SAP HANA

Clariba and Exponent Partner to Offer Integrated Asset Management Solutions to Enterprise Organizations

Leveraging drone technology and SAP applications to provide actionable business insight

According to the BBC, the UAE government predicts that the civilian drone industry will be worth US$10bn by 2025 (BBC, septiembre 2015). At this time, government agencies — aiming for their smart cities ambitions — are leading the way with drone technology for national defense, security and surveillance. While in contrast, enterprise organizations are behind with the adoption of drone technology and still rely on costly, labour-intensive and cumbersome business processes, primarily asset tracking and inspection.

Clariba and Exponent Technology Services partner to automate these business processes and provide enterprise organizations with integrated asset management solutions. By leveraging Exponent’s drone technology and Clariba’s integration and analytics expertise using SAP technology, the partnership will support companies’ business outcomes by producing actionable insight and improving the decision-making processes.

"We have been involved in many conversations with our clients and identified cases where the use of drone technology, as part of their analytics and business intelligence strategy, would be beneficial,” stated Matij Srzentic, head of innovation, Clariba. “After a thorough research of the market, we found a perfect fit in Exponent as a partner, who shares our passion for innovation to solve complex challenges faced by industry leaders by using innovative approaches and technologies,” he added.

Asam Khan, chief operating officer, Exponent Technology Services explains how the idea of partnership came to life, "Having witnessed a tremendous growth this year in the development of drone-based, data-acquisition solutions, we have been on the lookout for a more well-rounded solution while also allowing to stay focused on our core activities. Clariba is unique in its regional industry penetration and adoption of innovation around analytics. After a series of meetings, closing a partnership became a logical step for both parties.”

By utilizing SAP’s real-time integration technology SAP HANA, the rich data collected by the sensors onboard drones are made available for integration within in-house enterprise SAP ERP and CRM applications and can be analyzed with easy-to-use analytics applications. With this solution, business users will have more accurate and up-to-date asset information at their fingertips — allowing for quicker and more effective decision making.

“Visit us at the Drones Middle East Conference 25 enero 2016 in Dubai which we are sponsoring and where we will be demonstrating our integrated asset management solutions to leading companies in the region," stated Marc Haberland, managing director, Clariba.  

For more information go to the innovative solutions and explore the technology behind it.


About Clariba

Clariba is an independent, analytics consultancy that provides industry-focused solutions for enterprise performance management, business intelligence and organisational alignment. Its customers are leaders in telecommunications, retail, healthcare, transportation & logistics, oil & gas, utilities and banking sectors across EMEA. Clariba represents 25 nationalities across its operations in Dubai (UAE), Doha (Qatar), Muscat (Oman) and Barcelona (Spain). Follow Clariba on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter to be part of the I Am Clariba experience — #BeClariba.

About Exponent Technology Services

Exponent is formed by a team of technology experts, who believe in challenging the status quo with new ideas and innovation. Our core values of curiosity, energy and focus allows us to assess a problem, and develop a bespoke solution, mitigating the assumed risks associated with adopting new technology. With three offices worldwide – Chicago (United States), Montreal (Canada) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Exponent currently provides invaluable service to organizations and government entities.

SAP Fiori UX - Why it is a renewed user experience?

I have recently had the great opportunity of being involved in a couple of SAP Fiori UX projects with different customers, and I am going to share some insights about it.

SAP's last movements have undoubtedly been moving towards applying a renewed UX (User Experience) in its products and strategy. The main issue of many of companies nowadays is complexity; it raises costs across organizations, slowing companies growing their businesses. The main message is clear, keep it simple.

Clariba receives certification for SAP recognized expertise in business intelligence and SAP HANA

Based on Clariba’s specific expertise and successful completion of all requirements of the SAP® Recognized Expertise Program, Clariba Consulting Middle East has been granted the SAP Recognized Expertise designation in SAP HANA® and Business Intelligence.

Decision trees with SAP Predictive Analytics and SAP HANA

Data mining, as per definition, is a discipline whose main aim is to discover patterns and most importantly, to predict and gain more knowledge on your data. This is done by combining different methods and approaches from artificial intelligence and statistics disciplines. One of the most common problems is how to build accurate and optimal classifier that given raw data helps us to build a model to classify future cases. There are many algorithms and methods available and we will refer in this blog article to the C4.5 which is available in the SAP Predictive Analytics tool. SAP Predictive analytics (SAP Infinite Insight) provides data mining capabilities that help many companies to anticipate customer behaviors and demands.

