February 5, 2014

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A winning formula to integrate Business Intelligence with SAP HANA

Data comes in all different sizes: small, big, structured, unstructured (just to name a few).  Companies are in need of the right analytical tools to access all of this valuable information deep rooted within the organisation. According to reports from Forrester, BI has been a top implementation priority for organizations for a number of years. Firms are clearly recognizing the value of data and analytics when it comes to improving critical decisions and outcomes.

Understanding the growing trends facing organisations with BI

Over the years, as data has grown, this task has become more and more complicated. Business Intelligence (BI) systems  are taking too long and losing a clear purpose.  Consequently, IT is often being seen as part of the problem.

As the business environment changes, there are three forces that businesses should consider:

  • Economic climate: Almost every organisation is facing the opportunity (or challenge) of globalization and power of consumers as a result of social media channels.  Navigating through this climate requires agility across the organisation, people, processes and technology.
  • Digitization: There is far more digital data available today than ever before. It is growing at exponential levels, primarily fueled by the penetration of mobile devices and improved connectivity.  This presents a great opportunity for organizations to derive new insight resulting in new products/services, improved customer service and cost optimization.
  • Technology: Improvements in computing technology provide the means needed to analyze large volumes of data at the blink of an eye. Technical advances have created new opportunities to accelerate the speed of delivery for BI projects/programs for clients globally at the optimal cost.

Over time organizations may find that the addition of new Business Warehouse (BW) systems may be needed to respond to changes within their business environment. By creating multiple BI components and integrating them into an existing system, organizations are able to measure different metrics to the past and use non-ERP data much more than their current BI solution enables. 

Finding the best practices from faster BI reporting 

Unfortunately, existing technology landscapes are not geared up to stand up to the challenge of these trends.  In particular, BI solutions take weeks or months to deliver time-sensitive information based on information in the small microcosm of ERP systems.  They are structured to provide robust governance and control and are significantly hampering the ability of BI to be used as a change catalyst. Many organisations search for a solution by implementing short-term out-of-the-box analytical solutions that are not capable of individual businesses’ unique requirements.

To formulate the right solution, organisations need to find a best practice in utilising existing investments in BI. Companies need a roadmap based on business priorities, technology challenges and benefit assessments.

To note, there is never a one-fit-for-all solution that can benefit all businesses in the same way.  To develop a best practice BI solution, there are three unique implementation strategies designed to resolve BI challenges that organisations face:

  • BI Transformation: This solution re-designs and implements most areas of the existing BW with an implementation time scale of over one year.  It includes a full user engagement review.
  • Functional Migration:This solution offers a fast prioritised migration of key functional areas that are optimised on HANA architectural standards. The key benefits of this solution involve low cost and efficient migration with the implementation time taking on average 3 to 12 months.
  • Technical Upgrade/Migration: This is the fast technical upgrade option with implementation time spanning up to 3 months. The technical upgrade/migration is a short-term solution that focuses on BI back-end and data warehouse systems.   

How to take action (Takeaway)

Take advantage of HCL’s in-depth experience and explore how SAP HANA can work with your existing BI investments in order to be ready for NextGen. For more information, contact us at hcleas@hcl.com or download our brochure.