While BI4 Elite attendees got to complete many exercises this week in lovely Vancouver, time was allotted to hear customer stories too. First up was the U.S. Department of Interior.
Department of Interior Story (DOI) of BI
Stan Curtis of DOI spoke (pictured below). DOI has 80K employees with only 238 BEx Queries - keep it simple, Stan advises. He asked the crowd "do you watch your employees running reports all day" - that way you will learn what they are doing.
Department of Interior is the largest deployment of BusinessObjects Analysis for OLAP.
They use LDAP & SAP Authentication on BI landscape
All users in BI are imported via SAP BW roles and LDAP (Microsoft Active Directory), with user aliasing between SAP user & LDAP user in BI. User security in BI is tied to BW roles. The user logs in to Enterprise Portal (EP) w/ active directory (AD) user id – after login, SAP ticket is created in AD user account and SAP user account via mapping in Enterprise Portal
When user launches BI launch pad from EP, user info is passed on to BI via SAP login ticket. BI Mobile users use LDAP authentication
Stan recommends to document all issues. Stan expressed a concerned about consistency across all products - for example:
- Date format (BEx prompts & display)
- Compounding (BEx prompts & display)
He said to communicate to your stakeholders (internally & externally – including SAP)
Stan said "one tool will not fit all your needs"
DOI uses BusinessObjects Explorer for auditor needs (1.4 million records)
DOI has 10 sub organizations, aka "bureaus" and they need to standardize on master data – fund center, cost center and that they all need to learn to "play in same box"
Stan says customers need to understand both the BW language & BusinessObjects language & includes and this also includes SAP Support
He also explained that most of the BusinessObjects training has been against relational universes and not BW, unlike BI4Elite which had a BW track and an agnostic track
I especially liked his message of empowering users in DOI.
HP BI Story - Data Agnostic Customer
Next, Christian Reed (pictured right) of HP spoke how they are running BI for 60,000 users, on mostly agnostic (non-SAP) data sources on XI 3.1
He said they are going to a new BI4 platform and take advantage of what is licensed as right now they are a Web Intelligence-only shop.
“Can’t let everyone pull in a 1 million rows” for a global BI platform at HP says Christian. He said for HP that patching is a big deal; not do that often – find a patch level deal with until get 3-4 reasons to upgrade
"BOSS", which stands for BusinessObjects Shared Service covers 10 platforms and once served 150+ distinct project teams, is down to 125 teams now
He estimates they have almost 800 universes
Molson Coors BI Story - a Story of "Beer"
Alexandre Papagiannidis of Molson Coors (pictured below) spoke next. Molson Coors is a global organization, with HR, finance, sales and marketing. They have multiple and complex sources of data.
They have limited BI resources with increasing demand. Their vision of BI is to "become a solution provider, not just doers". They are a "BW shop".
Information governance is super important for reporting. overnance is Information Steward to track master data quality to ensure accurate reporting – collaboration of IT & Business.
He said their challenge has been to get a single source of plan, actuals and forecasts. The key of the BI team is to make it simple.
He also emphasized the concept of selecting "the right BI tool".
He said sales reps need information at their fingtertips to sell "more beer". He reported that BI4 SP4 offline publications run 3 times quicker vs XI 3.1
On their backend is single source one multi-provider for actuals & plan. On the front-end is one structure to rule the world – “select the right tool for the right user”. Query designer is the foundation for BEx analyzer, WebI, Analysis for Excel
They use the Save to Mobile folder gives you the same views as the report. He said they are looking forward to Design Studio.
Change management is a huge part of the success story and includes in that his relationships with SAP.
I am still marveling over an amazing event at BI4 Elite in Vancouver this week. Some of the tweets are captured in this tweetdoc: