2015 ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference

I’m headed to Austin, Texas for the 2015 SABOUC event. Will you be there?

Are you ready for some barbecue, beer, and business intelligence? I’m heading to the 2015 ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference in Austin, Texas along with some of my EV Technologies co-workers, Bonnie Brown, Greg Myers and Eric Vallo. This year I’ll present one session about Web Intelligence, one about the universe semantic layer, and two sessions about the BI platform.

Franklin Barbecue Austin Texas

Analytic Storytelling with Web Intelligence by Dallas Marks
Monday, August 31, 2015 | 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Session 2825 | Room 15
Reporting track/Web Intelligence sub-track

There’s a story in your corporate data, but sometimes it needs an analytic storyteller to bring that story to life. SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.0 introduced a new charting engine, several new chart types, and a redesigned workflow for creating charts. These capabilities were extended even further for Web Intelligence 4.1. In this session, learn not only how to use Web Intelligence charts but when to use them by applying best practices for the display of quantitative information on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Taking SAP BusinessObjects from Stock to Custom by Dallas Marks
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Session 2824 | Room 18A
BI Platform track/System Sizing & Configuration sub-track

SAP BusinessObjects administrators will learn the secrets of customizing the appearance of the BI Launch Pad for BI 4.0 and BI 4.1. We’ll also look at new personalization capabilities in Web Intelligence 4.1. With detailed step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to deliver a tailored information portal that meet user needs without custom coding.

Using the Best Ingredients for the SAP BI Platform by Dallas Marks
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM | Session 2823 | Room 18A
BI Platform track/System Sizing & Configuration sub-track

Celebrity chefs on television frequently remind their viewers to use the freshest, highest quality ingredients when cooking. SAP analytics professionals who administer the BI platform need to make similar decisions when designing a high-performance BI landscape. In this session, learn how to choose the best ingredients for SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1. We’ll examine the core components of the physical architecture and best practices for each one, including the BI platform, the web application tier, virtualization, the CMS and audit databases, and the input and output file repositories. Whether you manage BI teams at a high level or are a hands-on administrator, you’ll leave the session knowing how to make the best decisions for your deployment.

Universe Design: Evolution, Intelligent Design, or Just a Big Mess? by Dallas Marks
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 | 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM | Session 2826 | Room 16B
Universe Design track

Are you new or intermediate universe designer? Or maybe a project manager overseeing the full lifecycle of a BI project? Perhaps a seasoned Crystal Reports or BW developer investigating the benefits of the Business Objects semantic layer? A well-designed universe is the foundation to a successful business intelligence project and satisfied users. Building this foundation begins long before you click on the Information Design Tool application. A combination of evolution and intelligent design, this session presents best practices at each stage of the universe life cycle, including requirements gathering, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Avoid the big mess and deploy successful implementations now.

Are you planning to attend the ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference this year?

See you at SAPPHIRE!

I’m headed to SAP SAPPHIRE. Let’s connect!

SAPPHIRE 2014 04 500

I love SAP SAPPHIRE. I love the ASUG Annual Conference that’s co-located with it. As a BI consultant, it’s the least educational of the conferences in North America (ASUG has an entire analytics track at the annual conference, but its SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference and SAP Insider conferences like the recent BI2015 have much more analytics education). But I love being there. It’s the Walt Disney World of tech conferences, conveniently located in sunny Orlando, Florida. I get to meet all kinds of SAP BI users and talk about their accomplishments as well as their challenges.

At first, I didn’t think I was going to be at SAPPHIRE and the ASUG Annual Conference this year. Even SAP CEO Bill McDermott was a bit disappointed.

My first SAP SAPPHIRE was in 2010. I was also a speaker at the ASUG Annual Conference, with a presentation entitled Increasing User Adoption of Business Intelligence.

SAPPHIRE 2010 Quorum Speaker

The following year, Sting was the featured performer at 2011 SAP SAPPHIRE and ASUG Annual Conference. I ran into my original SAP BusinessObjects mentor Jeff Bartel (see related article, You Can’t Get There Alone – The Power of Partners), and overdosed on SAP HANA (see related article, SAP SAPPHIRE: Too Much HANA Montana and Not Enough BIeber 4.0?)

