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Posts Tagged ‘Dashboards’

ENTICE Users with Interactive Dashboards that work…

July 11th, 2013 No comments

I was delighted to see yet another extremely informative webinar from Antivia.  They partnered together with FedEx to deliver a compelling webinar that discusses how organizations can use dashboards to simplify the consumption of key corporate information.

Donald MacCormick kicked off the webinar with a reminder that we don’t always see what we think we see and that dashboards in their interactive variety aren’t really dashboards, but rather the future of end-user business intelligence, especially when it comes to delivering content to mobile devices.

Checkershadow Illusion by Edward Adelson (MIT)

Donald used the BBC Weather website and Yahoo!MarketDash iPad app as examples of interactive “ENTICE”-ing dashboards that are:

  • Easy to Use
  • No-Training Required
  • Task focused
  • Interactive
  • Connected
  • Engaging

FedEx ICE Project Results

ICE stands for In-Center Excellence and was deployed to help the organization improve performance across  FedEx Office (Kinkos) locations.

Andy Mills and Charlotte Huff discussed their use of SAP BusinessObjects and how together with the leadership from their new COO, Kim Dixon, they were able to transform the way the FedEx Office Personnel access critical business metrics and information.  They focused on leveraging dashboards to provide a ‘one stop’ for information coming from multiple systems.  They also make sure the information was actionable.  In addition, by leveraging the Sharepoint portal to allow users to collaboration and provide ‘kudos’, the team helped FedEx Office to create a positive energy with friendly competition and positive peer feedback.

Here is a video of the presentation… and listen to all the great ideas they used for generating BUZZ prior to the release.

What struck me was the emphasis that these interactive dashboards aren’t ‘done’, but rather continue to involve to include new elements of FedEx’s ongoing strategy.  As needs arise to include additional financial reporting or voice of the customer information, their dashboards are evolving as well.

Are You Building Relevant Analytics?

What was apparent from the results is that FedEx Office is forward thinking and putting together an evolving, future-proof analytics strategy.  Through their example’s like theirs many customers are leveraging a new type of dashboard that is built was the following important concepts in mind:

  • Dashboards Replacing Reports
  • Simple and Sophisticated
  • Wide Adoption (1000’s of users)
  • Lean / Agile / Iterative Approach
  • Feedback from End-users
  • Engaging BI
  • Actionable BI

BI is not there to let you know, it is there to let you act.   – Andreas Bitter

If you’d like to contact Antivia, visit their website and they’ll be in touch,  http://go.antivia.com/Contact.html

«Good BI»

Preview of Dashboards on the iPad

May 30th, 2012 No comments

Here is a quick preview video of dashboards running on the iPad using HTML5.  We should see this functionality available by end of 2012.  I think it looks pretty good so far.

Xcelsius on iPad Preview

This is a preview of the new product changes based on SAP’s statement of direction for Xcelsius.  For all the details about this, check out the following post on EverythingXcelsius.  It’s good to see that they haven’t developed a standalone application for dashboards, but rather are keeping all the different content types together.

Latest Features Available Today

In case you haven’t see it, here’s a nice overview demo of some of the latest capabilities of the BusinessObjects Mobile app for the iPad.

The latest BusinessObjects Mobile app provides drill up and down, support for sections, on-screen annotations as well as map integration with Google.

«Good BI»

Categories: Dashboards Tags: ,

Antivia Adds Xcelsius on the iPad

January 16th, 2012 4 comments

Are you ready to move your Xcelsius (SAP Dashboards) to the iPad yet?

There’s nothing stopping you!

No, not even the fact that iOS doesn’t support flash.

Antivia’s new XWIS Anywhere bring a new product to their already popular suite of BusinessObjects extensions.

Antivia XWIS Anywhere

Antivia’s XWIS Anywhere is going to overcome a technology hurdle that SAP has been unable or unwilling to clear — Xcelsius (aka SAP Dashboards) on the iPad.

