Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All about the HANA Cloud Platform.

As SAP's cloud strategy is running faster than Usain, we see new tools popping up by the blink of an eye. An important player in the game is HCP, also known as the HANA Cloud Platform.
Let's take a look at what this so-called 'platform' consists of, and if possible, check out what's under the hood.


HANA
Let's unravel the HCP. We start with HANA. Besides being the most popular Marketing Buzzword at SAP, HANA seems to have evolved from being an in-memory database to an allround suite of tools and features, breathing quality and performance. The HANA part of HCP mostly refers to the fact that any data stored on the platform will be stored in SAP's in-memory HANA database.

CLOUD
Running in the cloud enables the platform to be available from any resource at any moment. Being hosted by SAP makes implementation and adoption of HCP a piece of cake.

PLATFORM
HCP being a platform is correct. A 'Platform As A Service' to be precise (running in the cloud etc). We can refer to it being a platform because of the variety of features available in HCP, and new features coming in from time to time. Features built by SAP, or by partners.

What's in the platform?

A wide scope of functions and features are available on the platform, varying from UX development, to analytics, collaboration and integration. Lets zoom in on a few of these.

User Experience

SAPFioriUXHCP is your portal to SAP's cloud-based Fiori development toolkit called WEB IDE. The WEB IDE enables you to enhance (tweak, change, modify) existing Fiori applications as well as build new ones. Don't let the 'easy' demo's fool you, if you need real enhancements or extensions, get a professional, but know that in the end, possibilities are limitless.

Integration

One of the key capabilities of HCP is integration. HCP contains the SAP Gateway as a service, also know as the HCI Odata Provisioning Service, enabling you to integrate different resources (such as on-premise SAP Netweaver systems) in your Cloud landscape.

Analytics

HCP is the home of SAP Cloud for Analytics. According to go.sap.com, this will allow you to have your analytics data available in the cloud at any time, anywhere. Think of the benefits this could bring you. Leveraging the HANA database for realtime analytics and predictions, as well as the possibility to connect realtime to your existing S/4HANA, SAP HANA and SAP BW systems using the integration pillar in HCP, enables you to get correct insights into your most important business KPI's.

SAP JAM integration

HCP's SAP JAM integration allows you to collaborate on business processes and objects such as customers, opportunities, orders, deliveries etc. SAP JAM enables you to have 'informal' conversations and 'social interactions' such as likes and mentions on objects in your business systems.
With the integration of SAP JAM in HCP, you can leverage these collaboration tools in custom apps.

Gamification

It might seem like an odd marriage, a business system and 'gamification'. I believe it is not though.
In some cases, especially for occasional users, gamification can help adopt an application better and quicker. What if creating a lead in a CRM system could get you points? Or submitting your timesheet on time five weeks in a row could get you an award. Would this encourage you to do your work better? This depends on your role and the process. Obviously, a service technician is very likely to be more disciplined than most account managers. I believe that gamification can boost your system adoption. Gamification can be enabled on both your on premise as well as on any cloud system connected to the HCP.

Security

Boring but essential. Using the HANA Cloud Platform, apps should be able to show and edit business data from on premise as well as cloud systems.
Obviously, you want to avoid vulnerability to hackers and viruses, while at the same time you want a perfect user experience, and don't want to log on to each backend system individually.
HCP offers a set of tools allowing you to implement SSO using your identity providers, storing data securely and enabling secure data connectivity to any system.

Mobile Secure

The Mobile Secure Services in HCP allow you to manage distribution of apps for mobile devices, as well as enforce mobile security policies.

Appcenter

Check out http://www.sapappcenter.com/ for a list of currently available 'out-of-the-box' applications on HCP. The platform is still in Beta, and it seems that that also applies to the application requirements. Hosting apps such as '2015 Cricket World Cup - ODI rankings', 'Air passengers by time' and 'Alcohol consumption in the world', I am skeptical on the matureness of the appcenter.
That said, I believe that the SAP appcenter will be your portal to 'easy-to-implement' additions to your SAP (cloud or non-cloud) implementation, enabling you to further optimize effectiveness of your processes.


Take a look, enjoy the tour.

Enough said, let's take a look.

Stop reading, take a look yourself. Create a testaccount here.
Once in, check out the menu on the left. Don't let the technical terms scare you away.

No comments:

Post a Comment