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Bill McDermott Talks SAP

December 14th, 2011 No comments

Earlier this month, I got a chance to see Bill McDermott, SAP CEO on Mad Money with Cramer.  When asked about the markets in Europe, I loved his response:

If you can deliver a solution that gives a leader of company a business outcome,  they can reach their customers better, they can automated their demand-driven supply chain, they can take better care of their people, they can do things better, they will invest.

Absolutely.  I’ve seen this over and over again.  If you can show value, efficiency gains, cost savings and return on investment, companies will invest.

Here is the whole interview:

It was cool to see SAP HANA discussed.  The speed increases we are seeing have been amazing.  Here’s an extensive, non-technical article about SAP HANA by Bob Evans that appears on the Forbes website:

SAP HANA and the Game Changing Power of Speed

As the year winds down, it’s exciting the see what’s ahead for SAP.  In particular I’m interested to see what will develop with the acquisition of the Sybase IQ database.  It was the first columnar data store and long time member of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems.

Sybase IQ is a very mature product which provides excellent price performance, yet with the emergence of  SAP HANA, which  not only contains a columnar data store, but also runs 100% in-memory.  What does the future hold?

One thing is for sure, the momentum of HANA continues to build and the future of trusted Business Intelligence looks bright.

«Good BI»

Categories: HANA, In the News Tags: , ,

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 Nears General Availability

August 29th, 2011 6 comments

Are you wondering when SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 is going GA?  So does Mico Yuk.   Will it be August 31st?  Maybe.  That’s the date currently advertised on Service Marketplace.

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 GA Date

Mico Yuk recently did an interview with Steve Lucas where she was able to get the answers to 4 burning SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 questions.  If you’ve not read it, then do.  you can find it here: http://bit.ly/nBxZU3

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 went into ramp-up in September 2010 and although I think SAP was pretty clear that the ramp-up would last 6-8 months, that timeframe has come and gone.  It is true that there was an early teaser video that announced SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 coming in Q4 2010.    You can watch it below:

Have You Downloaded v4.0?

If you’ve not taken the chance to download SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 and begin to play with it you should!  Approximately two months ago, SAP opened up access to the software beyond the ramp-up program and anyone who is interested can download it from Service Marketplace…  There are a lot of new features in this release.

SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 introduces:

  • New multi-source Semantic Layer
  • New Charting and Graphing for all products
  • New Crystal Reports for Enterprise
  • Tons of new WebIntelligence features
  • Revamped OLAP Client for the Web
  • New Xcelsius Direct Binding to the Semantic Layer (no more Excel or QaaWS required)

I know the release is getting close because I’ve seen significant strides around quality.  The latest pre-release version of SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 is SP02, Patch 4.  (SP = Support Pack).

Although early on in my testing I found a number of problems – especially with WebIntelligence,  the number of issues I’ve has dropped dramatically as development has continued to roll out new fix packs on an regular basis.

Coming Soon

So, it’s pretty clear.  SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 IS coming soon…

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Categories: BI Platform, In the News Tags:

Join the Innovation Party!

January 29th, 2011 No comments

Software companies are beginning to give all customers an equal voice and I love it.  SAP had launched Idea Place – a great place for you to share you best ideas directly with the product developers.

In the past SAP has used user groups, product councils, customer suggestions via technical support, surveys and other methods to gather feedback on how to make our products better, but now you can get involved and it’s easy.

SAP is asking you to join the party and submit your best ideas for innovations, feature enhancements and all around great stuff.  SAP wants you!

SAP Wants You!

Have you ever thought:

  • Why doesn’t the software let me do this?
  • This interface doesn’t make sense!
  • Why hasn’t anyone thought of adding this feature

Well – instead of being frustrated by great ideas and nowhere to send them, now you can post them on Idea Place.

Idea Place

Here’s how it works:

  1. Join the party at https://ideas.sap.com/
  2. Find your favorite product
  3. Look at the ideas that other customers have submitted
  4. Comment on the ideas of others
  5. Add your vote to your favorite ideas

Next thing you know, you’ll be saying, “Oh, that’s a great idea – why didn’t I think of that!”

What I also love about idea place is that you can see which feature suggestions have been rejected, which are still under consideration and finally, which have already made it into the product and when.

Submit Your Own

If you have a great idea of your own, simply add it!

This website is all about building a community of people with a passion to make SAP’s product better.  Please sign-on the Idea Place asap so you can contribute your ideas to make your job easier and make the product better.

