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Eight most popular HANA in-memory stories

From use cases and running ERP systems on HANA to predictive analytics and new applications for SMBs, here’s a rundown of’s most popular stories on the HANA in-memory platform.

The SAP HANA in-memory technology platform has grown a lot since the technology was first announced at the SapphireNow conference in 2010. With recent announcements around the HANA roadmap, the addition of new applications for small and medium-sized businesses and predictive analytics, and SAP's goal of running of its ERP systems on HANA, we thought we'd take a look at some of the most read HANA stories over the recent months, in order of popularity.

1. SAP HANA in-memory technology best suited for solving ERP performance issues

SAP HANA gives businesses the ability to perform complex calculations faster than ever. But successfully deploying the technology rests on proper planning, from making sure the business case is right to having the skills on board to do the job.

SAP HANA can process large data volumes, which helps address ERP performance issues. The best SAP HANA use cases involve several simple data structures or simple table contents that must be joined, aggregated or searched. One of the more successful SAP HANA use cases so far has been fast ERP profitability reporting on line items without the administration overhead of data aggregation and the re-engineering of business functions.

Read more from consultant Tony de Thomasis about HANA use cases and what’s needed to deploy the technology.

2. Looking into SAP HANA? Do your homework first

Most companies that need SAP HANA fall into three groups, according to one analyst. Companies considering the platform and in-memory should understand what problem they’re trying to solve to determine whether SAP HANA is a good fit for them.

Read the article to find out if your company falls into one of the three groups that can benefit from HANA.  

3. SAP HANA’s long road to near-real-time analysis of ERP data

Enterprise customers eager for the fast in-memory technology of SAP HANA for ERP data analysis will have to be patient, according to one SAP official. That particular milestone isn’t planned until 2014.

“We’re trying to manage disruption,” said Mike Eacrett, vice president of product management for SAP HANA at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif. “It’s the innovator’s dilemma,” Eacrett said, “figuring out how to take advantage of new opportunities while managing change.”

Read more about SAP’s plans for ERP on HANA, including a ramp-up program by the end of 2013.

4. Questions, doubts greet upcoming SAP HANA developer kit

SAP’s plan to roll out a software development kit (SDK) for HANA is being met with questions -- and some skepticism -- by some experts.

Read more about the promise and potential pitfalls of a HANA SDK.

5. SAP HANA skills scarce but seen as needed in-house for better ROI

Businesses looking to deploy SAP HANA should plan on building a team with the necessary IT skills to maximize their return on investment, according to consultants.

Customers deploying the HANA in-memory technology will likely have to rely on outside vendors to get the system up and running because the technology has only been on the market since last summer. After that, they should look at transferring those skills to an in-house IT staff to avoid making an already expensive investment even costlier, experts said.

Find out more about bringing HANA team skills in-house.

6. No need to run a HANA POC merely to test faster reporting, expert says

Although SAP HANA has only been on the market for several months, companies should no longer consider proof-of-concept (POC) projects merely to test faster reporting on large quantities of data, according to one consultant. 

“You’re not going to prove anything new there. It is at a point where people should be doing projects, not POCs, at least in a data mart scenario,” according to Vijay Vijayasankar, a consultant who specializes in SAP business analytics at IBM Global Business Services in Phoenix. 

Read more about why it makes more sense to pilot HANA projects.

7. SAP plans HANA-ready BusinessObjects for predictive analytics

SAP customers have been using BusinessObjects to analyze and interpret historical data for years, but typically had to look to third-party vendors for predictive modeling and visualization functions. SAP says that has now changed with the introduction of SAP BusinessObjects Predictive Analysis.

The software, now in the ramp-up stage, will be available as a standalone application as well as in conjunction with the SAP HANA platform, and it will allow customers to perform forecasting functions on large data sets.

Read more about using HANA for predictive analytics.

8. SAP pushes HANA analytics for SMBs

SAP is making its high-speed analytics available to small and medium-sized businesses as part of an overall effort to run entire ERP systems on HANA in the near future.

Read more about the questions surrounding HANA analytics for SMBs

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