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SAP Business Warehouse OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP Business Warehouse is #7 ranked solution in top Cloud Data Warehouse tools. PeerSpot users give SAP Business Warehouse an average rating of 8 out of 10. SAP Business Warehouse is most commonly compared to Snowflake: SAP Business Warehouse vs Snowflake. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 31% of all views.
What is SAP Business Warehouse?

Reporting, analysis and interpretation of business data are crucial to preserve and enhance the competitive edge of companies by optimizing processes and enabling them to react quickly and in line with market needs. SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) provides tools and functions that enable companies to attain these goals. In SAP BW, you can integrate, transform, and consolidate relevant business information from productive SAP applications and external data sources. SAP BW provides you with a high-performance infrastructure that helps you evaluate and interpret data. Decision makers can make well-founded decisions and identify target-orientated activities on the basis of the analyzed data.

SAP Business Warehouse Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP Business Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

SAP Business Warehouse Customers

Medtronic, Cirque du Soleil, Antarc, B&G Manufacturing, EarlySense, eBay, Ferrero, James Austin Company, Lenovo, Sagem, RAK Ceramics, Vodafone

SAP Business Warehouse Video

Archived SAP Business Warehouse Reviews (more than two years old)

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Sai Kalyan RamChintapalli
IT Manager at GIC Re
Real User
Top 20
Integrates well with Microsoft Excel, largely stable, and easy for end-users to readily extract data
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution has functionality that makes it easy for end-users to readily extract data directly from Business Warehouse into Excel and carry on their analysis on their own."
  • "More integration with Microsoft Office products (not just Excel) would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

All the data that we enter we can put into SAP in any module. We have an HR module, a finance module, an insurance module, and an investment module. All this data is being fed into the SAP CT production system, which is how we primarily use it. Also, we have some custom reports that are developed by our development team and these reports are used by all departments.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it can integrate with Microsoft Excel is the solution's most valuable feature.

The solution has functionality that makes it easy for end-users to readily extract data directly from Business Warehouse into Excel and carry on their analysis on their own.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if we could interface with BW itself, instead of piggybacking on Excel. If it could have its own interface where you can build dashboards and reports and where high-level power users can start building things, that would be helpful. Right now, only developers can build reports on BW. They need to begin to open it up to power users. The solution needs a broad-based interface.

More integration with Microsoft Office products (not just Excel) would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company has been using Business Warehouse since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Business Warehouse is stable but my concerns surround the complexity of the solution. When some things go wrong, it becomes extremely unreliable. If everything is running smoothly and there are no problems then it's a very stable system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, the scalability isn't possible right now right now with its current architecture. That's why it's important that SAP has come up with its HANA solution and SAP Analytics on Cloud, where it's much easier to scale as necessary.

We're a company of 600 people and about 50% of the company uses the solution. The solution is used daily for reporting for the organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We contacted technical support in the past when we needed their help on a few issues.  It's a complicated system. Whenever our internal IT team was stuck on developing any reports we contacted SAP nearly every day.

Largely, we didn't have problems with technical support, but over the last two years, we were getting replies mentioning that we would be phased out of support and would need a new license. It's been a bit of a bumpy relationship in the last little while.

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

We didn't use a different third party solution previously. However, we did have some internal custom solutions that we used, not fully, but in some departments.

How was the initial setup?

The set-up of the solution was very complicated. I believe SAP has a new offering on HANA that may be easier, but we have still not adopted that due to cost concerns.

Deployment took about one and a half years.

Consultants had to come in with their content and explain everything and helped by calculating the BW content. The BW developers had to understand all the build documents. That took a lot of time because SAP's architecture is very complicated for general users to understand.

It took about 35 to 40 people to handle the implementation across the organization. There were about five people from each department because Business Warehouse is something that's set-up for all departments and all the systems that all departments use.

We have three to four people from our internal IT department that handle maintenance. We also have a support structure with an external third-party vendor who assists with our maintenance support. Roughly, in total, we have six to ten people handling ongoing maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

The company used consultants and integrators from the vendors to assist with the implementation of the solution. 

We had a team for coordinating with the implementation partner, they coordinated with the vendor and also the business departments to understand what was required.

