Leveraging “DORA”, Digital Operations for Retail by Atos to revolutionize the Energy Platform on SAP S/4HANA

With SAP S/4HANA adoption rate increasing in market, we can now start realizing the benefits of a digital S/4 core for all industry verticals. One of the verticals Utilities has been a laggard when it came to embracing a digital core and had stayed on SAP ISU component for 15+ years. This is about to change!

The utilities sector is becoming more and more competitive and non-monolithic every day and we need to ensure that the proposed digital tools in SAP are able to generate a real advantage for our customers. Atos introduced DORA in 2018 to address these challenges in SAP marketplace. With DORA, in addition to large enterprises, we also offer small and medium-sized utilities a perfect and complete suite of digital transformation designed to maximize the effectiveness of electricity and gas sales processes.

Some of the challenges in Utility Value Chain (i.e. power generation, transmission, distribution and retail) include lack of integration of data across providers, lack of a single digital platform for operational visibility and multiple challenges with FERC reporting. DORA can address all these issues by providing a single digital platform on S/4HANA which can enable Asset Life cycle Management, Smart Grid Control, Smart Metering, CRM and Billing and Codex for Retail to name a few. DORA can also improve customer experience, boost trust and compliance, foster business reinvention and develop operational excellence.

Based on Atos experience working with multiple clients, DORA has cut time to market by 50% for new products & Services.

Check out Atos DORA Client Success Story write up with Illumia based in Italy

Please visit us our Atos booth at the SAP for Utilities Conference in San Diego and see a live demo of DORA in action.

The Future Looks very Bright…

I have spent 3 weeks now full time at Virtustream, including a week in Barcelona, last week, at SAP FKOM (Field Kickoff Meeting) for EMEA. My conclusion thus far is “The Future is Very Bright”…

Bright Roadmap

Interesting feedback from SAP field teams as well as SAP Partners in Barcelona around where the cloud computing market is going and Virtustream’s ability to lead the way around cloud for SAP and HANA.

For those whom I got a chance to talk with in the last 3 weeks, you may have heard me say that at Virtustream there is both a “Pull & Push Effect” from clients, partners and across the ecosystem.

When large clients consistently “Pull” us into conversations to help them build their cloud roadmaps, you start to realize what an incredible global “Business Wingspan” Virtustream has in the market, which is refreshing.

One of the key elements of the positive feedback from the ecosystem around Virtustream’s cloud capabilities is the idea of turning CapEx into OpEx and creating a consumption-based utility model with flexibility around clients’ cloud usage patterns, through our MicroVM patented technology. If you haven’t had the opportunity to understand the Virtustream xStream Platform and MicroVM innovation, please take the time to view this short video to learn how to create a “standard unit of measure” of IT resources, which in my opinion, has the opportunity to set the global standard for IT in this area.

In today’s IT environment, the nature of changing business dynamics and constantly changing requirements, makes it very hard for an IT organization to predict future demand. IT wants the ability and flexibility to only pay for what the business is using, but also quickly provision capabilities to increase or decrease resources for their applications – which reduces the risk for the clients and helps IT innovate in areas that matter most to the business.

Even though the future is bright, there is a long road ahead with various turns along the way, which is going to be fun and incredibly rewarding from a learning perspective…

Long Road Ahead

One of the areas I am excited most about in 2016 is Virtustream’s extended partnership with SAP – which offers a secure, flexible cloud infrastructure service for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)

We launched this service in EMEA & MEE for the European markets this past week at the Barcelona FKOM event, and we are launching the same service in North America this coming week at the Las Vegas FKOM event.

The feedback so far from SAP has been positive, especially once we shared with them Virtustream’s experience, skill set and ability to execute around SAP and HANA Cloud (i.e., over 200 production customers in a multi-tenant cloud, over 500 HANA migrations, First S/4 HANA in a cloud deployment etc.).

Several key areas are unique to Virtustream’s SAP HANA in the Cloud offering, which delivers HEC workloads together with SAP, as they provide industry leading support and certification for “Regulated Industries” including:
Government: FedRAMP and FISMA certification
Commercial: PCI-DSS certified
Healthcare: HIPAA certified
As well as Financial Services, Regulated Utilities, and many others.

Another key area is around “Faster Time-to-Market” with our rapid deployment capabilities, which enable us to meet the most aggressive deployment timelines. There are some very cool innovations in this area, where our Application Automation teams are driving innovations at incredible speeds.

A third area is the ability to support Heterogeneous Application Environments. The reality is that most existing SAP landscapes are mixed environments with SAP applications, SAP HANA and legacy SAP on “anyDB” environments, as well as connected non-SAP applications. This also includes the ability to provide short-term transition landscapes for non-HANA DBs.

