Well, yes- I did get a cup of coffee before boarding. So that much is true. And I AM on the way (or here already, depending on posting time) to Orlando for this year's 2011 SAP BusinessObjects User Conference. While I might not share the same unbridled enthusiasm of fellow SAP Mentor Jaime Oswald, I am looking forward to some things at this year's SBOUC:
1- Customer Stories
Like ASUG Annual Conference, there is something to benefit from hearing from other SAP customers in how they've implemented the same software that I'm using. I don't think that hearing from SAP Employees or SAP Partners is a bad thing, sometime customer stories just bring things closer to home.
Since I am a 'part time teleworker' and working in a different site from most of my coworkers, I don't get to travel to the home office much to see them. This year, I am fortunate that Aetna has been able to send several folks from our Business Intelligence Competency Center, my Informatics BI Team Lead and even some business owners. I am definitely excited to see some folks I haven't in a while and meet a few who have only ever been voices on a conference call.
This is something that people don't seem to talk about enough. In this respect, I get to catch up with fellow ASUG Volunteers, SAP Mentors, ASUG HQ folks and lots of others. I think that the networking and social aspects of conferences like SBOUC and TechEd are not talked about enough. You would be surprised to know how much you can learn by talking to other attendees, in addition to the lecture portions of conferences. Seriously- spend some time talking to folks at the ASUG Lounge or on the show floor. Strike up conversation with someone who's got a badge on! Speakers have yellow bands, ASUG Volunteers have red badge ribbons and SAP Mentors have gold ribbons. Most of these folks would love to chat and answer questions. If they don't have the answers
Since I already wrote a blog on what sessions I'm giving at SBOUC, I thought it would be only fair to highlight some of the sessions that looked interesting to me. No guarantee that I can actually make them, given everything else that's going on! But if you're undecided on some, maybe taking a second look at these might be worth a shot:
- 3003: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards and Walt Disney Theme Parks- This one merges two of my favorite things into one session!
- 6001: Best Practice Use of Business Analytics in Financial Services- Chris Pohl from BNY Mellon is on a few ASUG Influence Councils with me and given the press Financial Services has lately, sounds pretty interesting.
- 1006: Impact of In-Memory Technology and SAP HANA on Your Business, IT, and Career- fellow SAP Mentor Vitaliy Rudnytskiy and Dave Carlisle from HP will be talking about two of the hottest topics in the SAP Ecosystem today: HANA and BOBJ!
- 3010: Bridging the Gap: Linking SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence- I have seen Sandy Brotje from the Cleveland Clinic present at past conferences and love hearing a good customer story. Because isn't that what these conferences are supposed to be about? Fellow customers giving you stories on how they're running things?
Last but not least, let me welcome fellow Aetna employees Eric Westman and Eliel Carvalho on their conference presentation debut. They will be presenting session 9009, Deploying Business Intelligence (BI) to a Shared Reporting Environment on Monday at 2:45pm. While I won't be able to attend, since I am presenting session 5009, (What Kind of Deity Are You? How Can You Best Work with All the Right People to Build the Best Universe Possible) at the same time- if you are interested in BOE Administration topics, I would suggest that you try and catch their session.