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The SAP BusinessObjects Community Means Business - An SAP BOC Podcast - Podcast Transcription Print E-mail
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The SAP BusinessObjects Community Means Business - A BOC Community Podcast
Hosted by Jon Reed of
Podcast Interview Date: July 13, 2010

Jon Reed: Welcome to this special SAP BusinessObjects Community podcast. I'm your host, Jon Reed of Joining me today are Jason Cao and Kirby Leong. We're here to talk about changes in the BusinessObjects Community, the impact of the community on SAP users, and how you can get involved.

Why don't we kick off by having you tell us a little bit about the BusinessObjects Community and some of the changes that are going on now.

Kirby Leong: I'm one of the community managers who manages the content strategy for the BusinessObjects Community. The community is really focused around SAP BusinessObjects portfolio of client tools and applications, such as Crystal Reports, Dashboard Design (formerly known as Xcelsius), and those types of products. The kit is primarily to report in dashboard designers, power end-users, business analysts, and business users.

One thing we're pretty excited about is that recently the community has been undergoing a major transition. Starting earlier this year, we migrated a lot of the technical content - a lot of the content related to SDK application development, BI platform administration, and BI integration on SAP installations, etc. That has all been moved to SDN. This move was driven largely by our need to align with the technology map so the community can talk about the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio in a way that is consistent with the rest of the organization. Now that we are in sync, that's a great foundation to build on.

To add to that, the next phase of this alignment is to tackle the forms, the wikis, and the blogs to bring them in alignment as well. There are quite a few exciting things that are going on at the moment.

Jason Cao: I agree. I call myself a Community Helper for the BOC. I just wanted to add that our organization is making a large investment for the business users. On a BI front, solutions like Crystal Reports, Dashboard Design, and Explorer and Web Intelligence help empower the business users with BI. BOC helps this community of business users find the resource they need to improve their understanding and performance within their organization.

Reed: What else can we expect to see from the BOC in the short and medium term?

Leong: We're really gearing up pretty hard for the XI Release 4, so expect to see new content, new content framework, and lots of new e-learning with special emphasis on having very modularized learning. Users will be able to drill down specifically on one or two functions and get a handle on that, then at their own pace learn about another aspect of the release. We're really excited about all the things that are coming on. This is a major release for the company and we're right there to support them.

And, as Jason mentioned, with this increased emphasis going forward on this BI business-user/end-user type of audience, we do want to look at the redesign of the BOC home page to make it more conducive to that audience. We're also looking at ways of making our dashboards more attractive on the site. Right now when you look at and try downloads on the dashboard, it's very text heavy. We're looking at ways we can make it more visual and more accessible.

We'll also be looking at drilling down our industry areas, specifically helping to build up the BPX industry areas by adding a BI component to that. We're trying to have a very broad reach for our audience and address a lot of their needs in different ways.

Reed: I'm going to put you on the hot seat for a sec with some buzzword translation. We hear a lot from SAP about "insight" these days and going from "insight into action." In your view, what does insight mean and how is the BOC supporting this approach?

Cao: To me insight means knowledge, understanding, and awareness. Kirby is nodding here so I know we agree. This is really key to organizations because without insight there is no understanding and direction. When organizations have insight, it becomes even more important that they can take advantage of it. We liken insight without follow-up action to a brand new Porsche parked in your driveway but missing the engine.

Our new tagline, "Turn Insight Into Action," conveys the purpose and value of our community by helping individual members gain insight, then turn it into greater business performance. You could say we want to help our members put the vroom-vroom into their organizations.

Leong: In the medium to long term, our focus will be to transition from focusing exclusively on helping our members develop their competency or their expertise with the client tools and applications, to one of helping our members figure out or help them empower members to figure out how to solve their business problems using our client tools and solutions. The key question is, what are the main business issues that our members face?

One approach we can take to that, as I mentioned before, is expanding the industry areas on BPX. If you were to drill down, let's say, on the retail industry, what are the key business issues there that BI can help solve? How do we bring people together and empower them with the right tools and knowledge to solve that?

Given today that business users can be incredibly complex, by working on the BPX Community we can approach it from a more integrated approach. Rather than approaching it again just from one single view of BI or a process, we need to evolve with our customers and approach these business problems from a multi-faceted integrated approach, from a technical point of view, from a BI point of a view, and a process point of view. I think the community has a great opportunity to rise up and meet this challenge with our members.

Reed: Recently there were a bunch of new SAP mentors named who were heavily involved in the BusinessObjects world. How do you think this can impact the BOC?


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