The Mastering Business Analytics with SAP and SAP BusinessObjects BI event was held at Crown Promenade Hotel in Melbourne on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 October. The 215 delegates who attended learned about a variety of topics including big data, HANA and Business Intelligence. It was a fascinating conference attended by a diverse group, some who return annually to touch base with the SAP community. There was a strong representation of partners and customers from Australia as well as a large contingent from across the Tasman.
This year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the conference – a huge achievement for any conference to sustain. There was much to celebrate and we were lucky to have some wonderful speakers to keep us abreast of the new work coming through from SAP as well as what companies are doing with respect to Business Intelligence and Analytics.
The conference was off to a brilliant start with Craig Davis, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology in Sydney, who challenged the audience with his theme of Conscious Leadership. It was an intriguing peek into how companies throughout the world are changing their thinking towards being more conscious of their people and their environments to drive profitability, not just profit.
A strong theme throughout the conference this year was around the strategy behind Business Intelligence solutions that companies decide to employ. It seems that there is still a disconnect between the goal of a Business Intelligence solution and the actual achievements. Luckily there were some experienced people on hand to share their success stories and detail the steps that they took along the way to achieve this.
Delegates were ably assisted in a range of fields by the wonderful SAP mentors who were available to share their knowledge and passion for both the products and the solutions they were involved in. For those of you who might not know, SAP Mentors is the top community influencers in the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~140 mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions of community-driven projects.
We all awoke on Tuesday morning to fantastic claps of thunder as the Melbourne weather added its highlights to the conference events. We were mighty glad to be ensconced in the safety of the venue!
Themes this year included getting the most out of your current assets, visualisation, how to deploy a useful Business Intelligence strategy and of course, the favoured buzz term of the current age, big data. Business Intelligence Coach Mico Yuk gave a particularly rousing presentation which tackled the interesting topic ‘Defining the BI in B-I-G Data Visualisation’. In her presentation Mico challenged the community to not ignore the new skill sets that are required to deal with the beast that is Big Data.
There were a lot of lively discussions during the breaks on how companies are still struggling with the concept of turning data into knowledge that is useful. The large groups that developed at the speakers’ corner during each break were testament to the fact that people were getting involved and wanted to know more as well as sharing ideas and asking questions. It’s clear that the tools exist to enable this function, but unless there is business leadership and knowledge the solution will not enjoy any uptake within the business community.
There was also a lot of discussion around the implementation and integration of HANA from SAP into numerous projects and the benefits the newer versions have brought to various customers over the past year or so. It was refreshing to hear so many success stories and companies who have experienced tangible rewards as part of the implementation.
The conference was ably hosted by The Eventful Group who managed to rouse us all from our IT shells and got everyone networking up a storm. It was wonderful to see a thriving community of professionals sharing ideas and portfolios, not just business cards. It was also great to hear people prepared to offer solutions to real business problems. What a wonderful vehicle for the creation of a conscious environment.
For more information on NTT DATA Business Solutions or to discuss your requirements around SAP Business Analytics, BI, BW or HANA call +61 2 8908 4200 or email us.