I know, I know, I am officially horrible at blogging! Hey, hopefully the #AllAcessSAP Xcelsius webinar made up for that. Thanks for showing up BTW. The attendance numbers and feedback was out the roof!
I somehow managed to stay home for most of this year, minus SAPPHIRENOW (in May) and then last week in Milan for BI2012, but that has ended.
So, it’s time for me to post my 2012 global conference schedule in hopes that I will meet some of you again, as that is truly the highlight of these conferences for me.
The most anticipated event of the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects conference is finally here and its BIGGER and BETTER!
We are excited to formally announce the Official SAP BI4 Release Party (aka the 3rd Annual Xcelsius Gurus Reception), hosted by none other than myself Mico Yuk (founder of Benchmarkers.com and EverythingXcelsius.com) and the infamousSteve Lucas, Global GM & Senior Executive of the SAP Business Analytics & Technology Portfolio!
If you attended our event in previous years, you probably know that it looks more like a Vegas nightclub on Friday night than a regular ‘boring’ corporate event. We plan to keep it that way (just don’t tell our sponsors at SAP ).
IMPORTANT! – You MUST be REGISTERED for the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects conference to attend this event. Space is limited and we are always booked to capacity within 48 hours of this notice, so please send in your RSVP as soon as possible. Confirmation details will be sent out via email prior to the event with instructions on where to pickup your wrist band. All registered guests will be required to show a wristband upon entrance without exception.
Sponsored in part by SAP, the event promises to provide a host of surprise guest, as well as a BI4 video confession booth where customers can tell their story to win exciting prizes, a chance to network with fellow SAP BusinessObjects community members and the SAP BI team, door prizes, 2 open bars and an open buffet! Let’s also not forget it’s ASUG’s 20th Anniversary celebration!
We would also like put in a call for volunteers, if interested please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to see you! Thanks!
The SAP Dashboards (Xcelsius) product team will be conducting usability tests on-site again at SAP ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando (May 16-18, 2011). Don’t miss out on this great chance for you to test out and provide feedback on the latest enhancements and features under development for a future Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) release. Below is the official blurb that will appear in conference materials, but you can sign up before you even get to Florida to ensure a time slot convenient for you. The instructions are at the bottom of this post.
Great chance to test out and provide feedback on the lastest enhancements and new features under development for a future Dashboard Design release, including hierarchical data consumption and new data binding workflows.
BI users who have experience building/consuming dashboards in Dashboard Design (Xcelsius), preferably working in a BusinessObjects Enterprise environment.
Role A: Dashboard Creator: with IT background
Role B: Dashboard Consumer: with business background
Some experience with Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) is a must. BusinessObjects Enterprise experience is optional, but preferred.
Role A: Dashboard Creator:
IT or power users working for enterprise wide, LoB wide or departments; build content for decision maker/stakeholders.
Professional IT experience >5y (programming languages, database )
BI Tool experience (data modeling tool/ analytic tool/excel )
Role B: Dashboard Consumer:
Casual users who view/present the created dash boards and make decision upon (can be Executives, team managers or operational staff)
E-commerce knowledge background.
You will work with our researchers to test on the prototypes for a future release of Dashboard Design relating to hierarchical data consumption, direct data binding and other enhancements, which are amongst most important features for 4.1. During the session you will be guided to go through a series of tasks under several senarios where you may have a taste of what they would actually function. What you really experienced in the process and comments/advices will be critical to base the design desicion.
How to sign-up on-line
1. Go to http://usability.sap.com.
2. Click on “ASUG Annual Conference 2011″.
3. Click the “Register here” link on the left-hand side (in the Login section) and create an account.
4. Log in to your account.
5. Click on “Topic Catalog” on the left-hand side.
6. Under “Topics”, select “SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Design (Xcelsius)”
7. Find a convenient time slot and click “Sign Up”.
Please feel free to contact Clare Xie (email@example.com) if there is any questions or thoughts. We looking forward to seeing you in Orlando next month!
Soo Tang Yuk is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page.
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To say that 2010 was a very memorable year for the Xcelsius Gurus community is an understatement. To see what I mean, take a minute to read my 2010 Top 10 list below.
#10 SAP TechEd Conference
Coming in at #10 is the SAP Teched conference in Las Vegas. There I had the pleasure of co-hosting the Xcelsius hands-on sessions with 2 of my favorite technical guys from the SAP Xcelsius and RIG team, Matt Lloyd and Patrice Lebhan. The event drew in such a crowd that we had to turn away attendees. I also had the pleasure of doing a live interview with fellow mentor Jamie Oswald (a must watch for those considering attending TechEd in 2011) and former SAP Executive Marge Breya. There aren’t enough lines to explain how great this event was so click on the links below to see firsthand.
