SAP HANA Effect Episode 11 _CISCO


SAP HANA Effect Episode 11 _CISCO
Title: Episode 11 - HANA Drives Top and Bottom-line Value at Cisco
(Duration: 18:26)
Publish Date: March 30th, 2015
Description: Dileep Moturo shares how Cisco has used HANA to provide
real-time sales reporting and drive top and bottom-line value.
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 thrilled to be joined today by
Dileep Moturo, who is a Program Manager in the
Enterprise Data Services Group at Cisco Systems.
Welcome, Dileep.
Thanks, Jeff. Thanks for having me here.
Well, we’re certainly thrilled to have you guys here.
Not only are you obviously a really great partner of
SAP, but you’re also a wonderful customer. And we
wanted to give you guys an opportunity to talk a
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 1 little bit about some of the great things you’ve been
doing with HANA recently and we’ll go into a little bit
about the future of where you guys are headed with
your HANA roadmap.
So, if you can, just give us a real quick introduction
to yourself and your role and everybody should know
what Cisco Systems does, but give us a quick
overview of that too.
Yeah. As you said, like everybody knows Cisco is a leader
in networking and Cisco is also in the business of data
center cloud collaboration and security. And coming to my
organization and what we do for Cisco, so for everyone
who follows John Chambers on the press or on his blogs or
newsletters, he always talks about catching up with market
transition. And the way a business can do that is by having
insight into the data about their customers, about their
own business and etcetera. In Cisco IT, that’s what we
always try to partner with our business groups where we
can provide them the platform capabilities to have insight
into the data on Cisco business as well as our install base,
our customers, our forecasting, and etcetera. So, my
group EDS and services offer the platforms and the data
integration and BI services for different business groups
within Cisco and also to our partners, like our
manufacturing or logistics partners, etc. And my role in
EDS, I’m currently working on SAP HANA implementation
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 2 and operations and as well as also handle SAP business
objects as well.
So, you’ve been involved with HANA for a couple of
years now. Why don’t you give us a little idea of
what the world was like for Cisco IT before HANA
came on, some of the challenges you guys faced.
Before we started the HANA journey in early 2012, the
problem we had at hand was the sales forecasting process.
For example, they used to depend on multiple disparate
systems. Like we have a dashboarding system called
System A, which provides a real-time feed on the bookings
and also historical trends. And then we have System B,
which provides data on forecasting and pipeline. And then,
finally, System C where have multiple data attributes or
dimensions which will be used to slice and dice this data
and provide those insights to the leadership.
Now, it’s probably important to note here that all of
these systems you’re talking about none of them
have anything to do with SAP, right?
Not so far, until we moved to HANA.
This is that horribly, terribly familiar scenario where
people need data; they go to a bunch of different
systems, copy and paste it into Excel, and build it in
a hidden Access database underneath their desk and
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 3 then somehow generate a forecast or plan based on
that very shaky data that they pulled in from a lot of
different places, right?
Exactly. So, the entire forecasting process for business
they had not only forecasts on the business but they also
have to focus on the quality of the data which they’re
dependent on, the computer process. That will make the
process painful and lengthy enough. And this is the
business case which we tried to resolve by bringing SAP
HANA on board. On top of this SAP HANA, we also brought
in Xcelsius dashboards and 2x folder. We ended up
creating an application called DICE, which is now being
used as a single source of truth for forecasting process
across the globe for Cisco sales operations.
That’s a really important point. So, by using HANA as
that central collection point, that central source of
truth, you haven’t replaced any of the source
systems. But you’ve eliminated the need for the
users to directly go and export things out of those
systems. So, you got rid of that pain in the neck. But
you also continued to give them that same flexibility
and self-service aspects on a local basis that they
can still have control over that data in a very flexible
way, right?
Yeah, this is always a pain for any BI application we
develop for our business. It is not only with Cisco but
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 4 across the industry. Any BA application that we develop,
we start with answering, for example, 10 set of questions.