Decision tables - Bringing SAP HANA power to the business

Since release of SAP HANA more and more calculations and rules are pushed into database layer to fully gain all performance benefits that SAP HANA is providing. As every other database, implementation of these rules is highly dependent on database developers.

What SAP HANA from SP05 is providing is rule engine that is easily understandable by business users and gives flexibility of implementing rules in business layer.

Implementation of rule engine is done through decision tables which don’t require from business users to have advanced knowledge of SQL or any other database procedural languages.

Application of these rules is truly large. Once that rules are accessible they can be used for multiple purposes from operational business rules like pricing rules, claims, data cleaning to different types of what-if analysis etc..

Example of decision table with rules defined in Excel 2010:

On example that we will go through we want to make analysis of what is the impact on transactional fees if we change model on how are the fees applied.

Database model

For showcase purposes database model has been really simplified and is containing following tables:

  • D_ACCOUNT – table with all the accounts including OWNER_ACCOUNT_NUMBER that is ordinal number of every account that customer has opened
  • D_CUSTOMER – table with all the customers including internal CUSTOMER_CLASS segmentation
  • D_FEE_RATE – table with all the rates and fee amounts that are applied on financial transactions
  • F_FINANCIAL_TRANSACTIONS – fact table with all the financial transactions

Goal of analysis

The goal of our analysis is to get info of what is going to be financial impact if we try to apply new package rates of fees on existing portfolio.

On new rates packages only 2 parameters will have impact:

  • OWNER_ACCOUNT_NUMBER – what is the ordinal number of particular account that is belonging to specific customer
  • CUSTOMER_CLASS – internal segmentation of customers

Implementation

          1.       Decision Table

For this purpose a new decision table will be created in our HANA environment that is going to hold rules of fee amounts imported from excel:

After the decision table is activated (and decision table does not update a data set) - internally SAP HANA creates a procedure and column view that can be used further inside other SAP HANA objects.

Decision table can be used inside other procedure or can be used inside a calculation view.

For this purpose we are going to show usage in calculation view.

2.       Calculation View

Inside calculation view we are going to join already existing analytical view that is containing fee amounts that have been already paid and we are going to compare them with new fees from decision tables.

Because of multiple parameters that are impacting the fee amount, we need to calculate a new fee amount inside a calculation view as a calculated column and apply parameters provided inside a decision table:

After new calculation in applied we can instantly see what is the impact from change of fee amounts:

Conclusion:

Decision tables are really useful way of implementing business rules without too much of effort from IT side. Once that decision tables are implemented all the power of SAP HANA can be used which is enabling users to run rules on massive amount of transactions without a need for reloading of ETL batches as in conventional RDBMS.

Bringing homogeneity to a heterogeneous world - SAP HANA’s Smart Data Access

SAP HANA’s Smart Data Access bridges hot in-memory data with your traditional EDW During the second half of 2013, the database and technology team at SAP has been hard at work to deliver major enhancements for the SAP HANA database. With SP6 and SP7, released just a few weeks ago, we will highlight a new key capability for the in-memory database we believe will provide immense benefits.

Smart Data Access.

Smart Data Access (SDA) provides SAP HANA with data virtualization capabilities. This technology allows customers to create a virtual table to combine SAP HANA data with other heterogeneous data sources like Hadoop, Teradata, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, SAP Sybase ASE and/or SAP Sybase IQ.

One of the most interesting use-cases is that SDA enables SAP HANA customers to create a strategy where the most recent non-aggregated raw data (hot data) is stored in SAP HANA while the historical, aggregated or non-aggregated data (cold data) could be stored in the traditional enterprise data warehouse (EDW), the  remote source. With SDA, one single request will be able to access/combine both data sources and provide one single result set fully transparent to the end-user.

With this scenario, any SAP HANA customer will be able to use the power of the analytic models, predictive libraries or text search algorithms on data not stored in SAP HANA. This new capability will bridge a major challenge many organizations face today where analysis is required across a variety of heterogeneous data stores.

Many of our current and potential future customers are looking at in-memory technology, so we will continue to see major innovation driven by SAP and its peers as we enter a new era of analytics. We look forward to discussing how the new capabilities will benefit your organization to drive more profitable, agile business decisions.

SAP BW on SAP HANA: when and why?

In this article we will analyse the advantages of the SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) on SAP HANA solution in comparison with a Data Warehouse built directly on SAP HANA. We will also benchmark the performance of a SAP BW vs. SAP BW on HANA in a big data scenario. Most of us are aware of the last trends in BI/EPM market and where it is heading. SAP's mid and long term strategy shows that they are committed to convert SAP HANA in the core of many of their solutions including SAP ERP and SAP BW. SAP HANA can be used either as a database for other Custom Applications or as an Enterprise Corporate Datawarehouse (EDW) to take advantage of its big data and in-memory capabilities.

