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A Platform to Meet New Demands- SAP

By Sahil Dhawan, AVP - SAP & Digital Transformation, KPIT

SAP has been the pioneer in Enterprise applications for more than four decades and has always strived to be ahead and develop enterprise platforms, which are future ready. Starting from SAP R/1, single tier architecture based on Mainframes in early 70’s, which had all the layer’s presentation, application and database clubbed into a single server. It was the era of mainframes; which only large companies could afford. SAP released their first product which instead of standard practice of using manual punch cards used local storage to make the processing real-time. A real-time enterprise application was born. Followed by SAP R/2 in late 70’s, a two tier based architecture where database and application layers were separated from the presentation layer to make the processing faster. SAP quickly came with another path breaking innovation in early 90’s through the next generation of their ERP, SAP R/3, and a three-tiered architecture, which had all the three layers separated. SAP was one of the first to adopt three tier architecture into their ERP. SAP R/3 could run for the first time on non-mainframe platform. This gave birth to a new league of ERP which could be run on a variety of operating systems and database. The choice was customer’s.

SAP R/3 is the longest running generation of ERP from the early 90’s and the most adopted one worldwide. The revolution of three tiered architecture put ERP in the reach of mid-size companies. The adoption became rapid. Enterprises benefited by bringing their enterprises on single standardised platform. Then came the era of internet, SAP quickly identified the potential and redesigned the platform to support internet and a newer three tier platform, SAP Netweaver was born. This platform through Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture(ESOA) and other integration points helped customers to break the boundaries of their enterprise and collaborate beyond to bring in their customers and vendors to interact seamlessly as one extended organisation. Products like ERP, PLM, CRM, SRM, SCM, BI, etc. helped customers to cover the entire value chain of their business.

SAP in Digital Era

The pace of technological changes in the new millennium has been breathtaking. Proliferation of internet, penetration of mobiles, dramatic reduction in storage/RAM cost, adoption of cloud computing, disrupted the way business is done. The new generation of business users are no more bound to their desk or premise they work in. The challenges for an organization to survive and protect their market share have become ever more difficult.  Many leaders in the market have simply vanished from the scene over a decade. Welcome to the digital era, an era where everything is connected, from humans to machines to appliances, everything is capable of/is talking to each other.

Keeping with their innovative tradition, SAP created a new revolutionary database platform SAP HANA which can run the entire database in the RAM. Yet another pioneering product was innovated which would transform the way business applications are designed and run in the coming decades. Almost all the key products of SAP have been or are being reimagined, redesigned on SAP HANA now. Renewed User Experience through SAP FIORI is another major highlight of the platform which enables users to access the applications seamlessly from anywhere on any device. The platform takes care of the uniform rendering across various devices sizes. This platform enables customer to imagine the unimaginable, which was not possible or remained a dream prior to this innovation. SAP HANA now enables enterprises to design and develop applications to process data in real-time coming from various sources, be it GPS trackers, shop floor machines, mobiles, social media, massive text contents, emails, literally anything. All this integrated with SAP S/4HANA and other products running on SAP HANA makes it truly a next generation enterprise, equipped and poised to next level of growth.

Enterprises that have manufacturing shop floors can integrate real-time machine data to make real time processing and decision-making. Customer facing organizations can analyse millions of social media feedbacks and derive meaningful insights for refining/bringing new products/services. Consumer product companies can track and monitor their products live to provide pro-active services and increase customer satisfaction. Healthcare organizations can monitor their patients and analyse their past history in real-time. The uses are limitless. The innovation of SAP HANA is disruptive and will cease the way enterprise applications are designed and made today. SAP HANA as a Digital Core of any organization can truly help transform the organization by giving them the strength to imagine newer products and services to stay relevant and ahead of the competitions.

Another important change at SAP’s core product is cloud first strategy, SAP focuses on bringing the innovations first to the cloud platform. Cloud products are being primarily driven by SAP HANA and more and more products are being reimagined for SAP HANA.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) is one of the platforms being offered by SAP as PaaS to enable enterprises to innovate on the cloud easily and quickly. Other cloud solutions like SuccessFactors, Concur, FieldGlass, Ariba, and Business Objects Cloud complete the 360-degree value chain of any organization. All these innovations make a compelling case for existing customers to maximize their current investments by migrating to the newer platform. SAP HANA is here to stay and revolutionize the way businesses are run.

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