Companies and governments are increasingly managing their business in the Cloud. Recently, Luxembourg media reported on the government's initiative to bring its administration to the Cloud. In this context, Raphaël Maka, SAP BI Business Manager at Bmatix Luxembourg since 2014, was interviewed by Techsense about the future of the data warehouse (DWH) in Luxembourg.
Read the original interview on Techsense
Q: How is the use of Cloud solutions like SAC, Qlik Sense or PowerBI evolving in the Luxembourg market?
Raphaël: Many organisations use their current BI solutions without asking themselves if things can be improved. A simple update, a migration to the latest version or implementing a more suitable BI tool might fit better with their business expectations and give them a clearer view of the future.
IT departments focus on finding the latest and most performant technologies to support operational business activities. From a technical perspective, choosing a BI tool and implementing it is easy. For the business, it is different, however. For them, it is not enough to integrate operational data into their BI tool. Often, users upload data, cross-reference with external sources and generate dashboards with randomly downloaded tools of which the IT department is unaware. This raises questions about data security and confidentiality.
Q: How about the use of SAP BW?
Raphaël: You can safely manage an on-premise migration in a greenfield environment, optimising each application.
After several migrations from SAP BW 7.x to SAP BW/4, we strongly recommend implementing your new BW/4 environment from scratch. We can replicate previous flows with new objects and functionality in a simpler yet more performing environment. BI tools are constantly improving. Analysing what has been done before is valuable and shows improvement opportunities.
DWH remains the most efficient way to access big data. Users can create statistics and strategic reports by collecting, integrating and consolidating data from different sources into a centralised system.
Q: Does DWH still have a future, given the performance of databases?
Raphaël: With a performing DB, you can store a large amount of information that is quickly accessible. But by structuring the information in a data warehouse, you can use it more effectively. You prevent unnecessary storage of information, maintenance becomes easier, and the integrity of the data is guaranteed.
Q: Is it possible to extract data from the S/4HANA platform without using a data warehouse? Can you also use other reporting tools than SAP to generate operational reports?
Raphaël: Bmatix has developed S/4HANA in-built extractors certified by SAP to use data with tools such as Microsoft Power BI. Customers are increasingly asking for real-time access to data. Transversal analysis as in a DWH is not possible, but it meets the needs of the business in terms of daily monitoring.
Q: Bmatix is an expert in various technologies. Your goal is to meet the needs of both IT and the business. In what way do you distinguish yourself from the competitors?
Raphaël: Thanks to our broad technological expertise, we can support customers in their choice of tools. They value our objectivity. Based on a detailed analysis of the existing systems, we can also make an accurate estimate of the migration workload.
Most competitors will immediately focus on specific solutions of one particular supplier. Our approach is customer-centric. We focus on how the customer will use the tool and in which environment. In this way, we try to make the tool pay off optimally.