Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with SAP Data Services.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
The interface is not quite user-friendly and is in need of improvement. In the next release of this solution, I would like to have a planning tool.
The solution should offer more machine learning and automation. The solution should add more cognitive analytics, particularly on the RPA. It should allow for data to be picked up in Outlook and processed in SAP, then communicated via any third-party software. This will help with decision making and retrieve the data per the requirements of the user. The existing ERP doesn't have any capabilities. The features of RPA need to be built into ERP. It's lagging in not just this solution, but almost all software.
The solution should allow for better integration with other analysis tools. It needs to integrate better specifically with big data and other management solutions. The pricing of the solution should be improved.
Integration with other products could be improved. Often we need to apply analytics for the data coming directly from production. The product could be improved by providing employees with a more simplified ability to build reports. SAP is a very powerful system and definitely first class for big companies. Its wide scope of functionality and models adjusted to different business activities give SAP a leading position within extended ERP systems. From the other side, such a wide range of modules and functionality generates difficulties in implementation and real full utilization of all system possibilities. An example of this is with my last customer that I discussed with two weeks ago – one of the biggest logistics and retail companies in Poland. They implemented SAP seven years ago. They bought a wide scope of modules with some logistic extensions and up to now, they pay very expensive maintenance for licenses. In reality, they didn’t implement SAP in the scope of owned licenses because they finally find the system too inflexible to adopt applications to their business processes. As a result, they utilize core ERP, HR, BW and a small portion of APO while the rest of the modules that are not implemented are exchanged with Z programs. A very strong point is BW but for quick reporting and report personalization (BI) they bought other technology due to more flexible and chipper reporting. They integrated SAP with TMS, WMS, and core operating systems for their special business and have a big problem with maintaining a lot of interfaces (they didn’t implement SAP PI). Now the customer is thinking about migration to Dynamics and evaluating this scenario in different aspects. An upgrade of the old SAP version means total reimplementation of the SAP to S4. Now SAP offers a very wide range of retail and logistic functionality especially in S4 but to buy all retail and logistic modules, customers evaluate as very expensive and are afraid about the ability to implement. This is not the only example. A very similar situation was with another customer with an older SAP version. Especially for production companies, SAP is evaluated as a system that is very difficult to implement within the production environment. Implementation with MES generates lot of analytical effort (technical part is not a problem but way of data enquiry by SAP). From my experience in SAP implementation, I am often irritated by very selective knowledge of SAP implementation consultants and it’s not only from my company but generally taking into consideration SAP services market. Usually, a consultant knows one module, sometimes 2 or 3 but to cover business area eg. retail and logistic you need a few of them and this is the reason that very often customers implement system functions (within every module) not implement process flow (cross modules view). In the case of analytics, SAP offers great tools (especially HANA gives very powerful tools) but many customers decide to use SAP BW but chose BI from other technologies taking into consideration ratio functionality, flexibility, and price. This is my personal opinion, mainly based on my experience with SAP customers and real SAP implementation. SAP is a best in class system but requires a very good implementation team (which is expensive) and a reasonable time frame (time is expensive too), to maximize its potential but in other cases, implementation can be unsuccessful regardless of technological system abilities.
An area that seems to need to be improved in this product is that it isn't completely ready to compete as it should in the market. Because of some more recent acquisitions to enhance functionality, the product parts are not one-hundred percent integrated. Because some of the integration is still missing, it seems incomplete. People with the product should be able to use most features, generally. The main differentiation in the past product from where it is now is that the product feels like it was integrated. After the acquisitions, things became more complicated. In SAP, the added products and features lack better integration and that impacts things like the metadata. So that is why I believe it can be improved. It's a GUI issue, mostly. I'm sure this next suggestion is already done to some extent in SAP because SAP is already HANA but it seems SAP — as one of the software giants — is not making the most of their advantage to position data services as a stand-alone product. This is a problem in the market for greater acceptance, but maybe it's the strategy that SAP has chosen. But I believe that it could do better that way and increase the speed of performance. For example, some of the functionality might sit in memory. It would be using the HANA advantage, for example, but without the service to HANA. So maybe we limit certain functionality to HANA. I believe that some of the jobs with higher priority can be done in the memory of the data services which could be differentiating the product from the rest of the market more clearly.
The solution lacks user-friendly features. Compared to other integration tools I've used before, it's less user-friendly and the built-in features just aren't sufficient. The description of error messages isn't extensive, although they do point out the problems. With other solutions, like Talend, I was able to use the debugger to get directly to the problem, but with SAP Data Services the debugger is not working. I'm not sure if it's a problem with the version specifically, but I'm using it in an enterprise environment and I can't do an upgrade. The query feature does not allow a lot of flexibility in building the code. They need to make progress with this feature as well. In future releases, I'd like to see the integration of a big data solution within SAP Data Services. I don't know if they offer that right now. The version I have is quite basic. If I was able to use more data sources with other software, and have the solution be more compliant with more data source types and big data sources, that would be helpful.
This product could improve the uploading of documents and the amount of time it takes to upload. The required typing could be minimized by adding Voice recognition.
There is a new tool that is going to replace this one, which will be more for platform integration data services. This is a close-knit tool that SAP is suggesting for different solutions. There's a lot lacking in it. You cannot do a lot of transformations. We are facing a lot of issues from that. As a whole, Data Services, is good, but not the platform integration of the Data Services aspect. The preview for on-prem data services needs more information. The scheduling is also weak. Scheduling of jobs in the sequence is not available. It's a very tedious process to do that particular task. If there was a tool to schedule in the sequence that would be extremely helpful.
Big data, real-time connectivity without the need to use SAP Replication Server
* Development with web tool (today is with client tool). * Connection to Active Directory to extract user and group. * A PaaS cloud service (today is on-premise). * Better connection to SAP BW.