May 17 2010

SAPPHIRE / ASUG Annual Conference Day 1 Wrap Up

Categories: 2010 Annual Conference / SAPPHIRE Dave Rathbun @ 8:02 pm

The big news for BusinessObjects customers was from Bridgette’s keynote, and I’ve already posted about that. They keynote ended with a very interesting and highly entertaining speech from General Colin Powell. Turns out he has a Corvette. And he gets speeding tickets. :lol:

Tomorrow morning Ken Hartman and I will deliver an interactive session in the ASUG lounge where we will talk to customers about the various tools. Since most of the customers here are likely to be SAP ERP customers that are still looking for insight on BusinessObjects products we will try to provide that. We may film parts of it, and if so, I’ll post it here. :)

Altogether it was a good day today. Tomorrow I will be meeting with some different folks, including one of the people responsible for managing the community for SCN. It will be interesting to share stories about managing a large and active online community. 8-)

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.

May 17 2010

SAPPHIRE / ASUG Annual Conference Day 1 Part 2

Categories: 2010 Annual Conference / SAPPHIRE Dave Rathbun @ 10:06 am

The keynotes have been quite interesting. The first part was a Q/A session with Sir Richard Branson. Some of the tweets were complaining about the Q/A format, but I still found it interesting. I finally gave up on watching the twitter stream and just watched him speak.

Former VP Al Gore is now speaking from Orlando. Whether you agree with his positions or not, I find him to be an excellent speaker. He started off talking about global warming but has segued into talking about how sustainability is good not just for the environment but for business. I believe he just used the phrase “functionally insane” to describe businesses who don’t recognize that sustainability is a critical requirement for business success. Higher efficiency + lower waste = win/win situation for all. Fascinating speech, I hope it’s being captured and will be available online to view again later.

May 17 2010

2010 ASUG Annual Conference BI Agenda

Categories: 2010 Annual Conference / SAPPHIRE Dave Rathbun @ 8:48 am

I was just given a link to the BI Agenda at the ASUG Annual Conference.

I printed this out prior to heading down to Orlando. If you’re here, it’s a great reference showing all of the ASUG BI sessions at a glance rather than having to plow through the entire SAPPHIRE agenda to find them.

SAP Mentorship has its privileges; I’m posting this from a wired connection in the reserved seating at the keynote. Wireless at the convention center is very much over subscribed…

May 17 2010

SAPPHIRE / ASUG Annual Conference Day 1 Part 1

Categories: 2010 Annual Conference / SAPPHIRE Dave Rathbun @ 8:05 am

I got to go to an ASUG reception last night where they introduced a new feature. They’re going to offer a demo platform for SAP online. If folks are interested in some specific SAP modules (for example HCM is one that is available) they can sign on and work with the tool right away. They don’t have to wait for their own internal IT folks to set up test server and install the software. Think but for SAP modules. The ASUG demonstration platform also includes Explorer, by the way.

This morning I’m listening in to the SAP press conference. The questions are not surprisingly related to the Sybase acquisition. The response from SAP is focused on the in-memory synergies between the existing technology from Sybase and the TREX engine from SAP. They’re also very bullish on the impact of the mobile expertise that Sybase has developed. They took a nice dig at Oracle in answering another question… where they say that the companies are merging to grow, not to merge and cut 21,000 jobs. ;)

As a side note, if the rumor I am hearing is correct, there will be something exciting to report from the ASUG side of the house this afternoon. Stay tuned for further updates…