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The customer in this project is a large enterprise with 65,000 employees active in several business areas such as Agricultural and Construction, Turf and Forestry equipment, Financial Services, Power Systems and Parts Services. The main focus area for the customer is manufacturing of agricultural and Construction equipment with a presence in American, European, Brazilian, Russian, Indian, and Chinese markets.

Being a world leader in the market mandates an excellent operation infrastructure enabling the company to innovate faster and identify challenges, opportunities as well as improvement points for its area of activity fast and effectively. Global enterprises constantly struggle with collecting the latest information on their business and integrating their reports. Moreover even if such reports are available, it is always hard to read them and keep the big picture information on one page to show them to the respective stakeholders within the company.

For this project the customer was struggling with the integration of its businesses reports. Large dashboards or reports often took 86.3 seconds to open while the even more important Xlarge dashboards (with more than 6400 tasks on them) were not able to open! This means losing the big picture, especially for critical top management meetings where strategic decisions for the future of the company are discussed, and an extensive effort to gather and put the essential information together.

Having live information on businesses operations and business results, the ability to dig deep into every detail when it becomes a point of interest for the management, and fast operations are all big gains for companies. The latest SAP technologies including big data and in-memory data computing gives an opportunity for business owners to easily achieve many improvements. Given the challenges faced with the reports, and additional problems they had with handling customers complains for certain devices, the customer decided to ask SAP to come up with possible solutions.

The SAP team identified SAP Suite on HANA as a solution for the issues faced with the dashboards, enabling on the same time other business operations to run faster too. After the Suite on HANA’s implementation, the customer’s management could have a view of the big picture business results produced by the entire company, while having the ability dig into details of each single division with a few mouse clicks! In a very short amount of time the management could define actions required to address the existing issue in each sectorand even for a single product, while they could also define the potential for growth. Implementing Suite on HANA also meant a simpler business day for each employee of the company!

Reaching to the end-solution explained above was not as simple as it might look like!  Global enterprises, such as this customer, have a large amount of data collected over the years that are processed daily. Some of the data should be archived since they it is not being processed or used daily. This allows businesses to be faster, spend less money on storage systems, and reduce their data processing times. However identifying which data or processes are not relevant anymore is not that simple and it takes a lot of effort to run such analysis.

Outdated business processes and data also impact the system migration and downtime resulting from the system migration into the new IT platform. Downtime in general impacts the daily business negatively and equals losing money and customers for businesses. Global companies often experience a higher risk during migration since daily business should be running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless of time zones. This is why migrating the information in a new platform is often scary for them as they cannot afford any system downside.

After an analysis done by the SAP SLO (Service Landscape Optimization) team, it became clear that many tables and data in the customer company were not being used anymore. This means selective transformation of data to the HANA platform could be done. The out-of-use data could be archived and excluded from the migration process so that the customer needed less migration volume, reduced the transformation cost, and its need to acquire new technology in the future.. With the help of the Value partnership team, the customer and SAP defined milestones for the migration and actions required as well as implementation phases.

As a result, the selective data transformation and the innovate milestones defined by SAP and the customer reduced the downtime to 23 hours. Additionally the SAP customer won 20% increase in user productivity, 35% reduction in the time needed for tasks confirmation, and 35% improvement in Search for documents and project elements. For the customer, in the past, the small dashboards needed 30.4 seconds to open, while large dashboards (with 1500 tasks) needed 86.3 seconds. Xlarge dashboards could not even be opened. After the HANA implementation the time for each of these actions was reduced to 4.9 seconds, 6.7 seconds and 10.2 seconds. Also the customer was able to handle its customers complains in a faster and more effective way.

With thanks to my colleague Sabine Wachter for helping me prepare this article.

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