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SAP Cloud Computing

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"Forget HANA. Forget cloud. Let's talk platform!"


There... I said it ... in public! Guess that leaves me only a couple of minutes until they came and get me!


Jokes aside - with today's blog post I want to address some of the misconceptions floating around in regards to the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)! Many a times I've been hearing from people that SAP HANA Cloud Platform is not of interest for them because


a) they don't use HANA (yet) and/or

b) cloud is not a topic in their companies (yet)


Call me biased, but nothing could be further from the truth! As such, I'd like to talk about the last part of the name - platform.


Platform [definition] - a horizontal surface or structure with a horizontal surface raised above the level of the surrounding area. - Reference: dictionary.com


In simple terms, one could say that a platform is an elevated area compared to your current position - "the next level" if you will. Furthermore, it's a stable, reliable and future-proof foundation to build on. So, one is truly well-advised to look beyond the HANA and cloud part of the name and have a closer look at the the platform aspect!


From a technical perspective one could truly state that HCP is the successor of NetWeaver. While they have completely distinct code-lines and upbringings they share a common mindset; only this time SAP develops & operates the platform for you. This implies a shift of responsibilities very favorable for customers, as now it's SAP that takes a lot of the heavy lifting while customers can exclusively concentrate on developing apps( and not having to worry of operating the underlying platform).That's the whole promise of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and in non-technical terms it translates to business agility.




In today's economy, everyone is competing on a global level and the speed of innovation is constantly accelerating. To gain or keep an competitive advantage companies need to be able to roll-out innovations quickly: time-to-market is critical. At the same time, ensuring smooth operation of the core processes is fundamental. Gartner has been referring to this concept of bimodal IT requirements as pace-layered IT, see In the Digital World CIOs Need Bimodal IT: Rock Solid IT with Ability for Fluidity.


That's one of the value propositions for SAP HANA Cloud Platform and it's something that is relevant for every company regardless of whether they have embraced HANA or cloud (yet).


Note: Of course, I strongly promote considering to use HCP to leverage HANA and make your first step towards the cloud, but to stay true to the title of this posts I'll continue with emphasizing on the platform aspect.


In simple terms, HCP enables you to out-source your innovation - in the truest and most literal meaning of the word. Instead of doing plenty of custom-coding, configuration and customizing (or even modifying) directly within your core backend system(s) SAP recommends to use HCP for these purposes. That way, you don't start/continue to pick up baggage (aka technical debt) and consequently benefit from being able to constantly update/upgrade your core system(s) without having to worry that something breaks.


At the same time, given the comprehensive set of platform capabilities and services provided by HCP you can develop and roll-out new applications and solutions in unprecedented time.




For many customers a great way to get started with HCP are so called on-premise extensions. In such a scenario, one uses the cloud to expose functionality residing within the on-premise Business Suite (or S/4HANA) system(s) to the end-users. Typical use-cases are employee self-services (ESS) or other Fiori-like scenarios. In general, I usually recommend to start with non mission-critical use-cases in order to have the chance to gain experiences first. Also, keeping the scope to a small or medium complexity level also helps to ensure that the first pilot solution will be a success. From my personal experiences I can say that once you have demonstrated to the business that you can now develop new solutions in a matter of weeks (not months or years) they will quickly come up with more ideas and suddenly you don't have to convince the business people any longer, but they help you shape the path towards the cloud.


With that, I hope I was able to pique your interest and if you should happen to attend TechEd (or watch from afar) then you'll sure hear more about SAP HANA Cloud Platform in the following days. I hope you tune-in and now that you know that HCP is more than just HANA in the cloud you may realize that there are many ways to leverage the platform as part of your own agenda.


At the end of the day, HCP is a platform intended to help you take it to the next level and build amazing things on top. Only you know what the next "killer app" may be within your company, your domain or the whole industry... so, let's get started!


With that - let me wrap it up with a hat-tip to Hugh MacLeod aka “gapingvoid“. In his eBook “Authenticity is The New Bullshit” there's a paraphrase from an interview conducted by Tom Peters with Horst Brandstätter (owner and CEO of the Germany-based toy manufacturer Playmobil):




Replace ‘toy’ with ‘platform’ and ‘child’ with ‘developer’ and you have a very inspiring guiding principle for any aspiring enterprise developer, don't you agre?

With all the hype about Cloud Computing we have witnessed in the past 5 years, one might think Cloud Technology is some kind of superhero coming to the rescue of IT "damsels in distress", whisking them away from danger and leading them to a world (or at least IT-landscape) of perfect harmony. The reality is quite different of course – cloud solutions can become real challenges for enterprises. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have potential superpowers. As always it is a question of picking the right ones and knowing how to unleash their full potential.

No doubt about it - the world is moving into the „Cloud“, to benefit from a superior, easier access to functionality - without the need to take care of hardware, installation or even backups; and all of that with only minor or no implementation time whatsoever.

By this time almost every company out there has already thought about using cloud solutions and the majority of them already use cloud solutions in some areas.




The easy entry for most enterprises started with point solutions, which directly address one specific area of excellence or one specific LoB or Department. The reasons for being successful with solutions for HR, Sales Automation, Service, Marketing or one of many others was, that it directly addressed one specific target group which had the need to react fast to solve a specific issue and the ability to drive the decision by themselves.

No installation, quick implementation were the keys to success. Integration to existing backend systems was very often not an option, or not considered. This missing integration into existing systems often ended in a challenge for IT-organizations to connect the system back to the mother ship later. The seamless integration to backend systems like Finance, Sales or logistics is one of the major benefits of SAPs Cloud solutions, which are ahead of all other players.

In the meantime, cloud solutions are a commodity in many lines of businesses and currently moving forward to finance. While in the past the core systems of most enterprise where not in discussion to be moved into the cloud, now it is possible.


The full power of S/4HANA Finance is available in smart tailored cloud packages with an attractive subscription model.

Do you want to learn more about how S/4HANA Finance, cloud edition can simplify your live?


