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SAP Honors the 2015 SAP HANA Innovation Award Winners

by Quentin Clark, CTO, SAP | insiderPROFILES, Volume 6, Issue 3

July 6, 2015

SAP HANA Innovation Awards

The annual SAP HANA Innovation Award is designed to recognize the innovations customers have executed over the last year on the SAP HANA platform. This year, the reach was extended to 31 countries. Find out the results of the awards program, including the number of submissions, the judges’ panel, and, of course, the winners. See which companies won, and read a short synopsis that details their successful SAP HANA journeys.


I joined SAP a few months ago as CTO, and since then, I’ve been asked by a lot of people why I chose to work for the company. My answer has a lot to do with an observation I’ve made over the last few years: The software industry has been going through a massive transformation, and the effects on enterprises will be generational. New technologies and startups have significantly changed our experiences and expectations. Users expect from their enterprise software experiences what they get in their consumer lives — real time, contextual, mobile, and fast.
I quickly saw that SAP is at the forefront of this change. At a customer event on my first day with SAP, I noticed something unique that I have seen reinforced again and again over the past few months: incredibly deep and trusted customer relationships. SAP truly is a partner to its customers and co-innovates with them to successfully transform their businesses and adapt to new technologies and realities around us. I have seen many customers achieve remarkable results with SAP HANA.
This is why SAP came up with the SAP HANA Innovation Award: to recognize the extraordinary ways customers are innovating with the SAP HANA platform. Based on last year’s success, SAP extended the reach of the SAP HANA Innovation Award nomination submissions from 15 countries in 2014 to 31 in 2015. SAP added three new categories to include innovative SAP HANA customer pilots and proofs of concept, bringing the number of categories up to six — focused on real-time analytics, process simplification, and technology innovations harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. Finally, the program is increasing the amount of charitable donations awarded by the winners to $60,000. The results have been impressive: Nearly 50 entries were submitted and more than 18,000 public votes were cast to determine three finalists in each of the six categories. An expert panel comprising SAP executives, SAP user group experts, and other SAP HANA leaders and industry analysts judged the finalists, and the results were announced live at our annual customer event, SAPPHIRE NOW, on May 5, 2015.
Are you ready to reimagine your business with SAP HANA? The winners have shown it is possible. Congratulations to all the SAP HANA Innovation Award winners, especially our 2015 first-place winners Ashok Leyland Limited, Asian Paints, Molecular Health, Dell, ConAgra Foods, and Walmart. To learn the details of these successes, you can find extensive summaries of the winners and finalists and a list of entries online at Let’s take a closer look at a handful of some of the compelling stories that were nominated. 

The State of Indiana Reduces Infant Mortality with SAP HANA 

Indiana is the 38th largest US state with a biannual operating budget of $32 billion (2014-2015). When directed by its governor to focus on moving the state government at the speed of business, the state decided that it needed to update its technology to accomplish this goal. It created an initiative to centrally store and manage data and share it across all departments. A top challenge:
combating unusually high infant mortality rates.
The state’s data infrastructure made tackling this problem difficult. Its 92 agencies mostly operated in silos and were not accustomed to sharing data, thus gaining data-driven insights was often a daunting task. Traditionally, the state would spread funding evenly across initiatives, targeting the issues that officials suspected were the root causes of the problem. However, despite ongoing efforts, the state’s infant mortality rate remained higher than the national average. Infant mortality is a very complex problem, with many different contributing factors, most of them constantly evolving. To effectively analyze each area and identify root causes of infant mortality, the State of Indiana needed the ability to more easily access data and at a much more granular level.
The team identified 15 different critical data sets, including unstructured data, resulting in a diverse volume of nine billion rows. SAP HANA was deployed to store and process the data, and SAP Predictive Analytics and SAP Lumira were added to provide advanced analytics and powerful visualization capabilities. 
Just seven months after the project started, a report showed that while high-risk groups accounted for only 1.6% of all births in Indiana, they also accounted for nearly 50% of infant deaths. With this new insight, the state developed legislation and approved $13 million in funding for targeted programs to address this issue — all in less than eight months from the beginning of the new infant mortality initiative.

Reports from SAP BW Now Run 5,000% Faster with SAP HANA at AmerisourceBergen

Global pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution services company AmerisourceBergen serves over 30,000 customers who order 1.7 million line items daily — the majority of which must be delivered the next day. With its volume of SAP ERP data growing at a rate of 1 terabyte (TB) per month running SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) on a legacy database, its IT department struggled to deliver information on a timely basis. To solve this challenge, AmerisourceBergen deployed SAP CO-PA Accelerator powered by SAP HANA, importing financial data cubes representing two years of data from SAP BW directly into SAP HANA. Immediately, customer and materials reports that previously wouldn’t complete were available now in less than five seconds.
With the success of SAP CO-PA Accelerator, the company then decided to deliver superior customer reporting with SAP HANA. The initial SAP BW powered by SAP HANA deployment ran on 5TB of data from SAP ERP, with batch updates running nightly. Now, the most common report (invoice history) has experienced a nearly 5,000% improvement, completing in 3.6 seconds versus over three minutes in the pre-SAP HANA landscape.
AmerisourceBergen customers can now access all information related to the products they have or will order from the company from a single portal, saving time and ensuring that pharmaceutical and healthcare items are available for consumers, hospitals, and doctors.

