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Welcome to the Podcast Directory

This podcast directory provides handy previews, in text format, of all the podcasts available for download at There are also video podcasts in the SAP Blog section. Note: The JonERP iTunes feed is currently the most complete audio feed of all new audio content, as Jon posts audio of his video podcasts and hangouts in that feed also. If you're a video fan you'll want to track also.
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SAP Podcast: Jon Reed Interviews Peter Scott on NetWeaver BI Print E-mail

"An Inside Look at the SAP BI Marketplace and the Skills Needed for BI Consulting Success"
Podcast Interview Date: January 25, 2008
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In this podcast, Jon talks with Peter Scott of Traxion Consulting and gets his take on why the NetWeaver BI marketplace has picked up so much momentum. Jon asks Peter to explain how NetWeaver BI got so hot and the skills SAP BI professionals need to succeed in the BI field. Peter also shares the keys to staffing SAP BI projects and how SAP end users should approach their BI installs and upgrades.

In this twenty-seven minute podcast, Jon and Peter cover a range of NetWeaver BI topics, including:

- The role of Traxion consulting in the BI market and their focus on BI knowledge transfer.

- The changing terminology of BW and BI and the transition from BW 3.5 to BI 7.0.

- Jon asks Peter why the NetWeaver BI market is so hot right now. Peter explains that in a recent survey, 40 percent of all CIOs cited BI projects as their number one priority. Part of the issue is the explosion of data for all SAP customers, and they want to stay on top of this data to improve decision making based on facts. Also, because of Sarbanes-Oxley, companies installed BW and now they are looking for more ways of leveraging the data.

- Part of the growth of BI is about the transition between ERP as a transaction-based system and the new role of ERP has a decision-making platform to extend reporting and business intelligence to users and executives. How to pull the ERP data out and use it has become a top corporate priority.

- Peter explains the keys to BI training and bringing an internal team up to speed, to leave them in a better position after external consultants have left. Peter talks about the importance of custom SAP training with heavy hands-on involvement, and why it can be so much more effective than a standard "out of the box" training.

- Jon asks Peter how SAP teams can overcome user resistance to job changes brought on by BI and how to get them excited about the new technology. Peter talks about the importance of getting management on board to improve buy-in of the system, and to recognize that there will be user resistance if SAP users are not brought into the loop with the changes that are pending.

- Jon's theory is that BI is not just for specialists anymore. BI is a skill that all consultants can and should incorporate into their SAP skill set. Peter agrees, and talks about the how all R/3 and ECC consultants can add value to their clients by understanding the NetWeaver stack, and BI specifically, and how the ECC environment connects to the OLAP environment, in SAP Financials and many other areas. And you can also get a great niche in BI by including a functional focus with those skills.

- Peter gives his take on the kinds of skills you want to have on a well-rounded BI team. A solid understanding of data modeling and data warehousing is key. ABAP is still important, and ABAP for BI is valuable also for writing user exits and function modules for BI. Even in the age of Web Reporting and the Java stack, ABAP is still relevant. HTML and Javascript are also useful for advanced programming and inserting code into the Web Application Designer. Peter also recommends Visual Composer skills, and Web Dynpro skills, as well as Object-Oriented programming skills.

- Peter comments about some of the tools that are emerging in the BI space, including Visual Composer and Web Dynpro, as well as other tools that are extending the out-of-the-box functionality, including customized reports and better presentation options that also increase user buy-in through a better interface. Peter says that with the latest WebDynpro and Visual Composer presentation options, you can almost trick users into not realizing they are using SAP because it's so intuitive.

- Jon asks Peter about BI implementation scenarios and common mistakes to avoid. Peter talks about companies spending insufficient time on design, planning, and user buy-in during the initial project stages. Understanding the company's user requirements is important to be able to identify the limitations of the system and plan accordingly.

- Peter talks about the real ROI takeaways from a successful NetWeaver BI project. Peter shares the example of a project where they were able to identify 7 million dollars in unbilled revenue as a result of the BI tools. Peter also finds that a good BI project helps an SAP customer develop much clearer benchmarks and metrics for everyone understanding the keys to business success in their industry.

- In terms of a real-life example of a KPI, Peter describes previous clients who did not know who their most profitable customers were, and how the BI implementation helped them to identify who those customers were. Or, alternately, a company that figured out that some of their products were too expensive based on the analysis of the raw materials through BI reports.

- Jon asks Peter to talk about upgrade lessons to NetWeaver BI 7.0. Peter talks about the importance, once again, of pre-project planning, and what bugs you might run into during the conversion. Internal knowledge, training, and change management all play a role.

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