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SAP Cloud Computing

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The main difficulty in assessing cloud risks is the lack of visibility about the implemented security controls by the cloud provider. Oftentimes customers can see security certification information, but these are not sufficient to have a precise cloud risk assessment. We published a research paper with a practical approach to perform cloud risk assessments, with reproducible steps that potential cloud customer perform:


1 - Define the cloud risk scenarios affecting your business There are relevant cloud-specific risks to watch out for: lock-in (interesting thoughts about this topic appear in this post by Floyd Strimling), compliance challenges, shared technology risks, most of them are discussed in the ENISA recommendations for information security in the Cloud, from 2010, but you will likely add consider other risks affecting your business, such as foreign government espionage, which was not in the ENISA’s enumeration, but became extremely relevant since 2013.


2 - Determine relevant security controls to protect your assets Each risk scenario links to a number of vulnerabilities. In order to mitigate these, one must select appropriate security controls, more often by adopting a security standard. The Cloud Controls Matrix by CSA is a great resource for that. It contains an extensive collection of controls and practices extracted from the most prominent standards. These controls are grouped in relevant categories (called Control Domains), which make it easy to relate to a number of risk scenarios. For instance, the Compliance control domain will help in addressing the “Regulatory” and “Legal” risk scenarios, whereas controls in the Resiliency domain will help to mitigate some risks related to service delivery and quality of service.


3 - Assess your cloud provider The main difference with doing risk assessments in general is that by moving data to the cloud, the organizations do not have the same level of control as on premise. Depending on the delivery model, a considerable part of the responsibilities will rely on the cloud provider. It is important to assess how the provider implements the controls that are relevant to your risk scenarios from step 1. For that, an excellent source of information is the CSA Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR). Each provider in the repository responded to around 300 questions related to the most important information security standards (this is the Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire, CAIQ). As a cloud consumer, your organization needs to know which controls are the most suited to mitigate the threats in your risk scenarios. Ah, the cloud provider you intend to contract is not in the CSA Registry? Just ask them to fill in the CAIQ. Or the answers in the Star Registry aren't clear? Ask for more details to the provider. It has probably already gone through this exercise and they are sharing the answers only under some NDA.


4 - Estimate the residual risks and further measures to be taken Not all responsibilities are on the hands of the provider. There are controls you will need to put in place, even if you are using a SaaS. For example, your employees need to be aware about social engineering attacks. For PaaS and IaaS there are many more security controls to activate and monitor by yourself.


5 - Make your decisionDetermine which data and/or business process will move to the cloud and estimate the impact to your organization to their CIA (confidentiality, integrity, and availability) properties. Different cloud offers will address security needs in different ways. In the paper, we show an approach to cluster risk scenarios in three main risk indicators allowing compare different providers easily, a screenshot with pseudonymized providers is given below. Another important point is to review SLAs, privacy policies and further contractual documents very carefully. Finally, once you made your choice, keep in mind that sometimes there is room for negotiating specific contracts terms to obtain better guarantees.

CARAM screenshot

http://www.digitalavmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Cisco-cloud-computing.jpg

Planning to move to business computing to the cloud? There are a number of different reasons why you might want to do this. For one, it’s actually more secure than you might think. For another, you have the resources of an entire team of dedicated cloud service professionals at your disposal. You’ll find that they are actually more efficient than most companies IT teams because they only have to focus on keeping the cloud servers running. However, there are a number of financial reasons why moving to the cloud is a great idea. Let’s take a look at four of these reasons and see how the cloud can actually save you a lot more than you might think.

 

There’s No Upfront Cost

 

There’s not a lot of upfront investment or cost with using the cloud. That’s because you’re actually paying for a service, not for hardware or anything similar. Here are some of the upfront costs you’d have to pay if you were putting in your own servers:

  • Storage space
  • Cables or wireless routers
  • A larger IT staff
  • Extra training for your IT staff to handle server needs
  • Server security software

 

There are some other costs you’d incur, too, in order to get your servers up and running. But if you go to the cloud, you’re not going to have to purchase any of these things. All you’ll need is your computers or other devices and an internet connection. Now you can store all of your documents, databases, and other files in the cloud and retrieve them whenever you need to. Don’t need those much space? Then you won’t pay for it! Unlike buying large hard drives for your own servers, you’ll only need to pay for what you use in the cloud. It’s perfect for small businesses that have a very limited budget, but even large companies can benefit from this pay-as-you-go method. For instance: If you are planning for a deployment of SAP financial management software, rather than going for an on-premise implementation, you can go for SAP HANA enterprise cloud which ultimately saves on the servers hardware as you just need to take a cloud service; moreover, it is an easier and comprehensive solution for deployment.

 

There’s Less Risk

 

Because you’re only paying for what you need, there’s less risk involved in using the cloud. You won’t have to worry about stretching your budget too far or using up all of your extra funds early on. Instead, the subscription-based fee structure means you can pull back if you find yourself running up against the edge of your budget. You can also easily remove certain software or other options if you decide you don’t like them—it’s not like you’re actually buying the software and are stuck with it, nor have you committed to buying a license for an entire year. Simply add or remove subscriptions as you need to. Any risks incurred are done so by the cloud service provider, not by you.

