Oct 08 2010

SBOUC 2010 – Day 2 + 3

Categories: 2010 SBOUC, General Dave Rathbun @ 9:43 pm

I generally have several goals when attending a BusinessObjects conference. In no particular order, they are:

  • Make sure that my sessions are delivered effectively and provide value to those that attend
  • See what is coming new from SAP BusinessObjects
  • Reconnect with old friends and see what they’re up to
  • Attend a few sessions and try to learn something

Maybe those are in the right order. :) Both of my sessions were delivered on Tuesday which left me (in theory) free for the rest of the conference. I did manage to reconnect with some old friends as well as make some new ones. I did attend some sessions to see what’s coming new in the semantic layer in 4.0. I participated in the first-ever ASUG Influencer Summit, and will post more on that in a bit. I also worked with Bridgette Chambers (and many others) to finalize the agreement related to the new collaboration agreement between BOB and ASUG, which you can read more about in the announcement post on BOB.

I went to Epcot on Wednesday night and stayed until midnight. I got a bruise from somewhere, probably on my second or third mission to Mars. :lol:

Ultimately due to the lack of wireless (something that many folks have provided feedback about) I did not blog much while there. That’s why the last two days are going to be wrapped up here, and will seem a bit short. It seems easier to write while I am in the middle of everything instead of back at home. But here goes.

Universe Designer Version 4 aka Information Design Tool

The new Information Design Tool (IDT) that is going to replace the universe is going to be very interesting to work with… when it is finished. As of now BusinessObjects is planning to roll out the 4.0 upgrade with regular universes still in place so folks are not required to convert. That should leave plenty of time for testing. I attended Frank Prabel’s session and he showed some live demos as well as some recorded scripts. I did not have time to ask him a lot of questions after his session but instead caught up with him a bit later.

Here’s a tidbit I picked up during my conversation: the IDT does not include an SDK. So all of those cool universe documentation tools and other stuff (like my universe compare tool) will no longer work. In fact, there won’t even be an alternative! :shock: It was suggested that an SDK will appear at some point (4.1 maybe?) but it will likely be java instead of VBA.

Welcome Back Steve Lucas

Steve was a long-time Crystal / BusinessObjects employee who left a while back. He has come back, and everyone seems to be happy about that. He’s certainly an entertaining speaker. He started talking about the mating habits of software when he described how Crystal and BusinessObjects originally got together, and quickly decided not to pursue that thought to any sort of conclusion. Probably just as well! :lol: Steve shared that over 50% of the license revenue for SAP (the word “license” is very key in that statement) now comes from BusinessObjects and he expressed confidence that with numbers comes attention, and with attention we will see more good stuff down the road as the board realizes where the R&D should be spent.

Lousy Evaluation Forms

I won’t hold back here… as a speaker I thought the evaluation forms were lousy this year. There was a spot for the session number, a few small lines for comments, and two rating spots. The first flaw (in my opinion) was there was no spot to include the session title. If someone wrote the wrong number, the title could have provided an alternate way to identify the related session. As a side note: there was no spot for the session number on the title slide of the ASUG template, which is something else I hope we can fix next year. After the session code there is a box with four blank lines for general comments. Following that are two sets of boxes that range from “Poor” to “Outstanding” with the first being for the topic relevance and the second being for quality. We used to get much more complete information where the attendee could rate (separately) the content, the presenter’s effectiveness, the presenter’s knowledge, and topic usefulness. I have been in sessions where the presenter was effective but did not have much to say. On the other hand I have seen some incredibly useful information that was not presented well, just because of the speaking style of the presenter.

As a speaker, I would like to see more information collected on the form. Hey, I’m a data geek, why wouldn’t I want more data? If you were a speaker and have input about the feedback form, please share it with me and I will make sure it gets passed on for next year. It will be interesting to see what the TechEd speaker forms are like.

Did anybody else notice that there was no conference evaluation form or process this year? Or did they have one somewhere and I missed it? Overall I thought this was a decent conference, but I would be interested to hear what folks thought. Maybe we can set up an online survey and send out an email to all of the attendees before their memories fade too much. I will make that suggestion.

Unless I am an idiot and I just missed filling out the form while I was there. :-?

Overall Content

I liked the session selections that I had to pick from, even if I did not make it to many. I did have one person tell me that someone else asked them about universes over BW, and why wasn’t there any content for that during the conference. I would expect to see a lot of that sort of topic being presented at TechEd. I have for the past two years been describing TechEd as an SAP conference with BusinessObjects content, and SBOUC as a BusinessObjects conference with some SAP content. I guess for this one person, some turned into “none” because they were not able to find any BW-related universe talks. We did have a topic on multi-dimensional universes, which provided at least a generic view of how version 4 will work in that area. It was not specific to BW, and it did not cover the current release.

On to TechEd

Speaking of TechEd, that’s where I am heading next. I get a week back in the office to catch up, only to head out for another conference (and fall behind at work again).

Feedback Requested

If you have any feedback about the conference, be it good, bad, or ugly, (cue Clint Eastwood) please share it with me, or any of the ASUG conference volunteers, the conference design team, or the Ambassadors. If we want to keep this conference as a separate event (separate from TechEd) we have to make sure it stays relevant and useful. Your feedback will help ensure that happens.

4 Responses to “SBOUC 2010 – Day 2 + 3”

  1. Comment by John Clark

    This was in the Onsite update email for Thursday, October 7

    EVENT EVALUATION
    Early next week, you will receive the conference evaluation via e-mail. Please help us to further improve ASUG events for IT and Business professionals using SAP and SAP BusinessObjects solutions even better by providing feedback on your experience this week.

  2. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Thanks, John, I don’t think I saw that. Good to know.

  3. Comment by Nitin Gonsalves

    As of now BusinessObjects is planning to roll out the 4.0 upgrade with regular universes still in place

    When is it rolling out?
    Anything more worth mentioning about IDT?
    I am excited about BOB ASUG collaboration..but dunno why..hope I get a lot of good knowledgebase from ASUG.

    Man I wish, I would get to attend these confrences someday..

  4. Comment by Dave Rathbun

    Nitin, they are starting the “ramp up” process very soon (this month? next month?) with full scale deployment starting in the first quarter of 2011. It’s a different process since it works through the SAP model rather than what we might be used to from BusinessObjects previously.

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