For me ASUG Chapter meetings are a place to meet others in the ecosystem using SAP and make me think of the SAP “bigger picture”. It is good to get out of the office and listen to other uses of SAP. Yesterday, with concerns about the Hurricane Irene coming, the ASUG North Carolina / Virginia Chapter meeting took place in Richmond, Virginia at Altria.
First I want to thank Altria and Melody Abadam, ASUG Volunteer, for being great hosts to yesterday’s event. Melody kicked off the meeting by saying she has been involved with ASUG since 1998. She spoke passionately about the benefits of ASUG Influence and ASUG Annual Conference.
Melody Abadam, ASUG Chapter Volunteer, kicks off the Chapter meeting.
Virtualization and VMWare
DataXStream discussed their virutalization with VMWare. They explained that the application layer is the SAP, the abstraction layer is VMware Hypervisor vSphere 4 and the internal hardware cloud has the server, storage and network resources. VMware vMotion allows them to perform maintenance “in the cloud”. The Dynamic Resource Scheduler tool dynamically reschedules resources to conserve power and cooling costs. VMware Snap Shots allows them to go back to another version and is used in kernel upgrades. Matt Lestock, DataXStream, explained that it takes less time to install virtualized system, in under two weeks.
A powerful comparison for me was that one customer went from having 50 servers down to just 8 servers. It is amazing to think of the cost savings.
Testing & Quality Assurance
Scott Kenney and Craig Shaneck of GROM then spoke. GROM is a “RunSAP Partner”. They reviewed SAP slides by prepared by SAP’s Samir Bains. Click here to see the slides.
They reviewed Quality, as SAP defines it – the 10 principles of quality (source: SAP):
1) Understand business objectives as well as technical requireemnts
2) Agree what can be delivered in what timeframe and how it can be proved
3) Work co-operatively with business to achieve overall objectives
4) Agree on project roles and responsibilities from the outset
5) Make the right people with the correct level of authority skills & experience
6) All projects should be managed professionally using formal methodology
7) Risks should be identified and managed jointly
8) Always develop and execute a Quality plan
9) Where standard SAP functionality and built-in best practice will best serve their needs, highlight this to our customer
10) Ensure sufficient training and help to manage the impact of change
They talked about a new SAP program, AQM, Active Quality Management, which was created to ensure customer needs are being met. They discussed a concept called “sum cost fallacy: – just because you put a lot of effort into it, doesn’t mean you should continue with it.
In the Q&A a customer said their goal was to automate regression testing. They asked this question: who here has a quality plan? Not one hand was raised in the room.
Leveraging Dashboarding Reporting
Derrick Wright, DMG Federal, presented “Leveraging Dashboarding Reporting”
Derrick said that Crystal Presentation Design is a standalone version where Excel is the data source. Crystal Dashboard Design 2011 Department edition where multiple data sources can be used. Additional information can be found here.
Derrick demonstrated a quick import data to dashboard, build business logic, formulas, mapping, and then publishing to a SWF file. There was lots of discussion surrounding the name changes from Xcelsius. Someone from Altria in the crowd asked “do we use this?” and another responded “yes, with XML as a data source”.
Thanks to the North Carolina / Virginia ASUG Chapter volunteers, Altria, and the sponsors it was a great chapter meeting. I managed to snag some ASUG “swag” – not for me of course, but for my co-workers.