As HANA adoption continues to mount, archiving is becoming an increasingly more essential component to any SAP content management strategy. One major reason for planning is that HANA doesn’t scale like traditional systems.
As an in-memory database, HANA can perform complex operations much more efficiently than disk-based storage, but that performance comes at a high cost, and everyone from ASUG to SAP themselves recommends archiving unstructured data to keep the database healthy. Let's look at some reasons that Office 365 can be turned into the ideal platform to achieve this goal.
1. Office 365 is built for document management
SAP is not an effective document management platform, as it lacks most of the capabilities you need to effectively manage this type of information. In addition, tying documents solely to transactional, structured content limits the accessibility of valuable business information. Leveraging SharePoint and Office 365 for content (with the help of a third-party add-on) improves general resource utilization in SAP, and has the added benefit of making the documents available for other business processes or for compliance purposes.
2. Office 365 is about broadening access
Compared to other leading ECM platforms and in-memory storage, SharePoint/Office 365 is much more open. Making SAP content actionable in SharePoint and Office 365 with a third-party add-on like Gimmal Workplace for SAP extends the reach of valuable information generated by or associated with SAP transactions throughout the enterprise, allowing this content to be re-purposed across a variety of use cases. By widening access to business critical content, you can build user- and document-centric digital workplaces that deliver better productivity and adoption, as well as delivering substantial incremental value on your Microsoft investment.
3. Cost, change management, and resource limitations can hamper your ability to build applications in SAP
SAP is a mission-critical application, often with rigorous change management protocols and global templates. As a result, there is often a long lag from the time a need is identified to the time the enhanced functionality can be delivered in SAP.
SharePoint or Office 365 can be used as an independent development platform, allowing you to deliver applications quickly without affecting SAP (or being hampered by SAP development cycles). This supports the creation of integrated line-of-business solutions that solve a variety of departmental and industry aligned business problems without straining your SAP development resources or necessitating more. In addition, Microsoft-based development resources tend to be significantly less expensive than SAP resources. This flexibility and greater resource availability enables an exponentially shorter time to value at a greatly reduced total cost of ownership.
4. Legacy ECM platforms cannot justify the cost
Decommissioning legacy ECMs and moving to SharePoint or Office 365 leads to a substantial savings in maintenance and administration delivering an immediate ROI and greatly reduced ongoing cost. With typical costs well in excess of $1,000 GB/yr, legacy ECM platforms cannot compete with the capacity offered by Microsoft (starting at 1 TB/tenant + 0.5 GB/user with additional storage starting at $0.20/GB/mo). Additionally, their proprietary design and outdated architectures limit (if not prohibit) extension, while the Microsoft ecosystem thrives on it. No other ECM on the market can scale like Office 365. A recent blog post from the Office 365 team mentions some new statistics related to scalability. Inside the article, the Office 365 team makes the following point:
“A common, incorrect impression of SharePoint has been that it’s a great tool to manage team content, but you need an “old-fashioned ECM system for scalability” or “true records management.” Neither of those are true today, with SharePoint having incredible scalability of up to 30-trillion documents and up to 12.5 (EB) exabyte in a single SharePoint Online tenant.”
Reduce Complexity, Improve Process, and Boost ROI
The beauty of SharePoint and Office 365 is that, most likely, you already have it in place. By connecting an existing, underutilized platform that is built to make your information more valuable and actionable, you can achieve all your goals while incurring the minimum cost.
By Jude O'Neill