Have a look on our infographic here

or visit www.sap.com/finance

Sky is the Limit.jpgNo matter what their industry or line of business, today’s enterprises share many common goals. To gain advantage over their competitors, companies want to increase revenues through top-line growth and improve profit margins, helping to pad operational cash and funding that can be reinvested in the organization.


Another priority is to enhance customer satisfaction, which boosts loyalty and increases new sales. Companies also strive to reduce costs, especially those related to IT operations, and improve the performance of IT operations. For example, relying less on legacy tools and traditional outdated technologies can free up money for other business areas.


Yet a recent IDC report, “Custom Applications Powered and Enabled by Cloud Computing,” says that meeting these goals is not without challenges. When asked to identify the greatest impediments to executing their corporate strategy, 43% of respondents cited focusing the right people and resources on their strategic initiatives. Due to budget restraints and daily operational requirements, it can be difficult for organizations to acquire the highly-skilled personnel and budget needed to build, maintain, and augment in-house customized software applications.


In addition, 36% cited the lack of alignment between business needs and IT capabilities. Keeping older in-house built applications current and developing enhanced functionality can be a struggle, especially given the rapid pace of business process change.


Reduced IT complexity, minimized cost and risk


To become more nimble and cost-efficient, many companies are beginning to deploy cloud-based IT solutions. According to IDC, nearly 50% of organizations have adopted software as a service (SaaS) and more than a third have embraced platform as a service (PaaS). Another 20% plan to deploy PaaS in the next 12 months.


These high adoption rates stem from the fact that cloud solutions deliver proven business value. In a recent Oxford Economics study, 75% of leading companies said they use the cloud to “innovate at the pace of business and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time.” Organizations that use cloud software report 2.5X higher profits than their peers, and 81% of surveyed executives say that cloud solutions increase collaboration across the organization.


However, standardized cloud solutions are sometimes less effective at supporting highly transformative  or unique  business processes. “While packaged cloud applications have their advantages – such as speed to deploy, standardized processes, and consumption-based pricing – they can be limited not only in supporting highly unique and differentiated processes but also in application customization flexibility,” writes Pete Marston in the IDC report.


In fact, many standardized cloud solutions lack the deep,  business-critical functionality of traditional on-premise solutions. Without  unique, competitively differentiating software extensions, 42% of organizations in the Oxford Economics study worry that the continuity of essential business processes is put at risk by cloud adoption.


What is the best way for companies to realize both the functional richness of on-premise software and the speed and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based solutions?


38644_Journey to the Cloud_blog_tweet cards_en_FINAL_1.jpg


Tailored  cloud applications and extensions


Leading users of cloud technologies often rely on application development services to tailor packaged solutions and develop new  enterprise-specific applications. Some 48% of organizations surveyed by Oxford Economics view the development of new applications as a key driver to business innovation and better business outcomes.


By using  application development services from a trusted partner, enterprises can realize several benefits that help them differentiate themselves against the competition. These benefits include:


  • Faster end-to-end process execution, through increased automation and the ability to map software to actual business processes
  • More effective resource utilization, with decreased time spent on in-house application development
  • Reduced application maintenance costs, by offloading responsibility for application upkeep to cloud service providers


Application development services for the cloud can support business innovation, competitive differentiation, and growth – all with subscription pricing. Properly deployed, these services can help companies accelerate innovation, reduce IT complexity, and speed time to market.


To better understand whether cloud is the right choice for your business goals, look for a vendor willing to help you assess your needs and match them with potential technology solutions. In addition, seek a trusted partner skilled at quickly and cost-effectively extending existing cloud solutions or developing new applications that meet your unique and -critical business requirements. Your business goals may be similar to those of your industry colleagues and competitors, but sometimes those competitively differentiating aspects require technology  tailored to address the specific needs of your enterprise.


Ready to learn more about using tailored cloud applications to speed innovation? For more information about application development services for the cloud from SAP, visit us at www.sap.com.

Let’s say you’re a developer working in an SAP shop – and that you want to extend your environment or customize certain applications that are already up and running. Let’s also say that you’d like to do this in a way that takes advantage of new technologies around cloud, Big Data, social, and mobile. And finally, let’s say that mucking around in your core code is off limits – because maintaining your standard is critically important for maintaining business and technical agility.


Sound like a tall order? It doesn’t have to be. Not with SAP HANA Cloud Platform.




SAP HANA Cloud Platform is an open platform-as-a-service with an in-memory database and extensive business application services. With it, you can quickly build, integrate, and deploy rich and lightweight cloud apps that help you extend or customize your current on-premise or cloud applications – all without impacting your core. You can use intensive data processing capabilities to connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) and enable proactive and predictive decision making. You can use powerful data visualizations and mash-ups to drive better business and operational process intelligence. And you can use SAP Fiori user experience and native API management tools to quickly launch new mobile apps in a way that keeps pace with customer demand. And let’s not forget: for developers who want to try it out, it’s absolutely free.


Danone: Extending on-premise solutions


Let’s take a quick look at how some SAP customers are using SAP HANA Cloud Platform today. Take for example Danone, the food products company, which wanted its call center employees in South Africa to deliver a more personalized experience to its customers. Using SAP HANA Cloud Platform, it built an intuitive B2E order management application that connects to on-premise SAP systems – all with state-of-the art data security and identification management. Today, the call center can accept orders in an instant and understand its customers better. For IT, upgrades are easy because the integration is walled-off from the core. And it can also port the app to additional call centers and even third parties as it sees fit.


Semos: Extending cloud solutions


Semos is a leading IT consulting company in southeast Europe. With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, Semos built JobPts – an employee recognition and rewards app that integrates with the SAP ERP Human Capital Management solution on premise and extends the SAP Jam social software platform and solutions from SuccessFactors, an SAP company, in the cloud. Complimenting existing performance and compensation processes, JobPts now automates motivation and reward programs at Semos, helping to drive job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover.