The last area is the ability to support a wide range of SAP HANA sizes. Regardless of ScaleUp or ScaleOut, and regardless of Virtual HANA or Physical HANA, we support the highest capacity available from the SAP approved OEM vendor certifications. And we continue to push innovations in this space to be able to handle the most demanding HANA client requirements.

In my humble opinion, this makes Virtustream’s HANA Cloud capabilities simply the most mature, flexible and cost effective in the industry! We welcome the opportunity to engage with SAP field teams, clients and SAP partners to have conversations in these areas to prove out our capabilities in greater detail.

What is also very exciting is that for Virtustream’s parent company EMC Corporation “The Future is Bright” (EMC acquired Virtustream in July 2015).
In October 2015, Dell announced a bid to combine Dell & EMC taking EMC Private
Just last week, Michael Dell and Joe Tucci’s shared their perspective on the future ahead of the larger combined company: “The Opportunities Are Massive”

Speaking of the future ahead, between Christmas and New Year’s 2015, our family had the opportunity to visit Sedona north of where we live in Phoenix. If you haven’t been to Sedona, I highly recommend a visit. We spent some quality time by Oak Creek River coming down the mountains, which is an incredible beautiful force of Nature.

Sedona

I found myself staring at the River admiring its determination to move forward in an aggressive but controlled pace. I came to the realization that there is nothing that can stop the water flowing down the mountain…
I am fortune to be a part of Virtustream and the EMC Federation Cloud Journey…and I am certain that there is nothing that can stop us paving the way for driving innovation in the cloud for our SAP customers.

See you this week at FKOM Las Vegas!

“The Next Chapter…”

In early 2014 I started hearing from a good amount of our SAP clients the shift and interest of exploring various Cloud hosting models for their SAP landscapes as well as the need for more flexible consumption models to run their infrastructure for SAP and SAP HANA.

This accelerated later in 2014 which helped us at EMC drive to create better relationships with the worlds best SAP and SAP HANA Cloud Service Providers. I was fortunate to be part of conversations with Virtustream’s CEO Rodney Rogers and his senior executive staff together with EMC executives to create a partnership with Virtustream around SAP in the US in late 2014. The partnership agreements were actually signed Dec 24th 2014 and then launched at SAP FKOM in Jan 2015.
We had a fantastic time working with Virtustream in Q1/Q2 2015 including leveraging their solutions, people and software IP in the SAP ecosystem including building an xStream powered Vblock for SAP and SAP HANA Solution.

I got a chance to present our joint story at many events including SAP Sapphire which was a ton of fun.

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Sapphire Orlando May 2015

In late May 2015 EMC announced the acquisition of Virtustream for $1.2B, which then subsequently closed July 9th (a day after my birthday) to create “Virtustream”; an EMC Federation company. In Q3/Q4 Virtustream announced some exciting additions to the Cloud family with EMC’s Storage Managed Services (SMS), VCE’s Cloud Management Services (CMS) and EMC’s Object Store as a Service offering (Rubicon) to bring the organization to 15+ Data Centers Globally and around 2,000 people.

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After 12 years with EMC and exactly one year after the original Partnership agreement was signed, now Dec 24th 2015 I accepted an offer to join the Virtustream team January 1st 2016 in a Global SAP Alliance leadership role to create the next chapter in my career. I will be focusing on evangelizing and driving client & partner SAP and SAP HANA Managed Cloud business globally, launching the SAP HEC Global Premier Partner GTM working with SAP and clients as well as being part of the team that looks at Virtustream’s SAP & SAP HANA solutions roadmap.

There is no doubt in my mind that Virtustream is leading the way to innovation and execution when it comes to helping SAP clients managed their SAP and SAP HANA Cloud workloads on-prem, off-prem or in hybrid scenarios. I am extremely excited what 2016 will bring for our SAP Clients, Partners and EMC Federation employees as it relates to our SAP business.

I am inspired for “the Next Chapter”…

Happy New Year 2016 and see you at FKOM in Las Vegas and Barcelona in January!

Happy 4th Birthday SAP HANA

June 18th 2015 marks the 4-year anniversary of the SAP HANA Platform, which became first generally available on June 18th 2011.

