SAP BW4HANA OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP BW4HANA is the #5 ranked solution in top Data Warehouse tools. PeerSpot users give SAP BW4HANA an average rating of 7.4 out of 10. SAP BW4HANA is most commonly compared to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics: SAP BW4HANA vs Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. SAP BW4HANA is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 74% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 21% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Data Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2022

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 was previously known as SAP BW/4HANA.

SAP BW4HANA Video

Archived SAP BW4HANA Reviews (more than two years old)

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Tech Director for SAP at Key Performance Consulting
Reseller
Top 20
Good reporting, well-suited for medium to large-sized organizations
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features are the speed of reporting and the HANA database."
  • "It takes too long to escalate problems from the first level of support."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the speed of reporting and the HANA database.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a bit less than two years, from around the time that it came out.

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What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is something that needs to be improved. There are too many SAP nodes to implement on a regular basis to get everything working.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable solution but it depends on the hardware. Our clients vary in size from small to very large organizations, although for this product, most of them are at least of medium size.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is okay, although it can be improved because sometimes it takes too long to get the correct expert to deal with the issue. Essentially, the wait at the first level of support causes us to lose time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is rather complex. It can be up and running in two or three days but it takes a week to have it perfectly implemented.

We implement both on-premises and cloud-based deployments for SAP BW 4HANA.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team does the implementation and deployment for our customers.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good product and one that I recommend implementing. 

As we look at the information we have for the cloud solution, it would be helpful to have something more clear from the vendor in terms of strategy. More information on the direction of the data warehouse solutions, going forward, would be helpful. Today, there is a market for HANA both on-premises and in the cloud, but the data warehouse cloud solution that is coming up is quite different.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
PeerSpot user
Cloud Solutions Architect and Analytics at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Reseller
The infrastructure is easy to understand and it has good stability
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable aspect of this solution is that the infrastructure is easy to understand."
  • "Pricing would be a good improvement. A lot of customers think that it's very expensive and especially support is very expensive."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of this solution is that the infrastructure is easy to understand. 

What needs improvement?

Pricing would be a good improvement. A lot of customers think that it's very expensive and support is especially very expensive. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two to three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability and scalability are both good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup requires a specialist but it's not too complex.

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

We have to pay extra in addition to licensing. Migration to HANA has costs that are higher than expected. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten. 

It costs a lot for a company to invest in SAP. It could be hard for a company to invest in it. It should be a little cheaper, it would raise the score to a nine.  

If a customer wants to save costs, they should move their infrastructure from on-premise to public cloud. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Distributor
PeerSpot user
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Data Warehouse
November 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about SAP, Snowflake Computing, Apache and others in Data Warehouse. Updated: November 2022.
653,584 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Deputy Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Calculates big data and has predictive analysis memory
Pros and Cons
  • "It can calculate data in detail. Before we could not calculate financial documents and accountant documents in detail, we could not do it at a document level but now we can. This is the most important feature. It also has predictive analysis memory."
  • "Not a ten because it's expensive and its ecosystem is not very open."

What is our primary use case?

1.We use it to generate operational analysis for our internal operations, for example, HR analysis, financial analysis, etc. 

2.We use SAP BW4HANA to calculate data and feed to Tableau / SAP BO to visualize data.

How has it helped my organization?

1. SAP BW4HANA's memory computing help us calculate into much more detail data  such as accouting document level. And it's very fast.

2. We have capabliity to realize requirements related to big data, real-time anlysis.

What is most valuable?

1.It can calculate big data. One year ago, SAP BW took us a lot of time around four hours to finish our process chains, but now it's better. 

2.It can calculate data in detail. Before we could not calculate financial documents and accountant documents in detail, we could not do it at a document level but now we can. This is the most important feature. It also has predictive analysis funationlity.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than one year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We can draw down to the document level for a document. The problem is that when that document records are bigger than the platform, it causes the platform to slow down. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have opened tickets with technical support. They've been good. Sometimes they take a while to respond. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend SAP BW/4HANA.

I would rate it an eight out of ten. Not a ten because it's expensive and its ecosystem is not very open.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Sherif-Hassan - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Consultan at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Helpful dashboard and reporting with good technical support, but the interface should be simplified
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the dashboard."
  • "The dashboard should be simplified and made easier for exploration and decision making."

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant and this is one of the solutions that I use for my clients.

In general, my clients use the dashboard and reporting services. They use it for modeling sales and service, material management, and stock management. They have automated reports that are sent daily by email.

The environment depends on the client.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the dashboard.

When using BW/4HANA, then is no performance degradation with Big Data.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with SAP BW/4HANA for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

BW is a stable solution as long as it is on HANA. Otherwise, some applications with Big Data will result in performance issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable but it depends on the server.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have dealt with technical support and they have been good.

How was the initial setup?

The installation of this solution is not simple, although configuring it is not a problem. 

What about the implementation team?