NFL.com: Building new apps in the cloud


Of course, you can also use SAP HANA Cloud Platform to build and deploy completely new cloud apps – which is exactly what the National Football League in the United States did. To help grow its online fantasy football business, the NFL built and deployed a high-powered analytics app that uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP Lumira, cloud edition to deliver detailed player comparisons and user-specific recommendations in real time. This has helped the NFL grow its fantasy football platform 45% since 2010.


The value of free


For developers looking to dive in right away and learn more about SAP HANA Cloud Platform – we make it easy. Just sign up here, download your free trial version, and you’re off to the races. What can you do with the free version of SAP HANA Cloud Platform? Quite a bit.


For example, you can learn how to:


  • Build a mobile app from scratch
  • Deploy a hybrid app using SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile services
  • Configure the Android studio for mobile development
  • Develop UI5 applications with SAP Web IDE
  • And much more Services to help you go even further


Of course, SAP Consulting is also available to help you move forward faster with targeted enablement services.


These include the following:


  1. Assessment service – to evaluate SAP HANA Cloud Platform and prepare you to make the transition to cost-effective, future-proof solution development
  2. Boot camp service – to get hands-on experience building demo apps and build SAP HANA Cloud Platform development competency within your group
  3. Cloud integration workshop – to analyze your as-is situation and develop recommendations toward a cloud integration strategy


So get started today If you’re a developer and you want to learn about how to extend your environment in a way that’s surprisingly simple, get started today with your free trial of SAP HANA Cloud Platform here. Or for more information, send me an e-mail at cloud-services@sap.com.

It’s no secret that cloud is a major force in helping companies to drive innovation today. Not long ago, companies were hesitant when it came to cloud adoption. Today it seems like the preference.


The reasons for this are clear enough. Cloud solutions help you scale up quickly. They give you the flexibility to add new functionality in a relatively simple manner. They’re also fairly affordable – turning an up-front capital expense for on-premise deployments into an operational expense that’s spread out over months or years. This helps to minimize risk and gives you the agility you need to compete more effectively.


Another swing of pendulum


If the attitude toward cloud was let’s wait and see, today the pendulum may have swung in the other direction. Cloud, in other words, has become a buzzword with a certain amount of hype that drives a sometimes uncritical acceptance.

In this context, I think it’s important to step back and think of cloud not as a magic bullet but as an additional deployment option to support business processes. The important question to ask is which deployment option do I choose for any given business scenario?


It’s complicated


Few, if any, companies are all cloud all the time. If you’re like most companies, you have an on-premise environment in which you’ve invested and which continues to deliver a tremendous amount of value. Unless you’re planning a full rip-and-replace (I don’t recommend it) then the issue is which parts of your environment may be candidates for a move to the cloud – and which future functionality do you want to integrate into your environment using the cloud option?


To make such decisions, you need to consider follow-on questions such as:

  • Should I go with managed cloud or public cloud?
  • What’s the cost and ultimate value?
  • How do I get there?
  • When should I do it?
  • What is the end-state vision?


The list goes on, of course – but you get the picture.


Good questions – and the answers you need


OK, so there are lots of questions – but the most important of all is: how do I get answers? I propose the following five steps as part of an overall cloud strategy that helps you move forward in a way that fits your unique circumstances.




1. Discovery


First, you need to know where you stand from a technology and business perspective. Perform a formal as-is assessment and use this as your launching point for any future cloud projects you consider.


2. Business strategy and road mapping


Identify and prioritize the business scenarios for which you need support and research which scenarios can be supported with cloud solutions. Then map specific cloud solutions to these scenarios, taking note of any gaps. From there, design and develop a target architecture (defining any possible transition states) and a strategic transformation road map that will help align future work with overall objectives.


3. Technical strategy and road mapping


Where the previous step kept the focus on the business, here you get more technical – developing a target integration architecture to define data flows and ensure security. Follow this up with a road map to align technical work with overall strategic objectives.


4. Business case


Next, it’s important to justify it all with a solid business case that calculates total cost of ownership (TCO). What are the costs associated with the subscription model, implementation, migration, and hosting costs? What are the savings and benefits in terms of productivity gains, risk mitigation, and the ability to innovate faster in the future? It’s important to get a sense of the potential total value up front.


5. Detailed program plan


The final step is a detailed program plan that turns each building block in your business and technical road maps into combined projects. For each project, be sure to define all relevant inputs and outputs, activities, required resources, and associated costs.

The end result is a thorough cloud strategy with road maps to guide your decisions making and solidify specific projects moving forward.


Services to get you started – or get you all the way there


At SAP, we understand the value of such a process because we help companies do it. The point is not to think so much in terms of cloud but to think in terms of what you need. Sometimes it’s cloud, sometimes not. This process helps you make decisions that are right for you.


To help along throughout this process, SAP offers a cloud strategy and road map service that takes you from the initial discovery workshop to the detailed program plan. We also offer à la carte services, where we engage with you wherever you think you need the most help. In addition, we have specific toolkits that act as accelerators for different aspects of your transformation journey. For example, we have a maturity model that helps you speed the as-is assessment phase, a business scenario selector to help identify your requirements, a reference architecture to facilitate the redesign of your environment, and a business calculator so that you can better understand the value of any proposed cloud project.


If you want to learn more, send me an e-mail at cloud-service@sap.com

We live in a world where many people use their social networks to communicate and where we have access to instantaneous global or local news. In the same way, businesses have started to use business networks to ensure that they can share the latest information immediately. Business networks allow companies to build bridges with existing and potential customers, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Sharing a free flow of information allows businesses to gain insight and value from others though connections which would be difficult outside of the digital economy. Without the digital economy, building connections and keeping up the conversation and flow of information would lose momentum as by the time the information gets through; it would already be outdated. Businesses can share ideas but also react to offer the latest deals immediately through business networks, without missing out or waiting for next month’s newsletter to disseminate the details.


