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Critical Success Factors for HP SAP HANA implementations

By Vitaliy Rudnytskiy, Lead BI Architect, HP Enterprise Information Solutions


In the not-so-distant past of Business Intelligence, the BI industry continued to be plagued with too many projects that failed. Remaining of those times is the often-heard anecdote that “80% of BI projects fail” and a big disconnect between expectations defined at the kick-off of the BI initiative and the reality when it goes life.


Working over the years with our customers on many BI implementation projects, we have developed our methodology called HP Global Method for Business Intelligence Implementation (BIIM). The BIIM was specifically developed, tuned and optimized for the development of BI solutions by addressing the critical success factors and best practices recognized by the industry and endorsed by our customers.


In recent years many vendors have brought to life new exciting Information Delivery (ID), Data Management (DM) and Enterprise Information Management (EIM) technologies. Long term strategic partners – HP and SAP – have long history of delivering optimized solutions for BI customers, like SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator, SAP Business Objects Explorer Accelerated or Sybase IQ with HP reference architecture. A recent addition to this group is HP SAP High-performance Analytic Appliance (HANA) described by my colleague Gareth Martin in the previous HP blog.


Hardware and software advances help customers to gain quicker value from their BI investments, but it is still a process to get to the value realization. Besides all of the technology improvements we should not forget the fact that it is the right processes and great people who turn technology into organizations’ capabilities. The critical success factors defined by our BIIM methodology remain very true for the successful BI implementations based on HP SAP HANA.


  1. Business Alignment. It is very easy to get excited with any new technologies, yet implementation of any solution has to be justified by the business needs of your company or institution. It starts with well defined business cases. A solution for no-problem becomes a problem itself.
  2. Adequate Governance. New solutions based on HP SAP HANA cannot be separated from your existing BI solutions and therefore should adhere to the same principles, processes and guidelines. Because the effort will cross so many boundaries – organizational, cultural, technical – the obstacles will come from many directions. Proper program management and executive sponsorship have to be in place to deal with those.
  3. Architecture Blueprint. You already heard that HP SAP HANA comes as a preconfigured and optimized hardware/software combination. Yet we want you to think broader when “Architecture” is discussed. Our BIIM methodology defines six domains of the solution architecture. Besides Technical domain, other five are Organization, Data, Metadata, Data Integration, and Information Delivery. We are happy to assess, design and implement your architecture blueprint based on our expertise.
  4. Information Quality. Time-to-value promise of HP SAP HANA implementation does not mean “hurry-to-see”. Lack of data and information quality in the deployed solution – and especially for those aimed to support real-time decision making – can be fatal and may cause users moving back to their “reliable” techniques.
  5. Culture Adjustments. HP SAP HANA comes with many paradigms that have to be adopted by your organization – real-time BI, business self-service, operational data marts, modeless BI tools, or hybrid data modeling. New tools require new skills, processes and sometimes new mindset. Do not underestimate those, as not everyone is going to be excited. Make sure experienced HP EIS experts, who bring external perspective and necessary skills, are part of your implementation team.
  6. Post Go-Live. There is an old IT saying “System on Day 1 is not the same as the system on Day 100”. Systems live and evolve, and there is the whole range of HP services – hosting, technology support, application maintenance – available to help your organization to cope with this “live system” phenomenon.

Are there any critical success factors or best practices you would like to add to the list? Please use comments area below this blog post to share your thoughts.


For more information on this and other HP services around SAP HANA go to the HP SAP HANA solutions page or contact your local HP representative.

Tansu Aksu(anon) | ‎02-08-2012 12:02 AM

Good points Vitaliy. Coming from "the customer" side, I would like to add more "critical success factors" for a success story.

1) A top-down enforcement from executives. Similar to business alingment. All silos in a large IT have to march toward to same goal, not just one.

2) Have a business/IS strategy that both IT and Business agree. W/o strategy everything is tactical, not strategical.

3) Enable the business to act/proact to rapid changes. You can't ask business to wait months for build a dashboard/cube/report anymore. 




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