Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with SAP BW4HANA.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
Other competitors provide better solutions that are more up to date with current technology. For example, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
They have taken out a few BW functionalities when they redesigned this. The way of multi-dimensional thinking and star schema got a little bit lost. It may be because of the cost, but certain functionalities that were previously implemented from the BW side should come back again in the whole product. It is a young product. It is version 2.0. In time, I'm pretty sure they will come back again because otherwise, it limits the potential of the product, and I have to do a lot of modeling towards that direction. For me, the analytics focus is too much. It is not cube-oriented in that way, so its functionality is limited. It is not really technically limited in the back end; it is more limited in the front end. It has a data-mining mindset for SQL developers. The navigational attributes should be easy. It needs to be built in models. I see the data mark cube or understanding that the composite provider needs to be models in a cube coming back. The multi-dimensional star schema approach and the reporting need to be done as well as possible to leverage the star scheme below. This is definitely not understood by many consultants and even composite providers for star schema. They always think in terms of flat tables, which is limiting. You need to build the right dimensions, objects, and so on. If you can build this in BW4HANA, then you have this understanding that BW4HANA is not forcing you in this direction, but it should force you a bit better in this direction. Maybe a few elements which were in use in BW should come back again. It would help the community to determine the direction to build on the cube. You can have maybe 50 elements, and then you can expand it to what you need by leveraging navigation. So far, this functionality is a little bit limited in the tool, and it is not thought through, but I think it will come. They should also be adding more capabilities for the transformation between different objects. In BW, this is currently limited, especially towards composite providers. It is a bit complex basically in the building. You have to have a lot of knowledge as well as know how to do it better because it is a bit different from BW. There is not too much expertise currently in the consulting markets. Many are trying to build something, but it may be based on their knowledge of what they have from the BW and HANA side. You have to find the right mix from both of them at this time. We also have HANA Native. These are our two different sync sources basically, and we have approaches to connect nicely, but it is hard to manage your team because a lot of coaching is required.
I find the migration from an existing BW platform to be quite difficult. It is quite cumbersome for our customers to migrate to BW 4HANA. The impact that it has on the ECC/ERP system is a problem because they are relying solely on the ODP tool to perform the extract. It takes too long to escalate problems from the first level of support.
Pricing would be a good improvement. A lot of customers think that it's very expensive and support is especially very expensive.
We already had a lot of cubes built-in based on SAP BW. We hope these BW cubes can support real-time anlysis without migration to SAP HANA modeling.
The dashboard should be simplified and made easier for exploration and decision making. Some customers have said that they would like to use the dashboard to send themselves data in an Excel file directly by email.
I can't think of anything the solution needs in terms of features to make it stronger. It's a great overall solution. The solution does occasionally get a few bugs, but this is typical for any product.
The HCM needs improvement, but as a company, they have stopped any development on this. In the next release, I would like to see their BI component introduced with a mobile version, as it is not currently present.
This solution is very costly compared to competitors on the market, which stops some people from implementing it. SAP has to be more customer-centric. They are aware of the standard business use cases but if changes are made then they are not aware of them, which makes the product more difficult to support. You receive a standard product, which is fine, but it needs to be made more customizable. Connecting multiple sources is a challenge because you have to go through a lot of different setups. For example, if you want to use FreeSQL then BW4/HANA lacks the support. Some of the options that exist are very complex, which makes it tough to integrate.
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.
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.
I'm working at a Software Solution company and I'm doing some research: I'm trying to compare SAP BW4HANA with Microsoft SQL Server and I would like to understand the pros and cons of each one.
Please share your knowledge and experience about these products with me!