With business networks such as Ariba, Concur, and Fieldglass, businesses can connect with stakeholders to help drive their business further. This new openSAP course SAP Business Networks in a Nutshell will provide you with an introduction to SAP’s Business Network Group. Ariba provides a procurement platform where companies can easily find suppliers for a wide variety of things, from pens to office furniture, and beyond. Concur provides travel and expense management solutions so travel suppliers from airlines to hotels, taxis, and even restaurants can compete for business. Fieldglass provides an easy and accessible way to manage contingent workforce and services procurement programs, allowing easier and faster hiring processes.




To find out more about SAP’s Business Network Group, join this free openSAP course. The course is just three hours in total and is an introduction to business networks and what they do. The target group for this course includes people with an interest in SAP’s business network vision, people who sell, buy, or use SAP products, business professionals, IT professionals, project managers, IT decision makers, and business experts. All you need to sign up is a valid email address and all learning content is provided free of charge.

In the Cloud Computing world today, Security is a major issue. We all know, Data in Internet /Cloud should be stored in encrypted form. Encryption helps to protect data from being compromised. It protects data that is being transferred as well as data stored in the cloud. Although encryption helps to protect data from any unauthorized access, it does not prevent from data loss. There are series of security planning Enterprise should do before deploying a particular resource to Cloud. •Select which resources enterprise is going to move to cloud and analyze its sensitivity to risk. •Consider cloud service models such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. These models require consumer to be responsible for security at different levels of service. •Consider which cloud type such as public, private, community or hybrid. •Understand the cloud service provider's system that how data is transferred, where it is stored and how to move data into and out of cloud. Mainly the risk in cloud deployment depends upon the service models and cloud types. Second critical steps is understanding of Cloud security boundaries. A particular service model defines the boundary between the responsibilities of service provider and consumer. Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) stack model defines the boundaries between each service model and shows how different functional units relate to each other. There are list of Key points to CSA Model •IaaS is the most basic level of service with PaaS and SaaS next two above levels of service. •Moving upwards each of the service inherits capabilities and security concerns of the model beneath. •IaaS provides the infrastructure, PaaS provides platform development environment and SaaS provides operating environment. •IaaS has the least level of integrated functionalities and integrated security while SaaS has the most. •CSA model describes the security boundaries at which cloud service provider's responsibility ends and the consumer's responsibilities begin. •Any security mechanism below the security boundary must be built into the system and above should me maintained by the consumer. Although each service model has security mechanism but security needs also depends upon where these services are located, in private, public, hybrid or community cloud. There is another protocol to understand is Data security. Since all the data is transferred using Internet, data security is of major concern in cloud. Here are 4 key mechanisms for protecting data mechanisms listed below: 1.Access Control 2.Auditing 3.Authentication 4.Authorization All of the service models should incorporate security mechanism operating in all above-mentioned areas. Last but not the least factor is Isolated access to Data. Since data stored in cloud can be accessed from anywhere, therefore to protect the data, Enterprise must have a mechanism to isolate data from direct client access. Brokered Cloud Storage Access is one of the approaches for isolating storage in cloud. In this approach, two services are created: •A broker with full access to storage but no access to client. •A proxy with no access to storage but access to both client and broker.


Every traveller, from moon-bound astronaut to the Birmingham-bound Sales Manager, deserves the Perfect Trip


Most of us who travel for business have to file an Expense Report when we get back, and this is often a cumbersome and time-consuming "welcome home" gift that our companies make us go through.


On the Internet this week Buzz Aldrin published expense report number 014501, which was duly paid on August 26th 1969 for the amount of $33.31. The amusing part of this report is the itinerary which includes "Moon" as one of the destinations.


Now, this expense report was probably not the most exciting artefact of that period, which Nixon called "the greatest week in the history of the world since Creation". But it is still instructive to take a look at it, and see what has changed and what remains the same.


It's interesting to see that Buzz kept this document for so long, when most of the Apollo paperwork including irreplaceable blueprints and critical mission tapes were recycled over the years. This is because Expense Reports are surprisingly personal, providing a link between the corporation and which starter we had at the hotel restaurant. Anyone who tries to implement an Expense system without understanding the personal nature of travel will fail.


Poor old NASA shows its bureaucratic face with the spectacular 7 level accounting code 039-00-00-00-CA-2031-CB11. This is because back-office accounting can be a little obsessive in making sure that every trip is booked in the "correct" way. Travellers really don't care, but too often they are unable to process their Expense Reports because some cost centre in some long forgotten chart of accounts is no longer valid.


I see that the trip had to be approved prior to launch (ref X-22002). I love the idea of a NASA accountant "approving" the Apollo 11 mission, arguably the most important "trip" ever made by the human race, by approving this travel authorisation. Nowadays, in our Travel and Expense systems we too often impose additional approval steps which don't really add any value. Workflows need to reflect reality, not be some vestige a previous manager's  mandate.


The Apollo 11 mission was not without hiccups, but the mission was an unqualified success: with all of the mission objectives achieved. It still inspires schoolchildren, artists, poets and scientists today. In fact, in many ways Expense report no. 014501 was The Perfect Trip.


Every traveller, from the astronaut to the over-tired sales manager on a short overnight trip to Birmingham deserves the Perfect Trip. The Perfect Trip involves the entire travel ecosystem, from planning and booking to travel and expense reimbursement. For modern day travellers, business travel should be entirely personalized – within the context of their corporate travel plan. Business travel should also become completely effortless whether you’re talking about booking a cab or changing a flight or booking a hotel or getting a receipt into an expense report – all of this should be seamless and automatic without you having to do anything.


We are not all going to the moon, some of us are just  trying to get back from Detroit, but we all deserve a system that treats us as individuals, doesn't impose bureaucratic straightjackets or introduce additional barriers to getting the job done. Can you say that of your existing Expense Reimbursement or Travel Booking system?


Learn more about the Perfect Trip from Concur.

SAP TV recently took 4 SAP Cloud customers on a hot air balloon ride to hear about their SAP Cloud journey LITERALLY in the clouds. The 6 short episode series can be found on sap-tv.com and in our newsroom at http://www.news-sap.com/in-the-clouds-with-sap/

Here's my personal story on how that came to be!


