Organizations of any size and in any industry today face the daunting challenge of managing and storing a rising quantity of data, and harnessing all that information to improve the business. In particular, high costs associated with the purchase and maintenance of hardware needed to accommodate large data volumes pose formidable hurdles to information technology (IT), even as business users need quick access to information and analytics so as to react to changing market conditions.
SAP has always understood this challenge and has responded by developing in-memory solutions that specifically address the need to analyze large data volumes while reducing IT costs.
SAP is evolving its in-memory technology with the introduction of SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance (SAP HANA) software, a flexible, multipurpose, data source agnostic in-memory appliance that combines SAP software components optimized on hardware provided and delivered by SAP leading hardware partners.
Jennie Ligones, SAP Philippines Country Manager, says, “One of the key challenges companies face today is how to better handle and manage the wealth of information that is needed to meet today’s volatile business environment. Oftentimes, the ability to harness, manage, and utilize this information enables companies to react favorably to market conditions and seize opportunities even if the situation seems to present otherwise. It is this ability to utilize information that sets the more progressive companies apart from the rest.”
Toward these goals, corporates must have direct insight into transactional information as business events occur, without waiting to extract and load that data from data warehouses. However, the volume of operational data available for business insight often exceeds the amount of data that traditional disk-based systems and data warehouses can process within reasonable response times. Companies today need to be able to answer questions on the fly based on real-time data.
Xiaoyu Liu, Lenovo Vice President, says that since expanding into the computer and mobile devices business, the company has had to process 1.8 million contract records with multiple attributes. “SAP HANA has allowed us to process this information in a real time manner to enable us to make the right decisions at the fastest time possible,” she says.
Lenovo is one of the world’s largest makers of personal computers (PCs) and manufacturer of the world’s most innovative PCs, including the renowned ThinkPad® notebook as well as products carrying the ThinkCentre®, ThinkStation®, ThinkServer®, IdeaCentre® and IdeaPad® sub-brands.
Lenovo is a global corporation with significant operations on six continents and operating in more than 60 countries. The company takes great pride in its ability to attract top talent from diverse backgrounds and from around the world.
In-memory technology such as SAP HANA allows for operational data to be held in a single database that can handle all the day-to-day transactions and updates, as well as analytical requests, in real time. SAP HANA enables the processing of massive quantities of transactional data in the main memory of the server to provide immediate results from analysis of these transactions. Since in-memory technology allows data to be accessed directly from memory, query results come back much more quickly than they would from a traditional disk-based warehouse. The time is takes to update the database is also significantly reduced, and the system can handle more queries at one time.
Andrew Pike, BASF chief information officer, attests to SAP HANA’s immediate impact on BASF operations. “It can work on resource data transactions, which means we don’t have these redundant layers of transactions in between,” Pike says. “ It has the ability to load the entire database in memory. We now have transaction environment and analytics are both working at the same time.”
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company whose portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance and agricultural products, and fine chemicals. With more than 100,000 employees, 6 Verbund sites and close to 385 production sites worldwide, BASF serve customers and partners in almost all countries of the world.
SAP HANA ensures proper integration and testing of all hardware and software components. Standard interfaces provide smooth integration into existing landscapes by connecting to existing data sources and leveraging investments into existing SAP BI clients. SAP HANA is designed to avoid disruption of existing operational or analytic environments while providing quick benefits as a turnkey solution.
In-memory technology such as SAP HANA offers the best available alternative to slow, costly disk-based data management systems. For those who move first to in-memory technology, the resulting boost in business insight, increased efficiency and reduced information technology costs will give a true competitive advantage.