May 30 2009

Mastering Business Objects 2009 Review

Categories: 2009 Mastering ... - Sydney Dave Rathbun @ 10:53 am

I’m back in Dallas… finally. I started my day getting to the airport about 9:00 AM Friday morning in Sydney, and ended the day at about 9:00 PM Friday evening in Dallas. That’s 12 hours + 15 hour time difference or 27 total hours travelling. :shock: It didn’t help that my flight departing Sydney was delayed because it took several hours to replace some batteries on the plane, which ultimately resulted in a missed connection in Los Angeles.

Other than that, the conference was wonderful. I got to meet some long-standing BOB members (and give out some hats!) which I always enjoy. The conference was small compared to the US conferences that I have been to, but that just made it all the more intimate. Despite the time difference (15 hours as mentioned earlier) I had zero issues with jet lag. As regular BOB readers probably know, I don’t keep a consistent sleep schedule, so travelling often does not affect me as much. The conference management team (Eventful Management) was incredible and did everything they could to make me feel welcome and appreciated.

I got to catch up a bit with Timo Elliott (read his comments about the event) and found out that he’s an avid surfer. I also went surfing, believe it or not. I think one of the other surfers (obviously a regular) summed it up best when he said, “Just try to stay out of the way…” :lol:


One of the more interesting talks – at least from my perspective – was from Peter O’Donnell. His talk was titled, “Business Intelligence System Interfaces: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and in it he wondered why our BI systems can’t look and feel more like games. It might sound strange, but honestly he had some good points. If you can’t take a game out of the box and pop it in and start playing without reading the manual, it’s quite frustrating. The same thing could be said for BI systems. He also talked about how games absorb you into the gaming experience, whereas BI systems can make you fight for traction. I don’t think he’s suggesting that we all design BI systems like xBox games (or iPhone apps) but it would be interesting to see something different done.

The evening keynote was from the author of “Wake Up Tiger” and not only was his talk interesting, thought provoking, and fun, but I won the door prize and came home with a copy of his book.

I also attended a presentation on the text analytics offering from BusinessObjects. I always find that subject interesting, having to deal with searching text in the form of posts on BOB. I found it ironic that the case study presented in this talk was based on getting product sentiment posts from a phpBB forum. ;-)

There was a lot of interest in Xcelsius (also true of the preview topic poll for the upcoming GBN conference this fall) and therefore they had more than a few talks on that subject.

A Few Pictures…
I could not finish this post without uploading a few pictures from my trip. First, a shot taken from my hotel room at sunrise:

Next, notice they even want you to walk on the wrong side of the sidewalk… :lol:

And of course the famous Sydney Opera house:

The first time I saw the opera house was at night and it looked like it had a bad case of mold. It turned out they were using it as a background for a light show, and it was quite amazing. Here are a couple of different versions of the lights.

I ate kangaroo meat. :-D

Here is fellow GBN steering committee member Jamie Oswald preparing for his talk.

I first remember meeting Timo at the 1996 Insight conference in California, but here I finally tracked him down for a photo.

And here is fellow blogger and BOB member Josh Fletcher.

There were plenty of other folks that I got a chance to visit with (Sebastien, Pete, Hayden, Arjan, and others). Overall I had a great time, both during and outside of the conference. If you live in the area I would certainly encourage you to consider going. The Eventful Management team has already updated their web site (that was fast!) showing plans for a repeat conference in 2010.

8 Responses to “Mastering Business Objects 2009 Review”

  1. Comment by Jansi

    Hi, Dave, the pictures are nice indeed!
    Is it possible for us to listen to the presentations?

  2. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Hi, Jansi, thanks for your question. I don’t think the presentations were recorded for posting online.

  3. Comment by Jamie

    Dave, you forgot to mention that we had to change our wetsuits on the sidewalk because the store owner didn’t want us dragging sand and water through the store.

  4. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    I found more on the Sydney light show here:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSTRE54P0Q120090526

    Jamie, thanks, I was trying to forget that part… :-P

  5. Comment by Andreas

    Amazing, what they did with the opera house at Sidney! :)

  6. Comment by Josh Fletcher

    If you ever have any spare hats going, I’d love one.

    It was great to meet you Dave! :)

    - Josh

  7. Comment by Jamie

    Apparently Australia is now having a tough go of it with the swine flu.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/10/swine.flu.who.australia/index.html?eref=rss_latest

    Was it you Dave? You live far closer to Mexico than I do! Of course, my kids are in daycare, which is a breeding ground for this sort of thing.

  8. Comment by Durgesh Das

    Dave, There is already a iPhone APP for BI named ROAMBI..Its pretty cool visualization tool

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