It began as a joke. Couple years ago I told colleagues I thought it’d be cool if we had hot air balloons at SAP's premiere event - SAPPHIRE NOW - and offer customers a ride so we can show them SAP is literally in the clouds.We were pushing our new cloud business a lot back then so it just made sense to do something over the top.

They laughed. “Oh, that crazy Cuban. So funny.” I laughed too, but I wasn’t kidding.

Then at an internal meeting this year, I saw a presentation on how the new Global Content team at SAP was changing the way we communicate with innovative and entertaining pieces such as The Spin and Tea for Two and how though SAP is technically a “large corporation”, it doesn’t mean we have to be corporate or boring. It was a revolution and it was being led by Sam Juneau, Vice President and head of the Global Content Team. There was a call to action – have a crazy idea? Is it disruptive? Pitch it to Sam.

BING!!! Light bulb– the balloons! I knew that if there was anyone crazy enough to buy the idea – it was Sam Juneau. Sam came into SAP 5+ years ago from many years in the TV industry. He’s a three time Emmy-nominated producer and a visionary.  He used to tell us that 75% of the world’s GDP runs on SAP – we deserve a seat at the table, and that though we’re pushing serious business topics it doesn’t change the fact that the way people consume those topics should be so seriously. We have to remember the human element. People want to be entertained.Sam is inspirational and so passionate. One of the most extraordinary professionals at SAP.  I couldn’t wait to pitch the balloons.

On January 26th, I sent a mail to Sam and Claudia with my idea. He responded with 10 “Yeses” and a lot of exclamation points. And so we were off!


I had 4 months to make this happen. First step – find a hot air balloon vendor. My life changed when I met Bob from Bob’s Balloons. WHAT A CHARACTER!  Big, jovial, laid back fellow who lives in the sky. He said he’d do whatever it took to make this happen. Filming in a hot air balloon with a professional crew seemed highly complex and a little nuts but he was fully in when I told him our tagline was RUN SIMPLE.

Cameras – and not just cameras, but camera guys and audio guys in a small basket meant to hold 6 people. Oh yeah and we had to have a customer, an interviewer AND a pilot in there as well.  We decided on 3 balloons, with a 2 man crew in each, with go-pro cameras attached to the baskets and – why not – a drone to accompany us. We also decided to add a camera on the ground during our flight that would follow us in a van to capture some shots. We had to take weight and size into consideration as well.

Customers – who was going to tell the story? We had our fearless CIOs lined up in a month thanks to a team of folks who really knew the accounts and believed in the idea. I had calls with each of our customer CIOs to discuss the flight, the video and reassure them we wouldn’t die – a reassurance I also desperately needed as I was afraid of heights and my colleague, Megan Meany, kept sending me news clips of people dying on hot air balloon rides. The things we do for SAP.

Weather – and yet though we had every single detail accounted for, it could all be over if the weather wasn’t perfect for our flight. The wind had to be moving in a certain direction at a certain speed, and if it rained the day before or was a bit foggy, it could ruin everything. THE STRESS!  


Bob and I were on the phone every day for 2 weeks leading up to the event, talking about the weather mostly. I’ll never forget the day before our flight when he said “the winds are favorable, the sun will be out and we’re going on a journey, Jackie!” I texted Sam, Megan and Paul with a couple of happy curse words that we were a go! I couldn’t believe the day had arrived.

On Thursday, May 7th the alarm clock went off for all of us at 4 AM. (By the way, this was just hours after I had to film a video piece on SAPPHIRE NOW parties). We all texted each other to make sure we were awake, got dressed, got in our car and got to the site.  Our customers, and more importantly – our mimosas – started to arrive. Though one of our customers (Mike from Insight) was a former army guy who had actually jumped off a hot air balloon before, the liquid courage was very appreciated by the others who saw this just as I did – a death trap.

Nothing says TRUST like signing a waiver for your life to be in a cloud video. Our customers trusted us.

We watched the balloons being built as the sun was coming up. Though the nerves and adrenaline were flowing (and there were cameras capturing all of it), it was so beautiful.  The excitement was contagious (especially when I got a chance to hug Bob, my balloon guy, for the first time) and at that moment I knew this was the best thing I had ever done in my 10 years at SAP.


OFF WE WERE! We divided up in our balloons, jumped in our baskets, got mic’d up and took off! The 30 minute ride was amazing. I was surprised how serene it was and also how LOUD the sound of the fire blowing was. It was so complicated to tape an interview in between the blowing fire, but we did it.

I had SAP colleagues at SAPPHIRE NOW texting me they could see the balloons from their hotel windows as they were waking up! One of the balloons had a big SAP logo on it which I posted on Facebook and got 130+ likes in less than 2 hours – you couldn’t miss it.

Airborne we were. Our customers were having a blast and we were capturing all of it.  Unfortunately we eventually had to land, and as the other 2 balloons Megan and Paul were in landed safely on the grass, mine was heading straight for a body of water.  I was, at this point, trying to be professional and concentrate on the customer I was interviewing, reassuring myself we would land safely when all of a sudden – WOOOOOSHHHHH – we were in the water! It started to come up to our ankles.

Dead silence. And then – laughter from our pilot “GOT YOU, GUYS!!!!”

What? Was he serious? This was a joke? Indeed it was, and at that moment all I felt was relief that this was “part of the plan” and we wouldn’t have to swim to land at 7 AM. We all broke out into laughter. Our pilot pulled us out of the water and landed us safely. We joined the other 2 groups to raise our glasses for a successful ride and an extraordinary experience. And just like that, I was back in my room at 9 AM almost as if it had been a dream.


And so it was done! We had ACTUALLY filmed our cloud customers “in the clouds” – now came the hard part – post production. Stakes were high to deliver a very compelling video. Sam’s mission to revolutionize the way we tell customer stories at SAP was never more front and center. We spent several weeks going through all the footage and putting together the best soundbites. The idea was to create ONE video on the entire experience but in mid-June we decided there was just no way.

