Let’s Speak BO Together– Highlights of 2018

by Bree-Anna Mustad on December 19, 2018 No comments

The Let’s Speak BO Webinar series that began in the winter of 2015 just recently concluded its third straight year of bi-weekly Business Intelligence Webinars with a fantastic close. Adam Lange, with A. Lange Consulting, lead a jam packed session dedicated to all of the new things our BusinessObjects community can expect when upgrading to BI 4.2 SP6. From Administrative enhancements to reporting feature releases, our SpeakBO listeners received a wealth of information to consider with their BusinessObjects investment moving forward into the New Year.

For me, it has been a privilege not only hosting the Let’s Speak BO webinar series for three years, but also forming relationships with the vast BusinessObjects community worldwide. Some of my favorite emails and calls have been with devoted listeners expressing gratitude and excitement for the free educational offering, which seems to be quite unique these days in the space of SAP BusinessObjects information sharing when it comes to the original core BusinessObjects toolset.

Here’s a look at some of the topics hosted in 2018 that viewers found very helpful to not only improve their personal work with the tools, but also inspire decision making when it comes to upgrades, looking into third party solutions, leveraging the existing platform and all of its features, assisting group training within organizations, and more.

BusinessObjects Administration:

This year we hosted a variety of topics for BusinessObjects Administrators. The topics include:

...and of course the latest and greatest with the recent release of BI 4.2 SP6.

Inspired by our listeners, the Let’s Speak BO webinar series has put together a new lineup of Administrative topics for 2019.

Topics like:

  • Customizing your BI Launchpad for Global Branding and Organization Synchronization
  • Discovering the Administrative Management Tool in Web Intelligence
  • A Migration look at Converting Desktop Intelligence Reports to Web Intelligence

…and much more!

The World of Web Intelligence in 2018:

One of the most requested, well attended, and popular topics among the BusinessObjects community seems to remain that of the well-regarded reporting tool- Web Intelligence. This year on Let’s Speak BO, we put together more topics on Web Intelligence for our listeners than ever before. And still, they cannot seem to get enough.

In a single hour, our viewers received fantastic deep-dives into topics like:

…and so much more!

The topics didn’t end there.

This year we had fascinating case studies and new topics on:

As a listener myself to these amazing sessions, I have learned a lot about where the community of BusinessObjects is in regards to educating themselves and wanting to improve upon their usage of these fantastic tools. It inspires me to further my relationships with individuals and organizations, large or small, out there who are inspired to grow within their investment by continuing to learn about these tools, and more importantly, help others within their organization expand their reaches by learning and educating themselves as well.

To conclude the year, I would like to thank a special few of our listeners who shared countless calls and emails with me chatting about their experiences with BusinessObjects and sharing their story on how they lead educational sessions and webinars of their own, inspired by our bi-weekly webinar series. Or how a professor of a prestigious university has his students not only listen live to our webinars, but then write papers or conduct group projects on what they learned, to better prepare them for the real world.

These stories, I personally get to leave the year with, have truly inspired what’s to come:

  • 2019’s Line up of Webinar Topics
  • Open Format Discussions
  • Live Q&A’s

…and brand new customer case studies that I hope you all continue to enjoy and benefit from.

Bree-Anna MustadLet’s Speak BO Together– Highlights of 2018

SAP Dashboards – Saving Time by Reusing Dashboards as a Template Solution

by Bree-Anna Mustad on September 17, 2018 No comments

SAP Dashboards – Saving Time by Reusing Dashboards as a Template Solution

As many SAP Dashboard developers can attest to, building out a fully operational and end to end dashboard solution using the longtime BusinessObjects data visualization tool, SAP Dashboards, can be an arduous task. SAP Dashboards, previously known as Xcelsius, takes quite a bit of planning, implementation, and iterations in order to get the final deliverable you and your team were aiming for.

So imagine the idea of building a dashboard once and then reusing it as a template that just populates new data automatically when the new data is ready. Sounds too good to be true? Lori Wagner, Business Intelligence Project Manager takes our audience through a fascinating case study on exactly how her organization implemented such a solution that in turn increased work productivity and efficiency due to their no longer being a demand to create new dashboards per new datasets.


