Many companies think that the basis of digital transformation is in analytics platforms and applications. However, central business process systems such as SAP are just as important. It is essential to combine the worlds of real-time analytics and core systems in order to leverage the full potential of experience and expertise.

 

But that’s easier said than done. As dynamic and flexible as the IT systems in the area of web applications, container technologies and analytics frameworks are, the complexity of daily work with SAP (HANA) systems is increasing rapidly. SAP specialists are often missing here. So how should ERP systems be connected to analytics frameworks?

A tower of strength

You may already know: the answer is FlexPod. The converged IT architecture is one of the most widely used and valued architectures for SAP systems in Europe. It consists of NetApp Flash data systems, Cisco network and compute components, the middleware ProMS by LNW Soft and the respective integrated NetApp and Cisco system management software.

 

NetApp data management technologies accelerate SAP projects from testing to production. The integrated connector by NetApp (In Place Analytic) enables real-time analytics data and ERP DB data to be seamlessly combined for any IoT concept with minimal memory footprint. Automated processes minimize the risk of failure. The whole thing is future-proof thanks to seamless scaling and integrated cloud connectivity.

Time is money and competitive advantage

This is how it looks in practice: A new SAP implementation or a conversion to SAP HANA usually takes between six to 18 months. Most of the time is spent providing suitable test environments, performing functional tests, and migrating tests. FlexPod, with its data management functionality and integration into higher-value SAP tools, helps to shorten the test phase.

Maintaining control with the right management

The daily operation of the SAP environment can then be mastered by IT departments with few personnel. The Proactive Management Suite (ProMAS) from LNW Soft in conjunction with FlexPod automates and documents complex work processes in an audit-compliant manner. It ensures the high availability of databases and SAP systems with cost-efficient utilization of resources – the key to success in operations. ProMAS and SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) form a perfect symbiosis.

Moving into the cloud

SAP landscapes are not static structures and must constantly be adapted for new requirements. For example, when it comes to the cloud. With Netapp’s integrated cloud data services from the large public cloud providers, hybrid cloud scenarios can be implemented without great effort.

 

The familiar FlexPod advantages that I have already highlighted in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the FlexPod success story, such as a pre-validated IT architecture concept or the connection to the NetApp Data Fabric, then come into play for daily operation.

Hermann Wedlich