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SAP BW4HANA OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP BW4HANA is the #8 ranked solution in our list of top Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics: SAP BW4HANA vs Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics

What is SAP BW4HANA?

Streamline processes and support innovations with a single, trusted source for real-time insights. Based on SAP HANA, our next-generation data warehouse solution can help you capitalize on the full value of all your data from SAP applications or third-party solutions, as well as unstructured, geospatial, or Hadoop-based.

SAP BW4HANA is also known as SAP BW/4HANA.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Data Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

SAP BW4HANA Video

Archived SAP BW4HANA Reviews (more than two years old)

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FS
Director with self employed
Real User
Has good processes and offers many features that you can't get on-prem

Pros and Cons

  • "The processes are the most valuable aspect of this solution."

    What is most valuable?

    The processes are the most valuable aspect of this solution. You can try to change the way you do business with the customer while we tell the customer that we have Suite 4HANA that they need to adopt because we have at this moment and for that, we have a methodology that is SAP Activate. We use this methodology to discover what your business requirements are. You can get a glimpse of what it is in the ERP, because it's an ERP, and then you can discover which way you to do the business process with the new tools, instead of using the old ones.

    You need to adopt the business processes that are supported by this new tool, Suite 4HANA because otherwise, you will have the same issues that you had before in ERP in the compromised world when you had a lot of customization because you need to adopt the tool to your business process. We try to push for the cloud version because then you can leverage many other things that are not available in the on-premise version.

    What needs improvement?

    In the on-premise world, you have releases every six months or every year depending on what is required but in the cloud, you have new releases depending on what part of the ERP needs to be enhanced. This happens frequently. Depending on the module, you have sometimes weekly updates. Usually monthly but depending on what is being developed because the people that didn't use the cloud version are very keen on adopting new ways to do business processes. In that regard, everything that is in the cloud should be dynamic. They should keep up the pace because you will get the best version of this tool that gathers all the knowledge that is coming from many sources or many customers. It is continuously improving. 

    I would like to see easier connectivity with other tools. No matter what, everything is in the cloud. All this stuff is in the tool but the communication between the tool is not so clear. Everything can be done, but you need to do several steps in order to get these things done. My recommendation is to improve connectivity. It should have a common kind of data model that the data is mapping to connecting applications.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is good. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability depends on the number of users you can have and depends on the load that is distributed horizontally and then you can support as many customers in an automatic way. The scalability is done by the rules that you deploy within. You may need to deploy more servers if you reach a certain number of users at the same time. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is good. If I need something I just need to write down a note and that'll be the case. There are tools that are monitoring the environment so I don't need to take care of that but if I see something that really is not good then I write down a note and then they answer me because there is an SLA. Depending on the contract you have, they offer an SLA. They answer in two to six hours or up to one day.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup depends on what you need to do because if you requested a managed service, you don't need to do anything. SAP takes care of that and you only pay a subscription and they do whatever you need. You need to set up some modules but they will do it for you, you don't need to take care of that. You don't need to do much. You don't need to take care of that anymore, you just need to focus on your business.

    What other advice do I have?

    Thinking of the business people, independent of the tool, it could be state-of-the-art, it depends on the business people. Business people think that in order to run a business as usual, then they don't care about what you need to do in order to get them right. You could have a very fancy application but if the data is wrong, it doesn't have the right data quality, the right quality shape then no matter what, it won't work. Take the business people onboard and second, run data quality workshops just to be sure that everything that is put into the tool is clean.

    I would rate it an eight and a half out of ten because nothing is perfect, everything can be improved.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PN
    Manager for BI at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Good technical support but the reporting performance is very poor

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature is that it's robust."
    • "I cannot integrate it with my other tools. It's not possible to do something in the predictive analysis. Mobile reporting is also not available."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are currently using the on-premise deployment model. We have just started implementation for normal usage.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that it's robust. 

    What needs improvement?

    The performance for the reporting is very poor, there is no graphical report. The price to performance ratio is less. It's also very complex, for example, if I want to make a simple change I have to spend a huge amount of effort.

    I cannot integrate it with my other tools. It's not possible to do something in the predictive analysis. Mobile reporting and automated reports are also not available. 

    I am interested in seeing more graphical reports. SAP Cloud Analytics is an immature product on the market. They have started something to showcase to the customer that SAP also can do the graphical reporting, but still they need a lot of time. They should have similar features to Tableau and Qlik.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for twenty years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is scalable. We don't have many users, but with my previous experience, there is no limit. I can increase my hardware and I can use it for as many users as I want. We do have plans to increase the usage.

    We require ten staff members for the deployment and maintenance. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their technical support is good. 

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

    I previously used many solutions. I used Tableau, SAS, Oracle, Power BI, and SQL.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is complex in terms of implementing the basic objects.

    In terms of how much time it took us to implement, for the standard features which are provided by SAP then it doesn't take that much time. It can be done quickly, but if you customize it takes longer. It depends upon the complexity of the business scenario. It's time-consuming if I compare the data to other products available on the market. If I compare it with Tableau then it is tremendously time-consuming. 

    Tableau belongs to a totally different league but SAP BW is still not that good. It needs a lot of improvement.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a good solution if you're integrating data from SAP software like ERP and looking out for the day-to-day reporting from the operational users at the lower level. If someone is looking for the quick, graphical reports and mobile availability then this is not the right solution for that. 

    From an analytical perspective, I would rate it a two out of ten but from the business warehouse perspective, I would rate it a five.

    From an analytical perspective, I would rate it two because it's not competent in the current scenario of the market. The reports take a huge amount of time because it just uses its basic features called Microsoft Analysis Office which is like Excel reporting and no one wants to see data in Excel reports.

    Businesses want to see the data in terms of the graphs, which can be easily readable compared to the numbers. If I'm giving the data in numbers or charts, the charts should be easily understood. Whereas BW provides data in Excel, so someone has to sit and create their own reports on top of it, which takes a lot of time.

    The second thing is the execution time for the reports generation. Even due to the limitation of the analysis of the office I cannot process more than around 10 million records. It takes a lot of time to forget about 100K records. It takes a lot of time to load the data, whereas if I compare this with Tableau, it loads in milliseconds or seconds.

    If I'm going to meet some of my customers and then if I decide that I want to check something about what the customer is talking about, for example, I cannot do that. I need to login, I need to connect to my SAP systems, then I need to execute the report and then see what the data is. Mobile availability is not there. While having a discussion with the customers I can include the report on my tab with Tableau. This is lacking in BW.

    I had to tell a customer that I had to check the information and get back to him. I had to spend half an hour trying to call someone either from IT or someone in my back office to get the data and provide it to the customer. That was rubbish.

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