SAP customers have a lot of work to do to make the most of their SAP environments before they can move to systems based on Hana, the supplier’s high-speed, in-memory database appliance.
The UK & Ireland SAP User Group surveyed 120 member organisations in advance of one of its symposia and found the vast majority of SAP users (93%) find optimising their SAP systems difficult.
The survey also found that 63% of responding organisations had moved or planned to move to Hana. The results showed 10% of respondents are already on Hana, 22% are planning to use it in the next three years, and 31% have it on their roadmap for three or more years’ time.
In the response, two in three organisations also said their underlying infrastructure would be hybrid (on-premise and cloud) in three years’ time.
Optimisation remains a challenge for the majority of SAP users, both from a resources and technological perspective
Paul Cooper, UK & Ireland SAP User Group
Paul Cooper, vice-chairman of the user group, said it is clear many users are looking to move to SAP Hana and run SAP on a hybrid infrastructure. However, to ensure a smooth transition and fully realise the benefits, users need to optimise their existing SAP landscape.
“The survey shows that optimisation remains a challenge for the majority of users, both from a resources and technological perspective,” said Cooper. “Nearly half of our respondents (47%) stated that customisations to their existing landscape had hindered the speed at which they could implement enhancement packs and/or adopt newer platforms from SAP, such as cloud and Hana.”
Cooper said the user group’s upcoming symposium would cover “simplify to succeed, document management, Solution Manager and preparing for the future”, including the S/4 Hana enterprise resource planning system, announced in February, and hybrid cloud.
“It is our first big event of the year, and our members want information. It’s early in our understanding of S/4 Hana, and this event helps us gauge topics for 2015, including the conference in November,” said Cooper.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents stated they simply did not know if S/4 Hana would help them run simpler in the future.
Managing growing data volumes is another area of difficulty. In the survey, 65% said their organisation’s data volumes have increased in excess of 40% over the past three years. Many respondents (53%) face obstacles with respect to data accuracy and governance.
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Most respondents (91%) thought SAP could do a better job of making customers aware of the products and services it offers to help with data management.
“The communication needs to be more targeted rather than blanket,” said Cooper.
Three-quarters of users said they had used SAP Solution Manager in the past three years, but nearly half (45%) said they were unaware of SAP’s Expert Guided Implementations (EGI) service.
Cormac Watters, managing director of SAP UK & Ireland, said users are committed to building long-term, strategic partnerships that help customers maximise their SAP landscape, from traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) to new innovations such as S/4 Hana.
“We are working closely with the user group to provide details of the SAP Service and Support portfolio in a way that it is accessible and easy to use,” said Watters.
The survey questioned 120 of the 500 user organisations in the UK and Ireland. The Optimising your SAP Landscapesymposium takes place in London on 28 April 2015.