It has been an incredibly interesting and rewarding journey to follow the birth of SAP HANA 4 years ago, leading up to today. These 4 years, in my opinion, have been the best in my business and IT career due to the dynamic nature of technology and the disrupting forces of constant change. This constant change represents a massive opportunity to learn and transform yourselves but also participate in the transformation for clients and partners. It’s interesting to see which clients and partners embrace this journey to transform sooner vs later. I believe the “Innovators” and “Early Adopters” will benefit from leveraging the HANA Platform in various scenarios as a way to leverage their data, people and processes to innovate and transform themselves into new areas and possibilities.

What has become clear in my mind (…and I keep hearing the same from many clients and partners) is that this Journey is about building a sound “HANA Roadmap” that makes sense for each individual organization. In my opinion there is no question if it’s a good idea to develop a HANA roadmap, realizing that SAP is pouring the majority of their development efforts into applications running on HANA.

There is a ton of evidence of this:

There is a great opportunity to simplify the Application, Database and Infrastructure stack to focus on tasks that drive business outcomes. This can all be achieved with the SAP HANA Platform.

In my opinion there are two ways you can build an SAP HANA Roadmap:

The Right Way…
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…or the Wrong Way
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One of the key starting points in building out an SAP HANA Roadmap “the Right Way”, is building a sound business case in order to begin the journey. There are many great resources available from SAP and the partner ecosystem who are eager to help. One of the many resources I recently came across was John Appleby’s book on “Building the business case for SAP HANA”, which is an excellent guide for this purpose.

John Appleby Book

The business case also involves understanding what uses cases makes sense in the HANA adoption curve combined with having a sound strategy on how to deploy and operationalize.

18 months ago, I shared a blog post on how to best “Deploy & Operationalize” SAP HANA. Since then, we have been fortunate to extend our capabilities in this space with additional solutions across the board including;

– Incremental support for various EMC Storage platforms for HANA TDI with VMAX3, XtremIO and Scale IO (in addition to VNX2) 

– Data Protection Capabilities with Replication options, Backup with Data Domain and Networker, as well as various HA solutions

– There are also many cool VMware capabilities to virtualize shared HANA infrastructure and I believe we will see a lot more on this topic later this year

As organizations want to accelerate the time-to-market of solutions built on HANA, there is a need to create an “On-Demand” or “as a Service” model for more flexible and faster ways of creating Business Outcomes for clients. Realizing this, we have built better relationships with HANA Cloud providers to leverage EMC and VCE platforms including: Dimension Data, CapGemini, T-Systems, Canopy and others globally, now running on EMC and VCE Platforms as well as on May 26th 2015 we announced an intention to acquire Virtustream to exapand our capabilities in this space primarily from a software perspective.

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The partnership with Virtustream is not new. At the SAP FKOM Conference on Jan 20th 2015, EMC and VCE announced a partnership with Virtustream to build out solutions using Virtustream’s xStream Cloud Management Platform with VCE Vblock solutions for end user SAP clients and Cloud Service Provider Partners focused on SAP and HANA workloads.

Our ability to “package” these solutions for HANA whether it’s an On-Prem, Off-Prem or Hybrid deployment, in either a CapEx or OpEx model, becomes key in succesfull HANA Roadmap. I believe SAP clients are looking to simplify the way they engage with their internal business users to get value from the platforms they deploy, faster, as well as simplify the engagement with ecosystems partners for maximum agility.

It is also very timely with SAP launching HANA Service Pack 10 (SPS10) this week on HANA’s 4th birthday! Learn more here about this new HANA release here from Michael Eacrett – SAP VP of Product Management: “SAP HANA SPS 10 continues the transformative SAP HANA in-memory platform. Adding to enhancements from SAP HANA SPS 09, we have focused innovation on the areas of running mission-critical applications with confidence, connecting with the Internet of Things (IoT) at enterprise scale and security, and seamlessly processing big data at speed to enable our customers to innovate next-generation applications.”

Happy Birthday SAP HANA…can’t wait for the next few years. The Journey is just becoming really interesting!

