REDconnect event "HANA, Enabling Customer Innovation"

Kick-off event 2017

REDconnect "HANA, Enabling Customer Innovation"

23rd February 2017, RED´s first REDconnect candidate networking event in 2017. London HQ.


Over the past few years, RED has put together many client and candidate focused events – mostly rich in content and high in fun. We believe that even the most experienced audience can continue to learn – by contributing to industry-focused and content-driven events, mixing with interesting people and having fun.

With this in mind, we developed REDconnect, our series of quarterly candidate networking events, specifically for SAP consultants. REDconnect is characterised by knowledge sharing, topical questioning and deeply technical post-event discussions. These small and intimate in-house events, like the recent REDconnect HANA event, means SAP professionals get to connect with like-minded individuals whilst receiving updates on the latest SAP developments. The latest REDConnect event was broadcast live and can be seen at Periscope channel.

RED´s UK Managing Director Andy Duke and a team of experienced RED account managers and consultants represented RED and welcomed invited SAP professionals – all of them eager to learn more about innovative HANA use cases and to meet our speaker Shantanu Goswami, member of the SAP Customer Innovations and Platform Strategy Group, now known as HANA Centre of Excellence.

Shantanu is the global leader for Innovation within the Platform Strategy Group in SAP. He brings around 20 years of sales, delivery and consulting experience, has worked with customers in Latam, Europe, Africa and AsiaPacific and specialises in Utilities, Travel & Transport and Retail domains. Shantanu’s focus is around bigdata enablement and the usage of the SAP HANA in-memory platform, predictive maintenance, IT-OT Integration, promotions, assortments and pricing. His 20-minute presentation on innovative HANA use cases, was extremely engaging and informative and massive interest levels meant it extended to more than an hour.

Our attentive attendees – live and online – raised some of the following questions, which Shantanu answered in detail:

Are we saying that the rigid data structures ERP systems enforce are no longer relevant?

Of course, no. When I talked about structured and unstructured data, I was talking about data, which does not reside within the ERP. Within the ERP, we´re having more structured data. So, when I talked about unstructured data format, I talked about IoT data, weather data, social data, image data, which are growing at a faster pace than the static data […]

A lot of supply chains by their very nature, distances etc., are slow. Why do I need HANA in that situation?

Classic question. Because – and most of you know the answer – the perception of HANA is to just make things very fast. Which today is not the case. HANA is three in one box, I would say. It´s more than that. It is also an analytics platform and a development platform with a number of engines. For example, it has a library, a predictive library with its own algorithms already in there. Which you could just call when you need it. Or it has connectivity to R (statistical programming language), where you could write your own algorithms, if you want, or use the algorithms that you already have in your company. The point is, yes, supply chains are slow. Even inventory management and replenishment processes in stores are this slow [...]

However, what used to take you three weeks, takes you three days. It´s a huge change. Retailers are really moving towards this change. We talked about digital supply chains. Digital shelving is coming in a very, very big way. So that you can change pricing on the fly. The biggest problem retailers had before and still have, is: They know that a particular pricing is not working and want to change that price, then they run an analysis on HANA, they crunch their data and have a new price. But who´s going to go aisle-by-aisle, product by product and re-level everything? And are we doing that again tomorrow morning, when we have a new report? It can´t be right. That´s where digital shelving comes in. A lot of Walmart stores have wheels beyond their aisles right now. This is how they can move their aisles where they find people traffic coming in, they track this with cameras and create heatmaps of people. So, their business process, their design process, their supply chain process will not change. And they will innovate. And that is where innovation lies.

Where in ten years’ time are we?

I don´t know. I think, a lot more cloud, of course. I think, you would start having confidence to have a lot more in the cloud. I am a big believer in usage of high-end analytics. For example, we are already integrating augmented reality and virtual reality within S4, which is our ERP stack. And, I think, that would have a lot of great use cases once that technology matures even more. I see IoT becoming a big, big bet. I feel a lot of transformation in the labour market as well [...]

The point really is: How do we make money in the short term, to fund a long-term mission? And that is all by model behaviour. This needs to come more and more [...]

The roadmap of the digital transformation has to be something that is in line with customer´s strategies. And you only realise where you´re going when you simulate the future and test some scenarios.

There were a lot more questions fielded by Shantanu including HANA’s demand of proprietary kit, integration layers from big data sources into SAP and others. The answers to these and other questions can be seen by following the link to our Periscope channel (Shantanu starts his presentation at minute 15:40. You will find the Q&A session from minute 52:00).

If you would like to receive further information on our REDconnect series, have a topic that you would like to discuss or want to speak to one of our RED consultants, then please get in touch with us via email