SAP HANA Effect Episode 16

Title: Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA
(Duration: 13:20)
Publish Date: May 11, 2015
Description: Roopa Amin, BI Director at Dr. Pepper, tells us about their
phenomenally successful BW on HANA migration from a slow 20TB DB
to a screaming 5TB HANA DB.
Welcome to The HANA Effect. I’m your host, Jeff
Word, from SAP. Each week, we bring listeners the
real stories of how companies are taking advantage
of real-time computing to transform their
organizations and let them share the lessons they’ve
learned along their journey. Welcome to another
episode of The HANA Effect. I’m your host, Jeff
Word, from SAP, and I’m joined today with one of
my favorite customers, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.
And we’re here today with Roopa Amin. She’s the
Director of BI. Welcome.
Well, thank you, Jeff. Thank you for coming here.
Want to talk a little bit today about the BW on HANA
that you guys just went live with a couple of months
ago. So, take us bank in history a little bit and talk to
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 1 us about what led up to that decision to switch your
regular BW system over to BW on HANA.
We were actually implementing a project called Capstone.
And this project was to add some case sales data into our
existing BW system. Case sales at a very basic level is the
sale of our product to a retail store at a SKU and day level.
The sales at retail stores are, of course, done by Dr.
Pepper. We sell our product, but so do other bottlers and
we take our SAP data from our ECC 6 system and combine
it with this external data and do a lot of reporting and the
case sales data gives us some insight into who are our
most effective bottlers and what funding models should we
use, what sort of displays should we fund and what type of
promotions. As we were implementing this project, we
found that our data volumes were much higher than we’d
initially projected and, therefore, the data processing
requirements were much higher as well. So, we started
looking at HANA to see if we could optimize our data load
times. And we did two proof of concepts; one with another
vendor and one with SAP to really understand which
product would be better for us in the long run to improve
our data processing times.
What size data volumes are we talking about?
When we cutting over to production at that point in time,
our database was about 20 terabytes. And, if you exclude
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 2 all the unused space and indexes etc., it was probably
around 13 terabytes that we actually migrated.
And what did you end up with now in HANA with the
It’s about 4 ½ terabytes.
So, about 5X compression.
Mmm hmm.
That’s actually pretty standardized. The day you
talked about this case level data is very, very
granular, right?
Yeah, so we used to pull the data in our legacy systems at
a chain and a month level, and now we’re bringing it down
to a store and day level. And this is not just our internal
data, but it’s data from external bottlers that we pull in.
So, you could really see all of the different products
flowing into the retail stores.
Exactly. Right.
That’s amazing. And what was the result when you
did that proof of concept?
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 3 ROOPA:
We saw a significant difference between the other product
and HANA. HANA gave us the performance that we were
looking for. There was definitely some places that was 1012 times faster than on the other product. And then there
was areas like DSO activation that you have in BW that we
couldn’t do in our current environment and we certainly
couldn’t do it in the other POC. But on HANA, that flew. It
was amazing.
What were some of the key decisions you guys had
to make as you were getting ready to embark on this
HANA project for BW?
So, some of the key decisions we had to make were, first
of all, which hardware vendor do you go with? We have a
very good relationship with HP. We have a hosting
agreement already with them. So, we decided to go with
HP hardware, and then we didn’t have to make a decision
on did we want it on prem or did we want to host it in
Toronto with the rest of our hardware. Some of the other
things that we had to think about was do we want to patch
our BW and if so which version?
When you guys actually went live with this thing,
what was the technical aspects of your cut over to
the new HANA system?
There are a lot of different migration options and one of
the migration options is to have a zero downtime. We
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 4 could not pick that as an option. We’ve got a lot of nonSAP interfaces and the work involved in actually setting
those up for two environments was going to be difficult.
And so, we decided to go with the downtime option. So,
one of the challenges that we had was to really make sure
that we could reduce that to as low as possible, and so we
used SAP services to help us come up with techniques on
lower that downtime. It’s a bit of an art, but we were really
successful at it. So, that’s one of the things that we looked
at. We also worked with the ambassador program to help
us identify which version of the software we should go to.
We made decisions on what patch level in BW. But, in
terms of the actual cutover, it was very uneventful. We
had one small issue; other than that, the actual cutover
when really smooth. We were done actually sooner than
we had anticipated and we were able to start our data
loads earlier.
It was ahead of schedule.
Yes and I think one of the reasons was we were going to
from a production environment to a production
environment, so that made it a lot faster.
So, what was your life like over that weekend when
the cutover happened?
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 5 ROOPA:
Ah! Well, you know, you’re always worried about how will
it go? But it went so smooth; it was actually a little bit
So, let’s talk now, you guys had had BWA for a few
of your cubes, but now on Monday when the whole
company comes in, all of their stuff is now
turbocharged with HANA.
What was the reaction of the business users before
and then after? What were they thinking, expecting
about HANA and then what did they really feel when
they got it?
Well, so the users that actually didn’t have their data on
BWA were just ecstatic. I mean we had one person, who
wrote to me that said, “I used to spend about two hours
downloading and running reports, and now those same
reports run in about 10 minutes and I use the balance of
my time to do the analysis.” And then in terms of the rest
of our users, what was interesting was, well first, everyone
was so happy that it had gone in so smoothly. And then in
terms of the month end close for our business users, I
debated on whether I should email them and tell them,
hey, this is our first month end close on HANA. But I
decided instead just to see their reaction after the close
happened. So, typically, what we do is the month end
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 6 starts in the afternoon and the jobs run and late into the
night our business users are asked to log in and validate
the data, so that we have it available for our sales guys in
the next morning. So, instead, we started our jobs as
normal in the afternoon and we were done in the evening.