Antivia provided an in depth 55 minute presentation about Antivia XWIS Anywhere.  They are committed to:

  • Mobilizing Any Xcelsius Dashboard
  • Providing a Native iPad Experience
  • Full Catalog and Management inside SAP BusinessObjects
  • Additional iPad Security (for locally cached content)
  • Quick Deployment (hours instead of days or weeks)
  • Allow Offline Slideshows  (Screenshots of Xcelsius dashboards)
  • Access to WebIntelligence and Crystal Reports

Notables

It is important to note that because XWIS Anywhere is leveraging the SAP BusinessObjects repository, if the dashboard does not exist in the repository then it will not be available for the iPad.  A perfect example of this is the Xcelsius BICS connectivity for Netweaver.  These dashboards must be published to SAP BW and run from within the context of the Netweaver application server.  However, this is only a short term limitation.  SAP does plan to support BICS  connectivity for Dashboards saved into the SAP BusinessObjects repository with the next release, SAP BusinessObjects v4.0 SP3.

One glaring feature that seemed to be missing over the similar solution from Exxova is the zoom in/zoom out capability.  With Exxova, it works very much like the native iPad browser.  Users can use two fingers to zoom in and zoom out of their Dashboards.  This is great when viewing dashboards which might be hard to read – or helpful for executives who have difficulty with small print.

UPDATE:  XWIS Anywhere does support pinch and zoom (using native iPad gestures)

Here is a sample dashboard view:

Hospice Dashboard - Standard View

By placing two fingers on the screen and pulling them apart, Exxova allows you to zoom into a specific area of the dashboard and at the same time a small thumbnail (indicated by the red arrow) shows you a small red box indicating where you are on within the context of the dashboard:

Same Hospice Dashboard - Zoomed In

Future of SAP Dashboards

Donald MacCormick indicated during the webinar that Xcelsius/SAP Dashboards will be move to HTML5 in 2012.  That means he expects some subset of functionality available by the end of 2012.  What does that mean for you?   It means you can invest in Antivia today, move your dashboards to the iPad today, and when SAP eventually provides full Xcelsius HTML5 functionality (that could be some time), you can move ahead at your own convenience.

You will be prepared for change before it happens.  Because the XWIS Anywhere application is a native iPad application with a “screen emulation” technology in the middle, when HTML5 becomes available, Antivia will simply replace the existing “screen emulation” technology with the HTML5 SAP Dashboards output.

Keep your users happy.  Make dashboards available on the iPad today.

You won’t regret it…

«Good BI»

 

Xcelsius for the iPad – Today!

September 19th, 2011 5 comments

If you’re like the other thousands of SAP BusinessObjects customers, you would love to move your Xcelsius dashboards to the iPad.  Right?

The problem is flash.  Steve Jobs hates flash and steadfastly refuses to support flash on the iPad.  Even on tablet devices that do support flash such as the Samsung Galaxy, some people complain that flash applications are too sluggish.

So What’s the Solution?

I discovered a very special app on iTunes called iSwifter .  iSwifter allows flash to run on the iPad… so to speak.  Actually flash does not run on the device at all but it is streamed to the tablet.  I have visions of thousands of computers with Internet Explorer sessions running.

Within a few minutes and $4.99 later, I was up and running.  I was able to connect to an instance of SAP BusinessObjects that was accessible over the Internet.  There are however multiple problems with this app.  I found that iSwifter:

  • Only connects to publicly available websites.  The URL you are connecting to must be a publicly accessible site
  • Requires a WiFi connection
  • Isn’t completely secure.  Your connection with the iSwifter server doesn’t appear to be secure.

Apparently there is a large demand for this type of technology because the company recently reported revenue to exceed $10M and they have moved from a one-time fee to a monthly subscription service.

