ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference 2010 Preview


It’s the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference next week, October 5-7th, at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Florida. There are over 140 sessions planned covering every aspect of getting the most out of your BI implementation.

As usual, there are so many sessions that it’s going to be hard to choose which to attend — here are some that caught my eye. I’ve introduced each session with the reasons you might be interested, and then added the presentation summary from the conference web site. Sorry in advance: they are in no particular order, and of course there are lots of other great presentations that I didn’t get around to adding here.

Maybe see you in the sessions!

Achieving Remarkable Results

Speaker: Steve Lucas

Why you might be interested in attending: (1) doh: it’s the main keynote (2) Steve has a long history with Crystal / BusinessObjects, pioneered the BusinessObjects OnDemand vision, and (after a short spin at we’re very happy to have him back in charge of all “business user” products for SAP in the US (3) even if he’s (probably) not going to try to include a live monkey in his presentation this time (ask him about it), he’s still a great, dynamic presenter (4) I’m told the session is going to focus on all the great innovation being delivered.

Today’s “new reality” is driving an evolved perspective on how companies must manage in a world of accelerated change. As a result, the demands on IT and LOB leaders to deliver more value and enable greater flexibility continues to increase. In this keynote address, Steve Lucas will discuss how SAP BusinessObjects is collaborating with and supporting customers to meet these demands. Customers are SAP’s most important constituency; hear directly from Steve how SAP embodies this value every day.

The Future of SAP BusinessObjects Analytics

Speakers: Jason Rose, George Mathew

Why you might be interested in attending: it’s another main keynote, this time at 4pm on Wednesday afternoon. Jason is THE person in charge of rolling out V4 successfully, and George Mathew is in charge of Business Intelligence and In-memory Analytics in the product group.

image Get a glimpse into the future of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence and Enterprise Information Management technology. This session will focus on BI trends, illustrated with as much information as possible about the upcoming release of BusinessObjects V4.

SAP BusinessObjects BI at Harley Davidson – Lessons Learned. Harley Davidson

Speakers: Joel Janke, Jim Keene, Ingo Hilgefort
Why you might be interested: Harley-Davidson have been on the leading edge of business intelligence for well over a decade, using BI extranets to drive great value – and now they’re taking it to the next level. Oh, and Ingo is one of the foremost BusinessObjects experts in the world and literally wrote the book on Reporting and Analytics with SAP BusinessObjects.

In this session Harley Davidson will present how they are using SAP BusinessObjects BI – in particular Web Intelligence and Xcelsius – to offer their dealerships reports and analytics to run their business better. Harley Davidson will present the value the SAP BusinessObjects BI solution is providing to their dealerships, present their overall landscape as well present their lessons learned. In addition this session will be followed by a set of best practices for the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio presented by Ingo Hilgefort.

Beyond the Field of Dreams: Building a Culture of Analytics

Speaker: Nick Strauss
Why you might be interested: Business intelligence success is NOT about technology, it’s about people, and changing the way you do business. Take this opportunity to step away from the feeds and speeds, and reflect on what really counts (but sadly, this is at the exact same time as the Harley Davidson presentation).

Just building a data warehouse isn’t enough: without a demand for business intelligence, users will not come to even the best analytic field of dreams. This presentation details how T-Mobile USA leverages the Business Objects XI suite to create a “culture of analytics” and build demand for business intelligence and analytics. Overcoming a complex environment with dozens of data sources and diverse tools, an integrated strategy of marketing, training, and user support is developing a user base that appreciates analytics and possesses a growing capacity to meet their own needs needs using Infoview, Webi, LiveOffice, and other Business Objects tools.

SAP BusinessObjects Innovation Center Prototypes

Speaker: Isabelle Nuage

Why you might be interested: the BusinessObjects innovation center team are leading the way in SAP by using Web 2.0 techniques: build prototypes, share them, get feedback, provide great products. They have a great track record – look out for the features and functionality that will make it into V5.

imageAttend this session to learn about all the latest innovations from the SAP BusinessObjects innovation center. The team is focused on leveraging emerging technologies to deliver innovations that continue to simplify and extend the value of SAP BusinessObjects portfolio to more people. Its objectives: develop & explore innovations for potential inclusion in future products Its principles:

  • Learn by doing: actively learn by building for & validating with customers
  • Work collaboratively with customers, partners and developers
  • Leverage emerging technologies where appropriate

Best Practices for BI Success

Speaker: Cindi Howson

Why you might be interested: Analyst and blogger Cindi was in charge of BI projects with BusinessObjects for many years, and then literally wrote the book on successful business intelligence. She knows what she’s talking about!