SAP & EMC Keeping it Simple at FKOM

This past week I was fortunate to attend SAP’s FKOM (Field KickOff Meeting) event for Latin America in Riviera Maya (just south of Cancun). Riviera Maya better Prior to leaving for the event, we got some feedback that SAP’s theme was going to be “Simple Wins”. We also received feedback as an attending partner, that the dress code was “relaxed”, thus being acceptable to wear jacket & jeans at all FKOM events globally. This made me think of Steve Lucas’ keynote Monday afternoon at SAP TechEd in October in Las Vegas. Steve was wearing Jeans, and the majority of the speakers that came to the stage were also wearing Jeans; including John Appleby, Vijay Vijayasankar, Chris Paine and others, which was awesome! Of course some of us started to have fun with that using the #JeansDay hashtag. Thinking of this and having a quick chat with my partner in “trouble making” crime: Sylvie Otten Sollod (@sylvie75015) we decided to create a fun image that we can use in social media during all FKOM events around the world which also showcased our message and theme: “SAP & EMC Keeping it Simple”. Sylvie and her behind the scene PhotoShop expert husband went to work on it and came up with the following (of course there is an additional message, which is all SAP field sales folks need to succeed in 2015, is an EMC business card): JeansDayEach morning at FKOM I got a chance to take a jog on the beach to clear my mind and get ready for a full day of action. I have to say it was one of the nicer beaches I have ever been. Beach Day 1At FKOM’s keynote by Rob Enslin (President of Global Field Organizations) we heard about SAP’s vision in 2015, to help clients build “the Perfect Enterprise” with the next generation HANA Platform now known as: S4HANA. Simple Finance (sFinance) for HANA is the first prebuilt solution with S4HANA and Simple Logistics is right around the corner. In one of the breakout session, Thack Brown of SAP did an incredible job walking through the value proposition of Simple Finance on S4HANA. He set the bar for how to communicate in a “simple” way why it make sense for clients to deploy sFinance. The innovations SAP is building on top of the HANA Platform are impressive, and I personally believe they will help drive adoption in client sites. This, of course, needs to be combined with the right use cases as well as a strong business case and plan on how to deploy. I thought Sven Denecken also gave a great talk on how S4HANA and SAP’s Cloud strategy will play out in 2015. S4 HANA Best I thought SAP did a fantastic job with the S4HANA message and the overall FKOM LatAm event. SAP’s passion to go above and beyond the normal is contagious. It is very cool that partners such as EMC have an opportunity to attend to better understand and align with SAP’s field organization at the global FKOM events. Although EMC (and EMCs Federation with VMware, VCE, Pivotal & RSA) may not fall in the “regular” partner category where SAP is most focused on; including SI’s (small and large), VARs (resellers) of SAP software, and Cloud hosting Partners, I personally believe EMC is closely aligned with SAP.

We at EMC are committed to evangelizing the HANA platform as the next phase of our existing SAP clients’ Business and IT Journeys. We are also 100% committed to help our existing SAP clients simplify & reduce the cost of their infrastructure by driving a Cloud strategy: On-Prem, Off-Prem and Hybrid with our own Infrastructure Platform solution. We are also working with Cloud Service Provider Partners globally who run those same Infrastructure Platforms to host SAP Cloud offerings. There is no better way to deploy HANA than on EMC’s Virtual Platforms On-Prem or Off-Prem with EMC powered HANA Cloud Providers.

At FKOM San Diego next week you will see us launch another set of SAP Cloud Provider offerings including one specifically in North America for SAP clients. It’s interesting to note that some of these partnerships both enable SAP Cloud offerings (including HANA Cloud) powered by EMC for the Service Provider as well as provide “how to build” blue prints on how to deploy HANA in clients’ own data centers. This of course enables Hybrid scenarios for SAP clients for maximum flexibility and choice. As Sven Denecken said in his FKOM Keynote: “The world is going to stay Hybrid for a very long time”. We believe SAP clients will continue to have integration points to SAP applications in SaaS or other off-prem deployment scenarios and to some extent non-SAP applications on-prem or off-prem, which all need to be integrated.

There are over 15,000 Global SAP clients running on EMC platforms today (and growing rapidly), including the majority of Global 1,000, based on our track record with those clients we have proven to earn Credibility, Trust and Relationships and deep reach into many organizations. This is why our ability to take the next generation of SAP Solutions such as S4HANA, put them on top of our proven EMC Infrastructure platforms to help our clients innovate, simplify and reduce cost, is unmatched in the SAP Ecosystem.

One of the many examples, is our internal EMC IT HANA story which we are now live on Sidecar, BPC, BW and S&OP for HANA and are actively moving to CRM and ECC on HANA to replace Oracle DB. We tend to tell that story to other SAP clients every day including that it runs on VCE’s Vblock Converged Infrastructure using Virtual HANA and TDI (Tailor Data Center Integration).

While we were at FKOM (our Americas SAP team in Riviera Maya and our APJ SAP team in Singapore) it was so cool to see (on Twitter) that SAP’s CEO, Bill McDermott showed up with EMC’s CEO, Joe Tucci to speak at EMC’s Leadership conference in Boston. I heard Bill did a great job talking about leadership, and of course told inspiring stories from his new book “Winners Dream”. A very surreal situation for me sitting at an SAP conference while SAP’s CEO is meeting and speaking to EMC executives…especially considering I had a copy of that same book in my lap (since it was given to all FKOM attendees). 🙂 Tucci & McDermott

Can’t wait to hit FKOM San Diego this coming week and hear more on the #SimpleWins theme from SAP.