This story incorporates a team of developers and SAP Dashboards consultants that were able to map out a detailed project that based upon the design, look and feel, would accommodate the automation of updated data sets utilizing the third party add-on platform, InfoBurst. Having the ability to schedule and deliver data from multiple sources including SAP Universes, SAP BO reports, database queries and more, allows the developers to sit back and enjoy the production ready dashboard that, based upon a set schedule, will populate the latest data and deliver the custom template dashboard to a variety of end users for consumption.

Bree-Anna MustadSAP Dashboards – Saving Time by Reusing Dashboards as a Template Solution

Key Features in SAP BusinessObjects Promotion Manager for Administrators

by Bree-Anna Mustad on July 27, 2018 No comments

Key Features in SAP BusinessObjects Promotion Manager for Administrators Feature Image

This webinar explores some of the key best practices in utilizing the Promotion Manager tool within the LCM options inside of SAP BusinessObjects. Promotion Manager, an Administrators side-kick, contains a wide range of features and actions that allow administrators of BusinessObjects to save on time as well as space when running reports or day to day jobs.


This is an important tool to be aware of when considering major upgrades or large migrations in BusinessObjects. By understanding much of the tools capabilities, Administrators can save time and interruptions by working through some of these key best practices.

Bree-Anna MustadKey Features in SAP BusinessObjects Promotion Manager for Administrators

SAP BusinessObjects Administration Can Be Self-Serving?

by Bree-Anna Mustad on July 23, 2018 No comments

Self-Service BusinessObjects Administration Feature Image

An hour didn’t seem long enough in the Let’s Speak BO webinar hosted on July 10th 2018 as Minith Patel, Senior Consultant and SAP BO Administrative expert, took our listeners through a case by case adventure of how to become a fully sufficient, self-service BO Administration organization.


This was a fascinating and creative look at what it means to think through the array of situations that might arise with employee requests when it comes to making necessary adjustments to their environment while maintaining the integrity of an organization’s administrative security.

Here are just a hand-full of the topics explored:

  • CMC restricted features
  • User Group Assignments
  • Customizing your CMC Tab Configuration
  • Why team delegation to a helpdesk alleviates the administrators
  • Creating certain windows AD self-service groups based upon departments
  • The LCM toolset and how they can best be used
  • Setting up tasks, events and assignments
  • A sneak peek at the automation framework tool

Far too often the SAP BO Administration for an organization neglects to evolve itself in terms of alleviating workload by consolidating the common requests into a new map on how to expand towards self-service concepts. This webinar allows administrators to imagine creative ways on how others can assist themselves within the CMC and BI Launchpad while maintaining user restrictions in order to improve work productivity and reduce redundancy of day to day tasks for the BI Administrator.

For those looking to learn more about the LCM tool, Promotion Manager, check out our webinar on The 12 Best Practices for using Promotion Manager happening July 24th at 10am PST. You can find it on our upcoming webinars page.


Bree-Anna MustadSAP BusinessObjects Administration Can Be Self-Serving?

SAP BusinessObjects Cloud Migration – A Case Study to Take Notes On

by Bree-Anna Mustad on June 27, 2018 No comments

BusinessObjects Cloud Migration – A Case Study to Take Notes On

Senior Consultant and BusinessObjects Expert, Rajesh Ponnurangam hosted a webinar this week that to our audience, was well worth taking notes on. The case study webinar focused on a large migration from XI 3.1 to BI 4.2 with Crystal Reports to Crystal Reports Server 10 hosted in the cloud.

This story, although highlighting key steps and methods that ultimately landed this organization at their desired goal to conclude the migration with a success, also came with many lessons learned. Rajesh shares an intimate look at each of the steps that were involved in such an arduous task.

To begin, Rajesh took the audience through a look at the plan form the initial stages after assessing both the environment and timeframe allocated to migrating, updating and testing the soon to be cloud based environment from the old. The stages were as follows:

  1. What is takes to prepare for an upgrade
  2. Installing the BI Platform using a third party cloud hosting provider (in this case AWS; Amazon Web Services)
  3. The migration of reports using the Upgrade Management Tool within SAP BusinessObjects
  4. Configuring and testing the environment (which was explained to have taken 70% of the entire project’s time).


