SAP BusinessObjects Explorer – What IT Needs to Know

Just like a political talk show on cable, the truth about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is somewhere in the middle.

I’ve been busy talking about SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and helping customers deploy it.  I’m really excited about next month’s release of SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.0 as part of the BI 4.0 suite, but there’s lots of reasons to start using the current release, SAP BusinessObjects Explorer XI 3.2.  Explorer is a unique business intelligence application aimed at the casual business user.  People generally have two reactions to it.  The first is that it’s a silver bullet that will magically solve all of their organization’s information delivery challenges.  The second reaction generally comes shortly after the second.  “Oh, it’s just a toy” or  “Our users would never use that”.

Both of these reactions are the extremes.  Just like a political talk show on cable, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Explorer brings business intelligence to an audience that desperately needs it but isn’t willing to sacrifice the time to access it.  I frequently hear from IT that “Explorer needs to add XYZ feature,” but remember- its beauty is in its simplicity.  SAP BusinessObjects Explorer requires almost no training.  Adding new features cannot come at the expense of complexity, and I appreciate that Explorer’s product managers carefully guard which features go into the product.

Explorer is great because it addresses the “I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for” business requirement.  Giving key users access to corporate data via Explorer helps them discover new insights.  These insights will lead to more specific business requirements to address specific business problems.  That’s where the more traditional tools for dashboards, ad-hoc query, and enterprise reporting come into play.  Explorer augments these tools.  It doesn’t replace them.

Explorer allows you to start small with your existing universes, then grow into in-memory analytics with either SAP BW Accelerator or HANA.  You don’t have to begin with a large investment.  Many customers are already licensed for Explorer, they just haven’t deployed it because it’s a separate install.

I challenge you to give Explorer a try.  Remember, it helps users find what they didn’t realize they were looking for.  Therefore, they’re not going to come asking you to deploy a tool that they don’t realize they need.  Take the first step and put Explorer in front of them, either on their desktops or their mobile devices.  Then step back and see what happens.

My 2011 SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Tour (so far)

April 29, 2011
ASUG Ohio Chapter Meeting
Cleveland, Ohio

June 24, 2011
ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY

July 14, 2011
St. Louis BusinessObjects User Group
St. Louis, MO

Your hometown???

Have you deployed Explorer in your organization?  Share your thoughts below.

ASUG Ohio Chapter Meeting – SAP BusinessObjects Day

I’m speaking about Increasing User Adoption of Business Intelligence

Hello, Cleveland! Today is SAP BusinessObjects Day. Join Steve Ruggiero, ASUG Ohio Chair and Eileen King, Chapter Program Chair this afternoon at 12:00 PM for a knowledge-packed afternoon.

I will be presenting Increasing User Adoption of Business Intelligence, my breakout session from last May’s ASUG/SAP SAPPHIRE 2010 conference. Joining me on the agenda are Anil Chitkara from OCO Inc. (Using SAP BusinessObjects BI OnDemand to Unlock Value from your Data Vaults) and Sandy Brotje from the Cleveland Clinic (I Can CAL*, Can You? – Custom Access Levels for SAP BusinessObjects Security).

Ratliff and Taylor
Lower Level Amphitheater
6450 Rockside Woods Blvd, South
Independence, OH 44131

NOBOUG Winter 2008

FYI, NOBOUG’s February 12, 2008 has been cancelled due to weather!

I’ve accepted an invitation to speak at the February 12, 2008 Northern Ohio Business Objects User Group (NOBOUG) in Cleveland, Ohio. I will present Secure Universes with Restriction Sets, my Insight 2007 presentation. Last February, I presented my Insight 2006 presentation at NOBOUG with massive snowfall. If you’re a Cleveland-area Business Objects or Crystal Reports enthusiast, I hope to see you there!

Here’s the full agenda:

Northern Ohio Business Objects User Group Meeting

When: February 12, 2008

Where:

Amphitheater (Lower Level) — NOTE – Different location!!!
6000 Freedom Square Dr
Independence, Ohio 44131

Lunch: Provided by Business Objects and Quorum Business Solutions

Time………………………Topic

12:00 PM – Networking Lunch
1:00 PM – Business Objects Presentation
2:00 PM – Effective Data Presentation, Stephanie Lyon
3:00 PM – Break
3:15 PM – Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets, Dallas Marks
4:15 PM – Crystal Reports 2008, Kristos Zagorianos
4:45 PM – Wrap-up & Door Prize Drawings

SAP AND BUSINESS OBJECTS WEBCAST

TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS BY CONNECTING PEOPLE, INFORMATION, AND BUSINESSES

Effective Data Presentation (2007 IUC)
Stephanie Lyon, Lyon Technologies

This session focuses on the finer points of effective ways to present data to an audience. This session encompasses a closer look at specific design principles. Learn how to communicate more successfully and deliver more effective presentations by understanding how details can make a difference in how a message is delivered.

Secure Universes Using Restriction Sets (2007 IUC)
Dallas Marks, Dataspace

Do you need to tailor universe security to specific users or groups within your organization? Attend this session to learn about restriction sets and how they can apply security to selected groups or user accounts for the universe. Hear how applied restrictions can control objects, rows, query types, and connections. See live demonstrations on how to use each type of restriction and the effect they have on user Web Intelligence documents.

Dallas Marks is a Business Objects certified professional and training manager for Dataspace, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based business intelligence consulting firm. His extensive Business Objects experience spans across manufacturing, retail and education. A knowledgeable speaker, Dallas presented Getting Personal with Publications and Profiles at Business Objects Insight Americas 2006.

Crystal Reports 2008
Kristos Zagorianos, Chateaux Software

Kristos will discuss and demonstrate how Crystal Reports can be used within any size and type of organization as well as demonstrate Crystal Reports 2008