May 17 2010

ASUG Membership Free for Business Objects Members Through 2011

Categories: 2010 Annual Conference / SAPPHIRE, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 4:09 pm

ASUG CEO Bridgette Chambers just announced (in her keynote) that BusinessObjects users who are not SAP ERP users can receive a complimentary membership through 2011. 5,000 members can join under the Valueship program. We played with this idea for a while during the GBN days, but the GBN folks never really got to see the full breadth of services offered at By opening the site up for the next year and a half BusinessObjects only customers (the target for GBN) will now be able to see the real flavor and benefits from membership.

That membership will include full access to the online community at, the ability to attend all regional chapter meetings throughout the U.S. and Canada, and access to education and Influence activities specific to the non-ERP BusinessObjects customer. These are the primary services available via paid memberships, and the test drive through the end of 2011 should help prove what the true value is. I am guessing the reason they went to the end of 2011 was to show a full cycle of Influence Council meetings. The free membership is only for legacy BusinessObjects customers; it will not be offered to SAP ERP customers. That makes sense.

What happens for existing BusinessObjects customers that have already joined and paid for their membership? Bridgette covered that too. Those members will be recognized as “founding members” and will receive special benefits, including credit towards the upcoming BusinessObjects User Conference. There will be more details later, but I am very encouraged by this development. This is what we (the former GBN steering committee) and others were asking for. Obviously ASUG listened.

Jan 27 2010

ASUG Volunteer Summit

Categories: GBN Dave Rathbun @ 12:13 am

I spent last Sunday and Monday in Atlanta. I didn’t see much of the city as I was holed up in a downtown hotel with 250 of my closest friends :) working on plans for ASUG’s coming year. There were a number of interesting things that came out of the meeting. I already posted about the location and dates for the fall conference. There are a few other tidbits that I wanted to share as well. In no particular order… Continue reading “ASUG Volunteer Summit”

Jul 01 2009

GBN Conference Preview

Categories: 2009 GBN - Dallas, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 10:21 am

I am going to be delivering two sessions at the 2009 GBN conference this fall. I have one scheduled on Monday and the other is on Wednesday. My first session will be about report variables, and will most likely use the 3.x line of Webi for the demonstration platform. I’ve posted about the history of the “Variables” series of presentations before. :) Since I haven’t done one of those for a while, the title that was submitted was “Return of the Variables.”

Session Code: 902
Title: Return of the Variables
Session Date: Oct 19 2009
Session Time: 1:30PM – 2:30PM
Room: Fleur De Lis A&B

The past few years I have done a few presentations on universe design and I have another one this year too. I just finished a project where we had to deal with recursive (hierarchical) data, and we used quite a few interesting techniques to solve those challenges. I’m going to show various ways to model recursive data and the implications each design has on reports. The subject is a bit more specific than I usually like to use for a conference presentation, but it comes up enough that I decided to submit it anyway. I hope the folks that attend will find it useful.

Session Code: 1012
Title: Universe Models for Recursive Data
Session Date: Oct 21 2009
Session Time: 10:45AM – 11:45AM
Room: Grand Ballroom D

The conference is back in Dallas again this year, which means I don’t get to travel somewhere fun. More information on the conference (including a full schedule) can be found on the conference web site.

Related Links

Nov 18 2008

Webinar is Done, Whew!

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 3:44 pm

Earlier today I delivered my GBN Conference presentation to an audience over the web. It was… interesting. :) I have done web presentations before but never to an audience of this size. I didn’t have time to count, but it seemed like there were well over 100 attendees that stayed through to the very end. I hope they (or you, if you were online) found the time to be worthwhile.

It was certainly different for me. Presenting to a live audience is not stressful to me at all anymore. I have enough experience that it just doesn’t bother me. Whether I am delivering a training class to an audience of ten, or a conference presentation to an audience of hundreds, it doesn’t make me nervous at all. But today on the call was a different story. Continue reading “Webinar is Done, Whew!”

Nov 11 2008

Designer Essentials Webcast Scheduled November 18

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 1:49 pm

The presentation that I did for the 2008 GBN conference earlier this year has been scheduled for a webcast that will be hosted on the GBN web site. Registration is required, but it’s fairly simple. If you go to the GBN Home Page there is a link for Webcast Series on the right side of the screen. Clicking that link will take you to the schedule, and a link to sign up for the various presentations, including this one.

There are other speakers from the GBN conference that will be delivering their presentations in this format as well. I just get to go first and iron out all of the bugs in the process. :)

Oct 30 2008

GBN 2008 Conference Evaluations

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 3:19 pm

GBN Logo

I have been asked by a few different folks about evaluations for the conference, both from an attendee perspective and for speakers as well. For previous conferences conference attendees filled out evaluation forms before leaving the site (that’s how you got your conference t-shirt). For the GBN conference we didn’t do that. From what I hear, conference attendees will be soon receiving an email with a link to an online survey, at which point you will be able to provide any feedback about the overall conference.

