Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Before joing APOS as Marketing Manager over 2years ago, Brad spent 8 years working for Esri Inc. at their Redlands, California, headquarters. At Esri, Brad worked in the Industry Solutions Group as a technical liaison between the business and GIS communities, helping businesses, GIS developers, and Esri partners build industry-specific GIS solutions.
While with Esri, Brad spent a substantial amount of time working with Dr. David Huff, developer of the Huff Model, and Huff's Law.
Brad learned GIS at COGS (College of Geographical Sciences).
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Since then, we have continued to meet and interact with people focused on location intelligence by attending some industry focused events, such as HiMMS, the Esri Petroleum users group, the Location Intelligence Conference and TDWI, an event that promotes leadership and best practices for BI professionals.
In addition to these LI focused events, we participated in SAP BI 2012 and the Sapphire Now & ASUG annual Conference.
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.
The summer is always a slow time for conferences; however, we plan to be out on the road promoting our well managed BI and location Intelligence successes. To find out where we'll be next and arrange to meet with members of our team, please feel free to contact Jay Murdoch
What will you do to enhance delivery of information to the all-important information consumers in your organization?
APOS Publisher is a complete publishing solution for SAP BusinessObjects, allowing you to maintain consistent document bursting, consolidation and delivery processes across multiple versions of SAP BusinessObjects.
With APOS Publisher, you can:
- Use business rules to generate a large number of individually scheduled reports automatically.
- Burst large report instances into smaller instances based on business rules, convert to a common format and distribute.
- Emulate Desktop Intelligence's use of scripts to extract data from various data sources.
SAP BusinessObjects platform managers and technicians value the flexibility and agility that Publisher's custom properties, flags and settings add to their scheduling, bursting and distribution efforts, and the ability to zip and encrypt reports.
APOS Storage Center is a dedicated SAP BusinessObjects document lifecycle management solution. It is designed to ensure the integrity of your documents, safeguard data privacy, and support regulatory compliance. It should be a key element in your disaster recovery plan ‑ before, during and after migration.
APOS Storage Center helps you:
- Mitigate risk by safeguarding objects, document instances, and instance integrity for audit and compliance purposes.
- Migrate document instances from one deployment of SAP BusinessObjects to another; perform partial or complete migration.
- Extract and export objects and document instances to other formats such as PDF (e.g., export Web Intelligence reports, which are Universe-dependent, and Desk Intelligence reports, which are deprecated in BI 4.0, to PDF to ensure access to the documents of record).
- Implement an intelligent means to purge Web Intelligence reports while retaining retrievable versions.
- Manage disc space carefully.
- Adapt the migrated source system to the new environment using bulk operations on a large number of system objects (reports, folders, users, security, settings, etc.).
- Import schedules from the legacy system, then map and export them to the new system.
- Analyze an entire report instance environment at once.
- Apply actions to instances in bulk.
- Establish control over migrated instances/schedules.
- Modify recurring schedules.
- Manage scheduling crises quickly and efficiently.
- Manage objects in bulk.
- Perform sophisticated deployment of reports and documents to the system.
- Promote objects from development/testing to production efficiently and in compliance with data security and privacy requirements.
- Control security to the various objects.
- Perform common maintenance of Users and Groups, simplifying the onerous task of setting advanced security rights.
APOS Administrator saves valuable administrative time through automation and task streamlining, reducing human error, and providing the agility and flexibility to meet the changing needs of information consumers. Whether you're managing or re-engineering business processes, establishing crisis management or disaster recovery procedures, or preparing for migration to a newer version of SAP BusinessObjects, APOS Administrator creates value through operational efficiencies, establishing trust through reliability.
APOS Insight provides a complete snapshot of what is happening at any given time within your system, meaning that you can analyze system usage and bottlenecks over time as a preliminary step in planning your new implementation. You can:
- Populate a database with point-in-time snapshots of system status
- Extract benchmark information about your system before the migration, then after the migration, and compare them.
- Run comparison reports/queries of what has changed.
- See where reports have moved to in the new deployment.
- Map IDs in one system to IDs in the other.
