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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 Pat Pesa Print E-mail

Podcast Interview Date: August 20, 2007
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To get an inside view of the evolution of SAP Business Intelligence, Jon tracked down senior SAP BI consultant and ProKarma SAP Solutions Director Pat Pesa. Pat has one of the most compelling takes on the potential of BI to transform the enterprise. Listen in as Jon and Pat go through the evolution of the BW product from the earliest releases to NetWeaver BI. Along the way, Pat shares the reasons that BW projects fail and the tactics needed to make them a success. Pat goes into detail regarding the skills consultants need to be successful in the SAP BI market and how they might break into BI from a range of technical backgrounds.

In this forty minute look at BI consulting trends, Jon and Pat cover key topics such as:

- How Pat broke into SAP and found his way into BW consulting roles.

- How SAP managed to move beyond the criticism from data warehouse experts, who initially viewed BW as a "joke." How SAP made BW a quality product with a proven value to SAP customers. 

- Pat highlights how the work companies had to do with early releases of BW, building ETL, Extractors, and InfoCubes, has changed. Now BW is a fully-loaded product with plenty of business content.

- The current applications of BI 7.0, from web reporting to faster analytical environments, from Integrated Planning to Enterprise Data Management.

- Why BI was important to SAP's push to move beyond a transactional system to an "intelligent" program that allowed companies to leverage their ERP data for better reporting and decision-making.

- The keys to a successful BI implementation, which include: assessing your information requirements, understanding where the data needs fall within your organization, smart use of blueprinting, and quality documentation.

- Why the "siloed" BW implementation approach didn't work, and why the BI "enterprise-wide" data management approach is much more effective.

- Pat's take on why most successful BW consultants come from technical backgrounds, and how functional consultants can be effective in their work dealing with the BI team.

- Pat explains why he thinks the convergence of functional and technical SAP skills sets is not the ideal skill set for BI work, and why technical folks are generally better suited to BW project roles.

- How data warehousing experts can fit into BW/BI projects, and the range of SAP technical skills that are applicable to BI projects. Pat also describes the kind of ABAP knowledge needed to be effective in BW. Jon gives his take on the ideal technical/functional skills mix for SAP consultants.

- How the SAP ecosystem makes products like BI easier to implement than SAP projects used to be.

- The impact of NetWeaver on BI, and how BI have moved beyond basic BEx reporting to web-based reporting. How Portals, iViews and SAP MDM tie together to improve the user experience in BI. 

- Why eSOA is an "enabling technology" that will allow SAP customers to innovate in ways that will help SAP customers to think in terms of business strategy and not in terms of their technical releases (R/3, BW, etc.)

- Whether BI is effective in more diverse environments where non-SAP data is a key part of a company's data management challenge. How companies can structure their BI data integration around the SAP Financials functionality when SAP Financials serves as the system of record.

- The future of information management in SAP, and why the underlying "source system" that a company's data is on will no longer be the defining factor. Pat explains why this shift allows NetWeaver to flip the "source system" approach on its head and allows business users to define their processes without worrying about which systems their data resides in.

- How Pat balances his own career between practice lead functions and hands-on work, and why it's important to him to remain involved on the technical side of SAP.

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