Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste

What should we do about the Web Intelligence expiring Java certificate?

Angry Woman on Phone

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

Rahm Emanuel

If you’re an SAP BusinessObjects customer, by now you’ve no doubt received an email from SAP or seen the dialog unfolding on social media about the Web Intelligence expiring Java certificate.


My co-worker and SAP Mentor Greg Myers did us all a big favor by providing the perfect Twitter hashtag: #WebiJavaGeddon. SAP Mentor Dave Rathbun provided his insight, noting correctly that the occasion was SAP’s Kobayashi Maru – a no-win scenario.

End-users will see the following warning beginning September 8, 2013 at approximately 17:00 PDT, just in time for the upcoming ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference.

Web Intelligence Expired Java Certificate

Much ink could be spilled on why SAP could allow something like this to happen. But it has already happened. So we should follow Benjamin Zander’s advice and see the possibilities in the situation (see related article, The Art of Possibility).

I’m sorry for the trouble that the expired Java certificate has created for SAP’s BusinessObjects customers. And I’m grateful that- because I don’t work for SAP- I didn’t have to be part of any unpleasant conversations that have occurred within the walls of SAP over the past two weeks.

But I’m glad that the certificate is expiring. Because once the dust settles I believe the incident will be a catalyst for positive change.

If SAP had any doubts before the Web Intelligence Java Certificate crisis, it should now be acutely aware that Web Intelligence is of profound importance to many of its business intelligence customers. And while customers and partners are grateful for innovations like SAP HANA and Lumira, we still need SAP to be passionately committed to what they probably refer to as “legacy” tools.

Customers have spent nearly the last decade migrating from Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence. Some are still converting (see related article, Desktop Intelligence – Back for a Limited Time). We need SAP to clearly commit to supporting Web Intelligence. But more than that, we need SAP to commit to modernizing Web Intelligence for the next decade.

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is correct in stating that we should never let a serious crisis go to waste. It truly is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.

Don’t waste the opportunity at this week’s ASUG conference to let SAP know how important Web Intelligence and the universe semantic layer is to your organization. Don’t waste the opportunity to discuss using Web Intelligence with BW. Don’t be afraid to approach them- even the ones in suits. They are attending the conference specifically to meet you. If you are not attending the conference, please have this important conversation with your SAP customer representatives.

And should you need to call SAP Support about expiring Java certificates this week, don’t waste the opportunity to be gracious and courteous. What’s done is done. SAP Support has done their best to prepare for this moment. Help them help you put the issue to rest. It’s easier for everyone involved if there isn’t any shouting.


How will your organization respond to #WebiJavaGeddon?

Author: Dallas Marks

I am an analytics and cloud architect, author, and trainer. An AWS certified blogger, SAP Mentor Alumni and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting.

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