Whether you are an SAP BusinessObjects Crystal user, or an SAP BusinessObjects user to the entire suite, this webinar is a fantastic case study for the sheer in-depth process and planning details, the lessons learned, as well as the value of migrating testing. For those considering in moving to the cloud with their SAP Platforms, this recording will provide guidance and shine a light on all aspects to consider when it comes to the array of options in cloud hosting providers. The important pieces I extracted from this webinar was how, in the end, the majority of issues and time constraints in finalizing the project wound up to be on the cloud server side rather than any issues in regards to the migration of BusinessObjects reports.

Bree-Anna MustadSAP BusinessObjects Cloud Migration – A Case Study to Take Notes On

Platform Optimization: Harmonizing Processes at a Nationwide Supermarket Chain

by Bree-Anna Mustad on June 14, 2018 No comments

Platform Optimization: Harmonizing Processes at a Nationwide Supermarket Chain

This case study is a fascinating one for any organization, supermarket or not, that is looking for a holistic Business Intelligence approach to multiple platform synchronization in order to improve upon data governance and the consolidation of reports. Albertsons/ Safeway, a recently merged Nation-wide supermarket chain has for many years heavily relied upon SAP BusinessObjects Crystal Reports and Crystal Enterprise as their primary reporting software. Coupled with SAP BI4 and InfoSol’s InfoBurst Enterprise Platform, this webinar takes an in-depth approach to looking at how a Business Intelligence team created an effective management strategy in order to join data generated from SAP BI4 and the InfoBurst Platform into a single analysis and reporting platform.


Case Studies hosted on our Let’s Speak BO webinar series seem to gather the most attendance, primarily because all of us within the BusinessObjects community are continuing to look for way to leverage our existing environments in better, more efficient ways. Rather than the unfortunate approach these days, to moving off of our investments into something new.

Crystal Reports and Crystal for Enterprise have both been around since the beginning of SAP’s BusinessObjects adoption. Over 37,000 Companies in the United States today still rely upon Crystal as their primary reporting tool. These records, considering the advancements in tools like SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, are still quite high considering the majority of our high-tech age in the business world seem to still prefer viewing their reports in PDF or Excel outputs, regardless of the reporting tool used. Crystal is fantastic for this. From generating invoices, creating neat and customizable reports, to pushing data out on a scheduled bases with InfoBurst to large subsets of customers, emails, FTP sites, in formats like PDF, Excel and more… Albertsons/ Safeway succeeded in a fascinating Business Intelligence use case of what it means to consolidate, leverage, automate, and ultimately “optimize” their multi-platform investment.

Bree-Anna MustadPlatform Optimization: Harmonizing Processes at a Nationwide Supermarket Chain

Smoothing Out the Inevitable: Excelling Data into Web Intelligence

by Bree-Anna Mustad on May 30, 2018 No comments

Smoothing out the inevitable: Excelling Data into Web Intelligence

One would imagine in our ever advancing world of data access in BusinessObjects that no longer would companies so heavily rely upon one of the oldest reporting tools and data sources out there; Microsoft Excel. However, time and time again through webinar presentations or our annual BusinessObjects User Groups, conversations still manage to come down to talking about this one, irreplaceable (it seems) and not going anywhere- data storage/ reporting solution.

In a recent study to global business software systems, about 81% of business and organizations today still heavily rely upon Excel. This percentage is quite high considering each year more and more database management tools are being introduced, or version enhancements to existing systems like SAP BusinessObjects Universe Design Tool, or Information Design Tool, are advancing to heightened levels of usability.


Still Excel remains a large demographic in business data storage. Not only as an easy to use, not quite so pretty, reporting solution; but also as a method of hard-copy databases floating amidst endless company folders and portals for storing historical, valuable information.

Due to such a large toolset as the SAP BusinessObjects suite, users of reporting solutions like Web Intelligence, also find limitations in accessing the Universe or IDT, in order to extract the data they need in a timely manner. These limitations, although common, due to the construct of a Universe and Administrative permissions, cause an inevitable need to work around the Universe data and simply load straight from Microsoft Excel.

