SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Review

ETL is valuable but more standard extractors could be developed to avoid the need to develop custom ones

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for the Vehicle Service function. Service users of the BW solution are able to view and analyse vehicle service information by slicing and dicing data across Time periods, Regions, Sub regions, Branches,  Plants, Vehicle types, vehicle models, customer groups, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

Queries based on the Data warehouse have enabled the Service department of the organization analyze data deeply and get insights into daily inflow and revenue as well as analyze data over time periods, various models, model years, by customer segment, etc. Reports generated from BW have helped immensely in providing inputs for the Annual Business Plan.

What is most valuable?

Data warehousing capabilities, ETL features, automation of data loads, cell calculation, Start and End routines. Cell calculation features have enabled  us to generate MIS reports with complex logic.

What needs improvement?

More standard extractors could be developed to avoid the need to develop custom extractors. Process to upgrade to latest versions of BW could be simplified. SAP has already taken steps in that direction.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not have any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did have issues which were due to lack of in house expertise in performance optimization for increased volumes of data.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service was very good.

Technical Support:

Technical support was excellent.

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

Previously we were developing reports using RPG language on AS/400. It did not have data warehousing and analytic features.

How was the initial setup?

The setup needs skilled resources in SAP BW. A lack of trained resources can create serious problems. We had an implementation partner which did the initial setup.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through a vendor team. The vendor's had the necessary expertise.

What was our ROI?

It was not specifically measured for BW only. For users who were licensed on SAP Dealer Business Management we did not have separate license costs for publishing BW reports on SAP Enterprise Portal.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You will need to get in touch with SAP regarding offers on its latest products. License costs will depend on number of users. It also depends on the product you procure. Users on Sap Enterprise Portal who already have a user license on SAP Dealer Business Management are not required to pay additionally.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Other options were analyzed including Oracle and developing reports in house as well as outsourcing options.

What other advice do I have?

SAP has now come out with BW4HANA as well as the HANA Cloud Platform. Companies looking to implement SAP can benefit by going to HANA straight away. Companies which have implemented SAP BW can also get on to HANA if they are looking to modernize their setup and for a solution which can handle large data volumes.

SAP has also come out with SAP Leonardo for companies looking to go digital. It is a Cloud based offering on HANA which incorporates technologies like Machine Learning, Block chain, Big Data and Internet of things (IOT). SAP have also come out with Analytics on the Cloud.

Depending on the organisation strategy, vision and resources available, one will need to assess and decide on the way to go.

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