SAPPHIRE 2011 Kalvin Sting

Van Halen was the featured performer at 2012 SAPPHIRE and ASUG Annual Conference. I didn’t eat any brown M&Ms, but had a magic moment when I wrote an article for the SAP Community Network entitled What I Learned About Being a SAP Rock Star from Van Halen. I dreamed about the release of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Feature Pack 3 (see related article, Feature Pack 3, We Hardly Knew Ye) and apparently yawned when SAP Visual Intelligence 1.0 was introduced (see related InfoWorld article, SAP Catches Data Visualization Wave).

SAPPHIRE 2012 Kalvin Van Halen Badge

Oddly enough, Van Halen broke up (again) right after our concert.

SAPPHIRE 2012 Kalvin Van Halen

I didn’t get to attend SAPPHIRE in 2013, but I came back in 2014- my first time as an ASUG Volunteer with Eric Vallo and Greg Myers.

SAPPHIRE 2014 Three EVT Amigos

I got to chat about SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with Blair Wheadon. Even our sales team, Michael Thompson and Nathan Crook, got to come along for the ride.


But 2015 marks the first year that I’ll be attending SAPPHIRE- as an SAP Mentor. I’m really excited to be going this year, along with Eric Vallo and Michael Thompson. If you’re going to be at SAPPHIRE and want to talk about analytics, I’d love to meet you. Send me a DM on Twitter and let’s see if we can connect.

It’s going to be a great conference!

2015 ASUG SAP Analytics & BusinessObjects User Conference – Call for Speakers

Barbecue, beer, and business intelligence? Count me in!

Barbecue, beer, and business intelligence. Sound too good to be true?

Franklin Barbecue Austin Texas

It’s really true.

This year’s ASUG SAP Analytics & BusinessObjects User Conference will be held August 31 through September 2, 2015 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Interested in speaking? Visit the official conference web sitesubmit your abstract, and follow the #SABOUC conversation on Twitter. If you’re a first-timer, check out my article entitled How to Write Great Abstracts for SAP BusinessObjects User Conferences. Submitting a single abstract back in 2006 changed my life.

But act soon. Speaking slots may disappear faster than the brisket at Franklin Barbecue. The deadline to submit an abstract is May 15, 2015!

Which SAP Analytics Conference Should I Attend?

If you can only attend one conference in 2015, which one should it be?

I’ve heard from more than one person that they only have budget to attend one conference in 2015. If you can only pick one, which one should it be? Read my answer and share your thoughts on the SAP Community Network article, Which SAP Analytics Conference Should I Attend?.

Gabe Orthous, Heather Sinkwitz, Jim Brogden and Dallas Marks, SAP Press authors

SF 325 Eileen



BI to go at SAP Insider’s BI2015

Join me at SAP Insider’s BI2015 conference in Las Vegas.

In March 2015, I’ll be speaking at SAP Insider BI2015 in Las Vegas, a WIS Publishing conference. It’s actually four conferences in one, as HANA 2015, HR 2015 and SAP Admin 2015 will all be going on at the same time. EV Technologies is an event sponsor and I’ll be joined by several of my co-workers.

SAP Mobile BI to Go at SAP Insider

BI to go! A guide to mobilizing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Web and formatted reports track

This comprehensive session teaches you how to create SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports, as well as tailor existing reports, for tablet and smartphone devices. After a brief overview of how to make your BI environment mobile-ready, you will explore:

  • Techniques to master new mobile-exclusive capabilities, like bullet graphs and scorecards
  • Important differences between card view and page view
  • Methods to distribute bursted and personalized content to users via their mobile devices

You can learn more about these events on the SAP Insider web site or follow the BI2015 conversation on Twitter.

See you in Vegas!

2014 ASUG SABOUC Keynote with Steve Lucas

Be careful who you tweet about. You might end up on the same elevator ride.

