- President: Kristin Newman, interRel
- Secretary: Todd Randolph, Optimum
- Programs & Education: Doreen Fox-Dwyer, Hess
May 29, 2009
We finally have an elected board for the OAUG Hyperion SIG. Congratulations to the following winners:
Kristin and Doreen have been active in the SIG virtually since its inception, and I think I speak for everyone (with the possible exception of the people who ran against them and lost) in saying that I'm happy they're still around. Their continuity and proven commitment will serve the SIG well going forward.
Todd is a new addition to the SIG, and I only hope he works half as hard as Doreen and Kristin have over the last year as he tackles the role of board secretary. If you know these three, send them your congratulations. If you don't know them, send your congratulations after explaining who you are so you don't freak them out. The internet has enough stalkers already without you adding to the mix.
I would also say thank you from the entire Hyperion user community to the outgoing president, Ed Delise. Ed founded the Hyperion SIG back in 2007 and has been a major driving force in getting it to where it is today. As an Essbase domain lead for the Hyperion SIG, I will sincerely miss Ed and his leadership. We appreciate everything you've done, Ed!
May 21, 2009
Voting closes Friday, May 22nd at 7:30 CST
This Friday is your deadline to vote for several very important positions within the OAUG Hyperion SIG: President, Secretary, and Education Coordinator. The OAUG Hyperion SIG is the umbrella organization over all the North American HUG (Hyperion User Groups) so their leadership is essential if we don't want the HUGs to die off.
Go to http://tinyurl.com/hyperionsigelection and vote before close of business on Friday if you want a hand in choosing people who truly have the best interests of the Hyperion (and Oracle EPM) community at heart. Results will be announced on May 29, but I might just do some exit polling of my readers before that date and we'll see if we can predict the winners ahead of time.
May 15, 2009
May 14, 2009
In case anyone wants to attend, I'm teaching my annual class on Oracle Essbase Design & Optimization on May 28-29 at our Ballpark offices in Dallas, Texas. It was originally supposed to be the week before, but I asked that it get moved back a week so I could personally teach the class. The class will cover Essbase versions 7, 9, and 11, since most design tips are the same across all the versions. Here's the description:
This training course will teach you the steps effectively design and optimize your Essbase environment. We’ll review design best practices used by the consultants to improve the end user experience and make your life easier as an Essbase administrator. We’ll cover how you can improve system performance by an order of magnitude as well as how you can realize faster dimension builds, speedier data loads, and blazingly fast calculations by modifying caches, configuration settings, calculation commands, outline optimizations and more. This knowledge is gained through material review and hands on exercises. This course is recommended for Essbase administrators and developers.
The class is only $1,500 for both days and there are spots available. If you want to sign up, e-mail Danielle White, interRel's Director of Client Education. As a bonus, if you get in early enough on the night of May 27, you can watch the Texas Rangers play the New York Yankees from our balcony in the outfield of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. This is a sold out game, and it should be a great one.
Calc Scripts for Mere Mortals
Oh, I almost forgot. I'm also teaching my annual class on Essbase Calc Scripts at our Ballpark offices on the 12th of June. It's only a one day class, so if you don't want to fly in just for this class, we can make arrangements for you to participate remotely. If you've always wanted to learn more about Essbase BSO Calc Scripts, this is your one-day chance. Yes, there is also a baseball game that day, so if you're a Dodgers fan come in person and stay around after the class to watch the Rangers take on Los Angeles. After the game, there will even be a remarkably impressive fireworks show. All that for only $750? Money well spent, people.
Here's the brand-new shirt I got here in Brighton. Notice it even has my name on it:
When I decided to wear my shirt from the Rittman Mead BI Forum around Brighton last night, I was unaware of two things:
- "BI" means one thing to a techie and another thing entirely to the world at large.
- Brighton is home to the largest gay, lesbian, and transgendered community in England.
