High-tech freedom and flexibility are now crucial for an organization’s survival, according to SAP’s Bernd Leukert. Undergoing a digital transformation is a necessary first step, but getting stuck in a rigid mindset is as good as signing your own death warrant.
“Companies are forced to rethink their offerings, how they engage with customers, how they organize their processes — [and] how they make money,” Leukert said Wednesday at SAP TechEd Bangalore. “The golden thread in all of that is technology and software.”
Leukert discussed and demonstrated how prominent SAP technology can help organizations achieve that crucial freedom and flexibility during his opening keynote address in Bangalore, a city that the SAP Executive Board member for Products & Innovation called “the Silicon Valley of India.”
Think Outside the Cube
Leukert held up a Rubik’s Cube for the audience to see.
“This is how most of the data warehouses want you to work … you have to use it as it was defined by the IT department,” Leukert said. “It is possible to make changes, but it’s not that easy — and it’s time consuming.”
SAP BW/4HANA (what Leukert called “the newest member of the SAP family”) solves this problem and others. The highly configurable integrated data warehouse increases business agility by connecting different types of data stored in different environments — and by simplifying development, administration and user interface. Leukert described its three design principles:
- Massively simplified data model: Removes complex data structures and data redundancy, helping users achieve their desired flexibility. Increases data consistency, resulting in a smaller data footprint. And administration costs are far lower.
- New, modern user experience (UX): Makes it easier for all users to consume the data, thanks to data visualization and other technology. For example, there’s tight integration with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio for business users; intuitive toolsets for data analysts; and a Web-based console for administrators.
- High performance for real-time: Eliminates aggregates, rollout processes or the need to design performance-enabling objects. Loads data and processes theory faster. Delivers unprecedented performance, thanks to algorithm pushdown into the SAP HANA platform.
“This is what the business demands from all of you: flexibility in real time … dynamically built, connected to these various sources of data,” Leukert said. “People want to think in terms of preconfigured flexibility, dynamic aggregation — not using this predefined static cubes anymore.”
Putting All of Your Data to Work
“It’s not just a question of getting new insights — you can also use that information in your organization,” SAP’s Ian Kimbell said following a demonstration that involved using Hadoop data — without replicating it. “What you’ve seen here is integrating data from any source, anytime into your SAP BW/4HANA, and having great business success.”
SAP BW/4HANA consolidates data from multiple sources so efficiently because it is built for the cloud — and just for SAP HANA. It can utilize live-streaming and IoT sensor data, plus it plays well with others.
“[SAP] BW/4HANA is designed to work with data that companies have stored in multiple locations, including in on-premise and cloud systems — a significant point given that many businesses are implementing and running hybrid IT systems today,” CRN stated after the solution’s launch last month. “The [SAP] BW/4HANA system can ‘consume’ data warehouse objects in the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and has built-in connectivity to SAP Digital Boardroom.”
Free Your Mind(set)
“The most important message for me is that you understand that SAP has a well-defined, guided procedure to support you on your way … into the digital future,” Leukert said.
IoT, AI and machine learning will drive huge transformation that will affect business and our lives, Leukert said in closing. And the TechEd attendees will create the software that makes it all possible.
“We are the drivers; we are developers, coders the hackers — so everyone in this room is a significant contributor to that change,” Leukert said. “It’s up to you to free your data, and turn it into meaningful information; to free your users by enabling them to connect to an intelligent smart machine/human interaction; and to free your business in order to build new processes and, ultimately, new business models.”
SAP TechEd Bangalore runs from Wednesday to Friday in Bangalore.
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