I don’t know how much of the details for the conference feedback will be made public. Business Objects did not release the overall conference evaluation numbers to the public. I do know that every single comment will be read, categorized, and evaluated. This was the first year for a GBN-run conference and I think everyone recognized that there were some differences. The opportunity before us will be to sort out which differences were important, which should be repeated, and which should be fixed.

For example, one bit of feedback that I intend to provide is related to the room configuration. The room I was scheduled to speak in was quite large, and fairly deep. I don’t know how many rows of chairs there were, but it was more than a few. Yet there was no raised platform for the speaker in the front of the room. I am sure that impacted how visible I was in the back of the room. I imagine everyone could hear me, but hearing is not the same as hearing + seeing at the same time. I think for larger rooms we want to make sure we have elevated platforms next year.

Speakers, on the other hand, will be waiting a bit longer to get our feedback. I don’t have exact dates, but I am told that each speaker should be getting an email soon with more details on when we can expect to see our results. I know I look forward to seeing the numbers. I have had some great comments over the years, and I do strive for the best overall ratings that I can get.

Survey response percentages are typically very low. If you attended the conference and you’re reading this, I would encourage you to fill out the survey once you get the link. The function of the steering committee is to “steer” or guide in the desired direction. It is your voice that should determine that direction. Let’s hear it. :)

Oct 23 2008

Changing of the Guard

Categories: 2008 GBN - Dallas, Conferences, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 9:39 am

As the saying goes, “The king is dead, long live the king!” The first GBN-sponsored conference closed yesterday afternoon and I think it was a success. There are things that can be improved, of course, and I hope that folks will share their suggestions and experiences with me or any of the steering committee members. I was way too busy in the days leading up to the conference (not to mention during) that I didn’t get to do the “daily updates” that I have done for the past several conferences. I plan to address that by posting about my experiences during the conference over the coming days.

I haven’t drawn the winner for the cup either, so that’s coming soon. :)

Sep 17 2008

Share An Idea, Win A Cup

Categories: GBN Dave Rathbun @ 10:41 pm

GBN Logo

Not too long ago I was selected to be on the steering committee for the newly forming global user group now known as GBN (short for Global Business Objects Network). While I was busy preparing for and attending TechEd 2008 GBN launched our new web site (in the related links for this post), provided a PDF for the press release, and gave me a logo to add to my posts. Of course having the logo is the most important, right? :lol:

The steering committee had our first face-to-face meeting in Chicago last month. I thought the meeting was very productive, but there was one important part that was not entirely present. I am just one of several steering committee members. Each of us has our own ideas and our own concerns. I want to be more… I want to carry your ideas and your concerns too. The most important part of a global user group is the middle word “user” as without it, the group has no purpose. That’s where you come in. Continue reading “Share An Idea, Win A Cup”

Sep 07 2008

GBN Launch, BOB Member of the Year, SAP Mentor Program, and Off to TechEd

Categories: 2008 SAP TechEd, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 1:19 pm

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. We had the formal launch of the Global Business Object Network (see the new website at and I want to talk more (much more!) about that in some future posts. We also concluded the BOB Member of the Year voting process so I got to notify the winners and interview Michael Welter, one of the top three finishers this year. I started the BOB Member of the Year process last year as a way to celebrate the anniversary of BOB as well as provide some well-deserved recognition to members of the BOB community.

And during all of this (along with client work) I got an extremely wonderful complement myself a few weeks ago: I have been recognized as a member of the SAP Mentor program. What the heck is that? That was my initial question. :lol:

Continue reading “GBN Launch, BOB Member of the Year, SAP Mentor Program, and Off to TechEd”

Aug 08 2008

Rumors, I’ve Got Rumors…

Categories: Conferences, GBN Dave Rathbun @ 7:53 am

A few days ago I posted about the new GBN (Global BusinessObjects Network) organization. They’re going to be responsible for the user conference this fall that is replacing the “Insight” conferences run by Business Objects in the past. One of the questions posted as a comment to that post was this:

Will the Global BO Network be organising the conferences around the world?

We over here in the Asia-Pac haven’t had one for awhile…

I did some digging and asking around and some guessing, and at this point I have some rumors to share. :) From what I can tell, the intent is to sponsor several conferences a year. If that is the case, then the Asia-Pacific Rim area should be on the short list of options to consider. I suspect that we will see plans for GBN-sponsored events in both Europe and Asia-Pac in 2009 along with at least one large “Insight-style” event in the US. Part of the reason for me guessing this is they will want to put their best foot forward in order to secure long-term support and interest for their program, and the best way to do that will be to get out in front of the users. By doing that, they can share their vision and mission with the largest group of people… which should ultimately prove beneficial for both parties if they can deliver. And from our first conference call (in my earlier post I mentioned that I was selected to the steering committee for the GBN) one of the focal points was the “G” or “Global” nature of the program.

Getting global events running would be the best way to reinforce that concept, yes? ;-)

The EU-Insight from earlier this year was in Berlin along with the SAPPHIRE conference. Given that the GBN wants to emphasize the independence from the product company I would expect that future conferences will not be held in conjunction with SAPPHIRE but will instead be a separate venue. Most of this is guess-work at this point as the new organization is just getting off of the ground. If I learn anything concrete I will be sure to share it when I can.

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