Wednesday, November 30, 2011

APOS IDAC Webinar

Please join us on Thursday, December 1, 2011, for a presentation on the new APOS Intelligent Data Access Controller (IDAC) solution.

IDAC allows you to monitor, manage and audit all of your SAP BusinessObjects data connections, providing the information you need to understand your BI data connectivity, to manage query processes effectively, and to increase the efficiency of your BI and data solutions.

IDAC logs BI query metadata to ensure you know who is running which queries, where, and when. It lets you:

Monitor:

  • Real-time tracking of BI queries
  • Automatic alerting (thresholds exceeded)
  • Automatic cancelling of runaway queries

Manage:

  • Visual query management console
  • Manual query intervention
  • Complete data access control - security, compliance, content promotion

Audit:

  • Audit query processing times
  • Audit query usage patterns
  • Audit user behaviour

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APOS LI Mobile for Android

APOS LI Mobile for Android is now available. The mobile version of the APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) enables field personnel to see the geospatial relationships inherent in your business intelligence, providing faster speed to insight and timely responses to rapidly changing conditions.

Our enterprise location intelligence combines geospatial data and processing from Esri GIS with your business intelligence system. Your business intelligence system presents a single coherent vision of your corporate reality. When you add geospatial information, you create an environment in which you can understand and communicate information more quickly.

Download the free demo app at:

https://market.android.com/details?id=air.BB.APOS

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APOS LI Mobile for PlayBook

APOS LI Mobile for the BlackBerry PlayBook is now available. The mobile version of the APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) enables field personnel to see the geospatial relationships inherent in your business intelligence, providing faster speed to insight and timely responses to rapidly changing conditions.

Our enterprise location intelligence combines geospatial data and processing from Esri GIS with your business intelligence system. Your business intelligence system presents a single coherent vision of your corporate reality. When you add geospatial information, you create an environment in which you can understand and communicate information more quickly.

Download the free demo app at:

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/66121?lang=en

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Whither the Mainframe?

IT industry pundits have been predicting the demise of the mainframe computer for at least twenty years, but they have for the most part been wrong. The mainframe computer is still with us, and hosting mission critical information and business processes.

But it may be the human part of the human-machine interface that finally triggers the mainframe's downfall:

A study of 520 CIOs in large enterprises in eight countries found most are worried about the impact of the increasing number of mainframe workers who are retiring. Here are the results of the study, which was done for Compuware Corp. of Detroit.
(CIOs Worry About Losing Mainframe Talent, IT World Canada)

CIOs are faced with a dilemma: they can either increase their efforts to train more mainframe resources, or they can move mission critical business processes away from legacy mainframe applications. However, mainframe IT is unlikely to attract many star trainees simply because the mainframe market is shrinking. While there may be a shortage of mainframe technologists developing, who wants to invest in an education that may lose all relevance in 10 to 15 years.

The fact is that mainframe revenues are falling:

The revenue declines have sparked a new round of speculation about whether the mainframe is headed for extinction. For example, wrote Steve Hamm in Business Week on August 6, 2009: "IBM's 45-year-old line of mainframe computers has survived the onslaught of minicomputers in the 1980s, the Unix operating system in the '90s, PCs and the Internet. But a 39 percent plunge in mainframe revenues in IBM's second quarter seems to signal that this longtime mainstay of IBM's business is on its way to the junkyard." (The Mainframe: Up, Down, In or Out? CIO Zone)

The plunge in revenue and the shortage of mainframe technologists may turn the demise of the mainframe into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What is your corporate strategy for managing mainframe change? Are you leveraging your BI system for greater ROI by using it to replace legacy mainframe applications? Is your BI system well enough managed to allow you to be this progressive?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Football and Leadership Lessons


While people all across the US are waiting for their Thanksgiving turkey to baste in its own juices and fill the house with the sometimes-subtle-sometimes-not aromas of Grampa's secret stuffing ingredients, many will be partaking in the somewhat newer Thanksgiving tradition of watching NFL football. Which is good, because it's hard to find engaging leadership metaphors in a turkey dinner. Turkeys and lemons both get a bad rap in that regard.

SAP co-chairman Bill McDermott, NY Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum talk about leadership.
Unless you're a die-hard football fan, you probably don't look beyond the players on the field, and perhaps the coaches on the sideline. (Just as theater goers don't often give much thought to the stage manager.) But a professional football team goes beyond the actors on the field. It is a business organization like most others, and decisions taken at all levels of the organization affect the results on the field.

The similarities weren't lost on SAP co-chairman Bill McDermott when he appeared with New York Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum at a recent Wharton Leadership Lecture, addressing the theme of "Creating Leaders On and Off the Field."

Professional football coaches and managers have reputations as turnaround artists, just as CEOs do, and one of the most common themes in their turnaround stories is the importance of information flow.

According to McDermott… "The most important thing a leader can do is give people feedback…" Employees deserve the respect of candor, McDermott noted, and they need to know what is expected of them and have a clear understanding of their employer's strategy and culture…

McDermott and Tannenbaum agreed that a leader has to focus on promoting an overall vision for his or her organization rather than dwelling on the small stuff.

Leadership has two very different, but complementary, knowledge imperatives: to communicate a unifying strategic vision, and to provide the information and feedback that enable each individual within the organization to work toward the goals laid out in that strategic vision.

