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J Lo Rocks , SAP Rolls and BI takes a Back Seat


Paul with J Lo posterI had only seen Jennifer Lopez in movies before her rock concert at Sapphire this week. She put on a good show and certainly generated a lot more energy on stage than the keynote speakers at this year’s combined SAP Sapphire and ASUG Annual Conference.

SAP rolled with their “Run Simple” theme that they introduced at the 2014 Sapphire embellishing it with banners that declared “Simple is Beautiful” and “HANA is the Answer”.

SAP Run Simple Sapphire 2015

Six years after introducing HANA, Hasso Platner, Chairman and Co-Founder of SAP, focused again on HANA during his keynote. It’s not that he doesn’t have other things to talk about but HANA is his baby and he wants it to be part of his legacy and SAP has bet its entire future strategy on it. I like Hasso because he tells at as it is and is truly passionate about technology.  It is difficult for a company known primarily for its business applications to shift to being a technology leader. I think Hasso summed it up well when he declared that SAP does not want to be known to its customers as a “trusted advisor” but as a “trusted innovator” instead.

SAP is also downplaying Analytics (they appear to be trying to eliminate Business Intelligence all together from their standard vocabulary) as a separate product set and is clearly emphasizing an embedded analytics future direction. This fits well with the HANA strategy but would really require you to have all SAP applications to be successful.

SAP Analytics boothThere was not even a marked out area in the huge SAP Campuses in the exhibit area this year for Analytics. Instead, there were two small booths in the SAP Platform area – one marked as “Analytics” and the other marked as “Lumira”. When I asked the person in the Analytics booth if they could demo Web Intelligence, he said no so I asked him what he was demoing there and he said “Lumira” (same as on the Lumira booth). The really sad thing is that Tableau had a larger booth than the Lumira booth and this is SAP’s conference!

The best place to get any information or Analytics or BI, apart from the Tableau and SAS booths, was actually the ASUG Hub. Not only did they have community sessions, influence councils for the Bi offerings but they had customer case study sessions as well. I sat in a really interesting one from Pfizer talking about their successful roll out of Web Intelligence against BW. In addition to users loving the self-service features of Webi, they have created some dashboards in Webi too.

In all fairness, Sapphire has never been the venue for BI so not many BusinessObjects users attend this event. The good news for the BusinessObjects users is that they have two awesome conferences coming out in the next few months.

First there is IBIS in Carlsbad, CA from June 22-24 which is completely focused on the core BusinessObjects tools and appropriately entitled “Limitless BI : Let’s Speak BO”.

It is packed with hands-on immersion boot camps , best practice, tips and tricks and customer case study sessions and is a true “everything BO” extravaganza. Check out the agenda and session synopses.

Then there is the ASUG sponsored SABOC in Austin, TX from August 31 – September 2 which follows on the huge success of last year’s event and promises to have a very strong BusinessObjects agenda. The call for papers is in progress , the registration just opened up this week and the infamous “Developer Wars” is on the agenda.

Unfortunately, neither event will have J Lo in concert but the BusinessObjects crowd is a high energy mob so I would not be surprised to see a lot of dancing and singing going on.

About Paul

Paul Grill, Co-Founder and CEO of Infosol Inc., is an information technology guru with more than 40 years’ experience in the IT industry. Recognized as an industry expert, Paul’s vision is to collaborate and develop long-term global relationships, resulting in the successful implementation of business intelligence solutions. Paul believes a company’s success with Business Intelligence is a combination of data and people’s insights and actions. He believes in the coexistence of technologies. With a strong portfolio of clients ranging from fortune 50 companies, start-ups, and middle market, Paul takes pride in his ability to deliver positive transformations impacting company’s productivity and profitability through the application of business intelligence. He is often heard saying that “data holds amazing nuggets that can be used to create limitless BI solutions that make a difference in people’s lives”. Throughout Paul’s career, he has been a speaker, lecturer, and writer sharing his passion for Information Technology and Business Intelligence. On a personal note, Paul is an avid runner, Tai Chi practitioner, and youth soccer coach. Paul’s curiosity for knowledge expands beyond technology with a passion for Ancient Egyptology and Gorillas.

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