Michael Ward from Creative Technologies Training & Solutions (CTTS), a fantastic expert, instructor and advocate of the beloved reporting tool within BusinessObjects, Web Intelligence, put together a fantastic webinar loaded with tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Excel data into SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. This webinar is well worth attending and having a notepad. For such a straight forward topic on Excel into Web Intelligence, our viewers we surprised with the variety of methods one can not only import their Excel Spreadsheets, but also refresh, reload, and reconstruct the data within Web Intelligence.

Bree-Anna MustadSmoothing Out the Inevitable: Excelling Data into Web Intelligence

Getting the Most out of Experts in the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Community

by Bree-Anna Mustad on May 17, 2018 No comments

This week the Let’s Speak BO webinar series hosted a panel of three Web Intelligence experts who participated in a live question and answer series for our webinar community. Participants to the webinar were able to submit an unlimited number of questions that pertained to their business and ask them directly to the panel of experts.

Each expert on the Let’s Speak BO took the time to not only discuss the question but also, for some, demonstrate the answers right there for the audience to see. Topics for this series ranged from Universe and data security in Web Intelligence, to report formatting how-to tips and tricks, what’s coming in future versions, comparative questions on features between different builds, and more.

While each of our three panelists took the time to work through our list of pre-submitted questions, we also received live questions throughout the webinar. This provided our audience with a plethora of information, drilling into the details of each question and beyond.


From my seat, it was such an informative experience to not only hear the related questions from customers in the SAP BusinessObjects space based upon their work within Web Intelligence, but to also get a better understanding from our participants on how Web Intelligence is truly being used today. It continues to be a reporting solution for many that cannot be replaced; jam-packed with features that are continuing to be explored and unveiled, as well as the ability to connect to a variety of data sources in a variety of way – SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence continues to push all boundaries of a reporting solution and is a topic we always enjoy discussing on Let’s Speak BO.

Due to the success of such an open, Q&A-format, webinar for our BusinessObjects Community InfoSol plans to host a follow up to Ask the Experts sometime in July.

Stay tuned for up-coming webinars here.

Bree-Anna MustadGetting the Most out of Experts in the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Community

Welcome to the world of Infographics

by Bree-Anna Mustad on May 4, 2018 No comments

In the SAP Dashboards world, we all have seen at some point an example of just a “cool looking” Dashboard that astonishes us to find out that the Dashboard is 100% native SAP Dashboards.

“How did they get these icons to be clickable?”

“What are these charts they are using?”

These are just some of the questions attendees on our Let’s Speak BO asked our fantastic team from InfoSol UK, when demoing the latest innovations with utilizing native SAP Dashboard components complimented with image-based Infographics.

If you are looking for new clever ways to enhance your SAP Dashboards, I highly recommend tuning into this webinar. Rich Harvey and Mel Sheppard not only demonstrate the construction of these new-age looking Dashboards but also talk to the audience of what considerations took place in constructing these components with Infographic style designs.

The best part is that these Dashboards, given all the time we tend to spend on color schemes and or layout, do not take long to construct. And the immediate benefit is stunning your end user with what appears to be a custom application rather than the components we have all been used to in SAP Dashboards.


Bree-Anna MustadWelcome to the world of Infographics

A Creative Take on the Coolest Features inside SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

by Bree-Anna Mustad on April 19, 2018 No comments

Minith Patel, a senior consultant for both BusinessObjects Administration as well as Web Intelligence, put together what was deemed a “creative” presentation in our Let’s Speak BO webinar series this week showcasing and discussing a number of fascinating features and very cool tricks when using our favorite reporting tool, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.

This webinar was not only packed with interesting ways to use Web Intelligence in versions 4.2 and above, but also addressed some of the key features that now allow report developers to create interactive and eye-catching reports.

There were a lot of questions from our audience throughout the webinar which Minith was able to not only address in direct Q&A but also lead demonstrations geared towards some of the hottest topics when it comes to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2.

For a creative take on what features, components, and even color scheme is available in this latest build of our favorite reporting tool, check out the webinar recording below.


Also our attendees were given the opportunity to also preregister for a much anticipated event happening on our Let’s Speak BO webinar series on May 15th where attendees get to ask a panel of three experts anything related to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. This webinar will open its doors to any version, any service pack, and any question our community has on this fantastic, robust reporting solution. For more information on this up-coming event visit our gallery of up-coming webinars.


Bree-Anna MustadA Creative Take on the Coolest Features inside SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence