I recently completely a white paper on the benchmarks between BW on HANA and BW on Oracle.  The purpose of this white paper was to provide true (actual) metrics when comparing the 2 instead of improvement estimates.  I also broke the BW on HANA solution into 2 separate models, one with a pure migration effort and another where a remodeling effort was considered.  Both of these showed significant gains and provided a use case for each scenario.  You can review this white paper at the following URL:

http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-57141#comment-537673

I wanted to share some experiences that I have recently gone through when determining a strategic roadmap. When would I do a lift and shift from BW to a HANA sidecar or an integrated stack approach (suite on HANA). I recently went through a strategic session to determine when this may be considered and I would like to review a few questions that you may need to ask yourself, which are the following:

  • How large is your current BW footprint?
  • What is your future landscape considerations?
  • What type of team and resources do you have?
  • What source systems are you expecting to extract data from?
  • Can HANA Live support your requirements?

Each of the above questions all need to be asked and answered.  Let’s review each of them one by one:

How large is your current BW footprint?

Why is this question so important you may ask?  If you are moving solutions, why would this matter?  Well the main reason is the investment that you have made with SAP BW and the capabilities that it is currently providing you.  As I have shown within my previous white paper, I have created a case and proven it out that BW on HANA will provide substantial improvements. You do not want to throw away your investment and/or development effort just because another more current solution is available.  Sometimes, you are always chasing the newest tool and or solution and you are never great in one of them.  It is much easier to take an extremely small BW footprint, transition the capabilities to a HANA sidecar and then sunset the BW solution.

Does this mean that if my BW footprint is large that I shouldn’t consider a HANA sidecar approach and the simple answer is no.  There are always considerations that you may want to compliment your BW solution with a HANA sidecar or BW on HANA parallel solution.  This can provide you with focused solutions where your BW system has considerable pain points.  Or you may want to do a slow lift and shift that will cross over many years because that is the larger picture for your organization.  These scenarios have to be reviewed further and different considerations need to be asked.

What are your future technology considerations?

This question is important because if you don’t understand what your overall roadmap and the company technical drivers are, you won’t be able to answer things completely.  This may relate to tools such as Predictive Analytics, forecasting, data warehousing, integrated landscape, reduction of hardware, etc…

When I review this with a client / customer, this is one of the most important aspects that I need to understand because seeing the larger picture allows you to determine the best solution that can fit all the scenarios.  Many customers try to take the best product for that solution but they don’t remember the integration that some products have better than others. You may never have the best product for every solution at your company.

What type of team / resources do you currently have?

This is important for obvious reasons.  With a solution like HANA, you will be introducing new concepts, development standards, programming languages, tools and most of all removing your consultants / developers from their comfort zone.  By doing this, you have a few options:

  • Bring in consultants to help this transition
  • Send your team to training
  • Extend your project timeline that supports the learning curve
  • Hire more employees that can fill the necessary GAPS

This doesn’t stop at your developers either as you may have your own data center / basis team.  This will require new security concepts, basis skills, data center requirements, etc…All may come with a cost and none of these should be overlooked.

What types of source systems is your data coming from?

The source systems that you will be extracting data from is important for a few reasons:

  • Data Provisioning tools that are available
    • Each of the data provisioning tools can provide a different capability.
    • Some may support different databases depending on the available drivers while others do not.
    • Your transformations logic may be complex while others are not and this will impact the tools that you choose
    • What are the licensing requirements for each?
  • Number of source systems?
    • Depending on if you have multiple Non-SAP and SAP source systems, this may become a larger HANA project.  In this instance, it may make sense to leverage BW on HANA.

All of the above is important because not only does this impact cost but also lends to the training capability that was spoken about in the earlier bullet point.

Can HANA LIVE support your requirements?

If you are not familiar with HANA LIVE, please do a google search on it as you will find many links that can provide you with further information.    You can find the ECC content for HANA LIVE at the following link:

http://help.sap.com/hba

Remember HANA LIVE content is tied to ECC source system base tables and not for legacy / 3rd party source systems.  While HANA LIVE has made leaps and bounds, it is still within its maturation phase and there are constant improvements for its content.   The best thing you can compare this to is BW Business Content.  Without HANA LIVE, you have to create all of your data models from scratch, which will initially take some time.

What I hope that people received from this brief blog is the understanding on some of the pieces that go into making a decision from BW to a HANA sidecar or an integrated stack (with Suite on HANA).  There are many pros for taking this approach but every company has their own unique situation and questions that they should ask.  Please reach out to me if you have further questions on this topic and let me know some of the questions that you have run into!  Please share!

Please follow me on Twitter @tim_korba and on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/timkorba/.

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