Each year we make resolutions to improve our lives.  Help improve everyone’s life – share your ideas and let your voice be heard.

«Good BI»

Who’s the Greatest?

November 19th, 2010 No comments

Who’s the Greatest?  Muhammad Ali… but who decides who’s the greatest?  Just because I say so?

Analysts Unite!

When it comes to software, customers often want to know what the experts say, because they are the only ones who are seen as being truly independent.

Today I received a call from a customer asking me for information comparing SAP BusinessObjects with other popular, world-class, enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms and I told him there weren’t any.  Just Kidding!

After some information comparing our Business Intelligence offering with the competition and emailing it off, I remembered a brilliant cartoon.  We often take quotes from analysts like Forrester, IDC, Gartner, BI Scorecard, BI Survey and others and include them in our customer presentations.  Here’s a recent post I did on some of  Forrester’s comments:
http://www.trustedbi.com/2010/10/28/forrester-gives-businessobjects-top-marks/

Amongst our customers however, Gartner seems to be the most recognized Analyst organization.  I’m not sure if it’s because Howard Dresner has been credited with coining the term, Business Intelligence, or not.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Dummies – Geek&Poke

What I do know is that just about everyone is familiar with Gartner’s 4 quadrant view of any areas they are analyzing, which is why I couldn’t stop laughing when I came across this brilliant cartoon “Gartner Magic Quadrant for Dummies” by Geek&Poke:

Depending on where your companies products land you either feel like Gartner’s Analysts are the smartest guys in the room or you just wish you were a closer FOG.

Here is a link to the original blog post from 2009.

If you have any Geeks in your life think about getting them a Geek&Poke T-shirt for Christmas or the book.

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Categories: In the News Tags: ,

Forrester gives BusinessObjects top marks!

October 28th, 2010 No comments

I launched a tweet or two about the latest Forrester Report.  In case you haven’t read it, I quoted a few of the best nuggets.

The Leader of the Pack

SAP led the pack because of the completeness of not just BI,
but overall information management functionality.

I love that about BusinessObjects.  It’s the classic garbage in, garbage out.  It doesn’t matter how pretty your reports are, if the underlying data infrastructure in creaking under a poorly maintained data warehouse with hand-coded ETL logic and data quality problems.  Information Management is key!

SAP BusinessObjects continues to steamroll with innovative
products like Explorer and in-memory analytical appliance –
Business Warehouse Accelerator.  When you’re looking for the
top report writer, look no further than Crystal [Reports],
which is probably OEMed and embedded in more applications
than any other commercial BI tool.

Have you tried out Explorer yet?  You can try it for free on http://create.ondemand.com.  You can upload a spreadsheet and take it for a spin.  I’d be interested to hear what you think about it.

Xcelsius remains popular with many executives because
they can take the self-contained Flash files, which
combine dashboard application and data, on the road
and use it on laptops in a disconnected mode – even
without SAP software installed on that machine.

I had a customer ask me the other day if we are still committed to flash.  Well, considering Xcelsius 2008 was a complete rewrite into native Adobe Flex, I think we are pretty committed.  I hope that Apple and Adobe can get their differences sorted out.  I want my Xcelsius dashboards on my iPhone.  That said, Xcelsius is a flash-generator.  I’m sure the SAP engineers could quickly turn it into an HTML5 generator if they needed to.  Bottom line?  Your investment is safe.

And last but not least, [SAP NetWeaver] Business Warehouse
Accelerator appliance combines the flexibility of columnar
and inverted index databases with the speed of in-memory
database to provide a unique and powerful DBMS optimized
for BI.

As a BI Guy, I’ve never been all that interested in databases.  You plug them in and they work… but this new breed of analytic databases is a game changer.

Additionally, SAP leads the large vendor pack in self-
service BI SaaS offerings.

I keep wondering where this SaaS offering is going to go in the future.  There is huge potential behind it, but very few organizations seem to be doing it well.  Saleforce.com is the standout exception.  Considering crystalreports.com was launched in 2006, we’ve learned a lot since them.  Most organizations I work with want on premise solutions, but if you are a small business, you might want to have a look.  It’s very inexpensively month-to-month and considering the cloud integration of the Information Management solutions, it’s much easier to access corporate data in the cloud.

Best Is Yet To Come

… the best news of all?  They haven’t even seen BusinessObjects 4.0 yet!  Roll on December 2010!!

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Categories: In the News Tags: , ,