Once we download the dashboard or any kind of report
etc. you will be able to successfully answer the ten set of
questions, but once the business are able to get those 10
answers, they will have 11 questions. Because they want
to improve from there; they want to get more insight on
the data once they know answers to 10 questions. And
now, for this eleventh question, they start to bring in the
data into the Excel, so local databases and they start
building story on top of that. And now what you’re able to
bring in, the analysis, exploration, and the dashboarding
all together in one single place and so that the business
really do not have to go back to their Excels.
So, that sounds like it’s been a massive time saver
and much lower TCO as far as managing that data.
Exactly. Estimated that we are saving around 7,000 hours
by using the DICE RTB dashboard—RTB stands for “from
the business” dashboard for our sales operations guys.
7,000 hours of activity saved by having the single
source of truth in HANA. I’d imagine these are not
cheap hours with cheap employees either; these are
pretty senior people who have very high dollar
amounts associated with the hours that they work,
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 5 DILEEP:
These 7,000 hours is time from our AVPs, ODs, RMs.
That’s amazing. Can you give us a little idea of kind
of what this data looks like? What’s the size and
scope of the data you have in this new centralized
HANA system?
Today, we have around like 700 million rows of pipeline
data; 400 million rows of movings data and 76 million of
forecast data and going. This data as of maybe in
December. But now, the good things is now for a user of
this DICE application, just imagine he can slice and dice
700 million rows of the pipeline data with a response time
of so what we’re benchmarking is two seconds. Then he
can join this with multiple dimensions and he can do whatif analysis like building the forecast for the upcoming
weeks. He can just plug in some numbers and see how
that is going to change the forecasting for the upcoming
quarters. And then, finally, he can see whether they will be
able to meet the targets by adjusting these goals, etc. etc.
So, all these things can be done on the fly at the same
time using the historical data that is available by looking at
the past trends.
Sounds like that could never have been done in the
old world.
The processes used to run for us and then you can just
imagine the pain for him to get these answers before he
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 6 really can make a decision. So, now, weeks turn into
hours, or the hours turn into seconds.
So, what’s been the reaction from your user base?
Building a BI application is not a challenge but adoption to
a BI application is a challenge for IT world because the
users they’re used to the flexibility what they have using
their own super Excels. They never want to give it up and
come on board and embrace a new BI tool.
Giving up that local control over their own desktop
and their own data to a centralized environment is
also a big challenge.
We saw the response in the other way. When we rolled out
HANA, now the business is knocking on our door to get on
more use cases on top of HANA. It’s putting the pressure
more on us to scale up our data source and our systems to
bring in more use cases on top of HANA.
So, you gave them one single source of the truth and
solved their immediate problem, but as soon as they
got a taste of what the world with HANA looked like,
they started putting a whole lot of new requests on
you for more expanded capabilities and things they
could do with the data, right?
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 7 DILEEP:
Right. So, just to quote there…we started with a two
terabyte and then within like another year, we expanded
to three terabyte. And now from three terabyte by the end
of this April, we are going to 16 terabyte system.
Wow. That’s a huge leap. And is that tracking with
the adoption of the users?
Yeah. In terms of users, like for example we started in a
couple of hundred and then now we have around like
3,000+ active users. I’m not talking users who just have
access to the systems but users who are actively logging in
and using the dashboards and explorer capabilities. And
then by next one year we are expecting we will be going
from 3,000 active users to 10,000 active users. And that’s
where we are scaling up our infrastructure and our
development capabilities to support this huge surge in the
I’d be willing to bet just about everything that this is
all running on Cisco UCS servers, correct?
Yes. So, that’s the good thing. Cisco is a partner for SAP,
the hardware partner. And we are building this on Cisco
UCS and locally managing our data centers.
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 8 JEFF:
So, yeah. Give us a quick idea of the landscape you
guys are using to support this massively growing
reporting engine for your company.
