SAP’s HANA architecture has rapidly established itself as the revolutionary in-memory database platform that SAP themselves promised it would be when launching to market nearly five years ago now.
Of course, SAP’s decision to develop HANA was driven not just by a desire for technological improvement but also by a commercial necessity. With Microsoft SQL occupying a position in the market at the time as the preeminent database technology for business systems, SAP found themselves in a position where the sale of their applications meant effectively selling a competitor’s product at the same time.
It made no sense. So, if SAP could improve the performance of their business applications while delivering them on a proprietary SAP technology stack, it was an opportunity that had to be grasped.
Of course, with Microsoft SQL occupying such a dominant position in the market, it was never going to be a case of instant competitiveness and quickfire adoption of HANA by businesses. The many benefits of SAP HANA technologies would need to be positioned in, and emphasised to, a market where MS SQL had almost become the default option.
That is what the last five years have been about, but here at DCS we’re now encountering a more and more common question – Has the time now come for SAP Business One customers, new and existing, who have been running their ERP on Microsoft SQL to make the move to SAP HANA?
It’s fair to say that there is no blanket answer to this. It comes down to individual client requirements and timescales for an exercise that is more than an upgrade or migration, it is a significant change to a business’s system architecture.
However, we are finding ourselves increasingly recommending that yes, when it comes to HANA, the time is probably now and there’s two major reasons why we now arrive at this conclusion when speaking to clients:
The Constantly Evolving Value Proposition of SAP Business One Version for HANA
On initial release, and for some time thereafter, functionality within the SQL and HANA versions of Business One was pretty much equivalent between the two flavours. However, SAP Business One Version for HANA was always set to be designated by SAP as the future for the solution and for that reason development pathways began to diverge.
Today it would almost be fair to say that these versions of Business One are no longer the same product at all. Many of the newer (and some would say sexier) features and functionalities within the HANA version are exclusive to it and will not be replicated in the SQL version.
The reason some might see these HANA-exclusive functionalities as those at the more exciting end of what Business One can achieve for an organisation is that they mainly revolve around improved analytics and MI presentation through features such as interactive real-time dashboards and highly customisable reporting. Of course, for business managers, this improved and intuitive way to get visibility over their business is hugely attractive.
In addition, the HANA feature set is expanded beyond the SQL version with Enterprise Search, Cash Flow Forecasting, Inventory Forecasting, Advanced Delivery Management, Mobile Sales App, Mobile Service App and a soon to be released Chat Bot – all advances that many businesses currently on the SQL version may be eager to get their hands on.
Productivity in Today’s Technology Landscape
Technology moves fast and amongst the most recent advancements can also be found some of the most significant technologies in terms of the impact they have had, and will continue to have, on business management solutions.
We are now in an age of Big Data. How businesses capture, process and leverage this data will determine their future success. Combine this with the hyper-connected nature of technology now and it is no surprise that systems building on the Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Artifical Intelligence are of significant interest to the businesses trying to tame and use this data to their advantage.
With ERP solutions like SAP Business One sitting at the centre of your organisation and acting as the core repository for your data, it is imperative that the system sits on a database capable of handling an exponential growth in data and using it to power productivity.
For this your business needs the in-memory database that is HANA, a database that can process and read data many times faster than those accessing data stored on outdated hard drive technology. Achieving the real-time analytics and single accurate picture of a business that supports decisive business actions now relies on database technology like HANA.
So, is it time for you to take advantage of SAP Business One Version for HANA?
Well, we now believe that yes, SAP Business One users old and new should now have HANA firmly on their radar. As we’ve identified above, the diverging development paths of the SQL and HANA versions of SAP Business One now mean that there are some significant differences in available functionality. Differences that now make the move to HANA more than just a transition for technical reasons, but a true functional upgrade.
This transition can truly be seen as a step forward for your business, the kind of step forward you might have only expected in the past as resulting from a migration from one system to a more cutting edge competitor product. The added beauty of this is that a transition from SQL-based SAP Business One to HANA will cost you many times less than an equivalent system migration.
As a SAP Business One user you already own some of the very best SME software available, and with SAP’s commitment to pushing HANA forward and helping their customers to maximise the benefit of this new database technology, you find yourself in a great position to be able to take advantage.
Now it’s just a case of pressing this advantage home and to do that you’ll need an expert SAP partner like DCS. Our knowledge and experience of both SAP Business One and HANA technology means we’re ready to help your business get ahead with SAP Business One Version for HANA.