Click here to view interview #1 with Jamie Oswald and Jason Cao (SAP BusinessObjects Community Leader)
Click here to view the interview #2 with former SAP Exec Marge Breya and fellow SAP Mentor Karin Tillotson
#9 Xcelsius Advance Training in Dallas
Hosted by Mike Alexander and myself in Dallas, TX this was a jam packed fun event. This event is traditionally sold out with a waiting list, so if you are interested do write us an email early to get on the list. We are considering doing one on the West and East coast this year due to popular demand.
#8 EverythingXcelsius Blog Design Update
If you visit our site often enough, and our Google statistics show that many of you do, you have probably noticed that a few months ago we made some small updates to the blog’s design. Two major updates include our sleeker image enriched front page now with enhanced social media buttons and our new ‘Resources’ tab which is a one stop shop for Xcelsius related links on the web. You will also notice that our ‘Showcase’ tab now takes you directly to our commercial website to see examples of some of our guru dashboards which takes us to #7!
#7 Launch of our Commercial Website Benchmarkers Business Intelligence
If you’re wondering why this is so far down the list, it’s because we have yet to do an official launch, as we are still making some small adjustments. Expect to hear more about our official commercial website Benchmarkers Business Intelligence, where we work with some of the world’s biggest companies to deliver state of the art BusinessObjects deployments, migrations and implementation being sure to include our well known and best designed dashboards. We will do an official company launch in Feb 2011, but those who wish to find out more can visit our site http://benchmarkers.com to see how other companies are benefiting from our services.
#6 My SAP Mentor Nomination
It is no secret that the acquisition of BOE by SAP took the BOE community by storm in 2008, me included. I was again taking by a storm when I was informed that I had been nominated by the SAP BOE community to become an SAP mentor. There isn’t enough space in this blog post to document my adventure in the first year as an SAP Mentor, but I will do a better job to document the journey in 2011.
#5 SAPPHIRE / ASUG Conference
Making our Top 5 is SAPPHIRE, the biggest SAP sales event of the year. Unfortunately, it was not an option for many BOBJ folks who shied away from the heavy SAP ERP presence. Teaming up with ASUG, SAP managed to pull together one of the best events that we ever attended. There was no shortage of BusinessObjects information, just BOE attendees!
Coming in at #4 has to be the first official BusinessObjects virtual competition (at least that we know of). With a name like Reportapalooza how could we forget? We emailed asking for your votes and entries, you won prizes, saw some really cool dashboards and then forgot it existed. While the event may have lasted for a bit too long, we do give SAP an A+ for wanting to engage the community with their software. Recruiting big BOE community names like SAP Mentor Jamie Oswald, known author and blogger, Jim Brogden, and myself, it was the first of its kind. Big KUDOS to the winner, Brian Durning at PepsiCo (also ASUG Crystal Reports Chair). Will SAP do another one next year? Guess we’ll have to wait to see.
#3 EverythingXcelsius Social Links reach 1000+
Making the top 3 has to be the fact that our Twitter and Linkedin Group both exceeded 1,000+ followers this year. We are delighted by the tremendous growth and look forward to having you be a part of our community’s evolution in 2011. Lots of exciting changes in 2011. We truly feel that we host the most passionate community members in the SAP BusinessObjects realm and we appreciate all of you!
#2 SAP BusinessObjects User Conference (aka SBOUC) / 2nd Annual Xcelsius Gurus Reception
As the only BusinessObjects conference that currently exists (though more are popping up in 2011) this event took off in Orlando with over 1600+ attendees, a far cry from its despicable attendance in Dallas the year before. On-site was the “Who is Who” in the BOE world, along with tons of informational sessions, and keynote demos of the upcoming BOE XI 4.0 release. Most shocking however was the formal announcement by Steve Lucas, SVP for SAP Business Objects North America that BOE had accounted for 52% of SAP sales up to Q3. We also co-hosted the wildly successful 2nd Annual Xcelsius Gurus Reception with the help and support of the SAP Xcelsius Marketing Team. Pics can be seen here.
#1 SAP Renames Xcelsius
Topping the charts at #1 is of course the Xcelsius name change to SAP Crystal Dashboard Design or #SCDD depending on what day you look on twitter. While some who are in emotional distraught blogged and tweeted that the “Xcelsius name will never die” it is clear that SAP is moving forward with it in an effort to consolidate their Crystal product portfolio. If it is any consolation, SAP took it one step further to leave no rock unturned by also changing the names of long beloved products such as ‘Infoview’ to ‘BI Launchpad’(1/10/11 Update. Correction – Web Intelligence will not be remained and hence the statement has been removed. Refer to the comments below). They even managed to gain accolade from Gartner who openly criticized SAP for their frequent name changes.
I finally got the chance to put my agenda together and below are a list of sessions (sorted by day) that are must attend for all fellow Xcelsius gazelles. (NOTE: Items highlighted in BLUE are extra sessions that I think every Xcelsius fan should attend.)