If you are attending FKOM San Diego next week (for SAP employees) and you want an invite to EMC’s reception on Tuesday evening, please come find me and follow me on twitter (@henrikwagner73). We will be giving away some cool prize…of course through a Social Media contest. Pay attention to the @EMCSAP twitter handle. Rumor also has it that “HANA Truth Serum” will be served! See you in San Diego where I’ll be wearing my jeans and discussing why #SimpleWins!

What will we see more of in 2015?

There are many things to be excited about in our EMC for SAP business as we wrap up 2014… and as we enter 2015!

Here are a few things I am excited about:

Private Cloud & Hybrid Cloud for SAP solutions built on VCE’s Converged Infrastructure: Vblock VCE has been around since 2009, however in my opinion, it wasn’t until the release of VMware’s vSphere 5 in the summer of 2011 that it made sense for SAP clients to consider virtualizing their SAP landscapes onto Vblock Systems (this is when VMware started to support 32 vCPU’s and 1 TB of Memory). Since 2011/2012 timeframe, we have been fortunate to help many SAP clients run on Vblock Systems and achieve great results. Intel keeps innovating the x86 chipset and VMware keeps adding performance with improved capabilities with each vSphere versions in the last 2-3 years. In 2014 though, I believe we hit the tipping point, a ton of large Fortune 500 SAP clients deployed Vblock Systems and made the decision to go all converged Infrastructure for SAP. This year in 2014, the conversation we had with those clients was “how” do we get from current state to future state of a Virtualized SAP landscape, it wasn’t “if” it was a good idea or if it can perform/scale. With the addition of Production support for Virtual HANA & SAP HANA TDI (Tailored Data Center Integration) becoming mainstream in 2014, the value proposition of running both “traditional” SAP workloads and SAP HANA workloads on the same Vblock System started to become clear; hence another reason why I believe we hit the tipping point in 2014. This year as well in October 2014, VCE became an EMC company. Cisco still retains 10% ownership (reduced from 35%) lending it’s support and commitment to VCE. This new arrangement will fuel even more growth opportunity for VCE. Additionally, according to IDC, total worldwide spending on converged infrastructure is growing at 32.8% annually and will reach approximately $14.37 billion in 2017 (up from $5.4 billion in 2013). VCE is the clear leader in integrated infrastructure systems according to Gartner and IDC. We see tremendous opportunity with Vblock for SAP as we enter 2015!

EMC’s XtremIO Platform for SAP In Nov 2013 EMC launched XtremIO solution, and immediately various teams at EMC started to look at how an All-Flash Array (AFA) like XtremIO would fit for SAP client workloads. Very quickly in Q2/Q3 2014, advanced Data Services capabilities were added to the XtremIO platform as well as compression and deduplication. I am pleasantly surprised about the positive response we have already received from SAP clients who are running XtremIO for SAP deployment scenarios to improve performance, drive consolidation, reduce TCO, and simplify overall deployments. It defies logic to deploy AFA Storage for SAP and at the same time reduce TCO, however we have learned that this is possible due to advanced functionality including compression, deduplication and advanced writeable snapshot technology.  Check out Axel Streichardt’s Blog “Redefine SAP with XtremIO – A Reality” for further details on this topic. Our XtremIO For SAP business is “ON FIRE” and I expect that momentum to grow in 2015 including Vblock 500 Series built on XtremIO.

Service Providers for SAP Business Hosted Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and HANA Cloud (HANA Enterprise Cloud). I am intrigued to see the ever-increasing number of SAP clients asking for hosted SAP Cloud options for their entire, or a portion of their SAP environments. Based on this increased demand, we have worked very hard in 2014 to enable a set of SAP service providers using an EMC’s SAP Service Provider Reference Architecture. This reference architecture is based on VMAX or VNX TDI certified storage arrays which leverages Virtual HANA for the most flexible deployment and operations models. We are very excited with the portfolio of SAP Service Provider partners that are EMC & VCE powered so we can fully engage to help our clients deploy their SAP landscapes in the most flexible and agile way that makes the most sense for them.

To learn more about these topics and engage with our SAP team in 2015, don’t miss 2015 SAP Week EBC events, which is one of the efficient and effective ways we engage deeper with our clients and partners!

See you at SAP FKOM LatAm in Cancun Jan 10th-12th & FKOM US/Canada in San Diego Jan 20th-22nd.

Happy New Year!