What options do we have when implementing an Enterprise Data Warehouse in SAP HANA?

When creating an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) in SAP HANA, SAP customers have 2 options

  1. EDW in SAP HANA: Implementing a Data Model inside SAP using a combination of custom data models implemented by BI consultants, models created using SAP RapidMarts and SAP Data Services as a modelling tool.
  2. EDW in SAP BW on HANA: Implementing the SAP Business Warehouse on HANA by taking advantage of its complete data warehousing workbench and its rich business content, which provides Data Models and ETL for almost all modules in a SAP ERP system.

EDW in SAP HANA or EDW in SAP BW on SAP HANA?

Many SAP customers are now facing a dilemma. They want to go for SAP HANA, however, they don’t know yet whether to go for option 1 or 2.  My suggestion is that the following customers go for SAP BW on HANA:

  • Those who already have a SAP BW system. They can quickly migrate that system into a BW on HANA (and Clariba can help on that) and take advantage of in-memory and big data capabilities of SAP HANA by protecting previous investments on that BI system.
  • Companies with SAP ERP that currently don't have an EDW. SAP BW is a very good solution to create a data warehouse on top of other SAP Systems as integration between them is tighter and it comes with all pre-developed data models.

What are the weak points of SAP BW on SAP HANA?

Companies with no other SAP systems in the landscape can theoretically go for SAP BW to implement their custom data models (no business content), however, that has some disadvantages:

  • ETL Implementation effort is not so quick as compared to ETL implementation with SAP Data Services
  • Data Models implemented within SAP BW will be a bit slower than data models implemented directly into a SAP HANA database. That’s because we are adding a layer with the NetWeaver  application server on top of the SAP HANA Database.

What are the advantages of SAP BW on SAP HANA?

SAP BW on SAP HANA has some advantages in front of a plain data warehouse in SAP HANA:

  • SAP BW is a data warehouse framework. You have several capabilities you may expect from a data warehouse. Plain SAP HANA is not so mature and complete.
  • Plain SAP HANA lacks Master Data Management capabilities
  • Data warehousing development workbench
  • It comes with and engine that automatically manages dimensions, Master Data ID’s, hierarchies. In comparison, implementing a Data Warehouse directly on SAP HANA seems to be handcraft and highly depends on the BI Consultant skills
  • Better capability to automatically manage data loads and solve issues/ ie: if a load fails, you can easily delete the load an repeat it
  • BW is a more business focused data warehouse  than a data warehouse directly in SAP HANA, which is more technical. You can carry out large SAP BW projects without scripting SQL queries. It’s not the same with a large project involving a plain SAP HANA data warehouse, in which you will need to script SQL

For SAP BW customers, what are the improvements of migrating to SAP BW on SAP HANA?

SAP BW customers need to assess whether the investment on a new SAP HANA appliance makes sense.  Cleary the investment is valid for customers with SAP BW systems containing huge amount of data and suffering poor query reporting performance. Also to consider that with SAP BW on SAP HANA less database space is used as fewer indexes are needed and aggregates are no longer necessary.

These customers must consider that the SAP HANA database in which the SAP BW will be running can be used for other enterprise applications, so your investment on the SAP HANA technology is not just for the SAP BW, but also for other applications.

What if we compare the SAP BW vs. SAP BW on SAP HANA?

We have a pool of sample data with millions of records coming from a telco scenario: prepaid recharges carried out by millions of customer during a frame of time. We want to compare the same scenario deployed in normal SAP BW vs. a SAP BW on HANA.

  1. Extraction of 2.5 million records from source system. That source system is another SAP HANA database. Yes, we should see the scores in a non SAP HANA database, but in another article.
  2. Load of these 2.5 million records into an Infocube. Transformation rules with 4 ABAP routines are used.
  3. Execution of consolidated (without displaying millions of records) BEx queries on that InfoCube
  4. Execution of a Web Intelligence report from that query.

Architecture

The scenario has been implemented on a SAP NetWeaver 7.3 SP9. SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.1 used for the Web Intelligence reports.

Both servers have same RAM memory, hard disk, network speed, etc.

The following picture shows the architecture of both scenarios

  1. SAP NetWeaver BW on a MS SQL Server Database installed in the same box (no network latency)
  2. SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA. The SAP HANA box is in a separate box and there is network latency.

Server 1 System Status

Server 2 System Status

Benchmark scores

Server 1

SAP BW 7.3

Server 2

SAP BW on HANA 7.3

vs.

