Great business is almost always powered by great technology. But how can you make sure you’re getting the best tech (and getting the greatest benefits from it) when there are so many options available?

NATS, a UK-based air-traffic control service provider faced this challenge as it looked to refresh its existing SAP Business Planning and Reporting systems. With support from Capgemini, NATS was able to continue its pedigree of making incremental, considered enhancements that offer huge efficiency benefits.

Evolving an SAP legacy

NATS is a business that is based on effective decision-making. Whether it’s making sure planes are in the right place, or managing critical internal business processes such as finance and resource allocation, timely and accurate insights are essential.

But NATS’ existing SAP BPS/BW solution was no longer offering the speeds required to generate reports on time. As a result, employees were building their own tools to get the reports they needed—often creating disparate, siloed and offline reports that limited efficiency and integration across the business.

Collaborating with Capgemini

NATS turned to Capgemini, its long-standing partner for SAP, to discuss its options. After several workshops and exercises incorporating a Design Thinking approach, Capgemini was able to get to the bottom of what NATS’ users and the business really needed. From there, a solution was suggested that would deliver the required benefits: migrating to a new SAP BPC solution based on an SAP BW on HANA platform.


By migrating planning and reporting processes to a fast, in-memory HANA database platform, NATS has been able to get the speed it needs to report on key issues in near real time and improve efficiency across the enterprise.

Meanwhile, the business planning and consolidation parts of the solution offer a sophisticated planning and reporting tool that delivers an accurate, transparent and consolidated view of the truth. Offering managers increased confidence in the data and insights they see, the solution has helped transform reporting efficiency and has already led to several cost-saving opportunities.

One step on the path to SAP optimization

For NATS, this is just another small step on its journey to fully exploiting what SAP solutions can offer. It sets the gold standard for this kind of iterative approach, and has seen huge success by adopting it across several areas of the business.

NATS has always had a few things that set its approach apart:

  • It always seeks to get the maximum benefit from its solutions. If tech is ‘doing its job’, then it isn’t doing enough.
  • It takes an incremental approach to enhancements, taking steps forward based on tangible business benefits. No technology is used just for technology’s sake.

This approach has helped NATS consistently exploit the full benefits of its SAP investments, while delivering essential business benefits as different processes and lines of business need them.

By moving its BPC/BW solution to the HANA platform, NATS has already seen several benefits. We expect the team at NATS will continue to enhance more of its SAP investments to make the most of what HANA can offer—and continue offering a strong example of how a business-focused, incremental enhancement approach can transform performance, efficiency and agility.

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Start your transformation

While NATS is a strong example of this incremental enhancement path, it’s an approach that any organization can use to achieve its own business objectives.

Interested in planning your own SAP journey? Get in touch with us today, and we can help you run exercises to analyze your core business needs, and establish a roadmap to achieve them.

(About the author: Gary James is an SAP architect and consultant with Capgemini. This post originally appeared on his Capgemini blog, which can be viewed here)

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