Cindi HowsonBusiness Intelligence is helping visionary companies thrive in a tough economy and beat the competition. What is so different about their approach to BI and how can you apply these secrets to your own BI program? Based on research from the book Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets to Making BI a Killer App and 2009 survey results, this presentation highlights how and why BI has made a difference in visionary companies, yet floundered in others. Simply establishing a data warehouse and deploying BI tools is not enough. Success hinges on how the technology is deployed and on organizational aspects companies often fail to tackle such as the business-IT partnership. These insights and best practices will let you benchmark your BI deployment against the industry and help increase the impact BI has on your company’s performance.

Visualization for Experts

Speaker: Donald MacCormick

Why you might be interested: I think Holos / Crystal Reports / BusinessObjects veteran Donald maybe did a bad presentation once, twenty years ago — but certainly not since then. And Antivia is the coolest BusinessObjects partner of all (running neck and neck with ex-Xcelsius team at RoamBI).

AntiviaEver wished for a different visualization for your Xcelsius dashboard? Maybe how to connect to different operational data sources or perhaps even visualize your data in 3D? This presentation will show you how you can add these powerful capabilities to your Xcelsius dashboard initiatives through use of the Xcelsius SDK.

Donald MacCormick_338af7fd-2cd4-4bf7-bcd8-a6c59ec828fc Thanks to the Xcelsius SDK the last two years has seen an explosion of third party add-on components for Xcelsius that add real value. In this presentation you will see for yourself the value that these components can add to your Xcelsius dashboards. Live demonstrations will show how easy it is to add custom components and data connections to your dashboards and how they can take your visualisations to the next level and beyond.

Xcelsius + Google Maps + 15 Minutes: A Coding Must-See

Speaker: Ryan Goodman

Why you might be interested: Ryan knows more about Xcelsius and making great dashboards than just about anyone – and has a great blog. He’ll be talking about the brand-new GMap 2.0 plugin for Xcelsius.

ryan goodman Learn from an Xcelsius guru how to drag-and-drop Google Maps’ simplicity into your business intelligence application without any coding or server installation. Google Maps Premier coupled with SAP Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) creates the ultimate experience for information consumers to assess performance. From real-time street-level risk analysis to worldwide sales, see how other users currently combine on-the-premises business intelligence with cloud-based mapping to drive real ROI. Watch a live demonstration and learn how you can load live data into a Google Maps-enabled dashboard in minutes, not days! Join us and get exclusive access to free content along with a sneak peek at the next breakthrough. Google Maps designs for the masses!

A Comprehensive Guide and Roadmap to SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Solutions

Speaker: James Fisher

Why you might be interested: I find most BI people aren’t close enough to the finance function, which has its own — completely different – way of collecting and aggregating data. Here’s how to get up to speed on the products that should be part of your BI strategy.

Figure 2 Xcelsius dashboard  within SAP BO Planning and Consolidation Understand the functionality available with the new SAP BusinessObjects enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions that support strategy management planning, budgeting and forecasting, financial consolidation, XBRL and profitability and cost management. Understand how enterprise performance management integrates with SAP ERP, SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI), and governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions. Leave this session with a strong foundational understanding of SAP BusinessObjects EPM solutions and the road map moving forward.

Introducing Roambi Blink: Fast, visual, multi-dimensional analysis, in the palm of your hand

Speaker: Santiago Becerra

Why you might be interested: RoamBI are cool. What more do you need?

In-memory computing is emerging as one of the most important trends in the BI space. It provides business professionals with super-quick, self-service analysis of business intelligence. In this session, the creators of the interactive mobile dashboard will unveil Roambi Blink – the new Roambi View designed specifically for visually interacting with in-memory BI systems such as SAP BW Accelerator. Roambi Blink’s distributed in-memory processing delivers lightning-fast, locally-stored, highly-interactive mobile dashboards on any iPhone or iPad – so you can quickly access and analyze critical company data, whether or not you are connected to your BI system. Come and see multi-dimensional analysis – in the blink of an eye, in the palm of your hand.

