What a long strange trip it’s been!
I began 2007 with a career move to a business intelligence professional services firm that wanted to extend their existing Business Objects Solution Partner relationship and join the Authorized Education Partner program. I knew at the onset that there would be travel, mostly to Ann Arbor, Michigan where the public training facility was located. But I looked forward to the opportunity to build something, a training program, from the ground up. This year, I have stayed 100 nights Holiday Inn hotels alone, earning nearly 273,000 Priority Club points.
In February, I was a speaker at the Northern Ohio Business Objects User Group, giving my Insight 2006 presentation, Getting Personal with Publications and Profiles. The presentation details how to use single-pass report bursting on the Business Objects XI Release 2 platform.
From February through May, I worked with a European automobile manufacturer in Auburn Hills, Michigan, developing requirements for a master data management system for their product data.
In April, my wife and I enjoyed a weekend in Chicago, Illinois for an off-site company meeting with my employer.
In May, I traveled to Newark, New Jersey for 3 days of Customer Centric Selling training for Partners, provided by Business Objects. The training was directly applicable. I’ve also greatly appreciated the book, which has changed how I approach consulting probably more than how I approach selling.
In June, I made two trips to St. Louis, Missouri to help another Business Objects AEP teach SA210R2 and SA310R2 (Business Objects Enterprise XI Release 2 Administration). Two of my students were administrators for one of Business Objects’ largest customers. They were taking the classes in preparation of their migration, although they were going to wait for BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.0 (code name Titan).
In late July and early August, I spent two weeks in Scotts Valley, California teaching users how to use, of all things, Crystal Reports Explorer. This was my first experience delivering training via WebEx, to users in North America, Asia, and Europe. The schedule was demanding, as the training was offered at times convenient to the end users. North American training was delivered during Pacific Standard Time business hours, Asia beginning at 7:00 PM PST, and Europe at 4 AM PST. While I was in California, I took full advantage of my Ford Mustang rental to visit Carmel By The Sea, Monterrey, Santa Cruz, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and Big Basin State Park. Driving a Ford Mustang rental through the redwoods (esp. Highway 9 through Henry Cowell) was simply amazing.
In August, I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to do a pre-sales call doing my first demo of Dashboard Manager. Let’s just say that there’s a first time for everything…
October was a very busy month. I spent a few days at a Michigan health insurance provider, auditing their Business Objects XI R2 security model. They were gracious enough to let me preview my Insight 2007 presentation, Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets, which I presented the following week in Orlando, Florida. The week after Insight 2007, I taught my first class subcontracting to Business Objects for a nationally-known fashion retailer in Cincinnati.
And now, things are mostly quiet. In November, I began a local assignment, helping a Cincinnati-area customer migrate from Business Objects 6.5 to Business Objects XI R2 SP3. This assignment should keep me occupied into 2008. I’ll be posting some of my activities and lessons learned to this blog.