The New Transformation of Consumer Products Enterprises

Using SAP Solutions

The Problem: Sub-Optimal Business Systems

Recently, many have reversed their position on cholesterol as the major cause of heart disease. Instead they are turning attention to sugar in any form as the new evil, and the root cause of most inflammation in our bodies. Cholesterol reenters the picture now, in a slightly different context, as the body’s tool to fight inflammation, and yes, it remains an issue contributing to heart disease. But sugar is now the first temptation to be avoided in the secondary fight against cholesterol.

This metaphor can be used to describe integrated enterprise systems today, where data, or specifically data staging, is the constraint that drains energy away from real-time, efficient business-driven decisions to serve customers to their fullest expectation and value. The enterprise is more connected and integrated than it has ever been. But data seldom seems to be in the right place and format to enable the transformation of the customer experience. Data staging may occur in numerous ways; data warehouses, data lakes, pools and marts for analytics solutions, and even table indices and summarization or aggregation of data to get around throughput issues within an application all contribute to this sub-optimal condition. Think of this as the “cholesterol of business systems.”

The Solution

Consumer products companies have been inundated with new opportunities to procure, consume and utilize data for the betterment of their businesses. But attaching this data to the existing sub-optimal enterprise software is making the process frustrating, leading again to limited success from a well-intentioned, expensive data acquisition. This is one reason that SAP HANA was created: to remedy this issue. SAP HANA is the transformation of SAP’s approach to the database and technical layers, and the technology enables a massive improvement to system throughput. It also removes staging of data as a means to delivering integrated end-to-end business processes.

While SAP HANA is an impressive innovation achievement on its own, the impact on all SAP solutions is great. This process is well under way in the newly branded S4HANA solution, with the first rollout in Simple Finance already delivered and implemented. Simple Logistics will roll out later this year and will enable SAP Production and Distribution processes, optimized for the SAP HANA platform. SAP solutions will no longer rely on staged, aggregated data to run any process, but will rather fetch data in a just-in-time model, as SAP HANA provides the technological efficiencies to make this possible.

In Part 2 of this blog, we will explore the impact of SAP HANA in the context of three scenarios: Office of the CFO, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Supply Chain Officer.

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