|By Liz McMillan||
|August 19, 2014 05:00 PM EDT||
Martin Heisig, Senior Vice President of Cloud and Infrastructure Delivery at SAP SE, is responsible for SAP's global IT infrastructure including the operation of SAP's external cloud offerings.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Martin. Before discussing SAP cloud delivery and data center solutions in greater detail and the upcoming FORECAST 2014 please tell us about your background.
Martin Heisig: I am the head of SAP's Infrastructure Services Organization and responsible for SAP's global IT infrastructure including the operation of SAP's external cloud offerings. The SAP Cloud offering includes for example Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions (Success Factors, ARIBA, HANA Cloud Platform) as well as comprehensive cloud infrastructure combined with managed services for global enterprise customers (SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud).
This role combines also responsibility for SAPs office and workplace equipment, backend systems, data centers, network and WAN infrastructure as well as SAP system management for SAP's business, development and training & demo environment.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: May we have an overview of the key trends and highlights SAP will be discussing at FORECAST 2014?
Martin Heisig: The mega trends real-time platforms - Big Data, cloud, enterprise mobility as well as social media - continue to enable completely new business scenarios. In a tectonic shift, we witness how our most innovative customers reinvent their business models and processes by using in-memory technology, like SAP HANA. The world goes real-time across entire industries and in the private space.
As head of the HANA Enterprise cloud delivery function, I foresee that more and more companies will move to the cloud, and that we will see a leap in software, infrastructure and platform as services. Customers have existing environments and want to add cloud solutions to that. So, the reality for most of these companies is a hybrid cloud environment. Or they move their enterprise systems into private clouds, for example the HANA Enterprise Cloud. Security and process integration will continue to be big issues, and this is something at which SAP excels. Whatever the strategy, CIOs have to address both agility for the business and cost. The Cloud is a major factor in this equation.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: One will read on SAP.com that, "SAP HANA converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time". Please give us an overview of the HANA and do you use it internally, too?
Martin Heisig: The SAP HANA database is an in-memory database that combines transactional data processing, analytical data processing, and application logic processing functionality in memory. This new architecture enables converged OLTP and OLAP data processing within a single in-memory column-based data store, while eliminating data redundancy and latency. With SAP HANA our customers can leverage the power of in-memory technology to address growing data volume concerns and new business opportunities. It provides a modern platform for real-time applications and real-time analytics, while simplifying existing IT landscapes.
SAP, like all companies, must stay ahead of potentially disruptive technologies to remain at the top of its market. As one of the largest customers of SAP worldwide, SAP's own global IT organization has a strong focus on innovation and is on the leading edge of many new business and technology trends. Therefore new technology at SAP is first tested and used by internal users. The practice goes by many names: eating your own dog food, drinking your own champagne, or in our case "SAP Runs SAP." By using software internally both before and after making it available to customers, employees are not only able to alert developers to potential problems in an application and make suggestions for improvement, they are also the first to enjoy the benefits too.
The first company in the world to use the SAP's in-memory technology - SAP HANA, back in 2010, was none other than the global software enterprise that created it. At SAP, we run all of our mission critical systems on HANA. In 2013, we implemented ERP on HANA across all Lines of Business and regions. CRM and our Corporate Business Warehouse run in-memory. Some examples of immediate benefits are faster financial reporting and higher quality analysis as well as significant improvements in the IT landscape. Transactions and Analytics come together in a single system. And the batch job is dead.
While nowadays cloud computing becomes an even more important topic, SAP recognized this trend and reacted early by moving their core applications into their own cloud environment powered by SAP HANA.
Customers now have the opportunity to accelerate the deployment of their SAP HANA projects within the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, where infrastructure is combined with managed services tailored for the customers' individual needs. This enables the customers- including SAP as its own and first customer - to access further advantages by getting access and benefit from SAP's latest innovation and application technologies as well as having a huge increase of implementation speed, and with this reach a better time-to-value.
As of 2014, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud operates the largest HANA systems worldwide, including SAP's own single global SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (67,000 users), SAP Customer Relationship Management (15,000 Users), and SAP NetWeaver BW (4,500 users) applications.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What is your perspective Martin regarding the major benefits of HANA?
Martin Heisig: I believe that significant competitive advantage awaits early adopters. Let me start with where I think the biggest potential lies for customers who want to make breakthrough improvements. If you sit back and really think about your business model and core processes - and where the next disruption can come from whether you lead it or others pose be threat - you will see that real-time computing, collaborative commerce and harvesting the vast amounts of data have a huge potential. A lot of industries have been transformed via massive disruption, and it often starts with innovators finding innovative approaches to capitalize on their data, moving to digital products and services and creating totally new experiences. I believe that SAP is addressing the most important and critical needs of these companies. We help customers achieve these breakthroughs, and this should be the focus.
With Big Data, in my opinion, the problem of ever-increasing complexity has not commonly been addressed. With our SAP HANA technology we strive for exactly this missing element of simplification in how we bring structured, unstructured and event related big data into a single, coherent view to allow to derive the right decisions at the right time - in realtime. This is the real game changer.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Are there new features and solutions you would like to discuss?