Enter Exxova

Exxova is a subsidiary of Bartronics India Ltd.  Their US Headquarters is located in Alpharetta, GA and Mark Hillam, who used to work at BusinessObjects, is the president of their BI practice.  I saw Mark at Sapphire after his team made quite a splash showing Xcelsius dashboards on the iPad using their app MyBI.  More recently Mark invited me to their offices to spend more time with the solution and I was very impressed.  Although it is still relatively early days for this solution, it holds a lot of promise.
Today with Exxova,  you can deploy ALL your existing BI content to the iPad without any modifications.

For more videos click go here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/ExxovaWorldwideCorp

I recommend that you download it and play around with it.  It’s free.

There are several really nice features.   I found that MyBI:

  • Can be implemented within your corporate firewall.
  • Does NOT requires a WiFi connection (although 3G is pretty slow).
  • Provides special gestures to simulate right-click, scroll, pan, zoom in and out.

Here are some screenshots from MyBI

Exxova Help Screen

Exxova Home Screen

Xcelsius Dashboard

WebIntelligence on the iPad

What Approach Will Your Company Take?

We seem to be at one of those paradigm shifts where organizations need to make a decision.  There is no doubt that companies are adopting the iPad device in ever growing numbers.  The $million$ dollar question is:

Do we create custom interfaces for the iPad or simply make our existing content available there?

Are you prepared to invest heavily in the iPad and build your own apps or purchase additional apps that require additional development and redesign efforts  or are you going to wait and see how the tablet market plays out.  The iPad is the predominate player today, but who’s to say that this dominance will remain?  And besides, the iOS platform only supports Apple devices.  Oh what I would give for a crystal ball.

The choice is yours, but today, I see MyBI from Exxova as a good alternative to redevelopment.  (and just in case you are curious — no, I did not get paid to write this article nor have I ever received any compensation from Exxova, but I’ve seen the solution, played with it and think that it’s worth considering.)

I am curious to hear from you.  What do you think?  Is a custom iPad interface worth the redevelopment?

«Good BI»

Cool Dashboards from ProMorphics

May 31st, 2010 No comments

Although I’ve worked in a number of different industry verticals, I’m currently focused on the Utilities vertical.  I’m always on the look out for great dashboards and I found some!  I want dashboards that combine the best features of Xcelsius together with amazing usability and depth of function.  My latest discovery is from ProMorphicsProMorphics is a services organization and they have been a member of the SAP Ecosystem for a number of years.   I recently got a chance to view the results of some of their compelling dashboards  and the results speak for themselves.

When I spoke with ProMorphics they talked about their commitment to listen to the customer and to go the extra mile.  They’ve been extremely successful at using Xcelsius as a prototyping/rapid development tool so that they can get feedback and turn the results around extremely quickly.

Their sample dashboards focus on these three areas:

  • Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
  • Field Operations
  • Sales and Financial Performance (Peek Performance)

If you work in a utility related industry, you may want to engage ProMorphics and leverage their expertise.  It’s not surprising that 70% of their business comes from repeat customers.

ProMorphics Operations Dashboard with Custom Xcelsius Controls

Interactive Demos

Although ProMorphics does not allow you to download their .xlf files, you can view the dashboards via the following website:
http://www.promorphics1.us/22/interactivedemos/demos

Here is a 10 minute video walk-through of their Peak Performance dashboard with Kasia Szewczyk
http://www.promorphics1.us/29/audiovideo/recording

Conclusion

It’s always good to see partners who exploit all the features within a solution.  In the screenshot above, you can see how they have built Google Map integration as well as a custom calendar control.  These are examples of custom Xcelsius controls written in Flex.  I saw example after example of custom controls, developed to make sure they gave the customer exactly what they wanted.  If you engage ProMorphics in a project, they will also make these custom Xcelsius controls available to you.  Some partners like Centigon Solutions do allow you to buy their Xcelsius controls separately but ProMorphics currently does not.

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Categories: Dashboards, Partners Tags: , ,