Mico Yuk

How ASUG Won Me Over

Posted by Mico Yuk Sep 29, 2010

As a SAP BusinessObjects “legacy customer” why should I pay to join ASUG,  a predominantly SAP organization? This is perhaps the million dollar  question and one that many SAP BusinessObjects folks have been asking  themselves for the last 2 years, post the SAP acquisition. I was also in  the same boat, but instead of speculating, I was blessed enough to  connect to some key folks who changed my entire perspective and I want  to share my experience with you. (Note: Anything that I state here is  not for the purpose of advertising or discrediting ASUG.  It is simply  based on my actual experiences and personal thoughts.)

So you can easily follow my journey through ASUG, I am going to  summarize what I call ‘the how ASUG won me over timeline’, one person at  a time.

  • (May 2010) ASUG Dashboarding SIG Volunteer – I was invited to join earlier this year by the SIG’s chair, my former client and colleague, Gabe Orthous,  from McKesson. While the progress with this SIG has been fairly slow,  considering the group has only met about twice to date so far, I was  surprised to find tenured members, such as Paul Grill of Infosol, whose outspoken persona always shines light on the “real issues”.  The joint webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman in August is an example of the SIG’s effort to provide quality content  to its few hundred members (most of which are from the SAP side).
  • (July 2010) ASUG Atlanta Chapter – While having lunch with Gabe and another fellow ASUG Dashboard SIG volunteer, Durgesh Das, I then met Rajeev Kapur (a very friendly, but influential BI leader from Newell Rubbermaid).  Tasked with managing both the SAP and BusinessObjects suite in his own  environment, Rajeev happened to also be the head of the ASUG Atlanta chapter.   He is responsible for organizing  the local Atlanta ASUG Chapter events  that are attended by almost 300 customers and partners. Expressing the  need to get more BOE folks to these events, though skeptical, I attended  the first on Sept 17th at the COKE Enterprise with my buddy Durgesh (I documented my entire experience via twitter with photos). In a nutshell, there were 4 segments of sessions from  9-5pm and each segment contained a BusinessObjects session that was not  only well attended, but quite informative.  I learned about RoamBI,  Crystal Reports integration with Xcelsius, and the BusinessObjects  Roadmap. Did I forget to mention, that as a BOE vendor, there was not a  shortage of SAP customers who needed help with their BOE  implementations? So honestly, I left there wondering, how can I possibly  get more BOE folks to see what I saw?  The best was yet to come!
  • (Sept 2010) Conversation with ASUG CEO Bridgette Chambers – Triggered by some feedback from the webinar I conducted with Ryan Goodman, (which I will not discuss here due to  its irrelevance) I was then contacted by ASUG’s very own CEO, Bridgette Chambers.  Like many of you, I had read about her new role as the CEO of ASUG last  year, but when her secretary called to set up a call with me, I  thought, “OK, maybe these guys are serious about getting BOE folks on board!” Without going into full details of the entire conversation, what stood  out to me the most was her absolute focus and determination to win over  the BOE community. It honestly left me wondering, “With this type of  leadership at the top, why does it seem that ASUG has failed to capture  the attention of the BOE community?” Simple answer. They did not choose a  BIG ENOUGH SHOVEL to penetrate the heap known as the BOE legacy  customers.

Conclusion - At this point, however, I am convinced that there  is tremendous value in ASUG, but just unsure how to relay this to our  BOE community. I think most will agree, that ASUG did a poor job of  transitioning the GBN members when they took over which left the  BusinessObjects folks wandering out there, turned off by member fees, a  bad ASUG website, a confusing strategy to bring them board, and no  visibility into the true value of joining this ‘seemingly’ SAP vested  organization.

So my take? If you are a customer the membership is free until the end of the year. Please check it out. I’ve not only  gained great friendships and associates, but also new customers and lots  of new friends to network with and to exchange knowledge. And because  the BOE community is so small, there is a lot of room to really  influence what ASUG does. Not to mention, the SAP folks I met have such a  deep interest in  BusinessObjects. There is no excuse that one will  hear about SAP modules  all day. I sure did not! I did however, learn a  lot about how  BusinessObjects work on top of SAP. So I definitely  encourage you to join me on this journey folks. See you next week in  Orlando!

And Reportapalooza continues! Two weeks ago I wrote my first blog post about this exciting SAP BusinessObjects virtual competition. Since then, THANKS to YOU, I won Challenge #1 with my Coffee Consumption Calculator.  I can't thank everyone enough for the overwhelming support and feedback  that I received! I am cooking something up in the form of a free  giveaway, to show my appreciation, once the competition ends for all of  you.

The bad news? I did not fare as well in Challenge #3, “Lessons from a Reporting Maestro”, but a huge CONGRATS to the winner Brian Durning (ASUG Crystal Reports SIG Chair). He did an awesome job, including,  providing some direction on my beginner video (along with my colleague  and Crystal Reports Guru, Mike Garrett).

So what’s next? Below is a quick review of the past and upcoming Reportapalooza events:

So what’s Challenge #2? Many folks have asked me about getting involved with Reportapalooza not realizing that this is exactly what the “Report Hero” challenge is all about. It’s simple, submit your heroic experience with SAP Crystal Reports or Dashboards by October 8th,  2010, and you may become the next superstar! Not only can you register  to win prizes, (I was shocked to see that 3 of my twitter friends won  $25 ITunes gift cards for Challenge #1!) but if chosen, your story will  be turned into a collectible music poster and highlighted in the competition and community.

My advice? Don’t walk, Run to submit your story NOW. If you are an SAP BusinessObjects report writer/developer or consumer  this is a no brainer! It takes 5 minutes to submit your short story, so  do it now! In addition, we will feature the winning story on our blog as  well.

Thanks again for all the great support!!


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