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Holding on to my Nuts in Australia

I love cashew nuts and whenever I travel internationally I always take a large bag with me. They are the prefect snack for sustaining me through the time zone changes when my body is telling me it’s time to eat but lunch or dinner is still hours away. So on a 15 hour flight to Australia, my cashews came in handy. Just before landing, as I am filling out the mandatory landing card, I see a question asking if you are bringing any of the following food items that includes nuts in the list. Next to the question it states there are penalties for not answering correctly and if not sure, you should still answer “yes”.

I still have a lot of cashews left to last me through the next nine days and I did not want to give them up. I asked the flight attendant what I should do and he told me to declare them and there was a possibility that they would take them away.

I was in a complete state of panic when I joined the long line at Melbourne airport immigration and I started a discussion with fellow passengers about what would happen to my nuts. Nobody I spoke to seemed to know for sure including the immigration officer who stamped my passport. After picking up my bags, I joined another long line for customs. As I finally stood in front of the customs officer, I handed him my declaration card at the same time as holding up my bag of cashews and meekly asking, “Can I keep my nuts?”.

He looked up, smiled and replied, “No worries mate, you can hold on to your nuts”.

Over the last few months, I have spoken with many companies about their usage of BusinessObjects for their business intelligence and one of the most common concerns is that someone is going to take away their favorite tool. In some cases, it may be a new CIO or CEO deciding to switch BI vendors, in other cases it is the BI vendor deciding to replace the tool and no longer supporting it, like Desktop Intelligence.  The fact is that nobody likes something taken away from them that they like and find useful and often essential to doing their job. Not only is this counterproductive but often the organization spends huge amounts of money to replace it with something that does exactly the same thing from a business intelligence perspective so there is zero additional benefit.

Change can be good but only if it is for the right reasons and everyone benefits overall. Most of the people I spoke to felt as though they had little or no say in the decision that was affecting them and did not understand why it was happening which only made them that much more resistive to the change.

Business Objects announced the end of life for Desktop Intelligence almost 10 years ago and yet thousands of organizations continue to use it and rely on it for critical business functions today. It has been replaced at many companies but the most successful conversions have occurred where everyone affected has been involved and the replacement has provided measurable business benefit and productivity.

Let’s face it, nobody likes having their nuts taken away from them. However, if somebody had offered to replace my cashews with chocolate covered organic ones explaining they would have all the benefits of my original cashews but with a healthier nut and this sensational chocolate and on top, I would have happily given them up!

About Paul

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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