The 2010 ASUG BusinessObjects User Conference begins this week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Hundreds of SAP BusinessObjects enthusiasts will gather to make the most of their current tools and to see a glimpse of the future. I’m presenting three breakout sessions at the conference. The focus of the conference will be the public unveiling of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0, the first major release of the BusinessObjects platform since SAP acquired BusinessObjects two years ago.
Of course, change is both fun and frightening. Just as Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw learned to cope in Who Moved My Cheese?, all SAP BusinessObjects professionals are learning to cope with “Who Moved My BusinessObjects”- SAP. SAP has already started barbecuing the sacred cow of product names (see related article SAP BusinessObjects Product Name Change by SAP Mentor Simon To on the SAP Community). But more is happening in the business intelligence world than mere software vendor acquisitions and branding strategies. The world is indeed changing. Five years ago, the iPhone and iPad did not exist. But the era of mobile computing is here, and we’re privileged to live in it. Five years ago, ASUG was not organizing BusinessObjects user groups. Five years ago, I was helping organizations implement BusinessObjects with their custom AS/400 and niche-vendor ERP solutions. Today, these organizations are performing global deployments of SAP ERP.
So while SAP BusinessObjects will remain open to all data, a significant number of organizations are running their businesses differently than just five years ago. And SAP is responding to the customer landscape, not just its internal marketing standards. Besides, “All Information, All People, One Platform” doesn’t magically happen once the software is installed. It happens because people make committed efforts to improve the operational efficiency of their entire organization, not just their organization’s IT department.
I’ll have to be honest. I’m not looking forward to doing Google searches on “Dashboards”. “Xcelsius” was a much more focused and relevant search term. But I have to decide if I’m going to Hem or Haw.
So let’s come together this week and admire the new shiny toys- Crystal Reports 2011, Analysis (Pioneer), Dashboards (Xcelsius), Explorer, and the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 platform. And admire the giant iPhone demos. Learn to make the most of the software we’ve already deployed. Catch up with Twitter friends that are seen only once a year. Find a table of strangers, share a meal, and build a network. Build new relationships with the folks in SAP shirts. Put on a pair of mouse ears. And have a great time.
You can follow the conference on Twitter with the hashtag #SBOUC.
I’ll see you there!