Wheels are up and I’m back home from Orlando, Florida and the 2012 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference (SBOUC). This was the third year the conference has been held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel and Conference Center. As a ‘Mouse Junkie’, I love being at the ‘World’. But a change of pace seems to be in order and ASUG has announced that for 2013, it’s the West Coast’s turn. Anaheim, California needs to start preparing for SBOUC!
This year, I had the chance to deliver three sessions at this SBOUC. Two smaller and more intimate Influence Council sessions which went quite well. My personal thanks to the ever awesome Timo Elliott for joining the Dashboarding and Visualization Influence Council audience and lending his ear and sage wisdom! As a bonus, Timo took the time to give those interested attendees a little quick compare and contrast between Zen and Xcelsius. I also had the honor of co-presenting with a new presenter to the community- Osman ‘Ozzie’ Ghani. I played ‘Max Weinberg’ sidekick to Ozzie’s ‘Conan O’Brian’ as he presented the ‘Undervalued List of Values’ to a packed room. I publicly want to thank him for taking a chance and speaking publicly (with a live demo). He did fantastic and I hope to see him as a regular presenter at future conferences. If you’re still on the fence about presenting- talk to Ozzie! He’ll tell you the real scoop.
Now, speaking of Influence Councils- there was some confusion going on during SBOUC that needs to be cleared up. In no way, shape or form does an ASUG member EVER have to pay to be on an Influence Council. It’s included with your membership. And for BOBJ only customers, that membership remains to be FREE for 2013. That means that you can request to join an open Influence Council RIGHT NOW. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or me directly. Want more details on Influence? Go to asugonline.com and watch my interview with Courtney Bjorlin. It’s an entire segment discussing BI Influence.
Why am I fired up about this? Well, besides the fact that you didn’t have to pay a single cent to join any of the 13 Business Intelligence Influence Councils that are ongoing right now? Simple- I don’t like FUD. Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are the bain of any community. One of the core tenents of bringing users together as a group is that there’s power in numbers. If fractured, that voice loses it power. Let’s speak with one voice- and let that be the voice of one community.
Lastly, let me welcome any new members of ASUG that joined at SBOUC. You’ve joined a passionate and vibrant community dedicated making things better for all users of SAP BI software. Whether BEx or WebI, WAD or Crystal, and alongside our brethren in BITI, Utilities or the other ASUG communities- we are all in this together. By joining ASUG, you’re taking the next step in having your voice heard. Welcome!