In this era of big data, data warehouse technology continues to evolve in attempt to match the relentless march of end-user expectations. These are driven by consumer technology and software that is miles ahead of the corporate world.
For the business warehousing space, this has led to a focus on innovation and advanced features around in- memory, compression, security, and tighter integration with SAP, non-SAP, on-premise and cloud technology. BW/4HANA is the manifestation of this innovation from SAP; it’s not just an upgrade from BW or BW on HANA.
Over the years, you would have invested significantly in your data warehouse platform and will be looking at how that investment can further support the needs of your business users with topics such as real-time, predictive analytics, self-service reporting and others at the forefront of your mind. BW/4HANA does this comprehensively and will continue to evolve and bring even more functionality as the product matures.
BW/4HANA brings with it fundamental changes in the architecture, modeling tools and end-user interfaces of your business warehouse. These differences demand that you make careful considerations when establishing BW/4HANA in your digital roadmap. From how you migrate, whether that be a greenfield or brownfield deployment, to planning the training requirements for your teams, the move to BW/4HANA requires changes in how, where and why you store your data and how you access it.
SAP BW/4HANA has been borne out of SAP’s desire to evolve and reimagine its data warehousing capabilities. Whether you are currently running SAP Business Warehouse (BW) or looking to move from other Enterprise Data Warehouses (EDW), following are the key considerations you should be making as you get ready for journey to BW/4HANA:
- Evaluate migrations options
- Agree on deployment strategy – on-premises or go cloud
- List the reporting requirements
- Revisit the legacy BW objects
- Plan for training of development and support teams
- Recognize & prioritize the value of data
- Take Data temperature measurement seriously & define dynamic tiering strategy
- Decide on existing add-on components – few are not supported, for now
- Deep dive on Standard Extractors, exceptions and Content alignment
This systematic approach will set you up to reap the benefits brought by BW/4HANA from day one. Remember, BW/4HANA is designed to enable the data-driven enterprise and remove the paralysis brought about by islands of truth, tribal knowledge and inflexible tool sets. SAP, with its release of BW/4HANA, has finally taken the first step on the road to fulfilling the promise that Hasso Plattner made in 2010 at the launch of SAP HANA – a single source of truth with real-time capabilities bringing all data in our world to where and when we need it most!