Sam brought in his friend Jon Leiberman to support. Jon has tons of experience in TV. If you recognize his name it’s because he was the host of America’s Most Wanted for several years. STAR POWER. As an outsider, he helped turn our videos into a story that anyone can understand. We were happy with our little “SAPflix” series that mirrored the Netflix concept of putting up all “episodes” of an entire series at once. OK, it’s not “House of Cards” but Paul and Megan are way cooler than Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright – at least to me.

As our videos go live this week, all I can hope is that the employees, our customers, our prospects, our stakeholders – that they love these videos as much as we do. Ok, maybe that’s a bit ambitious. My hope is that they’re entertained and engaged. That the sense of excitement we felt that day is conveyed, and that the main message rings true loud and clear – THIS IS SAP. WE ARE THE MOST INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY POWERHOUSE IN THE WORLD AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP EVERY SINGLE COMPANY IN THE GLOBE ROCK THE HOUSE. WE’RE LOUD. WE’RE PROUD and oh yeah there is NO DOUBT – WE’RE CLOUD! 

Hello Again!

As name Suggest PaaS Model offers the run time environment or Platform for Cloud applications. It also offers development & deployment tools, required to develop applications.


PaaS Model has a feature of point-and-click tools that enables non-developers to create web applications. Google's App Engine, Force.com are examples of PaaS offering vendors. Cloud Developer may log on to these websites and use the built-in API to create web-based applications.


Now, lets talk about Major Benefits of PaaS Model which can distinguish it from On-Premise Platform Service.

1) LOWER ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD: Companies or Consumers need not to bother much about the administration because it's the responsibility of cloud provider.

2) LOWER TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP: Consumer need not purchase expensive hardware, servers, power and data storage.

3) SCALABLE SOLUTIONS: It is very easy to scale up or down automatically based on application resource demands.

4) MORE CURRENT SYSTEM SOFTWARE: It is the responsibility of the cloud provider to maintain software versions and patch installations.


With above benefits, there are some challenges also which we need to consider before opt for PaaS deployments. Likewise SaaS Model, PaaS also place significant burdens on consumer's browsers to maintain reliable and secure connections to the provider systems. Therefore, PaaS shares many of the issues of SaaS.


Here are top 3 Major Drawbacks, I considered companies/consumer need to think about.

1) LACK OF PORTABILITY BETWEEN PAAS CLOUDS: Although standard languages are used yet the implementations of platforms services may vary. For example, file, queue, or hash table interfaces of one platform may differ from another, making it difficult to transfer workloads from one platform to another.

2) EVENT BASED PROCESSOR SCHEDULING: The PaaS applications are event oriented which poses resource constraints on applications, i.e., they have to answer a request in a given interval of time.

3) SECURITY ENGINEERING OF PAAS APPLICATIONS: Since the PaaS applications are dependent on network, PaaS applications must explicitly use cryptography and manage security exposures.


Last but not the least, Paas can also classified as PaaS Types based on its functions. I will not in depth of each types at this stage but name will give you high level understanding.

1) Application Delivery-Only environments

2) Stand-alone development environments

3) Open Platforms as Service

4) Add-on Development Facilities.




Manish Mundra

SAP Cloud Solution Architect

Back to Basics: Understanding SAP’s Cloud Offerings

I’m lucky. I get to talk to customers on a regular basis. The cloud dominates many of those conversations and one key question tends to come up over and over again: “I’m overwhelmed by the number of cloud options and solutions available. How can my organization transition to the cloud with SAP?”

My answer is always the same: how you get to the cloud differs depending on your starting point.

For example, SAP has customers who’ve invested 40+ years with our on premise offerings and now want to move these mission critical applications, like ERP and BW, to the cloud. We also have customers who simply want to build or run innovative applications in the cloud to better meet their customers’ needs.

To ensure we address the broad range of customer requirements that exist, SAP offers a full range of cloud solutions that I’ll discuss below. But before I do, I’d like to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to common cloud terminology. The easiest way to take you through it is by using my favorite analogy, pizza:

  • Infrastructure as a Platform (IaaS) is akin to '‘Take and Bake’. The vendor supplies your pizza fully assembled but uncooked. So you take it home, bake it and serve it.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) is more like ‘Pizza Delivery’. The pizza is delivered baked to your home and you serve it up.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) can be viewed as ‘Eating Out’. You go to a restaurant, order what you want and eat it. No dishes and no preparation—the vendor takes care of everything.


(Thanks to Albert Barron for the pizza as a service idea)...


It’s a pretty simple but logical way to think about common cloud offerings. Now with that in mind, let’s take a look at the range of SAP cloud options available today:

  1. For customers who are running on premise SAP applications like ERP or BW, and who want maximum control and customization when moving these mission critical systems to run in the cloud, we offer a private managed cloud environment—the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)—which is run in SAP’s trusted data centers. This is our IaaS offering.
  2. For customers who want to get started in the cloud quickly and easily with pre-built, standard business applications, we offer a number of SaaS applications focused on HR, finance, procurement, etc., that are fully baked and ready to use. These include SAP SuccessFactors, Concur, Ariba and many other next generation apps covering a multitude of customer needs.
  3. And for those customers who prefer to build and run custom cloud applications, extend the functionality of their on premise or existing cloud applications, we offer our PaaS solution, the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP).

It’s important to note that all the cloud offerings listed above run on one common cloud infrastructure to ensure a unified and integrated cloud environment.

How is SAP Different from Other Cloud Players?

From a SaaS perspective, SAP has the broadest cloud capability end-to-end. Other, mostly niche, players do not have SAP’s proven track record of bringing solutions to the enterprise nor do they have the breadth, reach or coverage across industries. We leverage the most modern design paradigms and in-depth industry knowledge to give customers the best cloud applications on the market.


