Monthly Archives: September 2011

3 ways to get more from the 2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference

2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference

It’s a little over 1 week until the 2011 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference kicks-off.  If you’re attending, here are 3 ways Antivia can help you make the most of your time in Orlando:

 

  • Take the XWIS / Xcelsius 1-minute challenge; use your skill to win an iPad
  • Register for a free, hands-on XWIS test-drive (pre or post show)
  • Join us for 6 information packed presentations

 
Take the XWIS / Xcelsius 1-minute challenge; use your skill to win an iPad

XWIS / Xcelsius 1-minute challengeVisit us on booth #404 and take the XWIS / Xcelsius 1 minute challenge. Follow the simple step by step instructions to create your own fully connected Xcelsius dashboard in less than 1 minute. Fastest time during the conference wins an iPad.

To boost your chances of winning,  pre-register for the test-drive and we’ll let you download the 1-minute challenge script ahead of the event and watch a video of Donald MacCormick delivering the 1-minute demo.
 

>> Pre-register for the XWIS / Xcelsius 1-minute challenge

 

 

 

Register for a hands-on XWIS test-driveSign-up for a hands-on XWIS test-drive

We’re running XWIS test-drives at the Swan and Dolphin Resort on the Sunday afternoon pre-show and also on the Wednesday afternoon post show.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get your hands-on XWIS and see for yourself how you can dramatically reduce the complexity of your dashboards and make your dashboard designers up to 10 or 20 times more productive.

Here’s what people had to say about our recent London test-drive event:

 “I had seen content on your web site and attended a webinar but using the software myself really brought it home to me”

 “I came on my first Xcelsius training course almost exactly a year ago, I wish I had seen XWIS then, it would have saved me 11 months.”

>> Sign-up for your test-drive now

  

Join us for 6 information packed presentations

In past years, delegates have scored Donald MacCormick’s and Mark Hudson’s presentations highly, and this year, we’re delighted that Yvonne Jones from Shire Pharmaceuticals will be joining us to talk about how XWIS has made a difference to her organization’s Xcelsius dashboard projects, so why not join us for one or more of these presentations.

Personalized Delivery of Your Dashboards from SAP
Mark Hudson
Mon, Oct 10, 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Standardizing on the SAP Partner Ecosystem to Avoid BI Fragmentation
Yvonne Jones, Shire (customer dashboard presentation) with Donald MacCormick
Mon, Oct 10, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Getting Smart with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards
Mark Hudson
Tue, Oct 11, 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

What Does Big Data Mean for Dashboards?
– Donald MacCormick
Tue, Oct 11, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Opportunistic Business Intelligence. Old or New? Opportunity or Threat?
Donald MacCormick
Tue, Oct 11, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Five Unorthodox Principles for Dashboard Success
Donald MacCormick
Wed, Oct 12, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

All of us at Antivia are really looking forward to this event and we hope to see you in Orlando.

Doing, not seeing, is believing

Yesterday was Antivia’s first XWIS hands-on test drive. The general idea was to allow people who are interested in making their Xcelsius development activities more productive to come along and use XWIS for themselves to see just how it could make a difference to their projects.

When I was talking to some of the attendees before the session I was suddenly a little worried. It turned out that most (possibly all) of them had seen most (possibly all) of the content before, either through videos at www.antivia.com or in one of our Webinars. There were even a couple of people who we had done in-person demos with previously. Weren’t they all going to be disappointed that they had made the effort  to come to the event only to see things they had seen before?

I needn’t have worried, as one delegate explicitly said afterwards:

“I had seen content on your web site and attended a webinar but using the software myself really brought it home to me”

I guess in this day and age, where we are bombarded with so many messages about how good software is, there is no substitute for trying it yourself. It has certainly got me thinking about ways we can do more of this, perhaps even as soon as the ASUG SAP Business Objects user conference in Orlando, in October.

The best quote of the day came from another delegate, they said:

“I came on my first Xcelsius training course almost exactly a year ago, I wish I had seen XWIS then, it would have saved me 11 months.”

I could not have put it better myself :-)

 

Designing an interactive, connected Xcelsius dashboard on the iPad.

Within the SAP BusinessObjects community, I hear a lot of discussion at the moment about Xcelsius and the iPad, mainly focused on delivering dashboards to end-users. Most (if not all) of the potential solutions available today are based on remote screen viewing technology (either VNC or RDP, for those who like acronyms), so I wondered if the same technology could be used to bring Xcelsius dashboard design to the iPad.

It turns out the answer is “yes“, as shown in the video below of an iPad version of the “Xcelsius / XWIS: design an interactive dashboard on BOBJ data in one minute” demo.

For anyone not versed in remote screen technology, the way this works is that Xcelsius is running on a Windows machine (my laptop) which is also running a server (TightVNC). The VNC client app on the iPad (Screens) talks to the VNC server and between the two of them they pass information back and forth to make it appear as though the Windows app (Xcelsius) is running on the iPad.

Whilst this video makes for an interesting demonstration, really it’s just a bit of fun, and it is not a viable solution for designing Xcelsius dashboards on the iPad.

More importantly, even for delivery of dashboards to end-users, simply replicating a full server side application on the iPad using remote screen technology is not (in our opinion) the way to go. We are currently working on something rather more sophisticated as part of our recently announced XWIS Anywhere product, but details of this will need to wait for another day (possibly at the ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference in October).

TinEye for the Presentation Guy (or Gal)

I just finished uploading my presentations for the ASUG SAP Business Objects User Conference in Orlando in October 2011  (the list of my sessions are at the foot of the post in case you are interested). As part of developing them I found a very useful (but I think not that well known) image search tool.

I think by now every presenter is aware of the best-practice advice to use images to reinforce talking points in presentations rather than endless lists of bullet points and this advice is easier than ever to follow given the image search capabilities of Google and other search engines.

However, there is an issue with this because many (possibly most) of the images returned in these searches are subject to copyright.  Just because it is trivially easy to copy and paste an image into your presentation does not mean it is right (or indeed legal) to do so. In fact, in my view, the balance should be the other way, unless you can be sure that you have the right to use an image, you really should not*.

This is where TinEye comes in. TinEye is a “reverse image search” engine,  give it an image (or in the browser add-in simply right click on an image on a page) and it does a search for similar images on the internet. It is amazing how often the images I like can be tracked back to a commercial library like iStockPhoto, which means that if you want it in your presentation then you ought to buy it, rather than just use it. And, if the image is free to use, TinEye may just come up with a higher resolution somewhere else to avoid those grainy on screen images. Either way, I would recommend it to all image conscious presenters.


My Orlando presentations:

What Does Big Data Mean for Dashboards?
Tue, Oct 11  2:45 – 3:45

Opportunistic Business Intelligence. Old or New? Opportunity or Threat?
Tue, Oct 11  4:00: – 5:00

Five Unorthodox Principles for Dashboard Success
Wed, Oct 12 8:00 – 9:00


* Having said that I am not a lawyer and certainly not an expert on the fair use laws which as you can see here are highly non-trivial, so it may be that I am worrying unnecessarily about this, but better to be on the safe side of things IMO.