SAP HANA: what to expect
The promise is very exciting. Imagine all the ECC data at your fingertips, for you to understand exactly what is happening. A scenario of orders matched up to inventory and invoices in one place to do PPMs without any constraints, and to analyze it in any which way - that is information Eutopia! Coupled with the column based memory intensive computing power of HANA to give you the results you need at the speed you want, is just what the doctor ordered!
This is achievable with HANA. However, one has to understand the investment costs. Bringing BW to HANA is not enough. The BW information shows up in HANA Studio, but it in on a consumable format. The structures are not relational, and you have to understand what information is contained in which structure. Then you have to build a model on top of it.
To get ECC information into HANA you have to use BODS or SLT. You do have to invest in installing HANA Studio, and build your model in the Studio. There is investment in a BI layer on top of HANA Studio model.
If you are not sure you want to go all the way, there is HANA One in the Cloud. This is a very economical and viable way of dipping your toe in to see if HANA is the solution for you. It also is useful to consultants, who want to practice modeling in HANA and hone their skills, build models with content to be reusable, or wants to practice to get the HANA Certification.