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Beautiful location for the ASUG Chapter meeting: The Lumiere Place Hotel and Casino, right on the river at Laclede’s Landing. It’s my first time at the hotel, and I gotta admit I love hotels that have big Atrium’s with rooms that all point in. I just love the idea of seeing previously-unmatched people trying to sneak into a room together with the whole lobby looking on aghast. Never happened, but that’d be awesome.

Anyway, here is how the day broke down. As always, I’ll caveat that I am only familiar with the BI solutions from SAP.

Automating SAP Change Management: Best Practices (Dan McGrann, Realtech)

Dan actually did a really good job for a vendor presentation in that he gave a lot of information out that was valuable whether you bought his product or not. That’s my own personal litmus test when considering a partner for this sort of session: let me walk away with something. WHen he did talk about his product, it was about the value-add and he gets bonus points for discussing the actual integration and training associated with their solution.

ERP Usability with Winshuttle (Steve Rokne and Nick Petti, Winshuttle)

Winshuttle looks like a product that allows you to basically rewrite a lot of SAP processes in Excel. I like the idea for the same reason I like Live Office – put the data (and the process) where your business people live. Your business people live in Excel.

Using Social Media to Help Support Your SAP Implementation (Stephen Johannes, Solutia)

SAP Mentor Stephen Johannes was actually able to present without any flying monkeys. His presentation focused on how to use social networks to be better at your job. Probably the most interactive session, everyone seems passionate (on both sides of the debate) about the place for wikis, twitter, and even RSS feeds. Very cool.

Probably my favorite part of the day (before the drinks anyway) was that someone tracked me down immediately after this session to ask a technical question. Naturally I had no idea the answer (it was really about the SAP side of their SAP/BOBJ landscape), so I posted it to Twitter. In the same minute fellow social media maven John Appleby responded with some really helpful info. Twitter #FTW

Downstream System Support for SAP Data Archiving (Wardell Lewis & Ken Hutter, Monsanto)

Monsanto has been a very dedicated community member in the St. Louis area for a long time. Great technical presentation here, talking about custom archiving tables, etc. All Greek to me, but you could really tell these guys knew what they were talking about.

When Good Enough May Be the Best Strategy (Mark Haubein, Vi-Jon)

I got to talk to Mark a little bit this morning, and this presentation lived up to expectations. Great process examples of stretching your current expertise as far as it can go. Every firm has some resource that is limited, and this presentation helped show how to make the most of that scenario. Also, since this was also given at the ASUG Annual Conference this year, I think the slides should be available somewhere.

Networking Reception

C’mon, you all know I don’t write about the happy hour. And especially not when I’m heading out early to pick up the kids! C’mon out next time and you’ll see how St. Louis gets down.

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