ASUG Philadelphia chapter held another successful meeting at SAP Americas in Newtown Square, PA on September 16th, 2010.
For those not familiar with our Chapter, I’m told that we are one of the larger chapters in existence. Our chapter is large enough to be able to have several different tracks of topics each time we meet. We’re also fortunate to be able to use the SAP HQ facility, which has plenty of space for us to convene in.
Of course, we have a BI/BusinessObjects track, and that was where I was all day. For those of you looking for some information about the HCM or CRM or even the Sustainability topics discussed, you’ll have to ask someone else.
We met together as an entire group, and the day started with a welcome by our Chapter Chair, Gail Jusiewicz followed closely by a HQ update from Norbert Nowak about the changes in Enterprise Support.
From there, we broke out into our tracks, and this is where I lost track of what else was going on in the other rooms. For the BI track this time, we focused on a couple of experts in the area of using BOBJ and SAP tools together. In the past, I’ve given presentations on BOBJ-only since that is my exclusive experience, but each time was asked about integration with the traditional SAP suite. Well, we heard you. First up for the day was Steven Woyicki from IDS Scheer who presented the BI & EIM roadmap. Steve used some of Ingo Hilgefort’s information about what tool to use in which environment and gave an expert view on how the BOBJ and SAP tools work together at a high level.
Our next session in the BI track was from Jay Riddle from Consultancy by Kingfisher . I’ve known Jay for a while now and have heard him speak before. His content is top-notch. Jay went into technical detail of how to integrate BOBJ with BW . Jay told us from the outset that his slide deck was way too large to cover in one hour. We spoke later on, and he said that it had taken him over 6 months with multiple clients to compile all of that information. Another job really well done. Lots of questions ensued.
That took us to our lunch break, which is always a nice spread.
After lunch, was our newest ASUG BI Community Volunteer, Derek Loranca presenting Xcelcuis 101. Derek has a great easy style of presenting, and it’s always great to hear him talk about his areas of expertise. There were lots of questions, ooohhs, and aahhhs from the room as he showed off what Xcelcius is and what it does to first-timers.
We wrapped up our BI track as we always do, with a BI Roundtable. We bring the speakers for the day, plus the Chapter Leadership (and me, too) and we talk about whatever the gathered group wants to talk about, answer questions, and even do some on-the-spot consulting at times. It’s always a productive session, albeit not as heavily attended these days. But we’re working on that.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about my reaction to the SAP Inside Track meeting that was held at SAP HQ, how that was different from our Chapter Meetings, and what lessons we could learn from it and try to apply. I tried to practice what I preach this time, since this was our first Chapter Meeting since Inside Track. First of all, I tried to use Twitter more. I’m encouraging the usage of a standard hashtag for us to use in our chapter, #ASUGPHL This will give our members an easy way to search for the event proceedings, and for others who can’t attend to follow our day. I’m thinking about doing a version of Jim Spath’s Inside Track presentation Working the Crowd for our chapter since I don’t think too many people there use Twitter very much yet. Of course, I have to get Jim’s permission first, then get to work tailoring this for our Chapter attendees.
The second thing I tried to do different this time was to take photos of the event. I did ok for the first time out, and did ok for covering the basics of the BI track. Next time I will do a better job of getting around to the other tracks and taking more pictures. You can view my Flickr photo stream from the event by clicking this link.
And the third change I’m trying to implement for our Chapter is this blog post. Hopefully this can reach a somewhat larger audience than our usual Chapter communications do. So if you’re reading this, and you don’t participate in your local chapter, then please consider the following:
- Our Chapters are only as good as who shows up. We need attendees to come and listen, we need presenters to speak, we need Volunteers to help plan, organize and execute our quarterly meetings.
- Chapter Meetings are included in your ASUG membership. It doesn’t cost you anything but some time.
- Come learn something. There are lots and lots of experts at these meetings. Come meet them, ask them questions and you’ll make their day!
- Come meet people that know things you don’t. I come from a BOBJ-only shop, but I’m slowly learning tons about the traditional SAP toolset from attending Chapter Meetings.
- If we all participate, we all win. We all get to learn from one another, put faces to names, and build our professional network. Those are all wins in my book.
If you are an ASUG member in the Philadelphia area, and you don’t attend our chapter, hopefully this will change your mind. Our next Chapter meeting is on Thursday, December 9th at ASUG HQ in Newtown Square. Watch the Chapter Workspace for when the Call for Speakers and Sponsors goes out, and registration opens up. I truly hope to see you there. Come say hello and tell me you read this blog, and you’ll make my day.
If you are an ASUG member but aren’t in the Philadelphia area, there are a bunch of other Chapters out there just dying to meet you. Some might be bigger than ours, some might be smaller. All of them are the same. There are ASUG members there you can meet and learn from who want to meet and learn from you.
If you’re not an ASUG member yet, what are you waiting for? Especially if you are a BusinessObjects-Only customer. ASUG is currently offering BOBJ-Only customers free membership through December 2011!