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When Varian Medical Systems, a maker of medical devices for cancer treatment and other systems, decided to migrate its SAP Business Suite applications to HANA, the company set out three objectives for the project:

1. Accelerate and simplify slow, computationally intensive transactional processes.

2. Implement new innovative business applications such as Simple Finance.

3. Deliver advanced real-time analytic capabilities that would open the door to predictive maintenance use cases.

In addition, Varian wanted to make sure that it could deliver these capabilities to its business users with a new, personalized consumer grade user experience enabled by SAP Fiori.

Today, and after only a few months from going live with the solution, Varian is being recognized in the industry for the business advancements they have achieved so far with SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.  The company’s accomplishment won recognition this month from Ventana Research. Varian is being honored with Ventana’s Operational Leadership Award for supply chain excellence. This is an important validation from an independent research firm showcasing the business value that HANA provides for businesses that adopt it. It is the kind of value that more than 1,300 organizations around the globe have chosen SAP Business Suite on HANA for.

To appreciate why, it is important to understand the business environment in which Varian operates. The company’s production planning depends on a complex revenue forecasting process that used to take up to four hours. That time has now been cut by half and Varian has a goal to reduce it to 5 min. This level of improvement is imperative for a company that produces complex medical systems serving cancer patients that must meet regulatory and customer testing requirements before installation in hospitals and other facilities.

In addition, Varian technology sales are complex, with many separate elements and system options, including hardware, software, and service provisions.  Completing a sale requires large amounts of calculations.  Large-scale capital equipment orders are often taken many months and even years before the technology is delivered, to accommodate the building or retrofitting of treatment vaults.  This long lead time makes revenue forecasting critical for business planning. Revenue forecasting at Varian Medical calls for analyzing data from multiple systems – project systems, sales orders, invoicing information, manufacturing information, revenue allocation from different profit centers. And as with all public companies, revenue forecasts are used to give guidance to Wall Street.

Click here to listen to Varian's customer spotlight webinar on why they chose SAP HANA.

Future Paths to Business Value

In choosing Business Suite on HANA to modernize its core business systems, Varian is on a path to meet its three goals for transforming its business going forward:

Accelerate and simplify business processes. Varian wanted to migrate away from its Oracle database to HANA to optimize ongoing maintenance costs. Today Varian runs its supply chain, financials and product life cycle management processes all on HANA. In addition, the design of the HANA in-memory architecture allows for a smaller database footprint which means lower total cost of ownership.

Build a modern IT foundation for future innovation. Varian plans to implement solutions like Simple Finance on HANA to accelerate its financial processes such as the end-of-quarter closing of its books, transforming financial processes to open up time and resources to do more sophisticated tasks.

Deliver a simple user experience to business users.  With its plan to implement apps using SAP Fiori user experience technology, Varian expects to deliver consumer-style designs and customized views of data and business processes based on end-users’ roles in the organization—views that are responsive to any device.

Just the Beginning

Varian Medical Systems is well on its way to realizing the benefits of real-time business systems with its Business Suite on HANA work, and its leaders see more possibilities in the future.

For example, the company plans to move its materials requirements planning (MRP) application to HANA to make sure the right materials are in place to deliver customer orders on time. HANA will speed up an MRP process that has become too slow and inefficient to handle the company’s current volume, with manual inputs involved. The company also plans to move its Business Warehouse to HANA, to quicken analytics performance and open up new avenues of inquiry for business analysts.

It is also just the start for Business Suite on HANA. While winning the commitments of more than 1,300 customers to date and this award from Ventana Research, we have only just started to chronicle the opportunities that open up for process improvements and innovation when you can simplify existing ways of doing business.