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Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort

Why you should be interested in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud…

I am sure that most of you have heard about SAP’s latest addition to the overall Data Warehouse portfolio, named SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. And before we go into the different scenarios where you could be using SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, lets clarify two important points:

  • No – SAP Data Warehouse Cloud does not replace SAP BW / BW4HANA
  • No – SAP Data Warehouse Cloud does not replace SAP HANA SQL Data Warehousing

So with this being clarified now ?, lets take a look at where SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can help. Me personally I am a huge fan of using actual scenarios to outline how specific components can help you as part of your overall SAP landscape, so lets take a look at three concrete scenarios where SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can help you today.

Accelerate Analytics

I am sure we all have been in a situation where we have the corporate information available to use, but we also need to enrich the information with additional data. This could be as simple as having your actual sales data as part of your data warehouse and receiving the sales forecast from the individual manager in form of spreadsheets. Now the problem becomes, that the business users don’t have the capability to just simply combine those data sets and what often happens is, that people then extract or simply copy / paste the corporate information also into a spreadsheet and then start combining the information in form of spreadsheets and all that based on the situation that they could not achieve their goals with the tools they have. For sure the business users could go and involve IT and then wait until the data has been uploaded to the corporate data warehouse and has been joined with the existing data and they have been given access, but that is not what they are looking for.

Not only is this going to be frustrating for the business users, it also is not secure, the data can’t really be trusted anymore as the data has been extracted and potentially been modified, and for sure the data is outdated by the point it got extracted, and the complete process is not something that is repeatable.

Now let’s add SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to the picture and lets see how we can solve the problem. With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud you can leverage Spaces. Spaces are isolated virtual work areas where you can add users and teams, storage space, connections to local or remote data sources, and pre-configured models. Spaces are basically an area where you can allocate storage space for a specific team or a specific project, provide access to your corporate data in a governed way, and provide the necessary flexibility for your business users to bring in additional information, enrich the corporate data with new data, and create the necessary analytics to gain further insights.

Lets say we have our actual data as part of our data warehouse solution and we receive each month the sales forecast from the individual regional manager. Now instead of sending spreadsheets and sharing the result in form of spreadsheets with extracted and outdated data, you could use Spaces as part of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and upload the actual data from the corporate data sources into the Space, and provide your business users with the necessary option to upload additional data and then use the combined data in SAP Analytics Cloud and create a secure, trusted, shareable, and refresh-able BI Story – and most important the overall process becomes simply repeatable month over month.

Extend your on-premise data warehouse solution

Now lets look at the second scenario by extending your existing data warehouse solution into the cloud and in addition provide more flexibility to your business users.

We already clarified, that SAP Data Warehouse Cloud does not replace your existing SAP BW / BW4HANA system, nor does it replace your existing SAP HANA SQL Data Warehouse.

So what is the value for you as a customer with an existing data warehouse solution ?

Let’s assume we have all our sales information for all of Europe in our SAP BW4HANA system and we have all our information for our APJ region in SAP HANA. Our business users now would like to consolidate all the sales information and then add information they purchased via a 3rd party vendor to compare our own sales revenue with other companies in the same industry.

For sure we could now load the data from the SAP HANA system into the SAP BW4HANA system, add the information we have from the 3rd party vendor, and then share the outcome with the business user.

But this is where SAP Data Warehouse Cloud provides us with the necessary options and based on the integration with the existing solutions, we can leverage our already existing assets.

With SAP Data Warehouse Cloud we

  • … can re-use our existing data models from SAP BW4HANA or SAP HANA SQL Data Warehousing
  • … can use SAP BW4HANA / SAP HANA as a source for SAP Data Warehouse Cloud or SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can become a data source for those solutions.
  • … can leverage your existing skill set from SAP BW4HANA or SAP HANA SQL Data Warehouse
  • … can start our journey to the cloud
  • … avoid data silos and empower our business users not only with a self service analytics but also a “self service data warehouse” (not sure if the term already exists ?)

So in our scenario we could leverage the virtualization and replication capabilities from SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, combine the already existing assets from SAP BW4HANA and SAP HANA, and provide the business users with the ability to enrich the corporate information with additional industry benchmark data and share their newly gained insights via SAP Analytics Cloud.

