I have been talking to customers on BW on Hana for a good while now – about their plans to make use of BW on Hana, and what roadblocks exist for its adoption etc. Here are the top three concerns that I hear the most
1. Projects to migrate to BW take a long time to complete, delaying value realized by business
2. Due to the length of the project and the cost to acquire HW, SW and Consulting services – the initial investment to be made looks high for some customers
3. Is it possible to try a few scenarios in BW on Hana quickly before going all in with a full migration?
Last year, several customers asked me why they should consider BW on Hana. These days, I hardly hear that question – I get more questions on “HOW” they should go about it . And to help customers and partners with this , my team and I have been traveling across the world doing hands on sessions on BW on Hana as well as BI on BWoH. Several other teams at SAP have also been doing similar enablement sessions, so I think the “HOW” part will be adequately taken care of too.
But we still need to better address the 2 questions on length of migration projects as well as the initial cost. And this why I wanted to ask your opinion of putting BW on Hana on cloud, on a subscription basis. There are many potential deployment options like I scribbled in these pictures on what systems can move to cloud.
I I really have no idea whether SAP can actually do any of these ( it needs to make sense on technical and business dimensions). So please do not treat this as an official SAP statement. My intention is strictly to present my thought process to the ecosystem and get some feedback from all of you. And of course , this is just an “additional” deployment option, not a replacement of on premises BW on Hana which I fully expect to continue.
Back to the 2 common concerns – how do we solve that? I think a cloud option is probably one worth considering. Here is what I think might work
1. SAP or a Partner acts as the cloud provider and signs a subscription contract with customer via SAP Hana Marketplace
2. Customer gives a copy of current BW system to the provider
3. Provider imports and migrates the copy into their cloud, and does testing. Maybe customer can do some user testing too.
4. With necessary signoffs, the solution is cut over into a productive instance on a cloud that customer can access
5. Any extra data/ transports etc that are needed are applied, deltas initialized, BI tools connected etc
6. Customer starts using the productive instance of BW on Hana with some agreed up on SLA
7. Customer starts paying the monthly subscription, with some provisions for data growth, additional BI clients and so on in future
I probably made it sound simpler than it is – but hopefully the general idea is clearly coming across to you.
I think there are many advantages in the cloud model
1. Customer deals with one provider alone – not one each for HW, SW, Consulting and Support.
2. Since one provider has full control over end to end experience on multiple customers – economies of scale should kick in and result in less time to do migration, and less cost than customer doing all the steps individually via multiple partners.
3. With subscription pricing, there is no big initial outlay for customers . Monthly payments are predictable for budgeting reasons etc .
Of course there are some trade offs too that need to be considered
1. There might be some reluctance to move a data warehouse to cloud for fear of security. However, this reluctance is definitely coming down – and VPN and other security measures can be put in place .
2. Network can become a constraint for loading and reporting. However, given the speed of BW on Hana on both reporting and loading are faster than classic BW, some of this can definitely be compensated. Also, not all loads are real time into BW . There is of course the option of moving the source systems also into the same cloud and reap even more benefits.
Now the million dollar question(s) – what do you folks think about this? Do you think this will help more customers derive value from BW on Hana ? What other factors should be considered from the customer’s perspective ?
And about the third concern of how to get a jump start on BW on Hana without going all in – Do you think customers will like to get a Hana One Premium type system for BWoH that they can run in parallel with existing BW systems for just a few scenarios ?