they are honored to be nominated for the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. Says Waikar: “This is an award of the highest caliber across SAP and carries an aura of creativity. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction that the risks we took on something different to meet our customer’s expectations had such a phenomenal result.”