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SAP in the Cloud Roadshows: Expert Perspective on Considerations for Cloud Implementations

by Joshua Whitney Allen

August 5, 2015

One of the most scrutinized technologies of the digital age — cloud computing — is also one of most difficult to assess, even with all the marketing and hype. Yet the many benefits of cloud are there for a company to enjoy if leaders can see clearly how to use this disruptive concept to their advantage.

Professionals using SAP solutions and looking to understand the realities of cloud technology can learn more about the cloud approach at some unique roadshows later this year.

These complimentary IBM events feature experts who explain how companies can orient SAP HANA on IBM’s cloud offerings. Each workshop includes case studies and demos. Guests can network with fellow professionals and get real-world insights through dialogue with executives who have practical experience with cloud computing.

A Foundation of Knowledge

While traditional concerns of efficiency and security remain important, commerce is now focusing on the affordability and optimization promised by the cloud concept.

With this focus in mind, we’ve set an agenda for these events that covers all aspects of the commitment to cloud. Guests gain a critical foundation of knowledge as they engage in interactive discussions with peers about the possibilities and challenges when it comes to the cloud. The events examine the trends that are driving cloud adoptions. Speakers will discuss how professionals can identify the areas where such an approach will improve the way their business operates.

The event begins with an opening session, “Cloud Computing: What is it and why should I care?” which clarifies key functionalities of the cloud and cuts through the common myths around this overhyped technology. Every consideration about how the cloud can support IT assets, applications, and infrastructure is covered.

At the event in Philadelphia this past June, Mike Reeves of IBM covered the fundamental benefits of cloud engagements. “Cloud computing is a provisioning of dynamically scalable and often visualized resources as a service over the internet (public cloud), the intranet (private cloud), or a combo,” said Reeves.

“From a business perspective, a user experience and business model offers standardized, self-service capabilities; rapidly provisioned services; and flexible pricing. From an IT perspective [it offers] virtualized resources with elastic scalability and simplified management, automated provisioning of virtual images, and IT delivered as a service.”

“It provides simplification of management,” Reeves continued. “If you have a conventional datacenter with 1,000 images deployed, to manage those images manually is going to be much more [involved] than if you have 1,000 images in a cloud automated environment. Cloud offers strategic reinvention.”

Reeves offered a use case involving an IBM customer that runs a global annual sporting event. Working in a hypercompetitive sports media market, the client wanted to build a web presence and distribute it globally to outperform other sites, like ESPN.com. The collaboration built out the client’s web infrastructure via IBM cloud. They then used social media analytics to anticipate audience behaviors and content demands over the two-week event. The project could consume information, predict web traffic, and provision and de-provision as needed.

Calculating the Benefits of Cloud

Brian Burke, an IBM veteran, assessed the crowd’s attitude toward cloud. “Cloud isn’t for everybody or everything just yet,” he says.

One guest explained that, as a database administrator, his shop was working with SAP BusinessObjects 3.1 and was looking to move to BI 4.1. His enterprise was looking to do more sophisticated analysis — “that’s where we realized that Lumira and SAP HANA are used in the same sentence.”

Scheduled for September, October, and November, these roadshows address these types of concerns. A key moment at the event, for example, is the second session, “Cut to the chase: Calculate the benefits of cloud computing for your business.”

This unique session covers concepts and strategies that enterprises can use to develop the ROI and business case for cloud computing. Guests will also get introduced to a valuable tool for calculating the potential return from cloud, and learn how to use it. The session also offers a guided tour through the IBM Cloud Managed Services for SAP Benefits Estimator tool to asses where the gaps are for a business considering cloud.

Developing a Forward-Looking Cloud Strategy

Dialogue is such a critical part of the roadshow format. Guests can debate key criteria and success factors for developing a forward-looking cloud strategy, always matching the strategy with long-term business objectives. Experts will cover the questions that every organization should ask itself prior to beginning a cloud journey.

The event walks through the various types of cloud-based landscapes, from multi-tenancy environments leveraging the flexibility of both private and public cloud services for hybrid solutions, to full service IT landscapes in the cloud.

The audience will come away understanding the requirements and implications of the pragmatic side of the cloud, including the importance of governance and its role in mitigating risks associated with a cloud-based operating model.

For more information, visit http://cloudforumforsap.com/.

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