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What to Really Expect from SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA: Q&A with Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil

December 10, 2014

Moving the SAP Business Suite to SAP HANA comes with high expectations for faster runtime, process improvements, and analytic insights. What lessons and benefits have come from the first wave of SAP HANA implementations? 

Capgemini’s Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil took questions on SAP HANA and the move to SAP Business Suite on HANA in an hour-long chat with our readers.

View the chat replay and read the edited transcript to review all the discussion in this Q&A.

Live Blog Q&A on SAP Business Suite on HANA with Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil | Live Dec 10 2014 11am ET
Live Blog Q&A on SAP Business Suite on HANA with Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil | Live Dec 10 2014 11am ET
Live Blog Q&A on SAP Business Suite on HANA with Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil


SAPinsider: Join our Q&A on SAP Business Suite on HANA, live December 10 at 11am ET / 4pm GMT. Capgemini's Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil will join us to take your Suite on HANA questions.

We’ll kick off our Q&A in just a few minutes, but feel free to post your questions at any time. All posts go to our moderator, Bridget Kotelly, conference producer for the HANA 2015 conference. And Capgemini’s Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil will join us at 11am ET. 

Bridget Kotelly, HANA 2015:  Welcome to today’s chat on migrating to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA.

Thanks to everyone who already posted questions – we’re looking forward to a great discussion!    We’ll continue to take questions for the hour, during today’s live chat.

Joining the chat today is Capgemini’s Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil, who is the Capgemini Global Lead for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. Prior to joining Capgemini, he worked for SAP for 10 years in development as well as technology consulting.  He is here to take your questions for the hour about migration to SAP Business Suite on HANA. 

Juan Carlos, welcome! Thanks for joining us today.   


Juan Carlos Martinez Gil, Capgemini: Good afternoon from Madrid.


Bridget Kotelly: We have plenty of questions waiting for you from readers. We’ll let you start responding to those now! 


Comment From Guest

What will be an approximate duration of the Business Suite migration project? If this really depends on the DB size, could you please give me a rough estimate on a 2.5TB Oracle (non-compressed) DB?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: That's hard to say. It depends indeed in a number of factors including database size, deployed applications and add-ons, but on average HANA migrations are taking about 5 to 6 months.


Comment From Doni Kessel

What challenges are you seeing post-migration/production support for Business Suite on HANA. Being that it's a new platform (OS & DB), that always presents a new set of performance and up-time issues to troubleshoot.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: We are not seeing many particular challenges -- sometimes small incompatibility issues between add-ons and industry solutions. Such solutions are being addressed very quickly by SAP, though.


Comment From Guest

What are benefits of migrating SAP Business Suite to HANA? From a functional and Technical point of view?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Actually the key benefits are TCO reduction and simplification from both the technical perspective and from the business perspective. Real-time analytics has a direct impact on corporate business processes.


Comment From Abdel

What are the impact of project team and end users? What are the serious pitfalls for this kind of project? Can we just migrate one system within the landscape and then just create a copy of that system into QA and PRD?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: The "old" functionality works as usual, meaning that the initial impact is very small. However you also have to plan the end user training for the new functionality that is enabled by HANA.

Comment From Azam

From a functional side, what are all the prerequisites we need when migrating to HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: The quick answer is that you have to know the new content, and check how to roll out to the key customers.


Comment From Sacha

Hi, SAP Business Suite on HANA Scale-out architecture should be released soon or already done. Can  you confirm? Is there a restriction with SAP Business Suite Scale-out -- for example, only some components or only on specific hardware, etc.? Thanks.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Yes it should. I know it was in CA til September, and that SAP had this kind of deployment running at systems having up to 30 TB. And indeed not all HW providers are supported yet. But I am not aware if it is in GA.


Comment From Robert T

What pitfalls were found in scheduling of your projects and can you impart knowledge to avoid these to future implementers of HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: We did not see many issues in project schedules. And the key is to be able to evaluate correctly the total effort for adjusting custom code.


Comment From Guest

With Business Suite on HANA Hasso has realized his vision to have reporting and transaction instance as one. Questions are:
1. How will this impact the life of BW or BW on HANA?
2. What are the reporting options for Business Suite on HANA? Will business content be provided? Do we have to model the views in HANA and report on it? What are the options?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: That's a good one. If you have a Suite on HANA you should consider moving so-called operational reporting to the Suite system. On the other hand, BW is still necessary for corporate reporting, or if you are using components like BPC.


Comment From Ravi

How is the table partitioning on HANA different than the BW table partitioning?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Well, HANA has a native table partitioning. And you have to understand it in order to optimize performance in scale-out architectures.


Comment From Guest

What improvements or capabilities (functional and business resources) can we expect running Business Suite on HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: There is no generic answer to this. What we like to do at Capgemini is to run a Strategic Assessment where we analyze your business processes and requirements, and evaluate the real impact that HANA will have in your business.


