We are implementing S4HANA so don’t need BW4HANA or HANA EDW solution, Seriously?
During my multiple intercations with key stakeholders on S4HANA and Analytics startergy, one question that keeps coming back is that whether with S4HANA coming into the lanscape, need for BW4HANA and HANA EDW or data mart solution is justified. Driver for this though process is with ERP running on powerful HANA engine, one should be also able to leverage it for all reporting and anlytics (within S4HANA).
Answer to this puzzle is not straight forward and is “No” for most of the customers’ landscapes I have come across. Below is one reference architecture which clealry calls out limitations of “ONLY S4HANA” for reporting and analytics.
Typical Journey of “Hindsight to Foresight” cannot be completed with only S4HANA and shall need much more i.e. a Data Warehouse (be it BW4HANA or HANA EDW) and maybe a Data Lake solution (HANA Data lake) as well. It is even more important if organizations are looking to build enterprise-wide consolidated data platforms, which could be leveraged for self-service, analytics and digital transformation use cases.
Here are few high-level thumb rules to help on whether you should consider EDW solution in your landscape or S4HANA shall suffice the needs:
|Key Considerations||Shall S4HANA suffice the needs?||Shall we need BW4HANA / HANA EDW solution needed?|
|Only ERP and source of data is S4HANA||Yes||–|
|Multiple sources of data (you would not like to migrate data into S4HANA from multiple sources)||–||Yes|
|Multi-years trend analysis is needed (you may not like to have all those years on HANA in S4HANA)||–||Yes|
|Need for external & internal data for Analytics||–||Yes|
|Analytics as competitive advantage (Digital transformation)||–||Yes|
|Single data foundation across enterprise which can be leveraged for self-service, digital transformation use cases etc.||–||Yes (also consider HANA Data lake as part of landscape)|
Please do share what you are hearing from your S4HANA customers and your views on need for BW4HANA / HANA EDW solution with SAP S4HANA.
(Views here are purely personal and not of my organization)