APOS Systems recently released a product that converts UNV universes to UNX universes in bulk. The story of its development involves close collaboration between APOS and SAP’s product management team, as well as innovation for the benefit of the entire SAP BusinessObjects™ community.
SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 is this year’s big story in business intelligence and the whole community is talking about migration. We all have a vested interest in ensuring the smoothest and quickest possible upgrade path for the user community. It may sound hackneyed, but their success truly is our success.
When APOS Chief Technical Officer, Ofir Gil met with Saskia Battersby, GM, BI Solution Management at SAP, during last year’s ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in Orlando, he had migration on his mind. APOS has a long history of collaboration with SAP’s product management team, which has resulted in continuous innovation for the SAP BusinessObjects user community. Ofir was looking for the opportunity for further innovation.
How could APOS help to ease the upgrade path? What aspects of migration were going to cause the most work for migration project teams? Where would quality be most likely to suffer? What were the obstacles to migration? As a direct result of this conversation, Saskia set up an October meeting between APOS and the SAP product management team in Vancouver.
In a series of very productive meetings, APOS and SAP brainstormed resolutions to issues that might slow down migration, or even cause SAP customers to postpone adoption of BI 4.0. From these meetings, three areas of potential collaboration emerged:
- UNV to UNX conversion
- Web Intelligence report repointing
- Crystal Reports 2011 conversion
All of these migration tasks are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to human error. If APOS could simplify and automate these tasks, migration project plans would become much more manageable, and some very tangible barriers to migration could be removed.
Over the next few months, the APOS and SAP teams continued to collaborate to fine-tune requirements and ensure that APOS was working with the very latest information. Beta SDKs let APOS develop in parallel to SAP, ensuring that migration assistance would be available as close to SAP’s release dates as possible.
The first of these products, the APOS Converter for BI 4.0 Universes, which converts UNV universes to UNX universes in bulk, was released in early April 2013, with other migration-related products set to follow shortly thereafter. The entire collaborative process, from conception to delivery was approximately six months. The APOS and SAP teams worked closely to establish customer needs, discuss product ideas, define architecture and feature sets, overcome development challenges, and finally to release the product and promote it to the SAP BusinessObjects community.
APOS Systems has been working with the SAP BusinessObjects platform since the mid ‘90s. This longstanding partnership, combined with our technical depth has made APOS a key resource for technical collaboration and innovation for many SAP product managers and SAP customers.
As SAP BusinessObjects has grown in its role as a central enterprise decision-support system, some of its most innovative customers have developed additional requirements to meet the growing complexity of their deployment and the increasing demands of their information consumers. As members of the SAP BusinessObjects community manage this increasing complexity and the unique challenges in their deployments, APOS has been a go-to provider for innovative solutions that help them realize the full benefits of their BI platform.