SAP Data Sphere Business Case Scenarios & Implementation Stratergies.
Welcome to my new blogpost for the recent SAP buzz & hot topic : SAP Datasphere.
You might have gone through many of my old blogs focusing on HANA XSA, HANA Cloud, HANA concepts,SAP FSDM/FPSL, SAP BTP and SAP CAI chatbots. I expect you might had found them interesting .
Now let us get straight to the topic. What is SAP Datasphere?
- SAP Datasphere is a comprehensive data service built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) that enables every data professional to deliver seamless and scalable access to mission-critical business data. Capabilities includes data integration, data cataloging, semantic modeling, data warehousing, data federation, and data virtualization. professionals can now easily distribute mission-critical business data — with business context and logic preserved — across their organization’s data landscape. SAP Datasphere offers data connectivity to multiple data sources SAP and Non-SAP.
- to add further SAP launched Datasphere on 8th March 2023; well, SAP rebranded the existing SAP DWC (Data Warehouse cloud). It is evolution of SAP DWC and include new features like Global Catalog, Advance Analytic model and has an embedded SAP Data Intelligence.
- SAP Datasphere is the latest innovation in the data warehousing portfolio of SAP. It is based on the SAP HANA Cloud and follows a clear DWaaS (Data Warehouse as a Service) approach in the public cloud with very fast release cycles.
- SAP Data Sphere is a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solution for managing and analyzing data.
- Cloud based technology : access your data from anywhere and at any time.
You will find many blogs on introduction of SAP Datasphere and I do not want to reiterate the same set of statements in this blogpost.
Here in this blogpost I want to focus more on SAP Datasphere implementation Strategy & Business Case Scenarios wrt. SAP landscape.
Many customers are confused on the way forward after the release of SAP Datasphere and my blogpost for sure can demystify the move and SAP’s direction.
Now let us understand SAP’s approach to DW and Transition to SAP Datasphere.
SAP Data Warehouse Approaches
If you go little deep everything SAP is betting on it’s in memory computing database i.e., SAP HANA(High Performance Analytic Appliance)
The evolution from SAP HANA database –> to Appliance then –>it’s BW on Any DB to BWonHANA then to BW4HANA –> then to ERP on Any DB to it’s Next gen Suit for HANA(ABAP code reengineered to run on HANA) –> SAP Data warehouse Cloud –> recent SAP data sphere. The Journey is truly powered by engineering aspects and solving real world technical problems for any business domain.
Those who want to little deep dive why S/4 HANA came into picture where we already had stable ERP on any DB then you can refer to my LinkedIn blog where I have detailed the S/4 HANA evolution on ERP.
According to my knowledge and spending 14.5 years of my life with SAP Data & Analytics below Business cases are existing with multiple customers across domains and they are : –
Backend : –
- SAP ERP on any DB (OLTP system)
- BW on Any DB (OLAP system)
- Recently migrated to S/4 HANA with an aim to create operational reporting in SAP Fiori using SAP UI5 (OLTP)
- Recently migrated to BW on HANA or BW4HANA which can run on HANA (OLAP) (For Strategic Analytics)
- or did Green field implementations to implement BW4HANA and to utilize flexibly data storing, Tiering with NSE capabilities.(For Strategic and Tactical Analytics)
- Recently implemented SAP S/4 HANA Embeded Analytics ( in simple terms OLTP system with Embeded BW and to do Real time consolidation on S/4 HANA with Embeded BPC.
- Pure Native HANA classic platform.
- Pure Native HANA XSA platform.
- Implemented SAP data warehouse Cloud for Analytics purpose.
Reporting & Analytics
- Implemented SAP Business Objects reporting on IDT (SAP or NON SAP source)
- Implemented Reporting on SAP BOBJ on Native HANA classic or XSA business case.
- May be implemented with SAP Lumira, Design Studio etc etc.
- Or may be implemented with SAP Analytics Cloud for reporting and Analytics or for planning (Considering SAC is in the market for quite some time now).
What is the existing Architecture on above points mentioned looks as of now for case to case:-
SAP Operational Analytics Architecture
SAP Strategic/Tactical Analytics Architecture
Note : The Above pictures are my own, I own the rights for it. it is neither copied from anyone nor taken from any website.
Now with the evolution from SAP Datasphere the platform and technology is changing.
Various customers the way their existing architecture is they have full flexibility of revamping their landscape with SAP Datasphere.
We will deep dive into scenario by scenario of various business cases and how a customer can save their existing investment and can move to SAP Dataspehere or they can fully go with green field implementations(subject to Budget).
SAP Dataspehere has everything for any kind of business case. It can cater your need and based on need you will have a solution too.
Scenario 1: Pure Native HANA classic or HANA XSA business case scenario.
These above business case is little rare but there are customers with pure Native Hana scenario.
Proposal : Better to move to SAP HANA cloud from classic on premise scenarios.
