SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Review

​The initial technical setup was complex, but the predefined content helps you very well in showing results after weeks.


What is most valuable?

There are several features which are very valuable:

  1. The predefined content which makes it easy to start BW as a data warehouse
  2. The standard connector to SAP ERP which makes it easy to extract the data from the SAP system
  3. Integrated business intelligence front end tools

How has it helped my organization?

With SAP BW, the organization can start to deploy a data warehouse and deliver data to business people. Data is not stored any longer in the ERP, but in a single point of truth (SPOT). With data, business people can make smarter decisions and improve the competitive advantage (improve performance, reducing costs).

What needs improvement?

The complexity of this data warehouse application is huge and makes it tough to manage and deploy it. In general, it requires a lot of know-how and time which makes it expensive to deliver fast answers. It is only possible with huge efforts to deliver really agile processes.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes sure, but not technical ones. As I wrote before, a lot of effort is necessary which makes a SAP BW project always expensive.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes sure, but not technical ones. As I wrote before, a lot of effort is necessary which makes a SAP BW project always expensive.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, we did. I would say that scalability and performance are linked together. Sometimes SAP BW and the queries are not really fast. We encountered performance issues based on larger data sets via a multi-provider. SAP recommends the usage of the BWA or SAP HANA which means an investment in additional technology.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Difficult. There is a story that SAP received a list with 150 bugs in SAP BW in combination with SAP Business Objects. After a half a year SAP wrote that they could solve 50 of them. The did not write how they would fix it and what was happening with the 100 other bugs at least. But please note that some of these bugs were huge, but a lot were not.

Technical Support:

The technical support is described together with customer service above. SAP has a lot of processes for customer service but customers need help and bugs fixing and not a nice hotline with brand new music or genteel call agents.

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

No previous solution was in place.

How was the initial setup?

The initial technical setup was complex. There were a lot of requirements for installing and setup the system. SAP wanted to install it on their own and it failed several times. At the end they solved it and we could start.

What about the implementation team?

First we used SAP, then moved to a SAP partner.

What was our ROI?

We did not calculate the ROI of this product because it does not make any sense. How can you evaluate the value of data for business departments? I do not believe in a ROI measure. I believe in decisions based on data. Without this, your ROI is even worse.

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

A lot, definitely a lot. There are a lot of tricks and fine approaches of how you can achieve a good pricing and licensing. I will not publish them in this review, but people who are interested can contact me directly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we evaluated a lot of different options. First we defined the information architecture and confirmed that we need a data warehouse as a SPOT. We chose SAP BW but evaluated Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAS and open source technology.

What other advice do I have?

Do not expect that it is cheap to implement a data warehouse based on SAP BW. You can start really fast if you left the first problems behind. The predefined content helps you very well in showing results after weeks. But at the end, when you are experienced with SAP BW and your business departments need more data and it is not in their data model(s), then you start with multi provider and the mess begins.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment
author avatarJoe Fernandes
TOP 5Real User

Helpful because the user shared his experience with the product.

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