This also holds true when comparing SAP to many traditional IaaS vendors who tend to offer a general purpose (commodity) infrastructure play and compete solely on cost of HW. To get to the cloud, you must consider your end-to-end journey, not just the cost of buying hardware. How you get your business to the cloud, what you do with it, the types of workloads you run, etc. are not really addressed. That’s where SAP differs – we’ve thought through everything customers are going to need to set up their own cloud infrastructure and we tackle their landscape complexities up front, eliminating hidden costs. I like to call this the SAP white glove treatment.


Another key differentiator is our robust cloud platform, HCP. What makes it so robust? HCP comes with the full range of database and application services, including the powerful in-memory SAP HANA database, needed to build world-class and data intensive apps. In addition, we have built many of our cloud apps on HCP and will continue to do so in the future. We also give customers the ability to change, extend and modify those apps. That’s powerful functionality, and it’s what our customers need and want.


Innovative Technologies for Competitive Advantage
By moving to the cloud, companies can quickly access the latest innovative technologies and applications to achieve competitive advantage. And SAP, having recognized this critical and intrinsic value, offers cloud solutions based on powerful new technologies, like the SAP HANA database, to ensure our customers stay ahead of the pack.


Up Next: A Deep Dive into SAP SaaS Offerings
I’ve given you a high level overview of SAP cloud solutions and how we differ from other vendors. Next up is a deeper look at our SaaS offerings—stay tuned soon for that post. I enjoy reading through your comments, so please share your thoughts and questions.

Why Maverick Buying should be labelled as Compliance Risk to truly reflect the potential costs to organisations, and why only a Business Network can eliminate this type of risk.

Latest news from Hollywood is that in the endless re-hashing of "franchises", a successor of Top Gun is slated to appear within 12 months or so. This will involve Tom Cruise reprising his role as Pete Mitchell, aka Maverick.


Here in the procurement world we have been using the term maverick buying since the days of Top Gun (1986). It is generally used pejoratively: people who are maverick buyers are to be stopped at all costs and re-routed on to preferred contracts with preferred suppliers. Procurement departments look to clamp down on maverick buying and this forms part of their DNA.


However, I've always been uneasy about this. I always imagined a maverick as someone who doesn't let needless rules stop them from doing their job. In American culture, the maverick is idolised, not vilified. The "Ask for forgiveness, not permission" gene runs deep. Think of James Bond, Han Solo and of course the eponymous hero of Top Gun who bested Viper, Cougar Jester and the Iceman.

So having procurement folks banging on about eliminating "maverick buying" is counter-productive; everyone likes a maverick. I can't help thinking that in the film, if Maverick had the nickname "Compliance Risk" stencilled on the side of his F-14 Tomcat, then he wouldn't have got the girl


So in the procurement world, I've stopped using "maverick" with its heroic undertones and started using the phrase "compliance risk". That suddenly doesn't sound so heroic, and it speaks to the fact that procurement folks no longer are obsessed about savings, they have upped their game and are concerned about Business Risk. It's not the small amount of money wasted by those maverick buyers, who purchase through un-approved channels, that worries CPOs, it is the fact that they can introduce significant risk into the business. No CPO gets fired for missing a savings target, but discovering that an employee just utilised a firm which was found out to be using child labour, conflict minerals or with a reckless safety record: you could be in serious trouble.


The game has changed, and the expectation is that procurement teams can monitor risk at all levels in their supply chain. By definition this is Network Intelligence, and you need a rich Business Network deeply integrated into your procurement activities. A Business Network can monitor and warn you of Reputational Risk as in the examples above, making sure that you and your suppliers are not trading with companies which have poor business practices such as environmental policies, human rights, intellectual property piracy, bribery etc.


If your only goal for your procurement policies and systems is to stop the Maverick, then you are probably need to adjust your radar.


For more information about how Ariba can use its Business Network to manage your suppliers and eliminate risk visit Ariba Supplier Management solution page.

Hello all,

In my last blog, we discussed about various cloud computing challenges. In this blog, I will talk about Benefits and drawbacks on Multi-tenant and Single tenants Architecture in Software as Service Model (SaaS).

First, lets talk about What exactly Multi-tenant and Single Tenants Architecture,As name suggest, Multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) is an architecture where multiple companies share the same instance to store their data.  This instance is typically divided (or partitioned) to prevent the companies from accessing each other’s information. This is like high-rise building where the floor plans are generally set but minor cosmetic changes can be made to the individual units. Significant change comes at a much higher cost, On the Other hand,

Single-tenant (or hosted) Software as a Service (SaaS) is an architecture where each company has their own instance of the software application and supporting infrastructure. Think of it like a neighborhood community developed by the same architect and engineer where each household has the ability to change and customize their property as desired. By having a single hosted instance the purchaser can tweak and customize the software to meet their needs.

Now we have exact definition with example of High rise building and Individual Community, we can immediately compare all benefits and drawbacks with our real time challenges.

a) If Customer decides to run the cloud on-premise, they must bear the costs of the whole system alone.
b) A single-tenant system is generally more expensive than a multi-tenant solution.
c) A single-tenant system is generally not the most efficient use of resources, unless it’s fully loaded. For each instance, the underlying software, such as the operating system and run time libraries, must be updated.

Benefits of Multiple Tenant SaaS


a) Hardware and Power Economy – A major benefit to multi-tenant is on the cost side. With resource pooling, there are considerable savings in hardware and power. With single tenancy, a separate physical or virtual machine needs to be “spun up” for each customer.


b) Effort to Upgrade – Multi-tenancy has forced upgrades to be seamless, as upgrades can’t require any level of per customer intervention when thousands of customers are upgraded simultaneously.


c) Backups and Redundancy – Creating that level of redundancy would be a lot more technically challenging if tens of thousands of customers each had their own virtual server in each of two data centers.