Martin Heisig: We have recently introduced SAP Simple Finance, a set of solutions to bring the simplicity of SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA to finance departments worldwide. Simple Finance doesn't displace the existing Business Suite finance apps but we simplify and modernize key workflows, introduce new interfaces, and strip out antiquated code. It takes full advantage of the in-memory SAP HANA platform with new finance capabilities, offers a new and beautiful user experience for easy access, all deployed in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud under a full subscription model, making it easy for finance departments to adopt these solutions.
And of course, we were the first to implement it. Today, we have simplified our code, dramatically reduced our data footprint and have significant performance gains. For example, all materialized aggregates are replaced by SQL statements on the fly and database indices are dropped. Our data footprint will be reduced dramatically to less than 500GB for our whole ERP data. With better financial insights and inherent reconciliation we enabled our Finance executives to make better decisions and operate more effectively.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Can we discuss Cloud and security for a moment...we all know the benefits of being online...in seconds with our various devices we can pay a bill, send a gift, make a dinner reservation, and in growing numbers, control the HVAC and security systems in our home. But, what about businesses, are they more vulnerable to the bad guys out there? Your thoughts, Martin?
Martin Heisig: Security concerns in a cloud model are similar to those for the application service provider model: whether people will steal information, or that leaks will compromise confidential data. The top security concerns for the cloud model focus on identity management, data storage location, system operations, and data transmission and flow controls.
A seasoned team of industry experts from SAP who specialize in creating secure and reliable cloud environments help businesses safeguard critical applications and data during the implementation and keep business operations intact. Our comprehensive approach - at the physical, database, middleware, application, and network and communication layers - literally builds security into every aspect of a business.
For example, SAP operates its own data centers, and we partner with local leaders in colocation hosting centers to provide secure, environmentally controlled facilities that offer an integrated security management system. On-site security measures include electronic photo-ID badging, cardholder access control, biometrics, recorded digital video surveillance, and alarm monitoring. All SAP data centers comply with the latest telecommunications industry standards, such as ANSI/TIA/EIA-942 Tier III or higher.
We also implemented a so called security monitoring center to immediately react to all kind of security risks no matter that applies to applications, infrastructure or even global crisis situations.
I believe it is a challenge for companies - especially for smaller companies - to implement such comprehensive security models on their own. More and more companies will realize that it is time to re-focus on their core business and that the cloud can help them to do so.
SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Martin. Are there any other subjects you would like to discuss?
Martin Heisig: Let me finally elaborate shortly on a new role of CIOs. IT purchasing power moves more to the lines of businesses (LoBs). The new role of the CIO is changing from a functional to a more strategic innovation and business enabler, the "Chief Innovation Officer." The new CIO has to stay ahead of the trends and make sure that employees can take advantage of new technology quickly. IT leaders are expected to find ways to come up with new ways of using technology to create new business opportunities and how IT contributes to the bottom line.
Cloud presents a huge opportunity for IT to drive innovation, but it also poses a challenge because the business can partner with external sources and run applications. A CIO can only be successful if there's a strong partnership and collaboration with the business. It's important for CIOs to embrace the cloud and IT's role as an integrator. This being said IT organizations need to change their mindset and the way how they operate.
I think, it's clear, that we have no option here. The cloud is a reality that one might ignore for a while but in the end this will only set you back in the transition that will anyhow happen. So, I rather like to address it heads-on and be first - and thus turn it into an advantage over competition. Nobody likes chasing up with others because of a missed advantage of a good start in the first place.
This interview originally appeared in SecuritySolutionsWatch.com. Republished with permission.
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Aug. 28, 2015 10:07 AM EDT
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Aug. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 257
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 321
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 172
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 119
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Aug. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EDT
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Aug. 28, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 307
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:30 AM EDT Reads: 342
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Aug. 28, 2015 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 519
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Aug. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 492
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Aug. 28, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 353
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Aug. 28, 2015 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 312
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Aug. 27, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 437
The Microservices architectural pattern promises increased DevOps agility and can help enable continuous delivery of software. This session is for developers who are transforming existing applications to cloud-native applications, or creating new microservices style applications. In his session at DevOps Summit, Jim Bugwadia, CEO of Nirmata, will introduce best practices, patterns, challenges, and solutions for the development and operations of microservices style applications. He will discuss ...
Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 491
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Aug. 27, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 340
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Aug. 27, 2015 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 394
What does “big enough” mean? It’s sometimes useful to argue by reductio ad absurdum. Hello, world doesn’t need to be broken down into smaller services. At the other extreme, building a monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just asking for trouble: it’s too big, and it needs to be decomposed.
Aug. 27, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 295
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Aug. 27, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 155
Brands are more than the sum of their brand elements – logos, colors, shapes, and the like. Brands are promises. Promises from a company to its customers that its products will deliver the value and experience customers expect. Today, digital is transforming enterprises across numerous industries. As companies become software-driven organizations, their brands transform into digital brands. But if brands are promises, then what do digital brands promise – and how do those promises differ from ...
Aug. 26, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 409
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Aug. 26, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 163