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With BW4/HANA being released a mere two days ago, reception has been mixed among clients.

Essentially, the sentiment is that SAP has done an inadequate job discussing the release prior to the firm announcement on 31-AUG and those with a BW on HANA migration “in progress” who have already substantially completed the 7.4 migration (SBX, DEV, QA) feel blindsided with the release of something that they perceive to be “substantially better.”

What could we, as practitioners have done to better prepare our clients for this release? 

Well, one could make the argument that we practitioners could have looked to the HANA Distinguished Engineers for some indication of this major release; though, there is nary a mention of BW4/HANA on the Distinguished Engineer blog.

SAP product development should choose an envoy to make upcoming announcements like this public to practitioners who are entrusted with roadmapping multi-billion dollar clients who rule deca-million or centi-million dollar budgets.  With foresight, we can remain trusted advisors, with HANA the center of the ERP universe for years to come.

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  1. Gajendra Moond

    Hi Nicholas

    Your concern is quite valid and I believe we all have been through that turmoil. There have been some indications but then we have to really predict the outcome. When BW7.5’s capabilities were unfurled last year Tech-ed, you could this happening eventually. In SAP’s roadmap slide, BW was shown as an optional component. All this did confuse customers and partners to no bound. As partners, even if we predicted the outcome, there is no official statement from SAP to back that up.

    Customers with migration in progress like yours are greatly impacted. The only solace could be that capabilities of HANA (BW/4 HANA) are still evolving with next two releases bringing in more and more features like data sources, monitoring and scheduling etc. This gives you time to evaluate the next steps. With so much chaos around SAP’s EDW strategy, it might be better to wait out before you embark on another upgrade/migrate journey in a haste.

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  2. Marc Bernard

    Hello Nicholas,

    as a publicly traded company we were legally not allowed to talk about SAP BW/4HANA before the press release. We are also very restricted in what kind of forward looking statements we can make.

    Well, now that the news is out, we can openly present what we have been working on for a while. Personally, I believe that SAP BW/4HANA fits very nicely into the evolution of “good old SAP BW”. It’s should not disrupt any implementation or sales cycles, since the path to SAP BW/4HANA will go with the natural transition we have recommended to SAP BW customers for years: move to SAP HANA as a platform, optimized you data models and transfer then to HANA-optimized objects (i.e. Advanced DataStore Objects, CompositeProviders, Open ODS Views) and finally use SAP BusinessObjects as the best available visualization solution. Customers who have completed this journey (or started out this way in the first place) are just a step away to convert their system to SAP BW/4HANA.

    If there are any questions about SAP BW/4HANA, please check the FAQ first at http://tinyurl.com/bw4hana). We are always open for feedback. So please share your thoughts via blogs or e-mail, ask questions (recommended place is the Data Warehousing forum on SCN), and stay tuned, because we area just getting started!

    Best,

    Marc

    Product Management SAP HANA DW

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