Tuesday, Oct 5th, 2010
9:15 AM-10:15 AM: Getting Smart with Xcelsius (Mark Hudson from Antivia.com)
10:30 AM-11:30 AM: Xcelsius + Google Maps + 15 Minutes: A Coding Must-See (Ryan Goodman from Centigon Solutions)
10:30 AM-11:30 AM: Dashboarding: Modular vs. Composite vs. Custom (Matt Hawkins from Kingfisher)
As a SAP BusinessObjects “legacy customer” why should I pay to join ASUG, a predominantly SAP organization? This is perhaps the million dollar question and one that many SAP BusinessObjects folks have been asking themselves for the last 2 years, post the SAP acquisition. I was also in the same boat, but instead of speculating, I was blessed enough to connect to some key folks who changed my entire perspective and I want to share my experience with you. (Note: Anything that I state here is not for the purpose of advertising or discrediting ASUG. It is simply based on my actual experiences and personal thoughts.)
So you can easily follow my journey through ASUG, I am going to summarize what I call ‘the how ASUG won me over timeline’, one person at a time.
(May 2010) ASUG Dashboarding SIG Volunteer – I was invited to join earlier this year by the SIG’s chair, my former client and colleague, Gabe Orthous, from McKesson. While the progress with this SIG has been fairly slow, considering the group has only met about twice to date so far, I was surprised to find tenured members, such as Paul Grill of Infosol, whose outspoken persona always shines light on the “real issues”. The joint webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman in August is an example of the SIG’s effort to provide quality content to its few hundred members (most of which are from the SAP side).
(July 2010) ASUG Atlanta Chapter – While having lunch with Gabe and another fellow ASUG Dashboard SIG volunteer, Durgesh Das, I then met Rajeev Kapur (a very friendly, but influential BI leader from Newell Rubbermaid). Tasked with managing both the SAP and BusinessObjects suite in his own environment, Rajeev happened to also be the head of the ASUG Atlanta chapter. He is responsible for organizing the local Atlanta ASUG Chapter events that are attended by almost 300 customers and partners. Expressing the need to get more BOE folks to these events, though skeptical, I attended the first on Sept 17th at the COKE Enterprise with my buddy Durgesh (I documented my entire experience via twitter with photos). In a nutshell, there were 4 segments of sessions from 9-5pm and each segment contained a BusinessObjects session that was not only well attended, but quite informative. I learned about RoamBI, Crystal Reports integration with Xcelsius, and the BusinessObjects Roadmap. Did I forget to mention, that as a BOE vendor, there was not a shortage of SAP customers who needed help with their BOE implementations? So honestly, I left there wondering, how can I possibly get more BOE folks to see what I saw? The best was yet to come!
(Sept 2010) Conversation with ASUG CEO Bridgette Chambers – Triggered by some feedback from the webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman, (which I will not discuss here due to its irrelevance) I was then contacted by ASUG’s very own CEO, Bridgette Chambers. Like many of you, I had read about her new role as the CEO of ASUG last year, but when her secretary called to set up a call with me, I thought, “OK, maybe these guys are serious about getting BOE folks on board!” Without going into full details of the entire conversation, what stood out to me the most was her absolute focus and determination to win over the BOE community. It honestly left me wondering, “With this type of leadership at the top, why does it seem that ASUG has failed to capture the attention of the BOE community?” Simple answer. They did not choose a BIG ENOUGH SHOVEL to penetrate the heap known as the BOE legacy customers.
Conclusion - At this point, however, I am convinced that there is tremendous value in ASUG, but just unsure how to relay this to our BOE community. I think most will agree, that ASUG did a poor job of transitioning the GBN members when they took over which left the BusinessObjects folks wandering out there, turned off by member fees, a bad ASUG website, a confusing strategy to bring them board, and no visibility into the true value of joining this ‘seemingly’ SAP vested organization.
So my take? If you are a customer the membership is free until the end of the year. Please check it out. I’ve not only gained great friendships and associates, but also new customers and lots of new friends to network with and to exchange knowledge. And because the BOE community is so small, there is a lot of room to really influence what ASUG does. Not to mention, the SAP folks I met have such a deep interest in BusinessObjects. There is no excuse that one will hear about SAP modules all day. I sure did not! I did however, learn a lot about how BusinessObjects work on top of SAP. So I definitely encourage you to join me on this journey folks. See you next week in Orlando!
Mico Yuk is a 2010 SAP Mentor and the founder of the Xcelsius Guru Network and the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit, our About Us page.
We are excited to formally announce the SAP Xcelsius Community Party, hosted by the Xcelsius Gurus, at the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in Orlando, FL, on October 5th at 7pm in the Oceanic 3, Lobby Level.
This invitation-only event promises to be much bigger and better than last year, with a chance to network with Xcelsius users, experts, and other folks from the BusinessObjects community. To RSVP, please send an email with ‘RSVP’ in the subject line, to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1st.
This year we also want to encourage you to submit your best stories and examples of Xcelsius, to be judged by your colleagues and peers within the community. All submissions should be sent to emily.mui@sap, no later than October 3rd.
The Everything Xcelsius Weblog is the fastest growing Xcelsius community on the web! It is a place where developers and clients alike can come to gain more information about SAP Dashboard (Xcelsius) software.