The implementation was completely done by the implementation partner proposed by the vendor.

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

The pricing is fairly high for the solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for an enterprise-wide solution. In terms of an enterprise-wide ERP solution, SAP was the only available at that time in 2010. It was able to provide us with all the modules in one place, which was what we required.

What other advice do I have?

We don't use any Data Quality or Identity Manager. Our company doesn't deal with customers directly as it is not open to the public. Our clients are mainly insurance companies. We will normally limit the amounts of data, so we don't have those components but we do have Business Warehouse where we pull in reports of incidents.

Recently, we were upgrading versions. We were on SAP BW version 4.7, and we have moved on to BW 6.0. Right now, we access Business Warehouse through an Excel add-on called BEx Analyzer which is also a product of SAP.

At this time, I wouldn't recommend the solution as the product support will be phased out by SAP. If others are interested in an SAP solution I would go for SAP Analytics Cloud.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Head of BI and Analytics at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good warehousing functionality, good stability and excellent scalability

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for the business warehouse.

What is most valuable?

The warehouse is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The visualization should be improved, as well as the dashboards and advanced analytics. It needs to have a better interface. The solution could offer better connectivity with other databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. It's one of the advantages of the tool. Right now we have about 500 users on the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for the business warehouse.

What is most valuable?

The warehouse is the solution's most valuable feature.

What needs improvement?

The visualization should be improved, as well as the dashboards and advanced analytics. It needs to have a better interface.

The solution could offer better connectivity with other databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. It's one of the advantages of the tool. Right now we have about 500 users on the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been relatively helpful in the past.

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

We previously used Oracle BI. We switched to SAP because the solution is more comfortable to work with.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

What other advice do I have?

We use the on-premises deployment model. We're an SAP partner.

I'd recommend the solution. I'd rate it eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
Learn what your peers think about SAP Business Warehouse. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
566,121 professionals have used our research since 2012.
IT Controlling Specialist at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good data capabilities and reporting but needs an intuitive interface
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of this solution is the advanced structuring of data capabilities. You can get different structures of data to suit your needs."
  • "The advanced structuring can be complicated and the interface is not very intuitive."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for reporting.

The deployment model we are using is on-premises.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the advanced structuring of data capabilities. You can get different structures of data to suit your needs.

What needs improvement?

The advanced structuring can be complicated and the interface is not very intuitive.

I know this is already available, but what I would have wanted to see in the next release is the Time-Dependent Hierarchies.

I would like to have the interface improved and made to be more intuitive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable and it's very good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable and very good.

Currently, we have five hundred users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am in maintenance, so I have not contacted technical support.

I can't say how many times we have had to contact support. 

Business Warehouse is stable. Normally we don't have any issues with it.

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

Previously we did not use any other solution. We are just using SAP Business Warehouse.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was done by a professional company, it was outsourced.

We have two people to maintain this solution.

What other advice do I have?

My advice regarding this solution would be to invest in professional training for future users.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Chief of Systems Development at a non-tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Provides rapid responses but needs better reporting and pattern/exception detection
Pros and Cons
  • "The key element in this solution is its rapid response. If you have a question about prices, buyers, customers, providers, or services, you need the answer in a minute or two. That's the key benefit for us that a solution like BW gives us."
  • "We are currently in a basic stage of analytics and the first goal we have is to make sure the numbers are correct. BW has some features that help you to build factors and ETL in such a way that it's easy to get to correct responses. That's the number one condition that you have to have in an analytic solution."
  • "One of our requirements is the ability to easily get answers regarding trends and exceptions. In BW, it is not that easy to get such information. I expect better trend and exception detection, better pattern detection."
  • "You can start quickly but, when you have to get a little more detailed, when you have to change something, when you have to solve problems, it's not that easy. It's easy to start but evolving is not that easy."

What is our primary use case?

It's fast for building solutions, but once you have built them it's not that easy to get the answers you want. Many of our users are downloading files to Excel and tools like it and creating their reports there. I don't like it, so we're thinking about a reporting solution that works better than SAP BW.

How has it helped my organization?

