Back in October of 2009 at the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conferece, a group of ASUG members were recruited by SAP Product managers to participate in the first-ever BusinessObjects Enterprise Influence Council. This group met for 2 hours every month, and got first-hand looks at what was then called “Aurora” and is now known as BI4.
What good, do you ask, is having ASUG member customers and partners involved in reviewing product features while the product is still in development? Good question! It gets a customer and expert user perspective in the hands of the product development team at SAP, and can actually influence the direction and features of the product while it is still being worked on.
After a year of hard work, and almost another year of silence waiting for the General Availability of BI4, I can now tell you what was done by the Influence Council. Our non-disclosure agreements expire once the product becomes GA.
While the Influence Council got to see the entire product offering, from stem to stern, there are a few areas that stand out with the Product Management team that got special attention directly because of the Influence Council. Those ares in general were Monitoring and Auditing. Here’s a list of things that were influenced by and/or validated by the Influence Council:
- Improved reportability of the Auditing Database
- Improved auditing universe
- The Auditing Database schema
- The Auditing Dashboard
- Improved consistency of Auditing Events
- Simplified Auditing configuration and management
It seems a little small when I list it all out like that, but when you get your hands on the product (if you haven’t already) you’ll see that many of these improvements are huge. It was extremely helpful for the Product Managers to have such direct feedback from customers and experts on a regular basis that certain parts of the product really shine.
If you are interested in participating in Influence Councils, head on over to ASUG.com and see what is currently in-flight. Many councils are running, especially in the Business Analytics space. Get in there and get your voice heard!
There will be another installment of this blog after BI4.1 is released. We had some seriously cool input into that release as well, and I’m looking forward to sharing.