Solving the BI Puzzle at PepsiCo

Speaker: Yelak Biru

Why you might be interested: Yelak has been working with BusinessObjects for a long time. 90+ deployments and 26,000+ users leads to deep wisdom…

Is a BI Strategy really necessary to take your BI Practice to the next level? What are the real challenges of putting one together? Spanning 12+ years of SAP and SAP BusinessObjects experience, and covering both the business and tool aspect of the strategy, PepsiCo will share real life business scenarios and cover challenges and successes along with lessons learned. Deployed in almost all Business Units of PepsiCo, spanning 90+ applications and 26,000+ users, come learn how one of the largest SAP deployments in the world is using Business Objects suite of tools to solve the BI Puzzle and 1Up its competition.

Guided Tour of Information Design Tool, SAP’s Next Generation Modeling Tool

Speaker: Frank Prabel

Why you might be interested: Universes are still at the heart of BusinessObjects power, and Frank has been working on the semantic layer for over a decade.

Come and discover universe Designer’s successor through a complete demonstration of the new Information Design Tool. If you are not familiar with those tools or the semantic layer concept, come to see a preview of SAP’s next-generation modeling tool. In this session, you will get a live overview of the tool’s major features, which will give you the base necessary to attend other, more detailed presentations. A must-see session if you use universes or universe Designer.

Managing a Business Intelligence Center of Excellence (BI COE) with SAP BusinessObjects

Speaker: Adam Getz

Why you might be interested: if you don’t yet have a competency center of center of excellence, you need to start working on one…

This session provides an overview of the concept of a Business Intelligence Center of Excellence (BI COE) and how Business Objects can be leveraged as an enterprise reporting and dashboarding standard. It is intended for professionals at all levels of an organization and anyone that is interested understanding how a BI COE can be beneficial to their own organization. In addition, this presentation provides details on “best practices” on utilizing Business Objects on an enterprise level and how Business Objects can be incorporated into a BI COE.

Taking BI Mobile

Speaker: Emily Mui

Why you might be interested: red-hot topic, and real issues for companies wanting to do it in an industrial-strength way.

Everyone is talking, breathing and living mobile. iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile or Symbian? Which mobile platforms is your company using today? Where do you start with a mobile BI solution that will deliver you real business value? What types of companies are successful in doing that today? What does SAP BusinessObjects offer in enabling anytime access to BI? Come hear and see the latest in what SAP has to offer in delivering business intelligence in the palm of your hands.

Metadata Madness

Speaker: Alan Meyer

Why you might be interested: this is one of two sessions by Alan, who is consistently the best-rated speaker at the BusinessObjects user conference events, and this topic is even more important than what he normally covers.

Business intelligence has become so popular that information on the data collected and analyzed is now a vital source of information all by itself. This metadata is extremely valuable in its own right when you’re trying to understand how your data is consumed and by whom; the answers to these questions can streamline your BI efforts. Unfortunately for most companies, many of these insights aren’t realized since metadata is never analyzed. This session hopes to change that attitude by introducing Metadata Manager as a tool that can cull those insights and present the findings online. The key points for using Metadata Manager will be covered, illustrated by demonstrations using real-world scenarios. If you’re wondering how many of those 150 universes are really needed or what impact changing a table will have on thousands of production reports, this session is for you.

Discovery vs. Delivery: A Comparison of Client Reporting Tools

Speakers: Brian Durning, David Rathbun

Why you might be interested: this is one of two sessions by David, who is also one of the top-rated presenters at BusinessObjects events, and, let’s face it, everybody has the tool front-end selection issue…

There is a saying that goes something like this: If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. What if you have more than one tool? Then it becomes a challenge to figure out which is the best tool for a particular job. As BusinessObjects developers we have several different tools available. This presentation will discuss strengths of the client tools and offer advice on how to select the proper tool for the job. We will cover only the client tools, specifically Crystal, Web Intelligence, and Xcelsius.

Cool BI Tends – and How to Prepare for Them

Speaker: Timo Elliott

Why you might want to attend: well of course I’m going to pitch my own presentation! I’m going to try to keep it honest and wide-ranging (i.e. not only about products sold by SAP) – what are the technology areas you should realistically be looking at for the coming few years? Wednesday from 9:15-10:15 am in the Southern Hemisphere Room, Salon 4:

Where is BI going, and what should you be doing to “future-proof” your current implementations? This session will take you beyond next year’s products, with an overview of the key technology trends that will impact your business intelligence architectures and user interfaces, including augmented corporate reality, XML and semi-structured data, NoSQL databases, social media and collaboration, etc.

  • How is BI evolving and overlapping with other technology areas?
  • What are the key new trends and possibilities?
  • What you should should be doing today to prepare?