And of course, business intelligence is a large part of these imperatives. Clearly, BI is the means of finding, analyzing, and communicating the right information to the right people at the right time and in the right format. But your BI platform also figures in the communication of vision, though perhaps not as directly.

The agility of your BI system is critical to its support for corporate vision, particularly in uncertain times. Who Says Elephants Can't Dance, Louis Gerstner's account of the IBM turnaround, is testimony to the need for agility in the modern corporate world where none had existed previously. If an organization is to outlast its founders, at some point in its history, it will have to adapt rapidly to a sea change in the business, technological, economic, political and social environment. The organization will have to adapt rapidly and communicate a new vision and all of the supporting information with extreme agility.

When the time comes, will your BI system be agile enough to meet that challenge?

Home for the holidays is a good time to think about saying what you mean and meaning what you say, but don't stop thinking about it when you get back to work.

Happy Thanksgiving. (Go Pack Go.)

US Military Logistics, Well Managed BI


A recent notice published at FedBizOpps.gov declared that the US Department of the Air Force, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), has renewed its maintenance contract with APOS Systems for the APOS Administrator (InfoScheduler) solution.

The mission (PDF) of the Air Force Materiel Command:
We deliver war-winning expeditionary capabilities to the warfighter through development and transition of technology, professional acquisition management, exacting test and evaluation, and world-class sustainment of all Air Force weapon systems.

AFMC's management and delivery of information is mission critical in the extreme. Lives and national security are at stake, and it is gratifying for us to know that they use our solution to improve the efficiency of their BI platform and the timeliness of information delivery.

But this story is not just about doing the job well. AFMC's use of APOS Administrator also aligns with the Command's recent efforts to streamline their operations for greater efficiency, higher ROI, and lower costs.

As those of you who have been following the well managed BI saga know, APOS solutions are built to help business intelligence platform managers, administrators and technologists make more efficient use of their BI platform. Well managed BI is a quest to climb the capability maturity model (CMM) for BI platform management. The CMM has three levels:
  • If you are at the Curative level of the model, your are constantly reacting to system events and information consumer issues. You are in firefighting mode.
  •  If you are at the Preventive level, you are actively seeking out and correcting problems before they affect your information consumers.
  • If you are at the Progressive level, you are proactively seeking new opportunities to expand the use and ROI of your BI platform for the benefit of different business units.

The Air Force Materiel Command's commitment to the APOS Administrator solution validates our belief that well managed BI is a critical component in any organization's quest to fulfill its core mission.

Learn more about well managed BI. Download the Well Managed BI: Managing Your BI Platform for ROI white paper.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Product Pipeline: Location Intelligence

Announcements from the APOS Development team on new APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) features:

  • LIS is now available for SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 users.
  • The LIVE viewer wizard has been improved to give you more flexibility in selecting base maps. 

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Product Pipeline: APOS Storage Center

Announcements from the APOS Development team on new APOS Storage Center features:

  • Storage Center is now a 64-bit application
  • Storage Center now lets you exclude unwanted folders from archiving rules at the CMS level.

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Product Pipeline: APOS Publisher

Announcement from the APOS Development team on new APOS Publisher feature:

  • Distribution Server now supports SSH FTP.

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Product Pipeline: APOS Insight

Announcements from the APOS Development team on new APOS Insight features:

  • The KPI "Report Extended Info" service now logs all tables accessed by reports to a separate table in the database, so that you can analyze table usage in relation to reports.
  • KPI now caches passwords to access report SQL statements when offline.
  • KPI now sends email notifications when KPI scans are complete.
  • RealTime Monitor for SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 now supports IBM DB2.

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Product Pipeline: APOS Administrator

Announcements from the APOS Development team on new APOS Administrator features:

  • Object manager now tracks the server name from the data source and presents this information in the Object manager grid as an optional column.
  • Instance Manager now lets you select successful finished instances and move them or copy them to a different parent. Any successful finished instances can be reused in other schedules as long as they are in a RPT, WID or REP format. They can also be a folder for DOC, XLS, PDF, TXT, and RTF.
  • Instance Manager now streamlines the instance deletion process. You can upload a list of failed, unused or out-of-date instances and delete them in bulk.

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APOS on the Road - 2011

APOS had a very active year at conferences and tradeshows. If we weren’t attending conferences to keep up to date on SAP BusinessObjects, Teradata and Esri solutions, we were actively exhibiting at numerous tradeshows throughout the world.

To all of you who dropped by to see us at these conferences and tradeshows, we thank you. Without your feedback, we can't continue to be the leading provider of well managed BI solutions for SAP BusinessObjects. Our iPad giveaways were just a small token of that appreciation.

The APOS booth at the ASUG/SAP BusinessObjects conference was simply magical — literally. But don't take our word for it: watch this video of Danny Orleans in action.

We are already in the planning stages for next year's conference and tradeshow schedule, and are looking forward to seeing all our old friends and meeting new ones. In the mean time, you can keep in touch with us through our social media. To find out where we'll be next and arrange to meet with members of our team, please feel free to contact Jay Murdoch.

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Mobile Location Intelligence on the BlackBerry PlayBook

We are no longer tethered to our desks by Ethernet cables. There is a widespread trend toward mobile devices and applications, and location intelligence is no exception. In keeping with this trend, the APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) is now a BlackBerry PlayBook application.
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