 

This also goes the other way. You don’t have to risk suddenly realizing that you need additional software, more licenses, or more storage space towards the end of the fiscal year when your budget may already be stressed by unexpected costs. If you reach that point, you don’t have to allocate a large amount of money to buy new hard drives or software. Instead, just add to your subscriptions or rent additional hard drive space. Since you only have to pay for what you need, you’ll find that this is much cheaper than buying everything yourself.

 

There are Lower Electric Costs

 

Another way you save money using the cloud is on power costs. It may not seem like it would be a major savings, but by not having all of those servers and other hardware needed to run your own data center, you actually use a lot less electricity. You’ll find that the amount of money you save on your electric bill counters some of the costs of your cloud services.

 

In addition to saving money, you’re also reducing your carbon footprint. Rather than you and other businesses using all this energy to run your own data centers, one cloud company is using less power to provide all of the same, if not more, data storage and other services. Showing your customers that you’re going green can give you a nice boost in business.

 

Lower Operational Costs

 

Finally, using the cloud helps reduce the amount of operating costs your company incurs. We’ve already looked at how you will save money by paying only for the services that you need. But there are a number of other ways that the cloud helps you decrease your operating costs. You may not need as many IT people because you won’t have to have a dedicated employee or employees working on your data center servers. There are no maintenance costs more there.

 

But you can also make use of some different technologies to cut your operating budget. For example, you can use a cloud based phone system to save money in several ways. With this cloud phone system, you won’t have to have any phones in your office. Instead, all of your calls are routed through the internet. Every employee can have their own business phone number that they can take with them no matter where they go. They can have calls to this number sent to their own cell phone, their tablets, or their computers. You won’t need to install any hardware at the office or deal with maintenance or break downs.

 

You’ll also save money on making long distance or international calls. This is great if you have clients in another country or are working with another branch office or business overseas. In addition to voice calls, they are fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, so sharing files is also very easy.

 

Are you Ready to Start Saving?

 

If you are already thinking to start saving and not certain where to cut your budget, it is demonstrating that you need a transition to the cloud. You may be surprised at just how much money you can save, even if you already have spent money upfront to build your data center. If you’ve moved to the cloud, how has it impacted your bottom line? We’d love to know how using the cloud has saved you money and helped improve your business.

Whenever I write about Cloud computing I get a bit nostalgic about the pioneers that came before this perfect marketing term was created. For some of us, it’s not hard to remember a time when there was no open source software or hardware and compatibility was a question that had to be checked and double checked before signing on the dotted line. However, the same lock-in that existed yesteryear is alive and well today.

 

When most people think about cloud computing, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) jumps to the front of the line. The foundation of IaaS is compute, network, and storage but there is much more to the story. Most IaaS providers have evolved to IaaS+ which blurs the line between IaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS). IaaS+ provides additional capabilities, from content delivery networks to managed databases, that offer valuable solutions which generate long-term revenue for their respective vendors. However, these capabilities also limit portability as they are integrated into a customers’ overall solution.

 

Hold on, what about containerization? Doesn’t this change the equation? Within itself, containerization provides some degree of portability (see the Open Container Initiative). However, most customers will build applications using a combination of containers and IaaS+ capabilities offered by the vendors. While you can move your containers from IaaS Vendor A to Vendor B, you cannot move or, in some cases, replicate these enhanced capabilities. Of course, even if they did exist, cross-vendor, it would still require some development effort to integrate the new IaaS+ offerings into your original application.

 

The unintended consequence of this model is customers are making short-term decisions, often project based, that have long-term consequences. The biggest of which is the advent of cloud sprawl, also known as Multi-Cloud Multi-Vender (MCMV) which creates a management and integration complexity that falls squarely on the customer. Oh sure, just like the pioneers of utility computing who faced the challenge of identifying virtual machine sprawl many years before it became a reality, MCMV sprawl sprinkled with vendor lock-in will emerge as the next great challenge for the Enterprise.

 

Think about your own company, how many IaaS vendors to you use? How many SaaS solutions are deployed? How many different PaaS solutions are you using or considering? How is IT tackling the challenges of managing these clouds? How is security handled? What happens when something goes wrong? Do you get an integrated view of your business?

 

What is needed is a new approach that transcends both technology and marketing. This new approach focuses on providing overwhelming business value by reducing complexity, increasing agility, and exposing the vendor lock-in chameleon hiding in the cloud.

SAP is the world leader in enterprise applications and delivers the most comprehensive portfolio of line-of-business cloud applications. SAP has around 30 million users divided across four core verticals namely: People, Customer, Money and Supplier.

 

The recent vision of SAP is to have a unified cloud strategy to help businesses integrate their existing enterprise solutions into one SAP HANA cloud platform.

