Should SAP Build MDM with SAP HANA ?
MDM (Meter Data Management ) and SAP HANA are the frequently heard buzzwords when working in Utility industry. Recently I thought of a question on why should Utility company opt/buy both MDM and SAP HANA ? Though the two products results in different outputs, huge data storage and processing is common in both the products. Why should Utility pay for 2 different products for storage of huge data which is commonly used as input to get different results ? Can SAP build functionalities of MDM in HANA in future which will reduce the cost and maintenance of one product.
SAP has positioned HANA as its solution to big data challenges. Main features of SAP HANA are
- With In-memory computing powers the processing of historical & real-time data will be more than 100 times faster for analysis and helps in taking decisions on the spot for time critical transactions/issues.
- Large volumes of non-aggregated data loaded / replicated to analyze & process planning and forecasting. Large number of users can query the data in parallel.
- Analytics for Usage, Billing & Forecasting is one of the main feature used to analyze the trend and forecasting and so used for better decision making
- SAP HANA's Business & user friendly data model will allow flexibility for users to understand the Usage, Billing, forecasting and what-if.
MDM is Meter Data management system which performs long term data storage and management for the vast quantities of usage data and events imported from head end systems that manage data collection in smart metering landscape. An MDM system will typically import the data, then validate, cleanse and process it before making it available for billing and analysis. Itron IEE and eMeter are few of the examples of the MDM products in market.
Main features of MDM systems are
- Import/Load/Collect the consumption data from different types of source systems
- Collected data will be Validated, Estimated and edited for any gaps/corrections with automated and manual routines and schedules.
- Export the data to different types of destination systems so that consumption data is available for billing calculations.
- Aggregates data and performs other calculations which can be used for reporting , analysis and forecasting purpose.
- Presents data in table or graphical view which is interactive.
- MDM may also provide reporting capabilities for load and demand forecasting, management reports, and customer service metrics.
If we compare the main features of MDM and HANA, VEE processing is the One major feature which MDM has and HANA does not have and another major difference is in architecture where HANA is provided with in-memory computing which is not available in MDM. So in future, if SAP can build MDM with HANA then SAP's new product would have advantages of HANA's in memory computing which makes it fast and MDM's VEE processing. This new Product can be used for processing, reporting and analysis purpose by not only end users from Utilities but also customers who can access their data on real time basis. Also SAP can demand for more business as this will reduce the complexity of landscape and so overall cost to the Utilities.
I would like to conclude by saying that it would be good idea for SAP to come out with MDM on SAP HANA Product which could become a potential competitor for MDM products like itron, eMeter etc.