United Utilities considering putting ERP onto Hana in the cloud

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The UK’s largest water utility is ready for a “large strategic leap forward” and is considering moving their full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) onto HANA in the cloud.


This month, IT director William Hewish at United Utilities, gave the first indication that the water supplier, which provides water and sewerage services to seven million people in the North West of England will not only be moving one of their core systems onto SAP’s flagship product, Hana, but into the enterprise cloud.


Hewish asked the SAP UK and Ireland user group members for advice on feasibility studies for the potential move. He said: “Has anyone of a reasonable scale (we're FTSE 100) completed a feasibility study on moving their full ERP onto HANA in the cloud, hosted and managed by SAP themselves as the AMS partner?


“I'm interested in taking a large strategic leap forward.”


Shell similarly announced that it wanted to accelerate its transition to SAP HANA data analytics in the cloud. The oil and gas company signed a long-term contract with SAP for their cloud with SAP HANA, SAP Predictive Analysis software, SAP Fiori user experience and SAP Screen Personas software.


SAP are encouraging customers to move onto Hana in the cloud, with co-founder Hasso Plattner making the case at the vendor’s conference in Orlando last month. During his keynote, he revealed that although SAP will continue to support non-Hana databases and will not recode applications so they are only compatible with Hana, "the breakthrough in terms of technology and the value will only be possible on Hana". SAP have said that around 1,000 customers use Hana, which became available just over a year ago.


Warner Bros’ television distribution division revealed at Sapphire that it has now replaced 11 legacy CRM systems with a single SAP CRM system running on in-memory computing platform HANA across all its global sales offices.


But United Utilities are bucking the trend, as a minority of SAP users are planning to use Hana, a SAP UK and Ireland User group survey recently found. Despite acknowledging a need for faster data-processing, only a minority of SAP users are planning on utilizing SAP’s HANA platform and less than half understand what value it could bring their organisation, a study has found.


Despite the reluctance to move to Hana, some £23 billion (US$39 billion) of SAP landscape could move to the cloud in the next two years, as large enterprises plan to migrate 46 percent of their existing SAP on-premise environment, according to research from HCL Technologies.


But some enterprises, although keen to move to the cloud like United Utilities, are not so set on the costly enterprise offerings vendors like SAP have made. News Corp expects to save ‘tens of millions of dollars’ in on-premise infrastructure costs by moving its SAP ERP system to Amazon Web Service’s cloud, which is currently in process.



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