Posts Tagged ‘Antivia’


Webinar Alert: Distributing Xcelsius Dashboards

More and more, dashboards are playing an increasingly pivotal role in organizations with a growing demand for new ways of delivering and consuming these dashboards. Users are no longer content with having dashboards delivered via a corporate portal or BusinessObjects InfoView. In fact, to use a rather overused BI cliché, users are demanding dashboards that deliver “the right information, at the right time, in the right place”.

This means, that organizations are now looking at ways to make dashboards available offline, delivered by email, or accessible on their users’ mobile devices. They also want to focus the information within the dashboards so that it can be personalized and distributed to users in a simple file format. However, many organizations have concerns about data security, encryption and scalability, and also the work required to customize dashboards. These concerns have prevented them from pursuing what could be a very effective way to extend the use of business intelligence to new users.

Antivia will be hosting a webinar on Thursday, November 18 at 2:00pm EST, demonstrating how you can utilize the power of XWIS and the BusinessObjects Enterprise platform to distribute personalized, offline Xcelsius dashboards, in a secure and scalable way to new users and new devices.

You can register for the webinar here. Space is limited so register today.

For those of you who missed the previous webinar: “Accelerate your Xcelsius Dashboards”, the recording is now available here.

Soo Tang Yuk fosters and evangelizes the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” and its communities. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page. (posted on behalf of Andrew Smith, VP of Antivia, North America)


How to Make the Most of Your Xcelsius 2008 Dashboards

At the recent ASUG conference in Orlando, it was clear to everyone that the majority of the excitement and buzz at the conference was centered on the Business Intelligence side of SAP’s business- and most of that excitement was focused on Xcelsius, which is mainly due to its devoted community.

Antivia’s founder, Mark Hudson, gave a presentation during the ASUG conference to a packed room,  about why Xcelsius is so popular and how it’s becoming the business intelligence primary interface for many BusinessObjects users.

Some of the reasons he cited were:

  • Flash format means Xcelsius dashboards can be viewed almost anywhere on almost any device
  • Easy intuitive interface requires almost no training. Users are often expected to just figure it out
  • Xcelsius is a natural evolution of BI within an organization, as mature BI customers  move from operational reporting through ad-hoc querying to visualizations

I speak with Xcelsius customers every day (they are the only people I speak to all day!) and the consistent feedback I get is that they all want to do more with the product. They want to make more dashboards, populate them with increasing amounts of data and distribute to a growing number of users.

They want to build on the strengths of Xcelsius (the ease of use, the interactivity, the visualizations), and add features which enhance all of these strengths and provide the dashboard user with an greatly enhanced user experience.  Features like drill-down, offline access,  ad-hoc interactive analysis, and pivot tables. They want to use Xcelsius to extend the reach of business intelligence, along with its associated benefits, across their organizations.

Antivia will be hosting a webinar this Thursday, October 28, at 2pm EST, to show how organizations can use Xcelsius to extend BI to new users and can build upon the strengths that Xcelsius brings to their dashboard projects.  If you are interested in how you can make Xcelsius dashboards more quicker, scale them to a greater number of users, and provide advanced interactive features, then this webinar will be a good starting point to build your dashboard blueprint.

Please click here to register for the webinar. We look forward to seeing to you there!

Soo Tang Yuk fosters and evangelizes the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” and its communities. To find out more about her, please visit the About Us page. (posted on behalf of Andrew Smith, VP of Antivia, North America)


Gauges and Globes – Highly effective, ineffective dashboards

In his article “The Slow Death of a Gauge,” Ryan Goodman makes a number of great points about the use of gauges in dashboards and he is absolutely correct, for many reasons, gauges are not a great way to display information in a dashboard and if you are using them you should look at some of Ryan’s recommendations for alternatives.

However, there is one thing which I think he underplays and that is, in his words, “the emotional effect that Xcelsius has on customers is amazing”. Having seen and given many demos of Xcelsius in my time, I completely agree, it is a technology which not only leaves people wide-eyed and open mouthed, but more often than not, it also leaves them wanting attractive, interactive dashboards filled with their information (and for what it is worth I deam convinced there is a strong, positive correlation between the seniority of an end-user and the power of this effect!). In short, they leave the demonstration significantly more engaged in BI than when they entered. Having seen this happen over and over again, I am convinced that this “Xcelsius engagement effect” is not only a critical value in the BI life-cycle, but also leads to the bizarre concept of the effective/ineffective dashboard.