SAP HANA Helps Transnet Freight Rail Improve Cargo Allocation with a Clear, Consolidated View of Container Data

The Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) rail system represents 80% of Africa’s railway network. The railroad was plagued with overlapping data and data inconsistencies, high maintenance costs, and a large IT staff that had to maintain four separate data warehouses to manage container and consignment scheduling as well as profitability and cost management. TFR’s answer to these problems came with SAP BW powered by SAP HANA, which provides the company with near real-time decision making. For example, with a clear, consolidated view of container and consignment scheduling data, TFR has significantly improved cargo allocation at a measure equivalent to at least one extra train running per day, translating to 500,000 tons of additional cargo capacity each year and an extra $13 million in revenue, without making a single process improvement to operations.

The 2015 SAP HANA Innovation Award Winners


South African Breweries Maintains More Than 90% On-Time Delivery Commitments with SAP HANA

South African Breweries (SAB) operates seven breweries and 40 depots with an annual brewing capacity of 3.1 billion liters. The company was challenged with gaining sufficient insight and visibility into its order-to-cash processes, specifically pertaining to the supply chain, due to systems that only provided retroactive reporting. Data extraction was taking so long, it was irrelevant by the time it arrived in the right hands.
In a joint proof of concept with SAP, SAB replicated data into SAP HANA from the company’s ERP systems, updating it every 15 minutes and making it available via two reporting layers for analytics. Originally storing 180 days worth of data, the company quickly realized that only three days of data was needed for actionable insights into operations.
SAP HANA now provides SAB a real-time view of stock movement from the point-of-order origin through to dispatch from the distribution center. This empowers SAB to monitor its order progress to ensure that the company doesn’t reach a saturation point where it is unable to secure its planned trading volume. SAB is also maintaining its more than 90% on-time delivery commitments, and distribution management can easily view how many vehicles are available to deliver stock, how many are still out, how many are due to come back, and how many orders
are outstanding.

14,000 in Sales at Dell Have Real-Time Access to Reports and Self-Service Analytics with SAP HANA

With more than 100,000 employees, Dell Inc. is one of the largest technology companies in the world. Its sales organization relies on businesses intelligence (BI) tools to identify new opportunities, optimize sales forecasts, and drive strong customer relationships. But the company’s slow and cumbersome legacy BI system, which relied too heavily on the IT organization, struggled to keep up with the sales organization’s growing need for real-time access to analytics reports and data. Sales reps spent nearly 80% of their time accessing and manipulating data from multiple source systems, leaving little time to focus on actual sales and customer relationships.
To solve these challenges, the company decided to base its new business management system (BMS) on the SAP HANA platform. After rolling it out to 14,000 employees, salespeople now can better predict when sales will close and can organize their sales territories more efficiently to ensure better customer coverage. They run self-service analytics in a matter of minutes rather than weeks and get analytics reports 60% faster than before. In addition, with the new BMS on SAP HANA, Dell has automated 90% of standard sales reports and has given business users self-service access to critical sales data and key performance indicators.

ConAgra Foods, Inc. Realizes More Accurate and Reliable Forecasting with SAP HANA

ConAgra Foods, Inc. is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies, with branded and private-branded food found in 99% of America’s households. The business had a strong need for more accurate forecasting of product demand so it could better understand future costs and maximize profit. To meet this need, ConAgra turned to SAP HANA to help provide a better understanding of input costs, when a product needs to be made, and the cost to move the product throughout the supply chain to its end destination. The company partnered with SAP to co-innovate on a Total Margin Management (TMM) solution that provides costs at the lowest level of granularity and the forecasting capabilities to model scenarios to better predict the future.
Now users can quickly perform iterativae scenarios and “what-if” forecasting, which increases the reliability of the margin forecast and produces a single forecast leveraged across all segments, while simultaneously creating a forecast that is risk adjusted and applicable to multiple business areas.

Shell Integrates Data from Over 20 Sources for 10x Faster Report Generation with SAP HANA

Shell, an innovation-driven global group of energy and petrochemical companies, produces more than three million barrels of oil each day. The oil extraction requires utilization of numerous wells that are constantly monitored by the Shell Well, Reservoir, and Facility Management (WRFM), which consists of reservoir engineers, geologists, technologists, and various operational
staff members.
To overcome the performance and usability challenges of existing applications, Shell and SAP launched a co-innovation project and built a new WRFM solution, with the goal of enabling users to identify opportunities for performance improvements during the operating phase. Requirements called for the system to aggregate data from various sources in real time and display the information in a user-friendly and interactive front-end tool with response times of below two seconds.
To achieve this, Shell implemented SAP HANA as a single in-memory platform to support acceleration of analytics, business processes, and data processing. The result: The WRFM solution now integrates information from over 20 data sources in SAP HANA, including real-time access to time series data. Additionally, the WRFM application creates reports and surveys at least 10 times faster, giving users a real-time interactivity that hadn’t been possible. Another benefit of the new platform derives from the ability to combine data from sensors with business data that provides more details and additional insights.

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Quentin Clark
Quentin Clark


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