By now if you’re an SAP customer you’ve heard more about SAP HANA than you ever hoped you would.  To their credit though, SAP is pushing hard on their install base customers because they’ve seen the transformational power this new technology had for the early adopters of their HANA product line.

The problem is, that transformational power is not so evident for many SAP customers.  Couple that with a likely seven figure price-tag for the migration (licensing, hardware, and consulting services combined), and all of a sudden many IT decision makers are looking at their shoes.

And who can blame them.  Committing to a multi-million-dollar project that will also cause short-term disruption to the business, without a well-defined business case and RIO doesn’t always end well for IT leadership.

One sure fire way to get past this HANA anxiety is to do a pilot project of HANA first (but my suggestion below is not a pilot in the traditional sense).   Even though SAP has published dozens of use cases, each business is unique in the way they operate and the priorities they place on processes and applications.  Just because one business in your industry benefited from HANA, does that guarantee you will?

A pilot project will not only reveal the impact to your current SAP business processes, but also affords you the opportunity to explore new functionality and new applications that you may never thought possible.  And that is where the true value of HANA really lies.

How do I get started?  It’s quite easy actually.  The SAP ecosystem is well aware that customers need assistance in making the decision to move to HANA.  For that reason, most if not all SAP consultancies and service providers have some type of program that will help test drive HANA in advance of a decision to move forward.

There’s an issue here too however.  How big of a pilot project are you ready to commit to and how much money do you have to spend on it?  I’ve seen large-scale pilot projects that last several months with very well-defined objectives which in the end still don’t provide the clear-cut answers the company was looking for.  So, wouldn’t it make sense to start small and simple?

With advancing tools and the public cloud, there is another approach.  This alternative would be to get a copy of your data migrated to HANA in the public cloud as fast as possible, look at the impact, then decide how to proceed.

How fast is fast?  Today it’s less than a week.  Managecore for example, working with Amazon Web Services (AWS), can migrate a typical ECC environment to Suite on HANA in AWS within days. 

For you that means by the end of next week you could already see your data in HANA and begin the evaluation.  A first look may be all you need to see.  Maybe you decide there are only a couple functional areas you need to explore further.  Maybe you see the potential for something new and decide to develop a completely different application that can transform your business.  Or maybe you decide that full-blown pilot is necessary – but the difference now is you’ve see the initial impact of the migration so your big pilot project will produce far greater results.

The point is, your journey to HANA needs to start somewhere.  And today with Managecore and AWS, that first step can be done fast and with minimal expense.    What better way to get started on your HANA journey than with no risk!

And, as a result of performing this first migration, at a minimum you will learn:

  • The exact prerequisites to migrate your landscape to HANA
  • The size HANA appliance you will need
  • The general run-time of the migration
  • Major obstacles (if any) in the migration process itself
  • If the cloud a viable option for your SAP systems moving forward

And lastly, with the flexible nature of the public cloud, there is no limit to the resources available during the pilot, for either the migration process itself or for performance testing afterward.  And when you’re done testing, it can be shut down at any time.

So if you’re still trying to figure out how to justify a migration to HANA or where to start on the HANA journey, think about doing a fast migration to the cloud as your first step.

Want to get started? Contact Managecore today.

Frank Powell
About the Author:

Frank Powell

Frank is an experienced Information Technology executive that excels in high-level strategic and operational guidance to help manage and grow businesses. With 25 years experience in IT and over 19 of those years specifically in SAP, his thought leadership on industry trends, process improvement and best practices at SAP events, conferences and educational webinars are invaluable assets for companies. Frank provides his past experience in developing new technology initiatives with ever-evolving innovations to grow businesses and achieve high-performing solutions at a lower cost of ownership for your company.