Introduced circa 1997, SAP Business Warehouse (then SAP Business Information Warehouse, or BIW) was designed to extend the reporting and analysis capabilities of SAP’s flagship ERP software – SAP R/3. At the time, the need for a standalone data warehousing software solution was already strong and growing as businesses struggled to analyze growing data for improved operations and competitive gain.
During the ensuing years, particularly those following SAP’s acquisition of Business Objects, the re-named SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP BW) evolved into a dependable, pervasive, data source- and database-agnostic enterprise data warehouse application that provided businesses with advanced functionality and a much needed single version of the truth upon which to base vital business decisions.
While SAP BW’s capabilities and functionality have continued to evolve and improve, the requisite, underlying database technology (traditional relational database management systems) doesn’t always keep pace with today’s exploding data volume and/or meet the ever-present need for analytical speed all businesses crave to compete and thrive.
Enter SAP NetWeaver BW powered by HANA
In November 2011 SAP introduced SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse powered by HANA, vanquishing the escalating and historic database challenges of unsustainable costs and unacceptable performance limitations.
With SAP NetWeaver 7.3 SPS05, the SAP HANA database is available as the database for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse. SAP BW on HANA features non-disruptive implementation (or migration for existing BW customers); in-memory data storage and processing for dramatically faster data loads, report run times and overall performance; columnar data structures that significantly reduce database size (and enable greater data volume); intuitive modeling tools that allow more business users to create data models (without IT support); lower TCO, reduced IT workloads, and faster response to business requests. SAP BW on HANA provides complete, consolidated access to all your data and is highly scalable. As the heir apparent to traditional RDBMS’ – and a massive commitment on SAP’s part – it is essentially future proof.
SAP’s plan for database dominance
SAP’s HANA story is well known. Equally known is that HANA spearheads SAP’s assault on the global database market. SAP BW on HANA is among SAP’s most powerful weapons to date in its foray into the database market — a market for which SAP’s stated goal is to be the number two player by 2015.
Oracle held 44% of the database market last year, followed by IBM at 22%, and Microsoft at 18%, SAP ranked fourth at 4.1%, according to Gartner. The database market is set to grow an average of 6.4% a year to $36.5 billion by 2016, Gartner forecasts, as companies require more storage for and better access to ever-growing data volumes.
Make no mistake about it, SAP’s ambitions for the database market are very real — a situation that new SAP BW on HANA customers stand to benefit from, provided they act quickly.
SAP’s Better Choice Database Migration Credit
To fuel adoption of SAP BW on HANA, SAP has launched an aggressive incentive program open to select SAP partners — including Optimal — by which a new BW on HANA customer receives a deal-based credit (worth 15% – 30% of the HANA license cost) to be applied to the SAP partner services utilized in migrating to SAP BW on HANA.
An SAP partner’s eligibility for the program hinges on, among other things, its demonstrable experience and success across the entire SAP Business Suite and SAP BusinessObjects solution portfolios, having a minimum of 15 certified SAP HANA consultants, and having implemented onsite an SAP BW on HANA system to support customer engagements.
Alas, SAP’s Better Choice Database Migration Credit offer is valid only through December 31st of this year. If you are one of the 13,000+ SAP BW customers you should evaluate this unprecedented offer. HANA is unquestionably the future of the SAP architecture, and now may be the perfect time to start your transition.