Monthly Archives: September 2012

Breathing New Life into Xcelsius

Breathing new life into XcelsiusSAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (aka Xcelsius) is one of the most pervasive dashboard tools on the market and has helped organizations get more information than ever into the hands of end-users.

Xcelsius – a victim of its own success?

The flexibility of Xcelsius has helped drive the evolution from static at-a-glance dashboards to the fully interactive dashboards that business users really want.

End-users invariably want to interact with the information in their dashboards to more completely understand their business, and one of the key breakthroughs of Xcelsius was the ability to add this type of interactivity to dashboards by using Excel formulas which are so widely understood, without ever needing to involve programmers.

Unfortunately, this has led to ever more complex dashboards, characterized by too many data connections, too many Excel formulas and projects which run significantly over schedule, causing some organizations to turn to other dashboard providers in an effort to bring this complexity back under control.

BI standardization – a prize worth fighting for

However, introducing another dashboard tool undoes all the effort of the last few years where organizations have been trying to streamline their BI operations by standardizing on a single BI platform. Breaking this standard leads to significantly higher total cost of ownership:

  1. More training for designers and end-users alike to account for a new tools
  2. More effort and cost to integrate tools from different vendors
  3. New hardware and software costs
  4. Migration cost of taking exiting assets and using them in the new world
  5. On-going costs of administering and supporting a second BI platform

And, on top of this, you lose the single version of the truth, which was one of the key reasons for adopting a BI standard in the first place.

Obviously, there are times when all this is justified, if your current BI tools are not up to the job and the business simply has to have something new then these additional costs have to be borne. However, with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards / Xcelsius this need not be the case.

XWIS gives you the best of both worlds

XWIS from Antivia solves the issues with Xcelsius which typically drive organizations to look at other solutions, meaning you get a great dashboard tool that enables you to deliver the dashboards your users need in a timely manner whilst not breaking your BI standard.

XWIS does this because it embeds multi-dimensional technology inside the dashboard, which for designers means:

  1. Fewer (usually one) data connection per dashboard
  2. Many fewer (often zero) Excel formulas required to manipulate data
  3. An efficient connection to the server to minimize dashboard load time
  4. In-memory data management to minimize click-to-click (or tap-to-tap) time
  5. All with dramatically less development effort

For end-users, this means the interactive dashboards they want with the performance they need.

But, the best way to understand this is to see it. In only 2 minutes the video below shows all of this in action. It will open your eyes to a new way of doing things in SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards / Xcelsius and open up a path to delivering the best dashboards whilst keeping your BI standardization.

To find out more, check out our resource center

XWIS Anywhere supports iOS 6

We’re delighted to announce that XWIS Anywhere for the iPad supports the new iOS 6.

XWIS Anywhere allows you to view any Xcelsius or SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard on your iPad, with no re-work.

XWIS Anywhere is :

  • Fully interactive – Works with existing dashboards – no re-work required. Even tightly packed dashboards can be successfully manipulated with pinch-to-zoom
  • Productive – Save snapshots for viewing when you’re offline and share with colleagues using the iPad’s native email client
  • Secure –  Encrypts all data and images on the device and over the network
  • Integrated – Works with your existing BusinessObjects Enterprise security
  • Broad – Also view WebIntelligence documents and Crystal Reports

Find out how you can try XWIS Anywhere on your iPad today

HTML5 Faster than Flash for Dashboards ?

Back in April, SAP announced that they were taking SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards(Xcelsius) down a mobile friendly route with a new “Export to HTML5” feature. I initially wrote about this in a blog post “A New lease of (HTML5) life for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards” and as the title of that post suggests, I think this is a great direction for SAP and the tweets coming out of the recent SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Bootcamps (e.g. here and here) suggest that SAP are making good progress on their promise to deliver this functionality by the end of this year as part of BI 4 Service Pack 5 (SP5).

But is HTML5 a good technology for dashboards ? Our initial results seem to suggest they are. See more in our post on the SAP Community Network.