I was happy just reading SAP Solution Management Director Ingo Hilgefort’s key concept to his new article, in which he gives a short, understandable answer about the difference between BusinessObjects BI 4.0’s SP04 and FP03:
Service Pack 04 (SP04) includes the functionality of Feature Pack 03 (FP03) so that you do not have to apply FP03 first and then apply SP04 to your landscape.
Ahh, sometimes simple explanations go a long way in our technically heavy articles here on SAPexperts.
For example, he details the following enhancements for BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius):
Key figures from BEx queries with a configured scaling factor
Level-based selection for hierarchical reports
SAP ERP data sources via a universe
Report-Report Interface as a valid sender
Support for OLAP connections from BusinessObjects Enterprise
By the way, Hilgefort has more about SP04 in another upcoming article for us, and he will also speak on the topic at the brand new SAPexperts Theater during the Reporting & Analytics 2012 conference in Las Vegas in October (he’s on schedule for October 29 at 10:45 a.m.).
Recently, I moderated a web chat Q&A with consultant Dr. Bjarne Berg (a.k.a. IceBerg and Dr. Bergmeister, according to his doting students at Lenoir-Rhyne University), during which he further discussed Comerit Labs’ research into BusinessObjects tools for the iPad versus Android devices.
Given the infancy of tablets and the suboptimal feedback both the Android and iPad OS experiences received from your testers, what is the viable argument at this stage for pursuing a mobile solution with BusinessObjects?
Berg’s answer: “The trick is to selectively pick the tools and methods on how to deploy the mobile solution. For example, the WebI and [Crystal] tools seem to work great on the iPads when used through the downloaded app. The dashboard works fine when going through third-party tools.”
Berg also noted that the new iPad 3 has 400% more pixels than its predecessors, which allows you to zoom down to many more details. This made Berg wonder whether developers will create monster dashboards that prompt you to zoom in instead of shift pages.
Based on those observations, Berg concluded that companies should not hold off on going mobile with BusinessObjects simply because the tablet technology is new. “Just be sober when you decide what to do and what tools to deploy,” he said.
We can all appreciate the frustration of an SAP BusinessObjects user who crunches data in a language not supported as a standard offering from SAP.
Haksar and Dubey show you how to download new language packs – in this case, for Arabic – and install them into SAP BusinessObjects (formerly Xcelsius). The result is a dashboard (below) with Arabic fonts that runs from the right side of the screen to the left, as is custom in Arabic.
“At the universe level, Arabic data is not seen correctly (i.e., it is not presented in the correct format of right to left indented) because the table values are not affected by the font or the language pack you installed,” the authors wrote, following with advice on how to remedy that obstacle.
Their approach also applies to Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.
I hope others who are interested in writing for BI Expertcontact me, as we’re planning to publish more articles in 2012 than ever before. We want to hear about implementation experiences, best practices you use, and how-to instructions that have helped your company or clients.
“Small organizations appear faster to adopt social channels for customer engagement, and are more positive about that engagement than larger firms,” writes Brent Leary,partner and co-founder of CRM Essentials in Atlanta, who authored the survey analysis. Leary has a good track record on detailing social media trends.
Why do smaller companies log on more often? The survey doesn’t really get into the reasons behind the findings. But I’ve got own gut feelings:
Smaller companies tend to spread the wealth when it comes to work duties (i.e., perhaps several departments have a hand in marketing), so it makes sense that many people would involve themselves with social media. And once you start on social media, you just might drink the Kool-Aid and use it more.
On the other hand, larger companies seem to deal with more silos regarding job roles, so people may not have the flexibility to explore other areas (such as social media) beyond their assignments.
Because smaller companies may have less red tape, they can react quicker to new trends than their bigger counterparts.
Many smaller companies have employees who have closer relationships simply because it’s easier to get to know everyone in the office. In some cases, that creates a fun atmosphere, and social media has a fun streak in it.
The survey is well worth reading to gain insight into other interesting results, but I’ll close things with another stat that caught my eye: Of the 118 customer support professionals polled for the survey, here’s what their companies have invested in social media:
Less than $50,000 – 72%
$50,000 to $100,000 – 17%
$100,000 to $250,000 – 5%
More than $250,000 – 6%
Where does your company fit in on that scale?
By the way, SAP CRM professionals will be able dig into social media trends and practical tips at SAPinsider's CRM 2011 conference, which takes place March 22-25 in Orlando.