Comment From Guest

Do we need to test all our custom code?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Yes. But our recommendation here is to take the occasion to "clean up" your code, and plan your tests according to the mandatory changes and optimizations that you have made. We have standards and tools to support that.


Comment From Guest

Traditional migration has the option to split tables to reduce migration time so multiple R/3 loads can work on large tables. How that control work with DMO procedure?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: We would have to ask SAP for clarification on that, but I know, though, that in some cases we reduced migration time by giving more computing power to the server where DMO is installed.


Comment From David Garcia

Is HANA for all companies?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: HANA can bring value in all companies. Having said that, the ROI will depend on your context. You need to run an assessment to answer this question and find the appropriate roadmap for your company. Suite on Hana will also be the platform of all “S-Innovations” (Simple Finance as an example) from SAP, so moving to HANA for most customers will soon be inevitable.  


Comment From Guest

Do we need to do any changes to Custom developments & Custom Tables.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Yes, you have three sorts of changes you have to do:
(1) Mandatory changes
(2) Optimization changes and
(3) Code push down
Our advice is to get the system working by performing (1), and then plan for doing (2) and (3) at a later point in time.


Comment From Guest

Can you elaborate on that and then what is the impact on BW extractors?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: It depends. If you are talking about Suite on HANA, then the BW extractors should work as usual. And the overall extractor performance should improve.
If, on the other hand, we are talking about a BW on HANA, with a traditional suite system, you should see no change in performance.


Comment From Vinod

What changes should be considered from ABAP Development view while or after migration?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Whatever you do in ABAP you have to be HANA compliant. That means: include "ORDER BY", do not use "SELECT *..." etc. There are a number of well-known rules.


Comment From Nag

Here’s a flurry of questions:
With Business suite on HANA making Hasso's vision to have reporting and OLTP on the same instance…
1. What is the future of BW on HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: I think the key point is to try to avoid to copying data from place to place. That means that for the scenarios where the analytical data comes from one single ECC on HANA system, BW will not be necessary. On the other hand, in corporate scenarios we have to consolidate information from different ECC systems. In that case, BW will continue to exist, although more as a kind of central BI hub.


Comment From Nag

… 2. Will HANA Live (or an extension of it) for building new reports be enough to handle corporate's reporting needs?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Well, here we have to distinguish between operational reporting and corporate reporting. For corporate reporting a BW platform will be still needed.


Comment From Nag

… and 3. For greenfield implementations, should we still go with BW for reporting or would Suite on HANA suffice for reporting?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: In most cases yes, you can do with HANA Live. However if you need BPC you will need to have BW.


Comment From Godfrey

From a FICO perspective, can you provide examples of new functionalities that come with HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: One that comes to mind is Smart Business Dashboard for cash management.


Comment From Guest

How are companies implementing SAP Business Suite on HANA within their non-productive landscapes? We have multiple project QA system, but HANA hardware is expensive and we would need to control overall landscape costs.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Usually Dev systems are not being installed in HANA appliances. In many cases customers are even using virtualization. On the other hand, a good option is to share QA with the fail-over node of an HA configuration.


Comment From Guest

For the HANA migration duration estimate of 5 to 6 months: Does that include optimization of existing custom code for HANA or just the technical migration?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: This includes the mandatory changes for HANA and optimization of some key processes. Further optimizations are planned in later waves.

Comment From Ronald Picado

What standard tables disappear on HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil:  For example for simple finance: KNC1, account payable (LFC1), and G/L account (GLT0 / FAGLFLEXT).

Comment From Guest

Is there a complete list of the tables that disappear?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: That is a work in progress, meaning that we should check SAP notes for that!

Comment From Guest

I am surprised you said that total tables like GLT0 will disappear. This is only when we use the Simple Finance add-on.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Correct

Comment From Guest

Do you need to implement Simple Finance when implementing Business Suite on HANA?

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: No, Simple Finance is an Add-on. However you must consider that it will reduce drastically the data footprint.


Comment From Guest

We are migrating our BW to HANA and would like to know what the High Availability options are for SAP App servers. I see a lot of documentation about HA for HANA, but not that much regarding HA for the SAP app servers.

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: I would guess that's because from WAS perspective there are not many changes -- meaning that you can use configurations that are similar to what you would have in a traditional system.

Bridget Kotelly: A big thank you to Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil for taking these questions today. Thanks, Juan Carlos! 

Juan Carlos Martinez Gil: Thank you very much for your questions, and please feel free to come back to us directly if you have any followup.

Bridget Kotelly: Thank you again to everyone for the great questions. For more on SAP HANA - and SAP Business Suite on HANA - visit SAPinsider. And we hope to see you at the HANA 2015 conference this March in Las Vegas, which includes specific tracks on migration and sessions on Suite on HANA.

For more from Juan Carlos Martinez-Gil, you can reach him directly and you’ll also find more resources from Capgemini here on preparing for Suite on HANA migrations. Thanks again for joining us!

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