The Twitter rumor mill was abuzz in the weeks leading up to last month’s ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference. What exactly would Steve Lucas, president of SAP Platform Solutions, say and do during his keynote?
Would he drive on stage in a SAP Lumira-inspired Tesla?

Would he dress better than the Apple Scarf Guy?

In keeping with the Fort Worth, Texas location of the conference, would he borrow a longhorn steer from the nearby Fort Worth Stockyards?

Imagine my surprise when I got on the Fort Worth Omni Hotel elevator on Monday morning to go to the keynote. And there was Steve Lucas. On the elevator.

Sadly, there were no gimmicks. No cars. No cattle. And thankfully, no Sherlock-inspired contingency plans.

But Steve Lucas made a great keynote- dynamic and loosely scripted. Here’s his keynote- uncut and unedited (mostly)- from the 2014 ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference.




And be careful what you browse on Digg.

Always a SAP TechEd Bridesmaid…

Never a SAP TechEd bride. Maybe next year?

SAP TechEd bridesmaid ©iStock.com/cadelyn

A few weeks ago, I received a personal invitation from Steve Lucas to attend SAP TechEd and d-code in Las Vegas.

SAP TechEd Letter from Steve Lucas

Oh, I know it was just an email marketing campaign. But I really felt like Steve was speaking directly to me as I read his message. Immediately after SAP’s acquisition of BusinessObjects, I heard second-hand that it wasn’t the best venue to get information about SAP analytics. But the situation has improved over the years. And besides, it’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends.

Not only did I not see Mark Bradbourne last year, but I also missed the opportunity to meet Josh Fletcher, who flew over from Australia to present at the conference. This year, Andrew Fox from itelligence UK is presenting about SAP Lumira at this year’s TechEd. Most of the sessions are led by SAP employees, so it’s a real honor to get selected to present.

I’ve never met Josh or Andrew in person, but I’ve met them through social media and consider them friends (UPDATE: I got to meet Andrew Fox in Paris in May 2015). And great sources of information for professional growth (see related article, What Does the Fox Say).

I’m still not really sure what goes on at SAP TechEd, other than copious amounts of alcohol consumption. But the SAP TechEd && dcode web site insists that there is lots of technical education. Someday I hope to be invited to SAP TechEd as a technology blogger and cover the event with a journalist’s perspective. I’d like to see what it’s all about and share the story with my readers, many of which probably never get to go either. But for now, SAP TechEd is a fraternity I cannot pledge into.

And that makes me sad.

SAP TechEd && dcode is happening later this month in Las Vegas, Nevada. Are you going to SAP TechEd? Be sure to introduce yourself to Andrew Fox and get his autograph on one of the limited edition itelligence UK “I heard what the Fox said at SAP TechEd” t-shirts. And tell him that Dallas says “hello”.

An Overview of ASUG SABOUC with Steve Lucas

Steve Lucas gives a preview of his ASUG SABOUC keynote.

Here’s SAP’s Steve Lucas talking about next week’s ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference in Fort Worth, TX. I’m looking forward to hearing more details from about themes discussed in the recent #askSAP webcast. You’ll also want to read Steve’s latest blog, The Countdown on Data Visualization Has Begun – Top Ten Reasons Why SAP Will Deliver.

It’s going to be a busy week. I’ll be presenting a session on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 customization and participating in several panel discussions.

Are you coming to SABOUC?

2014 ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference

I’m headed to Fort Worth, Texas for this year’s ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects user conference.

Texas Flag

The 2014 ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference is coming to the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas this September. I will be there to present a breakout session, participate in two panel discussions, and hang out in the SAP Press booth for the launch of the third edition of their Web Intelligence book, which I helped co-author (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, Third Edition). Several of my co-workers are also presenting breakout sessions.