Breaking new boundaries of Innovation with DSSD

Rarely do you see the kind of excitement around a technology announcement like the DSSD acquisition announced in Joe Tucci’s keynote at EMC World, which begs the question Why is that? Especially since most published info about DSSD is a set of patents with an unknown timeframe for first product release.

When you dig into what’s available to the public you start realizing that these guys designed an architecture with the future in mind. DSSD is purpose built solution for in-memory application type-of-architectures with extreme high I/O performance capabilities, extreme low latency, and very high scalability. It would make no sense for me to try to explain how this is possible…hence you can either read this (long) blog post by one of our techies at EMC, the Canadian dude! Or you can try to decipher info from reading the patents filed about their underlying technology.

I have been around high tech enough to also realize that when a bunch of super geeks get excited about something you may want to pay attention. It was also very cool that Bill McDermott (SAP’s CEO) showed up in Tucci’s keynote on a live video stream talking about the EMC & SAP Partnership as well as how excited he is about DSSD.

Bill McDermott at EMCWorld

Now, for most companies saying they may have a ground breaking solution coming, some people would say, that’s great but it’s not here today. The cool thing at EMC and the federation of companies with VMware, RSA and Pivotal is that we have world leading technologies for our SAP clients around Cloud & Big Data…take for example the Virtual SAP HANA production support announcement on Tuesday May 6, 2014 during EMC World.  

During EMC World I was fortunate to have an opportunity to get to sit down with EMC CTO John Roese walking through his perspective on DSSD. John described the acquisition as a calculated bet by EMC on where the future of technology innovation will evolve. Today, the new architecture that DSSD provides only lends itself to a few use cases like SAP HANA, MongoDB, Hadoop. By any means not enough business justification to acquire DSSD, however, making the acquisition and being able to add some fuel (EMC is lucky to have a few extra billions available for various R&D projects…), EMC believes that this new architecture paradigm will grow in popularity to the point where applications and technology vendors start to build solutions optimized for this new DSSD architecture. By investing in the future with DSSD EMC is co-innovating for the future ensuring that EMC has an opportunity to be part of the next wave of innovation.

I believe we are willing to cannibalize our own current technologies in order to have a better, faster and cheaper way to solve problems we solve today, and also to foresee those coming in the future.  

Why am I excited about DSSD?  It changes the paradigm for SAP HANA…
So far, other than TDI and Virtual HANA, clients have relied on vendors’ technology solutions in the HANA PAM (Product Availability Matrix) and all vendors including us talk about why their configurations is superior, but let’s be real for a second to realize we are just talking about existing server technology with existing storage technology (HANA persistent layer) to package it up in an Appliance using available protocols. I guess IBM could try to say that their stuff is unique (GPFS) however, when the majority of their own reference clients tell me that they would rather do without GPFS, the reality is that most HANA appliance solutions are similar. This is why I wrote a previous blog about EMC’s ability to provide solutions for how to best “Deploy” and “Operationalize” SAP HANA matters.  

Last year at Sapphire two SAP industry leaders advised us to do something new and different around SAP HANA…unfortunately I can’t claim I personally am the reason that DSSD showed up, but I do like the reference to the fact that our company “EMC” listens to them and to the industry in what it takes to stay relevant.

Lastly, if you have been around this blog, SAP Week events, chatted with me and others in our SAP Posse, you may have heard of EMCs Big Data Platform for SAP (aka Project Jupiter), so what happens to Jupiter when DSSD becomes a reality? Think Jupiter 2.0 based on DSSD! That’s like Seabiscuit with an Aston Martin Turbocharged engine showing up to the Derby looking at the other horses saying “why do you even bother?” 🙂

EMC IT for SAP HANA Innovation Award

After barely recovering from EMC World last week which was a ton of fun seeing announcements around DSSD, Virtual HANA and spending a lot of time talking with clients and partners about EMC’s Big Data Platform for SAP (Project Jupiter), we are now all focused on Sapphire in Orlando June 3rd-5th. BTW more to come in a blog about DSSD soon…

Leading up to Sapphire, we had the opportunity to invite our EMC IT organization to submit a nomination for the “SAP HANA Innovation Award” (#HANAStory). You can read about EMC’s submission here: “ERP Redefined: EMC IT Virtualizes SAP HANA with VMware” which is our story about aggressively driving innovation Virtualizing BPC on HANA in Production. It’s great story with incredibly metrics around TCO, agility and improved time-to-market.