 

SAP HANA Cloud Platform comes with prepackaged integration flows that lets the customers use the best-practice templates in order to integrate their SAP software investments with line-of-business cloud applications and best-of-breed third-party applications. The biggest benefit offered by such integration is in terms of cost. Without any hassles, one can easily upgrade their existing set up and shift their entire business enterprise solutions across SAP HANA.

 


Major Players Who are Already Adopting SAP HANA

 

Digital identity security provider, Certified Security Solutions (CSS), is working with SAP to integrate the CSS Verdetto IoT Identity Platform with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Other companies who deal with a vast amount of big data like the $18 billion consumer goods giant, ConAgra Foods, classifieds search engine Adswish, regional airlines like Bangkok Airways etc have already implemented or should implement SAP HANA in order to effectively handle the big data load and to simulate the entire business activities.

How to Get Ready For SAP HANA Implementation?

The following steps will significantly boost up the success ratio of a proper SAP HANA implementation:

1- Cleanse your data and identify which data sets needs to be migrated. Data cleansing will take care of all the factors needed to accurately size your required SAP HANA hardware. This will also help to remove the bad data and make way for effective and timely integration.

2- Keep a knowledge transfer plan ready. The core teams handling the data should be informed about the integration and how they can successfully deal with the after effects of a new platform without any loss of productivity.

3- SAP HANA will interact with other systems that are already in place so make sure to define a proper approach to the implementation.

4- Have a expert team ready who can take care and guide about any technicalities that one might face during or after the implementation phase.

Why Choose SAP HANA?

The core of SAP HANA is build up of SAP HANA App Services, SAP HANA DB Services and SAP HANA Infrastructure Services. These services lets customers quickly deploy their existing HANA licenses in the cloud for use with HCP. Moreover, it lets a business create custom prototypes that SAP-using clients can touch and feel. With a promise to deliver the best security and smooth implementation, SAP HANA is growing rapidly to take over the cloud business community.

When it comes to enterprise software, what’s not to like about fast, flexible, and powerful?

 

This is why so many companies today love cloud technology. After all, it gives you the flexibility to get up and running quickly with new software at an affordable price that switches cost from a capital expense to an operating expense?

 

It’s also why companies love in-memory database technology, which enables you to process incredibly high volumes of data and transactions in real time to improve responsiveness, increase insight, and even predict what’s coming next.

 

To meet this demand, the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud combines the flexibility of the cloud with the speed and power of the in-memory SAP HANA Platform. This helps you do more – both better and faster.    Yet, even while your future looks bright with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, the fact remains:

 

You still need to manage your landscape effectively if you want to succeed in the new era of fast, flexible, and powerful.

 

So, why not make it easier on yourself?

 

 

SAP Services closes this gap and delivers to you a version of SAP Solution Manager that is preconfigured to work with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. You could set it all up yourself – but with us, it’s faster, easier, and you know the job will be done right, the first time. With this service you get selected scenarios and best practices for effective application lifecycle management (ALM) – as well as additional add-ons for immediate use after installation.

 

These include the following:

 

Requirements management: This add-on enables you to record and manage requirements or functional gaps. Integrating smoothly with business processes, test cases, and changes, it provides an intuitive, Web-based user interface with the traceability you need to track all changes across the entire lifecycle of any requirement.

 

Test management: The test management service supports professional test planning and execution for all of your SAP solutions. You can run project-specific test plans based on IEEE 829/ISTQB, access training for testers and managers, identify issues with integrated defect management, and generate professional-grade test reports to help ensure the quality of all your projects.

 

IT service management (ITSM): This service supports the efficient implementation of ITSM processes according to our standard offering – but with additional functionality for enhanced incident and problem management. You get a workshop for gathering specific requirements – along with training, training materials, and comprehensive solution documentation. The result is an efficient path toward setting up an effective service desk to keep your landscape operating at peak performance.

 

Change request management: This add-on package includes basic configuration for change request management with additional enhancements to augment the process. We also deliver add-on documentation, process models, and guided procedures that help you set up, execute, and modify the process quickly and according to your own needs.

 

The value

 

All of this is delivered at a fixed price with no extra licensing costs. You get expert implementation, training, and workshop services – and when the service is delivered, your system is ready to use immediately. The end result is a simplified and standardized ITIL-compliant system of governance that greatly accelerates your journey to ALM while reducing cost and risk. And, of course, it also enables you to maximize the benefit you receive from the fast, flexible, and powerful SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

 

You can contact us at:emea.cloud@sap.com

"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.

 

pace-layered-it.jpg

 

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.

 

hcp_capabilities.jpgop_extensions.jpg

 

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):

 

go_play.jpg

 

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.

 

S4HANA-Cloud.png

 

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?

 

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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.

 

Platform-as-a-service

 

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.

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.

 

Platform-as-a-service

 

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.

 

ct_roadmap.png

 

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-services@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.

Buzz.jpg

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!


JACKIE THE COMEDIAN

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!

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS

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!  

SIGNING THE LIABILITY WAIVERS

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.

YOU’RE UP … AND THEN YOU’RE LANDING IN WATER

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.

THE FINAL PRODUCT

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! 

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