Expert Panel: How to get agile with SAP Lumira

a panel discussion with State of Indiana OMB Director Chris Atkins, SAP technology evangelist Timo Elliott, SAP VP Product Management Lumira Ty Miller, and myself. Moderated by SAP marketing director Pierre Leroux.
Monday September 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

In an era in which businesses demand agility and speed and IT struggles to keep up with their demands, com and learn from 5 experts on how data discovery is changing the BI landscape. We will be discussing how best to implement data discovery successfully, with an emphasis on people-focused discussions rather than technical hints and tips. Hear the panelists talk about pulling data quickly from multiple sources, dealing with data governance, and development bottlenecks. Explore how SAP Lumira can complement your existing BI investment. Ask them questions via Twitter using the hashtag #saplumirapanel.

Secrets from the Business Intelligence Baristas

a panel discussion with Dallas Marks and friends
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Trends and Strategy/Roadmaps and Product Direction – Session 0802

Much has been written about creating a Business Intelligence Competency Center or Center of Excellence. But many BI organizations struggle to move beyond IT’s traditional “utility company” method of delivering services and instead become a customer-focused organization. In this session, our panel will discuss BICC best practices of building a team that is both business savvy as well as tech savvy while looking to the neighborhood coffee shop for inspiration. You’ll be better prepared to build better BI solutions “from the grounds up” by putting the right business intelligence tools on the menu, providing both instant (self-service) and barista (IT supported) offerings, rewarding your best customers, and giving passionate customer support. No green apron required.

Taking SAP BusinessObjects from Stock to Custom

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Session 0307 – BI Platform (Security, Administration) and Server Administration

SAP BusinessObjects administrators will learn the secrets of customizing the BI Launch Pad and in SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.1. We’ll also look at new personalization capabilities in Web Intelligence 4.1. With detailed step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to deliver a tailored information portal that meet user needs without custom coding.

  • Build a brand for your Business Intelligence Competency Center
  • Customize the BI Launch Pad portal
  • Personalize the Web Intelligence experience

“Cost Saving” Project Cuts You Can’t Afford

A Diversified Semantic Layer panel discussion with Eric Vallo, Greg Myers, Jamie Oswald and Dallas Marks
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Session 0112 – BI Platform (Security, Administration) and Server Administration

Time and time again, pieces of your technology projects drop on the cutting room floor. But do you really know what those items will cost you in the long-term? Come join this sure-to-be lively panel discussion with SAP Mentors and Industry Experts on the good, bad, and ugly of successful SAP Analytics projects. We’ll cover the things we commonly see get cut from projects, and why those things really shouldn’t be cut. We’ll cover topics like Project Management, Master Data Management, Data Quality, Capacity Testing, and whatever other project components you want to discuss. If you are responsible for delivering a successful SAP Analytics project, you don’t want to miss this panel discussion.

  • What makes a SAP BI project successful?
  • What mistakes have other customers made in their projects that I can avoid?
  • What is the value in keeping some of these commonly cut project components?

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting on August 8, 2014

SAP makes better bourbon. Come to the next ASUG Kentucky meeting to learn how.

The next ASUG Kentucky chapter meeting will be Friday, August 8, 2014 at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. Woodford Reserve is a brand of Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the world’s top 10 spirits companies. Brown-Forman uses SAP to make better bourbons like Woodford Reserve along with other well-known adult beverages like Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort.

Woodford Reserve
In addition to hosting the meeting as part of the ASUG volunteer team, I will be speaking about Agile Business Intelligence with SAP BusinesObjects Explorer 4.1.

Agile Business Inteligence with SAP BusinesObjects Explorer 4.1

Like a Hubble telescope for your Business Intelligence (BI) environment, SAP BusinesObjects Explorer software brings together the simplicity and sped of search with the trust and analytical power of BI to provide immediate answers to casual business users. Learn how Explorer can become a key component of your Agile BI strategy, from Excel-based prototypes to traditional relational databases, to extreme performance with in-memory SAP HANA, and as a companion with SAP Lumira. And take SAP Lumira data sets, exploration views, and location analytics on the go using SAP BusinesObjects Mobile.

There’s a fantastic and full agenda (see agenda and registration on ASUG web site) with both business and technical tracks. The meeting will close with a distillery tour.

Woodford Reserve Distillery
7855 McCraken Pike
Versailles, KY 40383