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What steps are critical to my SAP HANA cloud implementation plan?

In-depth planning and building in scalability are just two key steps in a HANA cloud migration. Read on about the other crucial components for implementation in order to ensure success.

CIOs experienced in managing traditional SAP implementation or rollout projects such as SAP ERP Central Component...

(ECC) or SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization are often in for a surprise when they find out that the migration to SAP HANA cloud is a completely different experience. When compared with on premises, HANA cloud is still a relatively newer offering and, therefore, requires an in-depth implementation plan to ensure successful SAP HANA cloud migration.

To that end, here are four steps you'll want to include in your SAP HANA cloud implementation plan.

1. Know your scalability needs

The HANA cloud provider should be able to ensure the system's scalability for a mission-critical system in the production system. CIOs also have to know that the HANA cloud provider is able to scale up SAP HANA cloud offerings as and when needed. This capability is needed so SAP systems such as SAP ECC -- a mission-critical and transactional-based system -- never face business disruption. On the other hand, when migrating SAP Business Warehouse on HANA cloud, a non-mission critical system, companies can choose to build in just some scalability at first. Then, as more server or memory is needed, companies can scale up.

2. Be certain service-level agreement is in place

In an effort to accommodate the maximum number of HANA cloud customers, a SAP HANA cloud provider or service provider often squeezes in multiple SAP instances from several customers on its existing IT landscape. This practice negatively affects the HANA system's performance, as too many resources are battling for limited systems' resources such as memory and networking. It's best to have a service-level agreement in place with a service provider for a reliable and consistent system performance, especially when the system is at its peak usage.

3. Make creating in-depth plans a priority

Moving a landscape that consists of SAP's development, quality and production systems to HANA cloud requires careful planning of all three systems. However, companies often overlook effective planning of their development and quality systems. Typically, there are between three and five of these.

Take the example of a company that plans to have a hybrid environment. This company can choose to do all the SAP development and configuration work, as well as all internal systems and processes testing on its smaller on-premises SAP HANA server. All quality-tested and approved development and configuration work can then move to SAP HANA cloud. Doing so will also lead to significant cost savings as a company will only be paying for the final and released product being used in HANA cloud.

If the company prefers to go for all SAP HANA cloud landscape, then it can consider subscribing to SAP HANA cloud platform for its development and testing needs. Doing so will enable the company's developers and testers to test the system designing on a cheaper HANA Cloud Platform as compared to HANA Enterprise Cloud, an expensive alternate. Upon successful testing completion, the developer or consultant can move the system from HANA cloud platform to HANA Enterprise Cloud in which the SAP production system resides.

4. Use migration tools

Knowing and effectively using the data migration tools and services that come from a HANA cloud provider can save significant time and cost. For example, using virtualization tools such as SAP Landscape Management can automate all tasks associated with virtualizing an on-premises landscape to SAP HANA cloud.

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