The key element in this solution is its rapid response. If you have a question about prices, buyers, customers, providers, or services, you need the answer in a minute or two. That's the key benefit for us that a solution like BW gives us.

What is most valuable?

We are currently in a basic stage of analytics and the first goal we have is to make sure the numbers are correct. BW has some features that help you to build factors and ETL in such a way that it's easy to get to correct responses. That's the number one condition that you have to have in an analytic solution.

What needs improvement?

One of our requirements is the ability to easily get answers regarding trends and exceptions. In BW, it is not that easy to get such information. I expect better trend and exception detection, better pattern detection. When I think about the next generation of analytics solutions, I think of a powerful data mining solution with the data that we have now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It works well enough. We don't have a lot of stability problems. That is not the problem for us. Reporting is the problem for us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good for us. We don't have scalability problems because, with the line of servers that we are using now, we can scale in a factor of 100 and still have no problems with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't used technical support in about two years so I don't think I can give a fair answer to this question.

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

We were using another world-class ERP solution. When we switched to the SAP solution, we were thinking we had to have rapid solution-building tools for SAP. It was very easy to think the SAP solutions, such as business content solutions, could be used to build analytic solutions for us. We were using Cognos at that time, but we stop using it because it was hard to build solutions with SAP as the data source.

We take into account the prestige and longterm relations with the vendor during our selection process.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was good enough. I wouldn't say straightforward, because we took about a month to set up the server, processes, tools, and the software. For me, one month does not signify a straightforward process. Maybe it's because we are using iSeries from IBM and it's not a very popular architecture. So in part, it was our fault too because we are using that line of servers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had Oracle and SAP on our short list, because we had a lot to build in a short time. We figured that with those vendors we would find enough human capital and knowledge to solve the problems that we might have. Of the two providers that we had on our shortlist, we got the best answers from SAP. Oracle wasn't good enough for us.

What other advice do I have?

I rate this solution a seven out of 10. You can start quickly but, when you have to get a little more detailed, when you have to change something, when you have to solve problems, it's not that easy. It's easy to start but evolving is not that easy.

To make it a 10 out of 10, SAP would have to have better tools for reporting. There is a lot of focus on boards and graphics and those kinds of features, but they are tools for newcomers. You don't have machine-learning tools that you can easily connect to your data. You have to download the data to a CSV or a text file, and then you have to analyze it with something like R or SPSS.

My advice is that SAP will give you a fast start, but in two to four years you will have to go fishing for another solution for sophisticated users who will not get enough from the SAP tool.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user561669
SAP BI Systems Supervisor at a maritime company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Getting high volume data is most valuable for us. Has great integration with non-SAP systems.

What is most valuable?

Getting high volume data is most valuable for us. It is really fast and it has great integration with SAP ERP or a non-sap system.

How has it helped my organization?

For example, only sales and distribution has approximately 150-200 mio transactional data for each year. As a result, we mention that we have approximately 400-500 mio transactional data for all our ERP system. It’s not possible to analyze that data without using Business Warehouse. Besides all those pluses, SAP BW provides us with real time analyzes for non-system.

What needs improvement?

The big minuses are its not being user friendly. The user interface and it’s reporting tool called BEx have room for improvement. SAP Global always promotes Business Objects for visualizing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SAP BW for four years and also we had been using an old version called SAP BW 7.0 between 2008 and 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sometimes we do have stability issues, but if we evaluate the entire system, it provides more stability than its not being stable. Big stability issues are about getting dumps without any reasons and integration with Business Objects.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had absolutely no scalability issues. If a developer or product owner considers their data volume, BW never encounter any scalability problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support so highly because of its being an old product.

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

We have never used any other business warehouse program except using an older version.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is sometimes complex, sometimes not. For example, LIS structures are initially highly complex; you have to drop setup tables and re-fill it again. But other structures do not use setup tables and are more straightforward.

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

Every product owner has to be careful to evaluate the number of users. First of all, pricing is really high when compared with other business warehouse applications. Product owners also have to consider consultancy. Consultancy is more expensive than ERP consultancy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Actually, we did not evaluate any other product because we were using SAP ERP.

What other advice do I have?