So, we started off with UCS B440 systems, …and now we
are more into UCS B440 systems with Ivy Bridge. The Ivy
Bridge technology is also going to improve further
performance of the systems. The good thing I will say is
the scale up capability we are just expanding from two
terabyte to eight terabyte and then once single instance
you can imagine that there will be one single instance of
10 terabyte. So, sizing is never a challenge. To go back to
my olden days when we were on pre-UCS database, way
back to 2006 and 2007, it was always a challenge for IT to
expand our infrastructure, but once we move to this world
of UCS, expanding infrastructure the time cycle has
changed from quarters to weeks now.
Well, that’s amazing. Can you give us an idea from
the users’ perspective? Have they given you any
surprising feedback on what they think about this
system now that they have it in their hands?
The feedback what we are getting from our execs is
tremendous and fabulous feedback. They are calling for
SVPs, or SVPs are calling out their business teams to start
adopting this new application on HANA as soon as possible
because they see a value that their organizations would
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 9 get, the folks in operations and all the levels will start
using these new capabilities.
So, in addition to saving thousands and thousands of
hours of very senior level employees’ level time,
since they don’t have to look for the data, this is also
because they have much better data and more
quality data. This is actually helping significantly
improve the forecasting and performance of the
That is a surprise which we learned with learned with
HANA is that in the olden days, always the challenge was
with the performance of the Sequel or the performance of
the query or the dashboard. Once we moved to HANA, it’s
normal performance of the database. Now, our BI tools are
becoming a bottleneck or the distance between the data
center and the end user is becoming a bottleneck. For
example, like the average response for a user in U.S. is 18
seconds, but whereas we’re looking for the same query,
the average response for the user in Sydney or in Tokyo is
around 45 second I believe. So, there’s a 30 second delay
because of latency and now that is becoming a challenge
for us to how do we handle it? So, that’s a different
dimension to what we did not anticipate when we went live
with this application. But good that now Cisco has a
solution for that and, for example, one of our capabilities
around using RightNow, so we’re using those technologies
to answer these new problems.
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 10 JEFF:
With HANA so, so fast, it really starts to shine a light
on the other areas of your network infrastructure
that might be slowing down response times. So, this
sounds phenomenal. It sounds like you guys have
had a huge, huge win with HANA for the sales
reporting. Can you give us an idea of where you guys
are headed and what you’re going to be doing in the
future with HANA?
So, we have now we’re onboarding use cases for
manufacturing sites. We’re also adding more, like the
install base for sales folks to orient for more opportunities
on services and install base side. For example, we’re going
to go back to the manufacturing example. We just rolled
out an application, what we call internally as UOV visibility
tool just one month back and that is going to expand
massively in upcoming quarters. So, that universal
visibility tool is going to provide visibility from a
manufacturing standpoint on the order processing. It gives
real time insight to our partners, the logistic and
manufacturing partners so that they can fasten up the
manufacturing and delivery process. We also bring up a
new use case called PCAM—Pricing Analytical Capabilities.
It’s going to help our pricing teams to get more insights
into the cost and predictions, so that they can do better
negotiations with our suppliers and optimize the cost. So,
even our marketing folks, they’re coming on board.
They’re doing a POC on how they can get more analytics
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 11 from the marketing data. It’s also opening up a new world
of data exploration and data things kind of use cases
because now you have a system which can answer your
queries in seconds because the way how human mind
works is if you get answers to your thoughts, you really
make progress on your thought. And that’s how [?]
analysts across different business groups are trying to get
a hold on HANA so that they can bring more value out of
the data what is lying around there.
So, what advice would you have to other companies
that are just starting on their HANA journey of how
to do similar things to what you’ve done and get that
really first use case of massive success that then can
be built on and expanded across the other aspects of
the business?
I would say some pain points of the journey so far, I would
like to share with the new customers who are coming on
board with HANA. So, we had some way back in 2012 like
the release mode from HANA it wasn’t a ramp release
mode, being agile development, pro development right?
