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Behind the Lens: An Insider's Look at BI-HANA2014

by Ken Murphy, Editorial Director

March 31, 2014

A shot of the SAPinsider Studio -- with your studio host -- at SAPinsider's BI2014 and HANA2014 event in Orlando.

Hello, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I’m reporting live from SAPinsider’s BI2014 and HANA2014 event ….. oh wait, that’s my on-camera studio host voice.

Okay, take two. Last week was a busy one at the SAPinsider Studio in Orlando at the co-located BI, HANA, and Basis and SAP Administration event, and I met a lot of interesting people while taking my turn as studio host.

If you attended one of the SAPinsider conferences in Orlando this month, you likely saw the lights, camera, and action taking place in the SAPinsider Studio outside the Exhibit Hall.  I had a chance to chat with roughly two dozen SAP executives, consultants, partners, and event speakers about everything under the sun in business intelligence, reporting, and of course SAP HANA. Those videos will be posted soon here at SAPinsider Online. For now, here’s a sneak preview of what to expect, as well as some “cutting room floor” material from my time as studio host.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of manning the studio is the opportunity to chat with people before and after the camera starts rolling. I conduct a lot of conference call interviews as a writer with SAPinsider and insiderPROFILES, but the format leaves little time beyond a base exchange of pleasantries. At SAPinsider Studio, however, I had the chance to banter with Steve Lucas about the Denver Broncos’ offseason, saw Fredrik Tunvall of Ovum beam with pride as he showed off pictures of his new baby, and heard Alan Mayer of Solid Ground Technologies talk about diving for lobster off Boston’s North Shore.

Mostly, though, the purpose of the SAPinsider Studio was to hear experts discuss in detail some of the hot topics at BI 2014 and HANA 2014, expanding on some of the themes Lucas touched on during his “Creating the Innovation Factory” keynote. Lucas talked at length about SAP’s role in helping to create disruption in business – enabling businesses to take advantage of disruption in the market as well as to be the disruptive force.

Lucas’ stint as the first SAPinsider Studio guest directly followed his keynote, so disruption, SAP Lumira, and the SAP NetWeaver BW 7.4 on SAP HANA launch were fresh in mind as Lucas expanded on those topics and more. We had some more in-depth chatter on SAP Lumira courtesy of Pierre Leroux, SAP’s director of Product Marketing. Leroux sat with us after the Day 2 BI keynote where Stephane Le Cam built an SAP Lumira infographic from scratch, so we asked him about some of the nuts and bolts of building visualizations using SAP Lumira.

 David Dadoun of ALDO Group spoke with us about SAP Lumira, and shed light on how organizations are now re-thinking their BI strategies in the wake of growing expectation for mobility and real-time analytics as part of any comprehensive BI solution. Likewise, Chris Hickman of Decision First Technologies weighed in on mobile analytics and SAP Lumira’s role as part of a full stable of BI tools. Tunvall spoke with us about Ovum’s recent report on collaborative BI, and how SAP is positioning itself in this area. (The baby pictures came later!)

We also had a revolving studio door of guests eager to talk about SAP HANA. One of the highlights was a panel led by Dan Kearnan where he and a distinguished panel, which included Lothar Henkes and John Appleby, discussed the SAP NetWeaver BW 7.4 on SAP HANA launch with customer Pawel Mierski of Molson Coors.


Dan Kearnan of SAP, far right, chats with (L to R) Lothar Henkes of SAP, John Appleby of Bluefin Solutions, and David Théroux-Bénoni and Pawel Mierski of Molson Coors.

We also heard from Moses Nicholson and Divi Srivistava of event sponsor Deloitte, who shared with us what they’re hearing and seeing from SAP customers about SAP HANA. Tony Guetersloh of TekLink gave us the rundown on TekLink’s SAP HANA Value Wheel and how it’s used to help build a business case for SAP HANA. Jonathan Haun of Decision First stopped by to talk to us about hardware and sizing concerns for implementing SAP HANA, and also gave us the skinny on managing non-SAP data in SAP HANA.

Needless to say, it was an educational week away from the office. Now, I’ll transition from host mode to producer mode as the editing team and I get busy editing these videos to post at SAPinsider Online and share with our audience what we’ve learned. For now, that’s a wrap.

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