SAPPHIRE NOW and the ASUG Annual Conference are right around the corner. By now, most of you have probably already seen the monstrous list of sessions — over 2,000 courses and demos with an incredibly vast range of topics from SAP HANA to sustainability to the basics of SAP ERP. That’s a lot to take in! Unfortunately, since it is physically impossible to attend every session — if you can, please call me so we can start a superhero task league! — it is important to take a breath and decide which topics are the most beneficial to your company.
I’m of the mindset that new is always better, so I was excited to see a lot of sessions focusing on SAP HANA, and specifically SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. While SAP HANA has been something of a black box to business users, now they will be able to see how it impacts their daily tasks directly. Read what some of the early adopters of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA are saying in the April 2013 issue of insiderPROFILES.
If you’re interested in learning about all SAP HANA can do, then the half-day, pre-conference seminar titled “SAP HANA 101” may be worth your while. SAP HANA experts and experienced customers will lead you through several SAP HANA topics including:
The SAP HANA solution roadmap — What’s available now and in the near future
SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA
SAP HANA Analytics Foundation
Key project lessons learned
And many more
If half-day seminars are a little much for you, there are also shorter theater presentations (e.g., “Customer ‘Safe Passage’ to SAP Business Suite Powered by SAP HANA”), panel discussions, and education sessions that cover the business value of SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA.
It might also be a good idea to go to SAPPHIRE NOW armed with knowledge on SAP HANA so that you’ll have a clear idea of what you’d like to accomplish while on campus. The publishers of SAPinsider and insiderPROFILES have released a special edition magazine on SAP HANA titled “A Holistic Guide for Your SAP HANA Journey.” Visit HANAmagazine.com to download your complimentary copy.
SAPinsider’s feature stories focus on 3D visualization in the business. SAP executives, like Hans Thalbauer, Senior Vice President of LOB Solutions for Supply Chain and R&D, discuss the acquisition of Right Hemisphere and how you can transform your company into a visual enterprise. The articles go even further to describe how 3D visualization can be used outside of PLM and benefit the entire value chain. In the executive Q&A, “How Visualization Will Transform the Enterprise,” Thomas Ohnemus shows how this technology can streamline sales and marketing processes.
3D visualization is a great example of how business technology is continually evolving. While the benefits are clear, there are also many challenges that come with innovation — and the responsibility to succeed often lies solely with CIOs. SAPinsider’s Special Report, “Solutions for the CIO” takes a look at how SAP partners such as BackOffice Associates, HP, and NTT DATA have adapted to the latest trends in the market, such as SAP HANA, big data, and mobility.
Though SAP’s in-memory database technology, SAP HANA, is not the only one of its kind in the market, SAP is taking strides to make sure that it stays ahead of the competition. In a recent OVUM blog, Warren Wilson reported on SAP’s plan to expand the capabilities of SAP HANA. At last month’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference, SAP announced that eight new applications have been built on HANA to be used across the organizational value chain, including sales, supply chain planning, and collections. SAP HANA is also being utilized in diverse industries such as oil and gas and healthcare.
Another way SAP is proving the power of SAP HANA is by taking advantage of the solution in its own walls. “SAP runs SAP” has been a successful motto of SAP, showing that the company is confident enough to run its own solutions. SAP HANA is no exception, and the recently acquired company, SuccessFactors recently announcedthat it will adopt SAP HANA as its in-memory database technology for big data.
The term “consumerization of IT” seems to be overused at this point, but it is by no means something that can be ignored or pushed aside for later contemplation. The newest technology gives employees around the world opportunities like the ability to telecommute as well as faster and easier access to business networks from personal devices. Enterprises need to act now when it comes to mobilizing their businesses, including determining whether a BYOD (bring your own device) methodology is a feasible option.
Several surveys have been taken in recent months to see how enterprises are dealing with consumerization of IT and the results may surprise you. For example, a survey based on more than 1,400 telephone interviewscompleted by Robert Half Technology found that 67% of CIOs responded “no” when asked if they “allow employees access to corporate networks via personal laptops, smartphones, or tablets?" Among the 33% that do encourage personal devices, only 28% offer full technical support (66% offer limited support and 6% offer no support).
In response John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology says, "Companies are balancing the desire to provide flexibility to employees with potential security risks, as well as logistical issues such as providing support for non-standard devices." Though it is difficult to find this balance right now, Reed is sure this will change in the immediate future as the way employees want to conduct their work is changing. "Professionals increasingly want to stay connected while using their device of choice for both work and personal communication," he said. "Companies recognize this and are actively looking for secure solutions."
In a recent press release, Gartner reports on the change from company-owned to employee-owned device support and discusses ways businesses can successfully make this change. Terrence Cosgrove, Research Director at Gartner, advised, "With the unabated growth of consumerization, IT leaders need to implement MDM (mobile device management) to manage corporate and employee-owned devices, and assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application, and security of all these devices." An MDM strategy helps organizations deal with the complexity between operations and security and ensures that corporate policy is strictly upheld.
Gartner analysts believe that without a strong MDM strategy in place, organizations will mostly likely see increased cost for three main reasons:
A decrease in user productivity
Less trust in IT, prompting users to support themselves
Users going around IT policies and standards
As the trend leans more strongly toward consumer-oriented devices, organizations will be continuously pressured to replicate the success of personal technology within the business. However, they are not alone in making this happen. A recent article in the April-June 2012issue of insiderPROFILES shares advice on how to let employees use their personal devices and applications in a business context. Read ”Are You Ready for BYOD” by Sam Lakkundi, Vice President of Kony Solutions, to see how your organization can successfully deploy a BYOD methodology while at the same time mitigate security risks and development costs.