Some Practical Information About SAP In-Memory Solutions: BWA, BO Explorer Accelerated Version, HANA
More and more businesses realize that BI is not just a reporting tool but rather a key corporate asset that they can use to survive, compete, and succeed in the 21st Century. Increased competitive pressure and the soaring quantity of data have created huge challenges for today’s enterprises. The complexity of global business has out-paced today’s “usual BI tools”. In order to react to fast changing market conditions, the need to have quick access to information has never been more important.
With the In-Memory Technologies, enterprises can turn today’s data challenges into opportunities to out-perform competitors and create opportunities that otherwise are not possible. In-memory computing is processing massive quantities of data in memory to provide immediate results from analyses and transactions.
How is this done? The main principles are;
- Speed up data access : By moving data from disk to memory you can reach data 1 million time faster,
- High compression and columnar indexes: Let you have faster access to data
- Massively parallel processing: New computing platforms with multiple processors can process TBs of data,
- Minimize data movement: Analyze the data close to the database instead of moving to application layer.
The SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator is a radical approach for boosting SAP NetWeaver BW performance based on SAP’s search and classification engine, and on specially configured hardware. BWA has been around for 5 years, and being used by 1000+ customers. BWA presents itself like an appliance because it combines in one package software and hardware. SAP BW customers adopting BWA can expect radical improvements in query performance through in-memory data compression and horizontal and vertical data partitioning.
BWA changes how you run your business. It provides users consistently fast response times. Users will have more time to focus on core business than waiting for reports. Users can re-run “previously long running queries” several times with different selection options. Users can run trend analysis type queries. Users can run more reports and do more analysis
BWA enables you to create business opportunities. You can build applications that require sub-second response times such as dashboards. You can use BWA as an advantage over your competitors; you can offer portal applications, mobile applications to your external customers.
BWA also helps your IT to reduce maintenance by eliminating otherwise necessary aggregates, summary cubes, and tailored reports. BWA enables IT to stay agile for ever increasing business requests. Last but not least the implementation is transparent to the users.
The SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Accelerated version was introduced in 2010 to offer users an intuitive path to quickly search and explore data for instant insight into the business. They can get quick, easy answers to on-the-fly questions without training or IT involvement, by simply entering a few keywords to search for relevant information and then intuitively exploring large volumes of data – without prior knowledge about what data exists or where to find it or what query name to run.
BOEA is a powerful tool. It will not replace your existing reports, but it will change the dynamics of your BI;
- There is no other tool for free explorations
- It requires minimal or no-training
- Very easy to use
- Highly visual
- Access from mobile devices (Ipads and Iphones)
- Web based access
- You can upload personal data or any spreadsheet
What do all above characteristics mean to your business, your IT, and your organization as a whole?
“Business Intelligence for All (Pervasive BI)”. First of all it’s a unique tool that you can add it to your BI portfolio. When you compare to existing BW BEx queries, it’s highly visual; it will bring new users to your BI. It is easy to use it; anybody and everybody can use it. Its web based, it can be reached from Ipads, Iphones.
“Self-service Business Intelligence for the Masses”. The other very important thing is, it will reduce report backlog waiting on IT’s desk. As you know, today each new report becomes a project while IT has the same staff. Due to flexibility of the tool, users can create their own queries on the fly without coming to IT, and let IT focus on more strategic initiatives. Providing ability to have quick answers to your business users will keep your organization competitive.
What is coming up? I just want to mention them briefly;
- The combination of “BW 7.3 and BWA 7.2” will enable you to accelerate your OLAP, DSOs, master data queries, BWA only cubes etc.
- HANA 1.0 focused on ERP Acceleration
- HANA 1.5 for BW Acceleration.
Here is what I would do if I were you; If you have BWA then upgrade to BWA 7.2( is available since Q2 2010) and install BOEA. It’s a relatively small investment with big returns. And start planning for BW 7.3 upgrade to take further advantage of BWA 7.2
If you don’t have BWA and trying to decide if you should wait for HANA 1.5 or go with BWA, you need to think about the consequences; can your business survive until the later part of 2011 for HANA 1.5 to be available? Do you have time for BW 7.3 upgrade, because it is a prerequisite? If you can wait, it makes sense. Otherwise, it’s a great time to implement BWA and BOEA now; the price is reduced and I believe SAP will honor your BWA licenses when you move to HANA. Consult to an implementation partner to see how fast you can start taking advantage of BWA and BOEA, and make your own decision.