- Compare the security structures between the two environments to ensure groups are in place, users are in groups and all are properly permissioned, thus eliminating security holes.
APOS well managed BI solutions should be part of your SAP BusinessObjects risk mitigation strategy ‑ before, during and after the migration process. Together, these solutions form a suite of well managed BI solutions to help you perform due diligence with regard to the "5 pillars" of well managed BI:
- Strategy / Optimization
- Operational Maintenance
That's the role of APOS well managed BI solutions:
- APOS Insight ‑ benchmark and optimize performance, plan the target environment, compare security environments.
- APOS Storage Center ‑ safeguard object, instance integrity for audit and compliance; save to neutral formats; purge Web Intelligence reports intelligently; manage disc space.
- APOS Administrator ‑ clean up content; manage security and users; apply bulk operations on objects, instances, recurring schedules to simplify complex deployments.
- APOS Publisher ‑ develop enhanced information delivery capabilities ‑ advanced bursting, consolidation and document delivery based on business rules.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Business Intelligence is ripe for defamiliarisation as a term. For IT professionals, the temptation is to understand it to mean query and reporting tools from the BI megavendors. But for one of the finance professionals quoted in this issue of IT in Europe: Data Management & BI Edition, “business intelligence means trying to make money out of data.” [Emphasis added.]
I like this definition, because it takes us closer to first principles. It takes us back to strategic objectives.
When we get set in our ways, comfortable and complacent in the status quo, we start to mistake the practice for the objective. Why do we do things the way we do them? Because that's the way we've always done them.
But the imperative to optimize the top and bottom lines of an enterprise requires us to re-examine our practices on a continuous basis. Can the practice be improved to bring us closer to our strategic objectives? Can a practice be said to be a best practice if it is not connected somehow to the realization of a strategic objective?
As I said, I like the redefinition. However, I don't think it goes far enough. I'm in the Peter Drucker school of thought on this one. Drucker was suspicious of the profit motive as a primary business driver. The purpose of a business, according to Drucker, is to create a customer. By measuring the success of the company against the ongoing relationship with the customer, we create a business that is first and foremost sustainable, but also mutually profitable.
BI's potential contribution to the pursuit of strategic objectives is obvious but not inevitable. BI professionals need to take a progressive approach ‑ to look for ways to achieve strategic objectives through better utilization of the BI platform.
In an article dedicated to the centenary of Drucker's birth, Oliver Marks notes another Drucker maxim: "Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes." For the BI professional, it's not just about improving knowledge, but about improving the way knowledge is stored, managed and disseminated.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) can now be embedded in SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 (FP3) Dashboards (formerly known as Xcelsius) ‑ free of charge.
The APOS LIS Standard Edition lets you embed maps you create using Esri's ArcGIS Online (arcgis.com). At arcgis.com, you can choose from hundreds of maps with valuable business information and use them as backdrops for your business data.
Try the interactive demo
The Standard Edition presents an opportunity to apply location intelligence to Xcelsius dashboards and Crystal Reports, letting you communicate compelling geospatial visualizations throughout your enterprise. It also provides a clear upgrade path to enterprise location intelligence.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Here's a shout-out to Martijn van Foeken (@mfoeken), who was one of the first to notice and tweet about the redesigned APOS website. Since the site's soft launch at the end of April, we've had lots of feedback from our friends, but none so vocal as Martijn's. Thanks.
The site does not represent a departure for us: it's just catching up. It now shows our focus on the concept of "well managed BI," the organizing principle of our solution set.
What do you think of when you think of APOS Systems Inc.? Maybe you think of report scheduling, or report bursting. Maybe you think of system monitoring and alerts. Maybe you think of backup and selective restore capabilities. Many people use APOS solutions to resolve specific issues they have esperienced in SAP BusinessObjects.
But the point is that APOS solutions grow with your SAP BusinessObjects deployment and your information consumers' needs, helping you become less reactive and more proactive in meeting those needs. APOS solutions resolve the issues you have now, and many of the ones you haven't yet experienced -- but will. They help you in your ongoing quest for well managed BI.