Absolutely avoid non-standard structures. SAP BW is a highly established application that brings us many standard functions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SapBwBobc185
SAP BW/BOBJ Solution Architect/Developer/Administrator at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Budgeting, fund management and payroll functions take place in the FI module.

What is most valuable?

Note: My opinion here is NOT specifically focused on SAP BW. It is based on overall experience I have on SAP software. As we know BW user always involve in different SAP modules for data extraction, transformation and load process for analytical reports. From this I have learned so much on how SAP software is being used in my organization and hopping that it's worth sharing with thers.

Some of the most valuable features are:

SAP ECC Finance – AP module

  • Payroll and Procurement
  • Human Capital – Organizational Management
  • PA and Benefits
  • BW/BO – SAP Webi

Finance and Human Capital modules are the core departments that support the overall organization and we run SAP ECC system in this area.

HR module – Starting from the process of hiring the employees and their benefits, all of this happens within the SAP system.

FI module – All the budgeting, fund management and payroll functions take place in the SAP Finance module.

SRM – The procurement process such as to create a purchase order for schools and departments, also takes place in this system.

How has it helped my organization?

It has helped our financial transactions and the HR-related functions to communicate across our organization. All our processes such as funds management, grant, payroll transactions are processed automatically through this system and BW helps to collect the data for analytic needs of the department users and board members.

We are an educational organization. Our core value is to concentrate on the children’s education and their well-being. Sometimes, we find ourselves moving away from the core value. The reason for this could be that the business process is not simple or clear enough for the administrator to do their daily tasks. It could also be that the software is complicated or not capable/scalable to do certain tasks/new functions or maybe there are no right skill sets/human capital in the right place. All these are key factors that play a big role to achieve the overall goal of our organization.

With the SAP ECC upgrade, we are hoping that it will streamline the existing business process and provide opportunity for new functions, increase the user performance and satisfaction and lower the overall costs which can be used for the children’s education.

What needs improvement?

Our system is old. After the system upgrade, it will open opportunities to explore so many new functions in the FI and HCM modules that could be very valuable to our organization.

The upgrade will allow improvement in the below-mentioned three areas and there are many more that we have yet to discover.

  • Business Functionality
    • Implementing the SRM’s procurement function for the public sector such as the supplier registration, strategic sourcing, contract management, plant maintenance and MRP. The key features that we would like to achieve are a simple interface for the user and supplier, support on both the supplier and buyer-end solutions, future enhancement capabilities and cost saving benefits.
    • Travel Management - To support travel-related functions and lower the travel costs.
    • Human Capital - To allow integration between SuccessFactors and SAP ECC. It needs to allow reporting capabilities using BI/BOBJ modules.
  • Technical support
    • It will maximize the system performance and allow continuous support and enhancement of new functions. Hence, there will be reductions in the overall support cost.
    • Take advantage of updated Solution Manager functionalities.
  • UX - demand (Screen Personas and SAP Fiori)
    • The current SAP ECC version does not support SAP Screen Personas or SAP Fiori.
    • With the help of these UX capabilities, we would like to simplify the user experience, increase user performance and reduce the manual process/errors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product since 2005.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have a handful of experts to administrate the overall working of the SAP system; it is stable.

In order to address known issues in SAP System, SAP release SAP notes that has issue details and instruction to fix the issue or workaround solutions. If it is relevant to our SAP system, we review the SAP Notes and follow the instruction to correct the issue.

It could be changes in code or apply recommended patches and should fix the issue but if it goes wrong all these activities could deteriorate or defect the system and it could lead to catastrophic system failure.

As of today, we do not have any system failure and we received very minimum user complaints regarding errors. Taking this evaluation, I would say our SAP system has no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are running an older version. It is doing what we need it to do but there is some limitation due to its version.

How are customer service and technical support?

SAP has been providing support that we need based on the severity of issue that we face. Sometime, it is not the way we need but it is same across any other software vendor.

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

Since I have joined this organization, they have always been using the SAP solution.

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

Licensing is expensive but you will get the value for it.

What other advice do I have?

SAP offers so many solutions based on the type and size of the company.
I would advise to always use best practices, establish strong project governance, define the scope of the project, maintain a project plan, etc.

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