We also decided this week that if we are fortunate to receive one of the three awards for this SAP HANA story, we are going to pledge our possible contest prize to Charity Water! If you are not aware of this amazing story by @scottharrison check out his campaign making a global difference “on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet”. EMC is sponsoring this charity through our EMC Marketing Gives Back program including making a big impact at EMC World last week. This below was one of my personal contribution during EMC World “water walk” for the cause carrying two 40 lbs cans of water …

Charity Water

So, if you think that Virtualizing SAP HANA with VMware in Production is cool and/or you want to help make a global impact with Charity Water, then vote for EMC IT in the SAP HANA Innovation Award program 🙂

HANA Story

SAP & VMware Support Virtualizing HANA for Simpler Faster Deployment

Fantastic news today live at EMC World with SAP & VMware announcing SAP HANA for Production use on VMware!
We at EMC believe this represents a massive opportunity for multiple reasons:
1. Our SAP clients are on a Virtualization and Replatforming journey leveraging VMware for their SAP estates. Clients can now finally align their SAP HANA journey with their Virtualization & Software Defined Datacenter strategies.
2. As stated in previous blogs clients are focusing on “Deploying” & “Operationalizing” SAP HANA, and there is no better way to do this other than by deploying HANA on VMware in order to reduce TCO, improve Agility, and reduce Risk taking advantage of all the benefits VMware delivers including vSphere, vMotion, VMHA, DRS, SRM, VMware Snapshot capabilities!
3. In Pat Gelsinger’s keynote this morning he laid out the clear benefits of running SAP HANA on VMware in Production including
– Improved overall SLAs
– Faster Time-to-Market
– Lower TCO
Check out a 5 mins video section of Pat’s keynote with the announcement here and then take a guess who started clapping their hands in the beginning 🙂 

The cool thing is that clients and partners get these benefits “right away”, which is why the announcement is so important from a support perspective.
We at EMC now have a greater story to help drive adoption of HANA in the “right way” for our SAP clients to align with SAP’s overall strategy. We now offer our clients to run HANA on the most flexible set of infrastructure offerings: Appliances, TDI and Virtual HANA, including the worlds best capabilities around Backup/Recovery & Disaster Tolerance from our Data Protection & Availability friends at EMC.

There are a ton of great write ups on this topic including EMC IT’s own BPC on Virtualized HANA with VMware in production, which has been live since Nov 2013. Yup….before it was officially supported by SAP & VMware. Our friends at EMC IT (including @putitonHANA @ReidTechBOS @peadarmurf @kenpaul @RyanArse35 and the rest of their crew) are just really good at Balancing Risk & Innovation breaking new grounds of innovation to provide value to their Business. Here is Bill Reid from EMC IT talking on the Cube about his BPC on HANA Virtual deployment interview.

Check out the PR announcement below as well as write ups on EMC’s Virtual HANA deployments:
SAP & VMware Announce SAP HANA for Production Use on VMware vSphere 5.5
EMC Pulse Blog by EMC IT’s Mike Harding
Why EMC IT Virtualized SAP HANA with VMware™

Here are also two pictures from EMC World:
– Pat Gelsinger’s keynote announcing Virtual HANA Production Support
– Joe Tucci (EMC CEO) & Bill McDermott (SAP CEO) during Joe’s keynote

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From Concepts to Business Outcomes – SAP Big Data

There is lots of buzz about the opportunity to leverage Big Data to drive business outcomes. However, some  companies are struggling with a comprehensive strategy which includes taking a use case, and putting into production with a sound infrastructure strategy. One of the many challenges for clients include, “How do I stand up an infrastructure environment to support putting a Big Data use case into production at the right TCO with low risk to my business” (considering we could be talking about 100’s of TBs up to PBs of data).

First, let’s take a look at what the Analysts say about Big Data and the current trends of data growth on our planet:
IDC recently predicted, in their recent paper “The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things” massive explosion of Data growth with 10x growth from 2013-2020. At the same time, they say only less than 5% of data today is actually analyzed to drive decisions and outcomes. 
They also say data from embedded Systems (signals from components of the Internet of Things) will grow from 2% in 2013 to 10% in 2020 which is part of the overall data growth, and represents an increase of being able to drive insight across various devices and products used from data being collected around the world.

As an SAP customer looking at a Big Data strategy, we first look at the various sample use cases, which exist in certain industry verticals:

  • Energy: there are opportunities to leverage Big Data in Oil & Gas around Oil Field Automation, Risk management and in the Utility industry around preventative maintenance of energy stations and end user smart reader devices.
  • Financial Services: there are use cases around trading & risk aggregation.
  • Retail: there are use cases around customer sentiment, customer marketing programs, and brand loyalty.
  • Telecommunications: there are use cases around customer retention and customer acquisition.

