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SAP BusinessObjects User Conference 2011 Thoughts

As many of you should know, I just returned from the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference (SBOUC). While I did hear some, shall we say, “constructive” feedback, the overall impression was definitely good, and I heard on several occasions that this was “the best BusinessObjects conference since ASUG took over.” I personally couldn’t agree more, and I’d like to enumerate some of the things that I felt contributed hugely to this success.

Customer Driven Education Sessions

Almost all of the negatives I heard about this year’s education sessions were that some were too sales-pitchy and that there weren’t enough demos out there. For the former, PLEASE FILL OUT YOUR CONFERENCE FEEDBACK FORMS AND THUMP THE PRESENTER, for the latter, we all should have seen this lull coming. The typical presentation cycle goes something like this: the first year a new version is out (like this year) all of the presentations have to be screenshots and theory because no one has their hands on it, the second year is the first wave of live demos basically showing you the updated features, and the third year is real under the covers deep-dive stuff. So this year even though you wanted deep-dive demos you couldn’t reasonably expect this and what you really needed was new feature overviews and roadmap presentations which required…

The Return of SAP to the Conference in a Big Way

Not that SAP totally absent from the conference before, but since SAP bought BusinessObjects this was the most they’ve had to do with the conference. This was palpably missing from the last few year’s BOBJ conferences and they really tried to make up for it this year. They sent us some big keynotes. They gave us a TON of the hands-on sessions we had complained we were missing. They brought all of their product people and marketing people so they could interact with our community directly. And they brought their executives which allowed for…

More Media Coverage

I don’t remember a lot of recent SBOUCs that had more than one or two analysts or reporters, but this one had more than a handful of both. I think another huge benefit here is that some of us non-credentialed folks got face time with the big-wigs, which can only benefit the community (we’re BI people, so we’d better believe in the value of information, no?). I also loved that we had an Studio setup where those who couldn’t attend could still keep up and get some quality time with some of our community faces. That’s some real SAPPHIRE/SAP TechEd level shizzle right there. Just like…

Getting the Band Back Together

Jim Belushi rocked it. Even if he hadn’t, having any concert combined with the Xcelsius Gurus BI4 Launch Party really added back that social feel that the event had been missing for a while. For a lot of BusinessObjects folks, this is the one business trip they get to go on per year, and I think it’s a great idea to give them some memories beyond some neutral-colored classrooms and maybe a steak dinner. And none of this could have happened if we weren’t in…


Just kidding. I know we’ll be back here again next year (mark your calendars for September 9-12, 2012), but ASUG has heard this feedback ad nauseum and I personally promise that we’ll eventually get to go somewhere less happiest-place-on-Earthy. Regardless…

This is THE Premier BusinessObjects Community Event

No matter what you want to do with SAP BusinessObjects, SBOUC is the place you need to go. Want to learn about new products services? That’s here. Want to talk to all of the relevant SAP folks? They’re here. Want to see old friends and make new ones? We’ve got ’em. Want to have an educational and fun week? ASUG has got you covered.

And to be clear, none of this is meant to take away from ASUG Annual Conference/SAPPHIRE or SAP TechEd — those are important events and do have a place for classic BOBJ customers. But if you can only pick one event per annum, and you want to focus on BOBJ, you won’t find more information and people anywhere else.

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  • Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for your insights into this years SBOUC.

    I heard about the conference from coworkers, customers, partners, and it was resoundingly positive.  Everyone I talked to was amazed by the engagement, excited by the keynotes, loved getting that face to face time, but most importantly, really loved seeing Belushi!  =)

    Kidding aside, I am all ready planning on making it to my first SBOUC next year.  Can’t wait!