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An Innovative E-Commerce Experience with SAP HANA

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most challenging in the world. Just ask any pharma or biotech executive the costs and time involved in critical research & development tasks. But when a large pharmaceutical firm started to experience a slower pricing engine and delayed inventory status, the company's leaders knew that these were issues they could address proactively with Information Technology.

The pharma firm worked with Infosys to implement SAP HANA. Ramesh J. Chougule, AVP - Partner - Business Consulting, Infosys, told the packed crowd at the SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 break-out session that implementing SAP HANA was a way to turn around what was a growing customer dissatisfaction. But there was something different about this session than any of the others at the conference. Mr. Chougule of Infosys said that he would be discussing a proof-of-concept case; in other words, Infosys had not yet completed the implementation.

Discussing a proof-of-concept case study is fairly rare at conferences in which the client tends not to want to discuss details of the issues the company faced until the implementation is signed, sealed, and delivered. But the pharma firm was so pleased with what Infosys proposed that they decided to talk about it in this fascinating break-out session. That's because the proposed implementation showed that SAP HANA would help stem the loss of revenue from inefficiencies and improve annual performance to 5,000 percent from 50 percent.

Where to start is the question of a large multi-national corporation when it realizes it needs a new e-commerce platform. In this particular case, Infosys performed the case study for the American operations of the firm and, more specifically, its vaccine business. The business has three types of commerce: a direct-to-consumer channel, which happens to be hospitals; wholesale; and e-commerce. "A pain point was that there was no dynamic pricing. What if you want to buy 10 different vaccines? You have to do it separately. That's a loss of the e-commerce experience," said Mr. Chougule.
Think about Amazon. When a customer goes online to buy more than one item, there are enticing discounts and the company is focused on the value of the whole online experience. The firm wanted to move to SAP HANA and see if that would help its e-commerce issues. It needed to establish an SAP HANA infrastructure - but what kind?

In its proof-of-concept approach, Infosys looked at how pricing and promotions were being applied and how goods were shipped to customers. The firm wanted a solution that could be addressed within six months. What they saw in the plan was an improvement in basic e-commerce processes of up to 200 times. That meant more transactions at faster speeds, simplified business processes, real-time sales order confirmations, and mobile-enabled business transactions.

So what's the secret in creating a business case? Mr. Chougule said that there is business value in each HANA adoption. So Infosys uses its Value Compass tool to demonstrate how better visibility means better control. Tangible discussions are also necessary to determine what approaches to use regarding HANA. The firm was particularly pleased when a 12-second app turned into 0.3 seconds running on HANA.

The client speaker said that although the company has yet to go live, Infosys helped show the robust effectiveness of SAP HANA and Fiori. When the pharma firm showed that it had different softwares, they found that any system can be connected to HANA, whether it's reporting tables or anything else in real-time. The architecture plan was a side-car approach.

Now, according to the Infosys plan, the pharma firm's customer can create a sales order, get custom messages, and receive pricing determinations. High impact areas included material quantity conversion, matrix promotion logic, and the aforementioned pricing determination. Needless to say, the firm is excited to move forward with the plan that Infosys developed and, in turn, showed how their e-commerce platform will be transformed.


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