Many of these use cases are derived from Structured & Unstructured Data sources:

  • Structured Data that lives in SAP systems include data about company transactions, customer data and product data. There can also be structured data sources that live outside SAP systems since many SAP clients have other transactional systems around their SAP implementation. These data sources may not be high “volume” however they are of high “value” to organizations.
  • Unstructured Data sources may live within an SAP customer’s environment or outside in the public domain, and can include sensor data, machine data, meter data, and social data. These data sources are usually high “volume” but may not be of high “value” until analyzed in the right manner.

One of the reasons for the large data growth taking place in the world is the billions of devices out there such as mobile devices and company products, which have the ability to send sensor data from them. This is where Cisco coined the term Internet of Things (IoT)representing how these “Smart Devices” operate and represent an opportunity.

The most powerful use cases can come from combining and analyzing SAP data sources from transactions, customers and products with the unstructured data sources from sensors, meters and in the social space.
A simple example would be a Telco provider pulling social data from the public data sources, and combining it with data about their existing clients in order to better understand when and how to provide better services. This can directly impact their ability to retain or gain clients. In order to achieve such a use case, often you have to collect 100s of TBs of Data.

The way SAP looks to help clients with a Big Data strategy is with their “SAP HANA Data Platform” which encompasses the ability to effectively tier data across these data platforms, putting “Hot Data” in SAP HANA, “Warm Data” in SAP IQ (formerly Sybase IQ) and “Cold Data” in Hadoop to manage a large data set using a data temperature approach. SAP then provides intelligence of being able to move data between the data sources in changing business environments. For example, the data sitting in SAP HANA for Real-Time Analysis today may be different in a few months especially if a company were to acquire a new division or bring a new Product to market. At EMC we believe this is a sound Big Data strategy for an SAP client, however there can be challenges in making this strategy a reality; especially as it relates to the complexities of standing up various infrastructures, managing data protection and security as well as having a good overall data management strategy. These all represents challenges, and a potential higher overall TCO in a Big Data project, and are risks, which clients have to weigh in order to justify an initiative.

To simplify the ability to execute an SAP Big Data strategy (assuming there is a justifiable Big Data use case) we have built an “EMC Big Data Platform for SAP” which we also refer to as the “Jupiter Platform” (the largest planet in our solar system…get it?! 🙂 ).
This EMC Big Data Platform for SAP is a purpose built solution for the SAP HANA Data Platform’s strategy with all the compute, network, and storage needed to stand up a Big Data project. All virtualized infrastructure to drive cost out of the infrastructure (including the ability to run HANA Virtually). Think of it as an “Appliance” or “packaged solution” for Hot, Warm and Cold Data, which can scale enormously at the right TCO, given the platform can manage data through a data temperature framework. The platform also includes items such as management & orchestration, security and data protection (HA, Backup/Recovery and Disaster Tolerance).
We believe this platform represents a much simpler way, which reduces risk for clients, taking a Big Data use case into production. With EMC’s 30+ years of experience in managing, storing, protecting and analyzing data, we have thought about all the infrastructure items clients need as they embark upon their Big Data Journey.

Gartner often defines Big Data through 4 Attributes: “The 4 V’s”: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Value. Let’s take a look at EMC’s Big Data Platform for SAP and how the solutions align with these attributes:

  • Data Volume: The Big Data Platform for SAP can start in the 50 TB range, and scale to 10+ PBs with an optimized TCO in mind by moving most data to warm or cold sources at lower cost.
  • Data Velocity: The Platform can ingest data at over 100 TBs per hour loading speeds so clients can make use of data captured before it possibly becomes obsolete. The Platform also enables fast analysis turnaround time for large data sets i.e “Fast Data”.
  • Data Variety: The Platform can ingest any type of structured or unstructured data source such as sensor, files, email/SMS, social, multimedia etc.
  • Data Value: Measured in a company’s ability to quickly find new business opportunities or ways to optimize such as a manufacturing process, logistics, or maintenance. The Platform reduces risks and gives predictable low $/TB by simplifying a Big Data deployment.

Since the Platform also uses common tools and products, the required skillsets are likely to be the same that currently exist. Hence, the overall TCO of the platform is optimized so clients can focus on taking their Big Data use cases from “Concept to Business Outcomes” for their organizations.

I look forward to talking more in detail about our SAP Big Data Platform at EMC World (May 5-8), SAP Sapphire (June 3-5), and at future SAP Week EBC events.
You can also engage in a conversation with me on Twitter: @henrikwagner73
…as well as check out a 5 mins video on EMC’s Big Data platform for SAP