Extraction of 2.5 million records  time from source system

34 minutes 36 seconds

26 Minutes 6 seconds

1.32x faster

Load of these 2.5 million records into a Infocube

1h and 3 minutes

3 minutes 27 seconds

18.5x faster

Execution of consolidated BEx queries on that InfoCube

27.8 seconds

0.414 seconds

67.1x faster

Execution of a Web Intelligence report from that query.

138 seconds

11 seconds

12.5x faster

Conclusions

In this article we tried to compare the performance of SAP BW on SAP HANA vs. a non-SAP HANA BW. We used the same data model and amount of data in both cases just to quantify the difference in performance of both scenarios with real numbers. These are my conclusions

  • SAP BW on SAP HANA in much faster than BW on non HANA database. That improvement can range from 10 to 67 times, depending on what we execute.
  • SAP BW on ASP HANA performance on extraction depends on the speed of the source system. It can be a bit faster as records, once read, are inserted faster in the SAP HANA Database.
  • Loading records in Infoproviders of SAP BW on SAP HANA can be 10x or 20x times faster compared to a non-SAP HANA BW. That is highly variable depending on the database we compare with (in our case, a MS SQL Server)
  • Query and Analysis on SAP BW on SAP HANA is much faster. However, it depends on the type of query. If we just want to calculate figures, it will be faster than if we try to retrieve large number of records.
  • Web Inteligence reports on top of SAP BW on SAP HANA are faster, however the performance improvement is not so great when compared to directly executing the BEx query. This is due to the fact that SAP BusinessObjects needs to move data from sAP BW server to the SAP BusinessObjects server and load it into the Web Intelligence report. Will SAP release a SAP BusinesObjects system on SAP HANA? Let's wait and see

Clariba helps Spinneys Implement SAP HANA to Efficiently Monitor Customer Needs

UAE, Dubai, octubre 02, 2013 – In-memory computing (IMC) is quoted as one of the top 10 technology trends for 2013. Jumping on this trend is Spinneys Dubai, a leading food retailer in the UAE, who recently implemented SAP’s real-time in-memory technology platform SAP HANA®. This groundbreaking solution combined with the leading visualization and analysis capabilities of SAP@ BusinessObjects™ immediately allowed Spinneys to explore and analyze large quantities of their data from a vast array of sources more effectively, at record speeds. Clariba, a leading business analytics consultancy in the Middle East, was a key player in ensuring the successful implementation and immediate results.

“We can now not only get supplier delivery performance reports in a short amount of time, but more importantly, we can now track in real time a supplier’s performance at a level of granularity that was not possible to achieve before,” says Rohith D’Souza, responsible for business analysis & development, Spinneys Dubai. “This solution makes it easier for us not only to store vast quantities of data, but also to retrieve and analyze it at record speeds, with a lot of flexibility on how we build reports. If you take for example our Inflation Report which used to take three hours to run; we now have results in less than three minutes.”

“The main goal for Spinneys is to make sure that all decisions we make are the right ones for our customers. This solution is helping us to streamline internal processes, allowing us to make better-informed decisions much faster, and ultimately, helping us serve our customers better. That’s what we strive for everyday,” says Rohith.

“As every retailer, Spinneys has increasing amounts of data from point-of-sale transactions and on the operational side – purchasing, stock, and financial data. Understanding stock levels and wastage, and forecasting inventory movements are critical to manage the profitability of a retail organization. With SAP HANA, Spinneys management now has speed-of-thought analytic capabilities available at their fingertips,” says Marc Haberland, managing director, Clariba. “What’s more, our team of certified consultants with years of business intelligence experience has helped Spinneys to achieve these capabilities in just a few weeks by leveraging the game-changing capabilities of SAP HANA.”

Qais Gharaibeh, managing director – UAE, SAP MENA says, “Spinneys has shown great ambition by investing in technology that can transform its operations. In particular, it will be able to become more nimble and profitable, while also delivering a more engaging and relevant shopping experience to its customers. SAP HANA is all about real-time efficiency, intelligent insight and achieving previously unattainable levels of innovation.”

Spinneys has started applying the technology in several initiatives such as their Category Performance Improvement (CPI) process, which cascades corporate strategies down to the product level, analyzing sales and shopping trends to ensure the optimal mix reaches the final customer.

The company is also thrilled with, and will shortly start tapping into all the possibilities that SAP BusinessObjects’ Mobile Business Intelligence brings. “A manager can go down to the store, tablet in hand, analyze a range of products and its performance on the shop floor. If there is a gap on the shelf, he can instantly see if the stock of the product is low, and if a purchase order has been placed for it already. All in real-time!” mentions Rohith. “This represents a big improvement in the way we will do things going forward. With this technology, the possibilities are limitless.”

