SAP HANA (high-performance analytic appliance) is a unique and versatile database platform with advanced real-time analytics capabilities, combined with an in-memory database that has the capability to process transactional workloads (in addition to the aforementioned analytical workloads.) This is different from most other platforms which store data on a disk instead of within the memory architecture.
The SAP HANA database platform can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid deployment that combines the cloud with on-prem components. Most are now showing preference for cloud-based SAP HANA deployments thanks to the cloud’s scalability.
SAP HANA databases are used to run enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and other enterprise applications. Many companies opt for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which is a modular cloud-based ERP interface that runs on the SAP HANA platform. Whatever the case, a SAP HANA implementation requires a fair degree of expertise and a very precise skill set that often surpasses what one will typically find in their IT department. That leaves many business leaders feeling a bit lost as they seek to hire for their upcoming SAP HANA implementation.
What Skills Do You Need for a SAP HANA Implementation Project?
If you’re hiring for a SAP HANA implementation project, it is important that you understand what skills and specialties are most essential for success. Consider the following as you begin the process of finding the perfect hires for your database and ERP implementation.
- Real-Time Analytics – SAP HANA is known for its real-time analytics capabilities and as such, you will want to ensure that your SAP consultant and implementation team have lots of experience in this area. You want to be positioned in a manner that allows your business to take full advantage of everything that SAP HANA has to offer by way of its sophisticated real-time analytics capabilities.
- API Integration – SAP HANA ERP software really lends itself to API integrations, so you will want to ensure that your hires are well-versed in this area.
- Development and Coding Capabilities – SAP HANA supports many opportunities for custom coding, particularly in the SAP HANA Cloud platform. What’s more, developers can create their own applications and tools with control logic, business logic and full database layer integration, allowing for extensive customization — providing your team has the right skill set. Therefore, you will want to seek implementation team members with experience coding and developing within the SAP ecosystem.
- Data Management – The SAP HANA database offers some unique data management opportunities. For instance, they’ve done away with batch processing in favor of highly-available data with no latency. Ideally, your implementation team should include a data management specialist who can help you take full advantage of the SAP HANA database and all that it offers.
- AI, Machine Learning & Other Technologies – SAP HANA implementations virtually always include a variety of other technologies, such as AI, machine learning, APIs and natural language processing (NLP). Therefore, you’ll want to be sure your hires have experience integrating these technologies into their implementation work.
Who Do I Need to Hire for a SAP HANA Implementation?
Each company’s tech team differs in terms of skill set and experience, but generally speaking, there are a few different hires that you will want to consider as you prepare for a SAP HANA implementation project.
Hiring a SAP Consultant – First and foremost, you’ll want a consultant who specializes in SAP (which stands for “Systems, Applications and Products”) and its software service offerings, including SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Each ERP software development company has its own unique ecosystem and implementation processes differ. For this reason, it is prudent to hire a SAP consultant who can guide you through the process of selecting the best SAP HANA solution for your needs. Then, they can serve as a guide and advocate as you proceed with the implementation and deployment processes.
Hiring a SAP HANA Implementation Partner – A SAP HANA implementation partner will oversee all aspects of the installation, configuration and deployment of your new database and ERP platform. This includes the initial set-up process in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid configuration, along with customization of ERP modules and integrations with mission-critical third-party platforms. Once this is complete, the implementation process concludes with testing and ultimately, deployment. Implementation is a complex and multi-faceted process that requires extensive knowledge of SAP HANA technology, along with refined problem-solving capabilities and a firm understanding of precisely how the company will be using the platform. In fact, it is best to work with an implementation partner that has experience working with clients in your industry or business sector. This means they will be better-positioned to understand your needs as a business. The implementation team will include a variety of different specialists, from developers and coders, to SAP architects and engineers, UI/UX specialists, testers and beyond.
Hiring a SAP HANA Training Team – Training is a critical component of the process. The best, most efficient SAP HANA implementation project will bring little benefit if your staff fail to receive proper training prior to deployment day. Even worse, employee morale could take a major hit if they’re left feeling as though the digital rug has been pulled out from under them. Training is essential if you are going to see success with any software implementation project. This means you will need to hire a training team that can provide a comprehensive program for your staff, from training superusers to help with the training process and beyond deployment day, to scheduling training sessions that will create minimal disruptions to your company’s operations. Notably, some SAP HANA implementation partners will offer training as part of their service offerings, while others can provide a referral. As with other hires, you’ll want to be sure to consult references to be sure that the training team you’re considering is reputable and ready to teach your team the skills they need to succeed with SAP HANA.
With these SAP HANA professionals working hard on your side to bring about a smooth and efficient implementation process, you’ll be ready for a successful deployment day.
The right ERP platform can bring tremendous benefits to a business, but you need the right tech team on-hand if you expect to maximize ROI. That is precisely where the team at Cox-Little can help since we have a team of ERP experts with experience in all aspects of enterprise software implementation. We’re available to guide our clients to the perfect hires for that upcoming SAP HANA implementation or another ERP project. Contact Cox-Little today to discuss your enterprise software needs.