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Two American Presidents and a Welsh Hotel – My HANA awakening

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Watching the US President speaking at the NATO summit at a hotel in Wales recently, I was reminded that the last time I was at the same venue was in 2011. This again involved an American president albeit an SAP Vice President extolling the virtues of HANA. SAP’s High-Performance Analytic Appliance or more snappily named HANA was showcased as an in memory real time analytics application. As someone who is always excited by new technology, I could see the benefits of organisations with huge volumes of data (Telco’s, Retailers…) being able to quickly report on sales trends, product line analysis, customer demographics…. However, for forecasting and reporting for most, even large organisations, I struggled at the time to see a compelling business case.

Two presentations I have seen recently have now convinced me of the benefits.

The first was a recent presentation at SAP’s Sapphire event, covering the new Simple Finance solution. This demonstrated how the power of HANA can bring a truly integrated financial system, with simplified processes and architecture (see Blog on simplicity). The emphasis is on integrating application functionality and reporting in a single system speeding up financial close and reporting.

The second presentation demonstrates the power of BPC on HANA to do real time scenario analysis, flexing for example raw material prices and immediately seeing the impact. This ability, for organisations operating in a volatile climate of changing commodity prices, labour costs etc. to my mind makes a strong case for implementing HANA.

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