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Implementing Business Warehouse the Smart Way

Over the past 20 years, companies who have implemented Business Warehouse (BW) have gone through the typical phases of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. Business end users gather business requirements – or a “Blueprint” – for the reports, key metrics and analytics they are interested in seeing.

Once confirmed, these user requirements are “built” within BW. They are either met via Standard Content within the cubes or, more frequently, by customizing the reports and the underlying data model (cubes, extractors, etc.) themselves to add or pull data objects from the source environment. BW implementations, in all but a very few cases, frequently involve some form of customization to meet business requirements.

Clarkston has on occasion been asked to re-implement BW. During assessments with clients on how these situations come about, we found that during Blueprinting, business users, through no fault of their own, at times do not know what they want, and subsequently fall back on replicating existing legacy reports in BW. This unfortunately comes with a price. What we frequently observe is that BW has to undergo significant changes post go-live. In some cases, even re-implementation. This is predominantly due to changing requirements from a business community who, post go-live, has a better understanding of the BW system and what it can do, what it can show them and what it is capable of. It’s the classic example of now that I can touch it, play with it and know it better, I now know what I truly want.

Too often companies have to re-implement BW as a result. Too often customized reports are no longer used and cast aside as not relevant and unusable. Too often the return from this investment is questioned.

In an effort to recognize and overcome this scenario, Clarkston recommends a different approach to implementing BW – namely, a phased approach. With this approach, there are initially zero customizations to the cubes. This means no joins or new cubes are introduced and there are minimal customizations of the queries themselves. We believe that for companies who have not implemented BW before and are planning to in the future, this is a more cost effective and value added approach to implementing BW.

For more, please download our report.

Tags: SAP