Cross Application Data Mart(s)

Now let’s look at the third scenario and I think we can all agree that there is more than SAP data out there and that customers have SAP and non-SAP data to take care off.

So let’s say we have our HR information in SuccessFactor, we have our Travel bookings and Expenses in Concur, we have our financial data in SAP S/4, and last but not least we still do our budgets in a simple relational database.

So here we have multiple data sources, multiple sets of users, multiple sets of data authorizations and here we can use SAP Data Warehouse Cloud to either use virtualization, or replication, or a 3rd party tool to gain access to the information and then provide a single version of the truth. But not only do we achieve that single view, we also have now a single layer in regards to the governance , authentication, and data level security for this data as all the access would then go via SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

In addition we then can also leverage the upcoming Business Layer from SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, which will then provide us with the capability to separate the data layer and business layer in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. So in other words, we will then be able to provide a semantic layer to our business users and present the data to them using their well understood business terms.

So overall I really hope that you are getting now as excited (or at least interested) as I am about SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, but let me summarize some of the reasons why you should look at SAP Data Warehouse Cloud:

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

  • … is being designed not just as a data warehouse solution where IT is “in charge” and will create and model everything, but instead it is being designed with IT and business users as a collaborative team in mind.
  • … gives you the ability to re-use your existing assets from solutions, such as SAP BW4HANA, SAP HANA, SAP S/4, …
  • … provides you with capabilities, such as Spaces, that gives your the opportunity to provide your users with a “self service analytics” as well as a “self service data warehousing” option.
  • … will help you to start your journey to the cloud with the ability to use a hybrid approach.
  • … is being designed with capabilities such as a business catalog and a business layer (sounds like a semantic layer?) in mind right from the beginning.

In case I wasn’t able to convince you, perhaps these customer stories can:

Idorsia Simplifies Data Landscape with the Cloud

Are you interested ?

You can request your own 30 day Trial

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      Author's profile photo Rene Malmberg
      Rene Malmberg

      Hi Ingo - nice post. But I still do not understand the need of DWC. All of these capabilities should be in SAC and not in yet another SAP system (heavy licenses of course). Is this because SAC is never going to have the same options as all the other self service BI tools out there? The data wrangling should lie in SAC - in models. Models created by a person who knows the data and how knows how the data should be used

      Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort
      Ingo Hilgefort
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rene,


      SAC is a BI tool. DWC is a cloud data warehouse. I think we can agree that those are fundamentally different products.



      Author's profile photo Rene Malmberg
      Rene Malmberg

      Hi Ingo

      if you take some of the competitors of SAC – they have built the data wrangling and storage of combined data into their BI solution – and it works very well.
      Why would you implement a middle ware between your backend solution and your front end? Only if something was not working – and one or even both was not able to handle the business users BI requests.


      Author's profile photo Jef Baeyens
      Jef Baeyens

      Hi Rene, it's different but there is and will always be a grey zone. Gerrit Kazmaier also touched upon this nicely in a recent community call (especially see from min 39)
      It's interesting how he explains the idea of exposing shared functionality of DIC/DWC/SAC services. So let's hope it also turns soon into some tangible improvements in SAC data transformations/wrangling.

      Author's profile photo Enio Terra
      Enio Terra

      Thanks for share Ingo. The points that you described will help to clarify the DWC position.

      Best regards,

      Enio Terra

      Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort
      Ingo Hilgefort
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the feedback and happy I was able to help




      Author's profile photo Ashok Sharma
      Ashok Sharma

      Thanks for sharing such a informative blog.
      Just curious why SAP is not including all these additional functions under one production (say BW4HANA or DWC). Instead of adding multiple EDW products...

      Author's profile photo Q. RAITH
      Q. RAITH

      Hi Ingo,

      Could we start imagining that the BO platform become less and less relevant with tools like SAC and DWC in addition to BW? Semantic layers and business users empowerment become so much critical that only providing access to a DW and a front-end is not enough anymore. But investing time and effort in Universe does not seem like a plan for the future... What are your thoughts on this?