NTT DATA Business Solutions
NTT DATA Business Solutions | October 21, 2019

Planning your Move - SAP BW/4HANA Migration


Author, Matt Sisley, NTT DATA Business Solutions UK

SAP BW/4HANA Migration? Why you need to move.

If you are running SAP BW then the chances are this is a business critical system. Most businesses running SAP BW rely on it for day-to-day critical decision making. Once they are implemented, SAP BW systems are generally rock solid but it stands to reason that if it is business critical, you need to make sure you are always running a supported version.

Did you know that SAP BW 7.3 and SAP BW 7.4 are out of support ? If you are running one of these platforms then you need to be making plans for a SAP BW/4HANA Migration.

SAP BW/4HANA Migration

When you start making plans for a SAP BW/4HANA Migration, the first step is to understand more about SAP BW/4HANA. SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 is supported to the end of 2024 and will continue to receive enhancements and upgrades. There are already lots of good reasons for moving to SAP BW/4HANA.


  • SAP BW/4HANA is designed to deliver a modern packaged data warehouse. There are some significant enhancements over earlier editions of SAP BW.
  • SAP BW/4HANA is highly optimised for SAP HANA meaning it is faster than earlier versions of SAP BW – even those running on SAP HANA.
  • Every aspect of data modelling is simplified with fewer object types, fewer data source types, reduced staging of data, new features for modelling non-SAP data sources and more intuitive development interfaces.
  • SAP data sources are now accessed through Operational Data Provision and there is new business content for SAP sources such as SuccessFactors.
  • Data from non-SAP data sources is replicated to SAP BW/4HANA with SAP HANA Smart Data Integration.

If you want to understand more about SAP BW/4HANA (2.0) then read this excellent blog by my colleague David Bradley on the NTT DATA Business Solutions website.

SAP BW/4HANA Migration – What you need to think about when planning your move

Similar to SAP S/4HANA there is a simplification list for SAP BW/4HANA. But unlike SAP S/4HANA there is no option to run these features in “Compatibility mode” – if you have items on your simplification report you must deal with them as part of your SAP BW/4HANA move. Some issues mean making changes outside of your SAP BW system.

  • SAP BEx Analyser, SAP Web Application Designer and the SAP BW Java stack are deprecated. That means that if you are moving to SAP BW/4HANA you will need a reporting/analytics tools to use the data in your BW system. The good news is that if you use SAP Business Objects or SAP Analytics Cloud they can still connect to your SAP BEx queries in the same way as they do now.
  • SAP BPC 10, Analysis Process Designer (APD), BW-IP and BW-BPS are not supported in their current form and require manual steps to convert.
  • SAP BW Accelerator is no longer supported. This is a simple one – there is no need for BW Accelerator given SAP BW/4HANA’s performance.
  • Some Netweaver add-ons are not supported.

You will also need to convert all your existing content to the new types if you are using older object types like InfoCubes and MultiProviders or older 3.x data sources.

This means that in many cases, a SAP BW/4HANA conversion is a Brownfield process. A Brownfield implementation is where a new system is created and built to deliver the same outcomes but with a different technical implementation. There are some tools available which in some cases can help to accelerate a Brownfield implementation.

NTT DATA Business Solutions’ Conversion Factory and our  SAP BW/4HANA Migration approach

At NTT DATA Business Solutions we have built a Conversion Factory to deliver a predictable, low impact, cost effective SAP BW/4HANA Migration process based on real-world experience of moving customers to BW/4HANA. Our conversion experiences cover in-place upgrades and Brownfield re-implementations.

  • Our projects are delivered by consultants with experience of multiple SAP BW upgrades and conversions.
  • We have an efficient processes for scoping, quoting and delivering system conversions.
  • Our costs are competitive and predictable.
  • We provide regular communication through the process.

Janus Henderson Group PLC recently converted to SAP BW/4HANA with NTT DATA Business Solutions.  If you want to know more about this project then you can read the full case study here

NTT DATA Business Solutions Assessment Services

If you are unsure about how how to approach a SAP BW/4HANA Migration, NTT DATA Business Solutions offer a range of assessment services to help you plan. We offer a fixed price guidance package to help you plan your move to SAP BW/4HANA.


Businesses wanting to transform through improved data and analytics can access other NTT DATA Business Solutions assessment services to plan their transformation.



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