But if investment is major concerns still can enjoy SAP Data sphere being on premise too. SAP Cloud Connector can help here.
Scenario 2 : SAP ECC and SAP BW scenarios.
SAP announced that it would extend the end of mainstream ECC support from 2025 to 2027.
According to my view this is the high time customers must focus from ECC to S/4 HANA migration.
Also customers must focus from migrating from BW to BW4HANA. This is the safest and strategic move to secure new investment wisely. Both S/4 HANA and BW4HANA provides a better flexibility and it is a proven tech stack for better reporting. BW4HANA bex queries can connect to SAC and the HANA DB can be used for mixed and hyrbid modelling scenarios. This is powerful and safe, proven approach.
The above will give better edge to a customer to think what’s next after above.
New Business cases can be explored with SAP Datasphere.
The next question here is will data sphere will replace SAP BW4HANA.? Answer is No.
what is the direction provided by SAP?
Safeguard investments by retaining mature and complex on-premise systems or move to the private cloud -in support of the “RISE” with SAP strategy.
With long term support commitment until 2040 SAP BW4HANA remains a key solution in SAP’s portfolio and will be improved in the hybrid capabilities.
Innovate with SAP’s strategic target solution for all data Warehousing use cases, in line with the data-to-value portfolio strategy.
SAP Datasphere provides unique innovation beyond classic data warehousing – driving agility, business empowerment and accelerate time-to-value
Scenario 3 SAP S/4 HANA and BW4HANA scenarios.
This is the safest investment available as of now and the customer has better options to try for SAP Datasphere. S/4 HANA provides powerful features for operational reporting with the help of Fiori Tiles and BW4HANA provides excellent reporting and analytics with SAC.
Here in this type of scenario SAP Datasphere can be used for a unique business cases. Case by case scenarios can be implemented and need to be compared with BW4HANA existing features and a thorough decision can be taken on the move.
Scenario 4 SAP S/4 HANA Embeded analytics for RTC and Embeded BW/BPC.
This is one of the peculiar scenarios where customer needs to think practically. The Embeded BW model with in SAP S/4 HANA is growing with huge data volume :-
2 options arise here : –
- Create a separate tenant for BW4HANA. [Wise Decision for a long term investment].
- Move to SAP Datasphere with an hybrid decision.
During my recent workshops I got a feedback that Embeded BW cannot be used as a BW bridge for SAP data sphere and even the model transfer also will not provide greater flexibility. The only option left with remote connection to source.
With remote connection the customer will end up with maintaining the existing Embeded BW along with SAP Datasphere. The Embeded BW may be further growing with data and then remotely providing the models to SAP Dataspehere for analytical purpose.? This can be a headache for a customer.
What can be the best solution to secure existing investment and also innovated with cloud?
The best solution could be keep the existing models created as it is in Embeded BW and explore new business cases in SAP Datasphere.
Once evolved with SAP Datasphere with new business cases and expectations were met then existing business cases can be newly created in SAP Dataspehere.
Better to go hybrid in this case where the existing Embeded BW is secured and new business cases can be explored in SAP DATASPHERE.
Implementation Strategy (SAP Application Layer on HANA DB)
Extend the SAP BW4HANA landscape with SAP Dataspehere.
Move SAP BW to SAP Datasphere using the Embeded SAP BW bridge (Not applicable for Embed BW scenarios)
Transition to SAP Datasphere to a native cloud -centric data landscape. Green Field implementation from the scratch.
My personal view is SAP Datasphere as a solution cannot be only implemented for a single business case or from SAP data only.
Modern days warehouse on cloud such as snowflake and GCP can store and process petabytes of data and provides faster reporting/analytics as well from multiple sources and marry those information and provides consumer ready models.
Then why SAP Datasphere?
- Dataspehere has the capability to connect to many systems including Databricks and a combined analytical model can be created for insights.
- SAP Datasphere provides a swicth based mechanism for SAP SAC. Which means your DWAAS i.e. Datasphere and SaaS which is SAC are there for you parallelly. Which means the modelling and analytics are available with a single click.
- Also SAC can be extended to use planning capabilities with in SAP Dataspehere.
- The further goal of SAP is to provide same kind of mechanism for PAPM also which is a powerful web based Profitability and performance management tool for Cost Allocations. This is going to be really powerful.
Customer can bring data from many sources and enjoy analytics with in a single web URL with switch based mechanism.
Now after going though above scenarios a customer can decide to go for which direction and secure the existing investments as much as they can and also evolve with SAP Dataspehere.
This blogpost mainly covers scenarios based on SAP systems only. Integration of Datasphere with Databricks, Data Robot, GCP,AWS,AZURE etc are not covered. I will cover those scenarios when we have more and more business cases.
The above information shared is my view based on my learnings on SAP Datasphere. The information shared here is neither copied nor any theft of any intellectual property.