What Can Organizations Accomplish Using the HANA Cloud Platform?

Dan Lahl

Posted by Dan Lahl on August 20, 2015

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As the one unifying and open platform that ties SAP’s cloud strategy together, HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) gives organizations the ability to meet their changing business needs right away. Our ‘going back to cloud basics’ blog series continues today with a detailed look at what HCP allows organizations to accomplish. Let’s jump right in:

Use HCP to: Empower the Line of Business
As I’m sure many of you can experience: I can be a superstar on the weekends by easily accessing just about any type of information online but come Monday morning at work I sometimes required an Act of Congress and 72 approvals just to access the data I needed to get my job done. Or, I had to wade through multiple spreadsheets and documents that may or may not have been out-of-date. With enterprise applications previously sitting in an organization’s back office, many business users had difficulty accessing the information they needed.

Now with HANA Cloud Platform, these critical applications can be easily extended to knowledge workers through a PC, tablet, smartphone or browser. Essentially, HCP exposes certain microservices (small, independent software processes focused on a certain task) allowing IT to quickly and easily deploy any internal application to the cloud for employee consumption.

Another common way HCP empowers users is by tying an organization’s internal applications together through one common portal interface. This one access point to critical information can be easily created regardless of the number or types of SAP applications (on-premise or cloud) and regardless of the application vendor.

HCP can also integrate data and business processes across a number of different applications to create one brand new application. SAP customer Semos, for example, extended the functionality of their SuccessFactors HR application to include a new employee recognition and reward fulfillment program.

Use HCP to: Connect Your Enterprise to the Digital Economy
Digital economy refers to the Internet of Things (IoT) and API economies which are being embraced by today’s organizations. IoT is the connectivity of objects embedded in electronics, software and sensors, that exchange data with manufacturers, operators or other devices. The API economy is about using other companies’ software functions and capabilities as services through web application programming interfaces (APIs). A great example of a company taking advantage of the digital economy is Uber. Likely as much as 60% of their underlying technology is based on other companies’ APIs – like mapping and payment software or IoT – like car tracking sensors.

HANA Cloud Platform connects organizations to the digital economy by allowing them the ability to integrate all their assets, sensors, emitters, into their enterprise environment. These connected devices can then be tracked, analyzed and updated easily and quickly. In addition, HCP can be leveraged to tie in to SAP’s valuable business networks (Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, etc) through APIs. As an example of a company who saw the full potential of HCP to tap into the Internet of Things, Siemens is building their next generation digital business on the HANA Cloud Platform with predictive maintenance and asset management for their devices and sensors in an open ecosystem.

Use HCP to: Deliver Open, Agile, Flexible Apps
Historically with SAP, you could only build applications using our proprietary ABAP programming language. HANA Cloud Platform changes that limitation by embracing open standards – Java, JavaScript, Node.js – for application development and deployment. Organizations can take advantage of their younger generation developers, who don’t know ABAP but are intimately familiar with more open standards, to quickly build and deploy custom applications within HCP. These enterprise-ready web applications that run on any browser can easily be created using simple and modern design principles.

Developers can also confidently build applications using HCP knowing that SAP is integrating with open standard cloud systems like CloudFoundry and OpenStack and other familiar cloud deployment options in the near future. This will give organizations’ their pick of private or public cloud deployment options.

Use HCP to: Customize SAP Applications
Last, but not least, by using the HANA Cloud Platform, organizations can build customized applications for core SAP apps and solutions, tailored to their unique business needs.

In the past, customizing an SAP application would necessitate the services of a systems integrator, access to underlying table structures and knowledge of ABAP, all of which was costly and time consuming. HCP’s common development environment makes tailoring or customizing SAP applications (S/4 HANA, SuccessFactors, SAP Business Suite, etc.) simple and easy by using either open standards like Java, JavaScript or Node.js.

Jaguar Land Rover uses HCP to power a robust e-Commerce site for the sale of Jaguar Land Rover merchandise via out-of-the-box integration into their systems, including SAP ERP, CRM and BI.

One Common Cloud Platform from SAP
The SAP HANA Cloud platform is the glue that brings together all of SAP’s cloud technologies. HCP allows organizations’ to empower their business users through easy and simple access to information, to connect their enterprise to the digital economy, to create open and flexible applications, and to extend and customize their current SAP applications.

Next up in the blog series is a detailed look at the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud – our infrastructure as a service option for customers using on premise SAP applications who want maximum control and customization to run these mission critical systems in the cloud.

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