2008 GBN Business Objects User Conference – Day 3

Today was day 3 of the GBN Business Objects conference at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. It was the last day, so activities ended at noon with a few box lunch sessions instead of a full day of activities. Overall, the first GBN conference was a success. Sure, those of us who have attended Insight during previous years could tell that the budget was smaller (no pyrotechnics or dance troupes), but it was still a pretty good conference. After all, we had “real” breakfast this morning – fairly yummy breakfast burritos – when breakfast on day 3 last year consisted of weak coffee and NutriGrain bars out of a box.

The first breakout I attended today was… mine. My topic was CMC Essentials, comparing the security features of XI R2 and XI 3.0/XI 3.1 and demonstrating how the new Business Objects release provides improvements to administrators. A surprising number of people filled the room given that my presentation was so early on the conference’s last day. According to my colleague Dave Rathbun, several had to sit on the floor due to the lack of chairs. A big “thank you” goes out to Dave Rathbun and Amy Betten of Integra Solutions for helping everything go smoothly. Another big “thank you” goes to my very supportive local user group friends like Sandra Brotje (NOBOUG), Tammy Datri (PGBOUG chairperson), and Eileen King (NOBOUG chairperson). Even Giles Farrow of Business Objects, a long-time organizer of Business Objects user conferences, stopped by to make sure everything was going well. It’s humbling to be selected as a speaker and even more humbling to talk to a receptive audience. I’m grateful for today’s experience and hope that it was beneficial to my listeners.

Next, Meredith McLarty, also from Integra Solutions/Quorum Business Solutions presented Auditing for Anyone. Meredith compared auditing in XI R2 and XI 3.0, noting the latter’s improvements such as Desktop Intelligence auditing.

Next was Improved Lifecycle Management for Business Intelligence by David Brockington of Business Objects, who discussed the new Lifecycle Manager available with Business Objects Enterprise XI 3.1. Although it’s packaged as a separate application in this release, Lifecycle Manager will be integrated into the CMC in its next release. Business Objects customers currently use the Import Wizard for LCM, which can be challenging. I’m looking forward to working with this new capability.

The last breakout I attended was Creating More Meaningful Data Visualizations in Xcelsius by Dan Robertson, a senior sales consultant with Business Objects. Dan presented some very helpful best practices for visualization projects. I had met Dan, a Michigan resident, at a NOBOUG meeting last year. As with Tim Ziemba’s appearance on Monday, Business Objects would do well to send more support engineers and sales consultants to these events to share their expertise. Nice job, Dan.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back to work on my exciting executive dashboard project. I’ll be creating BIAR files and taking backups as we plan to upgrade our environment from XI 3.0 to XI 3.1.

I’m curious how many of my readers attended the GBN this year and what their overall impressions were. As always, feel free to post your comments.

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

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