The only way something can be effective and ineffective at the same time is to be effective for one purpose whilst being ineffective for a different purpose, and this is exactly what is at work here. Business Intelligence has two great challenges:

  1. Providing high-quality, timely, usable information and analysis to end-users
  2. Engaging end-users so they actually use this information and analysis once it is delivered

And sadly, just because you deliver 1) does not guarantee that 2) will automatically follow. In fact, sometimes the more effective something is at 2), the less effective it is at 1) and vice versa. A great example of this is the XGlobe component (free to download), which is definitely at the emotional/engagement end of the spectrum. I have yet to see anyone react poorly to it, people instinctively love it. I even heard a story about a senior executive who saw it at a morning seminar and all he could talk about back at the office in the afternoon was “the dashboard with the spinning globe in it”. However, I have yet to see it put to good use in a day-to-day, operational dashboard (any references to examples are very welcome). Try spinning the XGlobe below and see what you think.

Adding such blatant “eye-candy” to demo dashboards may seem like a classic “bait and switch” tactic, but trust me, it is highly effective at drawing end-users into the BI world and engaging them. The first “demo” dashboards you show them may not be useful, but they will love them. The ones you deliver in your proof of concept can be more real-world and as likely as not, after a few weeks of production use the users will be back begging you to remove the globes and gauges to free up screen space for more data, and at that point, they are engaged, the dashboards are theirs and adoption is much more likely to follow.

Having said all that, you have to be careful with engaging end-users emotionally like this. It dramatically increases the stakes, and expectations for a quick, comprehensive delivery are all the higher. You should also be aware, that as they learn more, users will inevitably change their minds about what they want. This will require a solid infrastructure that enables delivery of robust, drillable, interactive data, quickly and easily through Xcelsius, in an easy to maintain way, but that is a topic for another day.

If this topic is of interest to you, I invite you to attend my presentation, “Visualization for Experts” at the SBOUC in Orlando, FL,  on Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 2:45PM – 3:45PM.

Donald MacCormick is a board member and strategic advisor to Antivia, an SAP® software solution partner, and creator of XWIS the Xcelsius-to-SAP BusinessObjects connectivity solution. In past years, he was a long term member of BusinessObjects and Crystal and part of the team that brought Xcelsius into the BusinessObjects portfolio.


Alert! Webinar: Powering your Xcelsius Dashboards via seamless integration with Web Intelligence Reports Jan 14th @ 10am PST

Mark your calendars!! New Event Alert! Antivia recently notified us that they are delivering a webinar for BusinessObjects entitled
Powering your Xcelsius Dashboards via seamless integration with Web Intelligence reports, scheduled for January 14th, 2009 at 10am PST / 1pm EST. The webinar will be focused on the Xcelisus Web Intelligence Integration Suite. The knowledgeable, Mark Hudson, will be the conducting the webinar, so please attend and be enlightened.

So what should you do next?

  1. Click here to Register for the Event
  2. Mark it on your Calendar!

You dont want to miss this EVENT! Webi and Xcelsius have never been used together like this before.

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Antivia Web Intelligence Suite Press Release

As mentioned last week, it appears that Antivia has published their first press release regarding their famous ‘Web Intelligence Suite’. Below are the key capabilities of the Web Intelligence Suite (from the press release):

  1. Drillable data grids that work directly with Business Objects Universe drill paths
  2. The ability to bind Web Intelligence data directly with all other Xcelsius components
  3. The Slice & Dice Panel allows users to decide whether they wish to view information in a cross-tab or tabular view, both fully drillable on any of the dimensions they select
  4. Live collaboration to Xcelsius dashboards through Instant Messenger like discussions

Having an alternative to Live Office #4 is great! Instant Messenger like discussions in BO? Social networking meets BI!

Click the link below OR cut and paste in your browser to view:

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