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Everyone wants everything right away in BI these days, this is no longer a secret. I’m currently with a customer who needed real-time inventory reporting… not in 6 months, not in 3 months but asap! We are about to make it work and I wanted to share with the community how Ingo Hilgefort’s BW on HANA cloud in a few minutes allowed us to deliver a lot in a very short amount of time. I think these types of cloud applications will facilitate HANA deployments and might even redefine BI as we currently know it in about a year or two.

To give you a bit of background, this customer bought their HANA license a while ago but the hardware partner seemed to have a hard time keeping up with the demand and couldn’t deliver the appliance until one or two months at the best (which is usually not too bad considering the paperwork involved).  Like most companies, their BASIS team was overloaded and setting up SAP Business Objects reporting tools wasn't their top priority. From an implementation perspective, they hesitated between going directly in HANA for reporting or using BW on HANA.  This generated major impacts on the architecture thus slowing down hardware sizing. If this rings a bell, I can tell you that you're not alone!  Knowing that they would have to spend time configuring/installing servers before they could even start building reports was driving them mad and they were looking for innovative ways to start their HANA development as soon as possible.

About a year ago, people would have told them that this was wishful thinking, that they were dreaming...

Not anymore! Thanks to Ingo’s instance, we were able to simulate both scenarios very rapidly. This allowed us to confirm that developing in HANA is not necessarily very complex but we also found out that with a BW instance, it made things much simpler since the BI team on site already had a lot of BW expertise. In only a few days, we ended up with a prototype using a virtual cube on top of an HANA view.

This is all fairly recent so I can't say much more for now other than the fact that HANA in the cloud has been tremendously useful. If enough people are interested by this scenario, I'll probably write a follow-up blog where I will cover in a bit more details the setup of the virtual cube and the front-end tool that we ended up choosing to deliver the solution (the jury is still out on that one…).

This was my first blog so I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to leave your comments/questions and I’ll do my best to answer them!


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