SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Review

Robust, powerful and efficient, providing good data management in our system

What is our primary use case?

We have around 30-35 distant BI applications related to value sources in our company, about a third come from SAP; different modules such as HR, accounting, and finance. The remainder are connected to a relational database application specific to airlines, and we lock the information from these external systems, the data stage and also LBW. I'm the business intelligence manager and in my previous company we were partners with SAP, but in this company we're customers. 

What is most valuable?

This is a very robust and efficient product. It's very powerful, in particular when it comes to data management in the SAP system. Time changing dimensions is one of the most interesting features that a business would use.

What needs improvement?

The solution could be improved by simplifying the modeling and the design. We're faced with too many options and too many object types. It could also be more user friendly as a programming language. The product could include more integration with the work bench and integration with Python would be very useful.

In the next release, I'd like to see more interaction with devices - tablets and mobile phones.  It could be a lot more efficient than it is now. At the same time, there could also be improvement in terms of reporting, particularly in terms of administration and monitoring.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is really good and we also maintain the system. I would require probably a team of three as a minimum. Currently, we are a bit under-staffed but I think two or three would be enough to maintain a bare minimum of the business contents.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution and it can be done quite easily. The product is suitable for medium to large size companies. Currently we have around 200 users connecting daily on this system. It would probably be a large investment for a small company.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has improved over the years. We get a good flow of regular information although it can be difficult keeping up with it all. Our support people are in India and they are pretty good. Sometimes we do need to make escalations. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The main difference I've seen between products is the robustness and principle validation and the permission to production, which is very much under our control. It can add complexity and make things a little cumbersome like with SAP but it's also a guarantee of readability and strength. You have to weigh up complexity against more user friendly systems which are prone to mistakes. 

How was the initial setup?

To have a very rapid proof of concept would take two or three weeks, it's pretty straightforward. For the deployment, I was assisted by a system administrator who was also trained and skillful with administrative set up. It was the two of us with an external consultant. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice regarding SAP would be to build on top of the business content first and to push a maximum of availability there before looking to make adjustments for business needs. There is a lot of content and standard queries, many of which are unknown by the business before deployment. People think immediately about what they want instead of looking at what they are. It's worth exploring what's in the box because it covers a lot of business requirements. 

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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