- ENDS -

About Clariba

Clariba delivers innovative, reliable and high-quality Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and data warehousing solutions to customers worldwide. With offices in Dubai, Qatar and Spain, Clariba are recognized and respected as one of the leading SAP BI partners in MENA and Europe. For more information, visit www.clariba.com

About Spinneys

Spinneys are one of the leading supermarket chains in the UAE. Spinneys is a premium retailer with a focus on freshness, quality and range. Our customers are aspirational shoppers who value quality, service and convenience. For more information, visit www.spinneys-dubai.com/

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 248,500 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com

Media contacts

Lisiane Lenz, Clariba, +971 4431 3011, lisiane.lenz@clariba.com

Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641,

husain.tamimi@sap.com

Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777,

c.mcpeak@sap.com

Neil Jaques, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4390 1950,

sap@wallis-mc.com

Legal information

Clariba and the Clariba logo are registered trademarks of Clariba Consulting, S.L.U.

SAP® HANA and SAP® BusinessObjects™ are registered trademark(s) of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.

Spinneys and the Spinneys logo are a registered trademark of Spinneys Dubai LLC

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In-Memory Computing to reach $1 billion by 2016

The Gartner Top Technology Trends 2013* states that the in-memory data grid (IMDG) market may still be small, but the decline in costs of flash memory prices, and the maturation of specific software platforms will make In-Memory Computing (IMC) more accessible to companies, promoting fast growth reaching $1 billion by 2016. Massimo Pezzini, Gartner VP said in a recent Gartner press release that companies that do not consider IMC risk being out-innovated by competition. “During the next two to three years, IMC will become a key element in the strategy of organizations focused on improving effectiveness and business growth.”

SAP is betting high on the IMC market, having reported brain child SAP HANA as the fastest-growing product in the company’s history. With it, organizations can explore and analyze vast quantities of data from virtually any data source at the speed of thought, being on top of changing business realities as events unfold.

*Gartner report Top Technology Trends, 2013: In-Memory Computing Aims at Mainstream Adoption”, enero 2013

Learn more about SAP HANA

Big Data & SAP HANA...What are those again?

After the first year of SAP HANA and the constant debate around Big Data, its almost certain that you heard about it once or twice already - but are you 100% clear of what Big Data is and what SAP HANA can do for your company?

Boosted by the evolution of mobility and advances in technology, we see new data sources emerge continually. It is forecasted that  by 2020, 50 billion Internet-enabled devices will be connected to the Web generating  44 times more data annually than we did three years ago.

This growth can be the fortune or the ruin for a company. This depends on their knowledge of Big Data and whether they see it as a challenge or opportunity.

In order to understand what can be denominated BigData, there are a number of factors to be taken into account. Recently, Adrian Simpson and Timo Elliott talked about Big Data and the ‘Four Vs’ – which stand for volume, velocity, variety and validity (see the studio discussion What is Big Data here).

There has been some discussion generated after this, with  disagreement about how many Vs there are. While some defend only three (volume, velocity and variety), others say there are more, such as veracity, virility and viscosity. As an example, read the blog  Beyond the Three V’s of Big Data and make up your own opinion about the topic.

The fact of the matter is that Big Data is already a reality. In order to stay competitive, companies will have to be able to analyze their growing data effectively, allowing for timely response and proactive actions taken after spotting trends.

SAP HANA allows companies to do just that. SAP HANA is a modern platform for real-time analytics and applications. It enables organizations to analyze business operations based on a large volume and variety of detailed data in real time. The main benefits of SAP HANA include:

  • 3600x faster reporting speed
  • Make business decisions in real-time
  • Accelerate business performance
  • Unlocks new insights
  • Increase productivity and efficiency

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, SAP HANA is one of the fastest growing products SAP has launched, and the explanation for this exponential growth can be found on ten reasons customers choose SAP HANA Clariba is working with SAP HANA in conjunction with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence solutions so that companies can work with real-time BI information and be on top of changing business realities as events unfold. As the first proofs-of-concept succeed   at our clients, we realize that this combination of Big Data analysis and market-leading business intelligence from SAP BusinessObjects is the way forward to unleash the insights from a company´s databases.

If you want to know more, check the  SAP HANA Blog or follow some of the top 50 Big Data Twitter Influencers.

Have any doubts or want to know more about the combination of Business Intelligence and Big Data with SAP HANA? Leave a comment below.

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