And I got an email from one of our business users that
said this is amazing. HANA really works. And she went and
told our senior management, in fact, the president of our
beverage concentrate business, how well the
implementation had gone and that we were able to deliver
our report sooner.
That is a pretty big applause and atta boy.
Yes, and we’re still working to improve it some more.
We’re now starting to get rid of the cubes and move our
reports, the DSO. So, every month we see a little
improvement in their process and we’re continuing to
condense our cycles down. Until now, we couldn’t even run
both close cycles at the same time. So, we have our ECC6
data and this baller case sales data and we run one in the
day and one at night. And now we’re shrinking down the
time, so we can run both at night and optimize our
offshore resources to actually monitor those data loads at
night and use our on shore, more expensive resources to
work with the business.
We’ve heard about a lot of other success stories
from a lot of other SAP customers. And the
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 7 confidence that the business gets in that first project
of, yes okay, HANA’s different, but it really delivers.
This stuff really is as good as everybody hoped it is,
probably sometimes even better than people
expected. Then they start building on that and
looking and saying, hey, what can we do next? What
can we do next? Where can we apply this new
technology to improve other aspects of it?
That’s what we call the HANA Effect, right? So,
explain to me a little bit about what Dr. Pepper’s
going to be doing next in your HANA roadmap.
Where do you think this type of technology is going
to have an impact going forward for you guys?
We started our HANA roadmap discussions now, and so
our senior IT management is very interested in pursuing
putting ECC6 on HANA. And actually the recent
announcements about S4 are just amazing. Everyone is
very impressed by the whole scenario of reducing the data
footprint by consolidating the tables. It makes so much
business sense. It really does. And eliminating all of the
checks and balances people have to do across all those
different transactions; we spend so much time closing our
financials, etc. So, we’re really looking now into how we’re
going to optimize HANA further. And so, our next step is to
really understand how we migrate ECC6 to HANA and then
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 8 really subsequently how do we implement simple finance,
So, what we want to do really look for good use cases to
showcase how we would add business value as we
implement this further.
Now that you guys have had this massively
successful BW project, you’ve learned a whole lot I’d
imagine through that process.
Mmm hmm.
What kind of advice would you give yourself that
now that you’ve been through it now you know?
Well, one of the things that I wasn’t sure about was what
sort of skillsets would I need. It is more basis intensive, so
you want to make sure that you have some strong basis
staff on your project. Another thing that you want to make
sure you account for is all the lead time in installing and
setting up the hardware. You also want to think about all
your things like how do you want to handle fail over on a
node? Do you want disaster recovery? Do you want it
mirrored in another data center? So, all of those things,
which are available with the HANA product are choices that
you need to go through and make decisions on.
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 9 JEFF:
All of those incredibly important things to think
about and they all depend based on your situation.
And you also have some non-business value that you gain.
So, for example, we talked about the data processing
times are reduced. We talked about how query
performance has improved. But there’s also some other
things. And some of those things are: well, obviously from
a basis perspective, the amount of time building indexes,
doing restores, restoring from production down to QA is so
much faster. We did our first restore just recently and
instead of taking days, it took hours. It was our first time,
so we were learning but we really think we could do a
refresh from production down to QA in about an hour. The
other things that are really great are backup times. Our old
database it used to take us 14 hours to back up that
database. So, imagine three days a week there’s a job
running for 14 hours to backup your database. And it’s
using resources that your business users are also
competing with to run their reports and if you run too
many things in parallel, the system can tank. Now, those
backups run in an hour, even less actually. So, backup,
restores, refreshes, DBAs not having to build indexes for
you, and then just housekeeping things, like if you want to
delete data, you’ve got PSA data, you’ve got change logs,
etc. Deleting those used to be difficult. And now, we can
delete data so much faster and it makes housekeeping
tasks, so much easier.
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 10 JEFF:
What were some of the things that your technical
people had to adjust to in order to take advantage of
all the new stuff in the turbo charged HANA world?
Definitively from a developer’s standpoint they needed to
think about simplifying what they did. So before, we had
all these layers that we used to build and now we don’t.
We also can allow for more granular data reporting. In
other words, instead of having to summarize everything
and stick it in a BWA cube, we can now bring it in at the
lowest level and start reporting. From a basis perspective,
there’s a lot less work. There’s not as much work to build
indexes or there’s no work to build indexes etc. So, the
focus has now shifted to more of the housekeeping—
keeping the system lean. Doing housekeeping that one
should’ve always been doing and not spending time on
trying to actually tune it. So, there’s not as much time
spending on tuning; there’s more just basic housekeeping
and providing reporting faster.
Basically, squeezing more value out of that data
because you don’t have to do all the stupid stuff
Exactly. All the non-value add stuff is gone.
Well listen, Roopa, this has been absolutely
phenomenal. Like I said, you guys are my favorite
caffeine deliver. Love, love, love the product and
HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 11 love the company. You guys have done a
phenomenal job here. Can’t say enough about the
success of this BW project and I’m just thrilled to
see the momentum and confidence that its built, so
you guys can continue marching forward on that
road to simple, as for HANA, simple finance and
simplify IT operations.
Yes, we’re excited about more implementations using
I want to say, thanks a lot for sharing your story
with everybody on the HANA podcast.
Thank you.
And with that, we’ll close off today another episode
of the HANA Effect. If you’d like to continue to get
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HANA Effect Episode 16 – Dr. Pepper Refreshes its BW system with HANA 12