Drawbacks of Multi-tenant Architecture

a) Less Customization: As a result of multiple tenants running their business off the same code and database, individual businesses have virtually no ability to customize the software to their specific needs

b) Less Authorization and Time Delay: Changes to the software application could be made and deployed to your business without authorization as you are relying on the same code base as the other (potentially larger) tenants. In addition, future features / functionality could be delayed or removed from the product road map as multi-tenant SaaS providers typically focus on the feature requests (and bugs) submitted by their largest customers

Benefits of Single Tenant SaaS

a) Maximum privacy: There is only one instance for a user, there’s less risk of another business either accidentally or through corporate espionage snooping on data that doesn’t belong to them.

b) It’s impossible to affect someone else’s tasks. Single-tenant solutions are more popular with enterprise businesses.

c) Jobs with intensive computing requirements can make full use of the system.

Drawbacks of Single Tenant SaaS:

a) If Customer decides to run the cloud on-premise, they must bear the costs of the whole system alone.

b) A single-tenant system is generally more expensive than a multi-tenant solution.

c) A single-tenant system is generally not the most efficient use of resources, unless it’s fully loaded. For each instance, the underlying software, such as the operating system and run time libraries, must be updated.


Manish Mundra

SAP Cloud Solution Architect

I described in the last posts the most common benefits of cloud computing. In this post, i introduce different strategies for using cloud computing from a high-level point of view. My intention is to provide a brief overview and not an in-depth explanation of each approach.


Strategy One: Development and Test


A company uses cloud computing just for its development and test environment. This strategy is a good starting point to get familiar with cloud computing and its features.


Possible Applications:


  • development and test environments
  • prototypes, mockups, technical evaluations etc.




  • fast and economical provision of IT resources
  • dispensable resources can be terminated easily
  • pay only for what you use



Strategy Two: New Solutions


A company uses cloud computing for new and innovative IT solutions, which have no dependencies to legacy on-premise systems.


Possible Applications:


  • websites and web apps
  • backend functionality for native apps
  • of course almost any kind of business application




  • The new IT solution has the advantage of all features of cloud computing (e.g. elasticity, cost saving etc.).



Strategy Three: Optimize existing Workloads with Cloud Computing (Hybrid)


A company shifts specific components of an on-premise solution to the cloud.


Possible applications:


  • backup and recovery
  • storage (content server, archiving solution)
  • analysis (MapReduce, data warehouse)




  • Components of an on-premise IT solution can be replaced with scalable, innovative and economic cloud services.



Strategy Four: Add On-Premise Functionalities to On-Demand Solutions (Hybrid)


That’s the contrary to strategy three. This approach makes sense, if you have dependencies to on-premise components, which can’t be migrated to the cloud for various reasons.


Possible applications:


  • An on-premise solution handles the financial transactions of a cloud based web shop.




  • The interaction between on-premise and on-demand simplifies the usage of cloud computing. Not everything needs to be located in the cloud. Instead, on-premise and on-demand can complement each other.



Strategy Five: Migrate existing IT solutions


If a company wants to migrate gradually its applications to the cloud, it’s important to consider if specific components of an IT solution might be replaced with a cloud service. E.g. it makes probably no sense to migrate a content server if you could use the convenient storage services of the cloud provider.


Possible applications:


  • almost all kind of application




  • see strategy two



Strategy Six: Reduce the Number of Data Centers


A customer said: „The strength of our company is the distribution of financial products and not the operation of data centers.“  Data centers are complex and expensive, their operation is related with many risks. Therefore, a long-term goal of a cloud strategy is the permanent decrease of own data centers.




  • lower TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
  • fewer risks
  • as a rule, better security



Strategy Seven: Everything in the Cloud


This strategy means, that the entire productive IT infrastructure is located in the cloud. Especially startups can choose pretty easily this strategy from the beginning. Existing companies usually classify this approach as a long-term goal.




  • the highest possible benefits of cloud computing



If you are going to consult a customer about cloud computing, it’s always a good idea to check, which strategy is most appropriate.


Thanks for reading!


Previous Post: Cost Efficiency

The usage of cloud computing has also a beneficial effect on cost. A good key performance indicator for determining the true value and cost of IT solutions is TCO (Total cost of ownership).



What is TCO?


A widely used definition of TCO in AWS community is:


TCO is the initial purchase price of an asset plus its operating costs.


It’s important that an organization considers not only the purchase cost, but also the corresponding long-term cost of an IT solution. Lower TCO means higher value over time.





Why is TCO so good?


Calculating the TCO of products and services has important advantages:


  • TCO is an understandable KPI to both business and IT
  • TCO is well suited to compare different IT-solutions over a set period of time


Therefore, the TCO analysis is a determining part of cloud computing consulting.



How Can Customers Lower TCO with Cloud Computing?


  • With cloud computing, customers do not need to invest large amounts of money in IT infrastructure. Instead, they benefit from lower variable cost.
  • Cloud providers offer usually several pricing models for static and dynamic workloads. So customers only pay for the resources, they actually use.
  • Cloud providers share internal cost savings(economies of scale) with their customers. Continuous price reductions for cloud services are the result.
  • The arising savings are getting even higher, the more cloud computing you use e.g. volume discounts.



How to Calculate TCO?


On Premise


To calculate the TCO for an on premise IT solution you need to regard all cost-effective components. The most common TCO components are:


  • Servers and Network
  • Operating System and Virtualization Software
  • Floor Space
  • Power and Cooling
  • Data Center Personnel
  • Redundancy (Durability and Availability)
  • Resource Management and Software Automation
  • Software-Defined Networking


Some of the mentioned components like floor space seem to bear no direct relation to an IT solution. However, they are necessary. The key is to include these resources partially. If you don’t distribute the comprehensive IT cost to the individual IT solutions, the calculated TCO will be definitely imprecise.


On Demand


Calculating the TCO for an on demand solution is simple and transparent. Because the cloud provider takes care of all mentioned TCO components, you just have to add the cost for each required cloud service. And that's it! Applications like the AWS Simply Monthly Calculator help you to calculate a precise result.


Compare the results


The calculated KPIs are a perfect basis of decision-making. On premise or on demand? TCO will help you to find an answer!




To get a better understanding of practical TCO calculation, check out the simple TCO Calculator of AWS.



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Next Part: Cloud Strategies


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