It is better to have help from integrators or consultants for the installation.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to first follow the basics. It is possible that you will want some enhancements but you have to start at the beginning and start with the basic practice for modeling.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
SAP Enterprise Services Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Stable, scalable and easy to maintain
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is easier to maintain than traditional SAP products."
  • "The solution does occasionally get a few bugs, but this is typical for any product."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used for the reporting on various dashboards for analytical purposes.

What is most valuable?

HANA is based on a column store, and it is very effective for reading the data. 

BW has a major advantage because most of the activities on the BW system are reading data rather than writing data. 

The product, overall, is very good.

The solution is easier to maintain than traditional SAP products.

All of the information that is provided by the solution for managing the HANA database is excellent.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for the past two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have found the solution to be quite stable. It doesn't crash. It's been great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If a company needs to expand the solution, they can definitely scale up. It's quite easy to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've reached out to technical support in the past. We reach out when there are some bugs or some specific issues on the product. They are very good. We've been satisfied with the level of support.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't a part of the initial setup, so I can't speak to the implementation.

What other advice do I have?

We are SAP partners.

The solution is deployed on a scale-out environment, which involves five nodes of 1TB each. We have four worker nodes and one standby node.

I'm not the consumer of this product. I'm an administrator of it. I'm basically supporting this project but I'm not the actual customer.

I would definitely recommend the solution. It is the way forward if an organization is already in the SAP ecosystem. It's good to adapt to it sooner rather than later. I would definitely advise companies to implement it.

I would rate the solution nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
IT Director at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Used for ERP with good financial costing and material management features
Pros and Cons
  • "From an ERP point of view and a functionality point of view, it works very well. The benefits are in that of financial costing and material management."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see their BI component introduced with a mobile version, as it is not currently present."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is for our ERP purposes.

What is most valuable?

From an ERP point of view and a functionality point of view, it works very well. The benefits are in that of financial costing and material management.

The only component that is not fully known is the HCM (Human Capital Management), but we have gone with SuccessFactors.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for just over three months and we have just gone into production.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, we have not had any issues. This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had the opportunity to test the scalability, as we are retail at the moment and using it as a storage system.

At this point, we have only three users.

It is being used daily, but we plan to use it more extensively in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have only contacted technical support once and they were helpful. Their response time was also good.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and similar to other ERP deployments.

It took three months to deploy this solution.

What about the implementation team?

We had the help of a system integrator.

What other advice do I have?

I would look at the Cloud option. Although the Cloud is not mature enough at this time, people who are planning to deploy this solution perhaps a year down the road may benefit from it. The Cloud may be something they would want to consider.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Lead Consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
User-friendly and flexible with lots of standard features, but it needs to be more customizable
Pros and Cons
  • "Out of the box, this solution has a lot of standard features."
  • "Connecting multiple sources is a challenge because you have to go through a lot of different setups."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the solutions that we implement for our customers.

We primarily use this solution for data warehousing and reporting.

What is most valuable?

This product is user-friendly.

Out of the box, this solution has a lot of standard features.

The product is quite optimized, having simple processes for change management and different security features. It offers a lot of flexibility.

Things are going more agile nowadays and you want to use a solution like BW/4HANA. It is more agile and more open to other sources. It integrates well with visualization tools like BusinessObjects.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP BW/4HANA for the past six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As this is an on-premises solution, scalability can be a challenge. SAP claim that it is scalable, but I don't think so because it will add to your cost. I think that it should be more cloud-oriented. Basically, it can be scaled but it has its limitations.

We have perhaps 200 to 300 users in our company and it is being used on a daily basis.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is quite a stable tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support for this solution is good. The availability is good and the responses for more information are quick. However, it can sometimes take a long time to get a solution. Sometimes, it is so long that I can find the solution faster myself.

There is one problem for which I have not received a resolution. They have taken a lot of input from us, yet have been unable to pinpoint the problem. This is a challenge that I still face.

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

I have tried Snowflake and it is also quite a flexible tool. It is more open in that you can bring in data from multiple sources by just installing some DLLs and parameter files.

How was the initial setup?

The length of time for deployment, to get everything up and ready to work, depends on several factors. For example, if depends on the number of objects and the number of reports that are needed. When we implement this solution for somebody, we do our estimation based on those two.

One of the projects that I worked on took approximately one year to go from the initial stage up until the point where it could be used for reporting purposes.

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

This is an expensive solution and there are costs in addition to the standard licensing fees.

What other advice do I have?

SAP is introducing a lot of new features and making this product even more flexible.

The suitability of this solution depends on how big the business is and how much they want to invest in data warehousing. The effectiveness will vary from customer to customer. For example, I don't think that it is a good solution for small or medium-sized businesses because it is very costly. It involves a lot of maintenance costs and a lot of expertise. For a big customer, who is SAP-centric, with lots of SAP data or SAP business processes, this is one of the best data warehousing solutions.

Rating a product involves taking many things into consideration, such as scalability, performance, and security features. It also depends on what industry it is being used in.

Overall, I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Director at Pixel Studio PTY
Real User
Top 5
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.
    PeerSpot user
    BI Manager at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    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.
    PeerSpot user
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