The 2009 GBN Conference, held in Dallas this past week, was more of an Xcelsius Festival than a Global BusinessObjects Network event. As Saskia Battersby, Product Manager for Xcelsius, mentioned in her Xcelsius Roadmap session…“four years ago, we had to fight to get one Xcelsius session accepted at the Annual BusinessObjects Conference. Today more than half the tracks and sessions are about Xcelsius.” Even more impressive was that her session was the last session of the conference, when most people were heading for the airport in a heavy rainstorm and yet, despite that, the room was packed. The first ever “Xcelsius Gurus” social gathering organized by gurus Mico Yuk and Ryan Goodman, and sponsored by SAP, was held the evening before. It was easily the highlight of the entire conference with 150 happy, energized people in attendance experiencing the type of excitement and fun we have not seen since Business Objects was a young and exciting company – remember those days? Xcelsius is definitely the hottest product at SAP right now, and it is spreading faster than the swine flu virus. It is being integrated into the front-end of SAP’s ERP modules while it is also being bundled into hundreds of OEM applications – just popping up everywhere. What makes it so different to other SAP BO products, with the exception of Crystal Reports, is that it can easily and inexpensively be deployed outside of the SAP and BO Enterprise platforms, as well as within them. This has also made it very challenging for SAP to control it, but that is one of the reasons why it is so popular; following in the footsteps of Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Crystal Reports. Hopefully this is intentional on the part of SAP, because Xcelsius is one of the best things going for them right now.