So, we used to get almost a revision for every three weeks
if not two weeks. Initially we took a toll with that because
we had more stability issues around the product. So, we
had to go for frequent upgrade for the patches and that
resulted in unplanned downtimes, which was kind of a toll
on getting the confidence from the businesses on the
system. But now, with the recent change in the release
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 12 process from SAP for HANA, I guess they’re still going with
their quick releases and also the same time, we’re also
getting those maintenance release patches, so data center
patches for the customers or for the use cases where have
more of operational dashboards and enterprise level
applications. So, in the first one year, we took the hit and
we had questions from business on the stability of the
platform, but when we moved onto 2013, the strategy,
they brought in more predictability in terms of their
release revision standard. And that’s why we started
upgrading only to data center release patches, so that
answered most of the stability questions and we are being
pretty much consistent in reliability system reliability, so
which is good news.
That’s a common issue that we had early in the
HANA roadmap was the rapid releases and it took a
while for SAP and customers to get used to that
rapid upgrade patch cycle. But, like you said, you
guys were really early adopters of HANA and it’s
gotten massively better and going forward,
especially this year and next, you’re going to see I
think from a lot of companies a new rhythm of
dealing with HANA as it becomes more mission
critical and much more spread throughout the
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 13 DILEEP:
And the other thing we also had some challenges was
when we started this journey, we started with a pilot box,
which was a single node instance. The production was a
multi-node instance. So, we used to do all of our
development and testing on the single node instance and
deployed the code on production, which is a multi-node
instance. So, fundamentally, there is a difference in the
output between non-prod and prod and this has a limited
our capability to identify issues on stage or non port
instances before we hit those bugs on production. And that
was one big lesson what we learned and we should call out
for any newcomers who are planning to move to HANA is
at least you should have a non-prod instance of similar
architecture, so that you’re adoption will be much stable
and you will be able to identify and resolve those issues up
front in your non-prod before you really take a toll on your
production system.
That’s really great advice. As the product itself, as
the infrastructure around HANA matures, as the
hardware evolves, like the Cisco UCS is evolving
along with HANA to provide more capabilities. The
maturity of companies and the way that they plan
these out and get their production development,
there’s a lot of best practices that companies can
adopt. And I know, Cisco, you guys have quite a few
capabilities to help companies scope that out and
figure out what the best balance between production
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 14 development vs. testing and quality assurance
systems should be.
One good thing about development and Cisco being a
hardware partner for SAP, Cisco also rolled out a service
we call CMS Cloud Managed Services and we are using the
same service internally to manage and support this HANA
instance and what this service brings is the right
knowledge of infrastructure UCS, data center and HANA
together into one team, so that we can manage this better
because the way how HANA insure that…and now that
HANA is moving on cloud, in fact, the code is optimized in
such a way that the HANA code is optimized together to
get the best juice out of the hardware, or the network. So,
there’s a huge necessity that we understand, unlike our
traditional…systems, we understand how HANA works in
conjunction to the hardware of infrastructure what it is
deployed on. So, that’s where I think Cisco has brought up
this service, CM service which we are also using internally
is also a big success for us because it really helped us in all
coming the initial challenges what we had and helped us in
creating a end to end monitoring and managing capability
from an operations on the platform operations and
infrastructure standpoint.
Well, it sounds like you guys have done a
phenomenal job and you’ve got a whole lot of new
HANA projects in the pipeline that you’re going to
need to deliver. So, we’ll let you get back to work
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 15 supporting the Cisco business. But I want to say
thank you so much, Dileep, for joining us today.
Absolutely, it’s my pleasure.
And we want to wish Cisco immense success with
their HANA initiatives and we’re really pleased to
have Cisco as a certified hardware partner and cloud
partner to help deliver the same types of capabilities
to SAP customers globally. So, with that, I want to
say thank you, again, for joining us at The HANA
Effect. For more information, you can check out and you can always find out more
information about how to subscribe to us on iTunes
and SoundCloud. And with that, we’d like to say
thanks again for listening and “Tschus.”
HANA Effect Episode 12 – HANA Drives Top and Bottom-­‐line Value at Cisco 16