May 13, 2009
I'm here in sunny (well, rainy, to be honest) Brighton, England after a near 24-hour trip from Dallas, Texas. The view out my window is of the ocean (and both a carnival pier and a burned down pier) and it's stunningly beautiful. It's about 11:30PM here in Brighton, and my screwed up inner clock just woke me up for the day. Who needs jet lag: just wake up and go to sleep by your internal clock, time zones be damned.
I'm here to speak at an event Mark Rittman's company is putting on. They've invited people from around the world including some from as far away as India and the United States (that'd be me from the USA). We're all going to be talking about Oracle EPM and BI. Though they do tend to skew more towards OBIEE and Oracle OLAP, there are two presentations on Essbase. I'm doing one on the inner workings of Essbase which is basically a "How Essbase Thinks" presentation but taken down to a slightly lower level due to the expert-level of the audience.
I'm looking forward to getting grilled during my session as the attendees play a rousing version of "Stump the Speaker." [Is it weird to look forward to that sort of thing? Discuss Edward's potential mental issues in the comments.] The schedule for the next two days is fairly comprehensive and includes speakers from Oracle as well as the partner community (and maybe a customer or two):
If anything interesting comes up, I'll be sure to mention it. My presentation is in less than 12 hours, so now I just need to figure out if I should force my body to try to sleep or just stay up all night?
May 8, 2009
May 5, 2009
May 4, 2009
9:00AM - My 1st Presentation of the Conference
I just finished delivering a presentation on "The New Essbase Studio." This sessions was scheduled for 8AM on the opening day of the conference. Note to whomever at OAUG has the cruel sense of humor: I am not a morning person. I'm more of a "sometime after 11AM I start to wake up, I really get going in the mid-afternoon, and I don't hit my peak until well after dark and if you really want me to, I'd be happy to present at midnight" sort of person.
Much to my shock and pleasantly surprised awe, around 75 people showed up to hear me talk and give me support in my sleep-deprived state. The first person to walk in (who got there around 20 minutes early, amazingly) said that the only thing was going to get her to an 8AM presentation was if I was giving it. While I always love a fan, I think she was just trying to make me feel better. Since it worked, I went on to give what for me was a fairly lively "just past dawn" presentation.
I love Essbase Studio. I think that along with Varying Attributes and Text in an Essbase Cube, Essbase Studio is one of the three killer reasons to go to Essbase 11. Two best reasons to implement Essbase Studio? Unlimited, easy-to-build drillthrough reports and xOLAP (the ability to put Essbase as an empty outline shell right on top of a relational warehouse to enablereal-time data access). I think my passion for the product came through, and I sincerely hope people start upgrading to it soon.
I've got to run across half the convention center now to find the opening kickoff session. I don't plan on much EPM or Hyperion specific content, but if the room is dark enough and I can get a seat way in the back, I might get in a power nap.
9:45AM - General Kickoff Session
I'm sitting in the general kickoff session right now listening to Charles Phillips (one of the Presidents of Oracle) talk about all the great product releases and changes over the last year. Here are all the relevant things he said about Oracle EPM and Hyperion:
- (This bullet intentionally left blank.)
Charlie just announced the release of Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1. I don't know why, but everyone seemed to be impressed.
10:15AM - Opening Session Continued
A fairly humorous man just went up to the stage to talk about Oracle Beehive. This (along with the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server) was announced at OpenWorld. Beehive, Oracle's collaboration technology, does look like it's been enhanced since OpenWorld, and this article seems to confirm that:
I'm off now to join some friends of mine with ODTUG for lunch. I'm running a bit early, so I think I'll stop by the exhibit hall first and check out the interRel booth (3849, in case you're here and want to stop by).
12:15PM - Early Lunch at Tommy Bahama's
Lunch was at Tommy Bahama's Cafe. Yes, I know what you're thinking: yes, I ate lunch at a clothing retailer, but their Caribbean food was quite good. Apparently, Tommy Bahama now has something nearing 10 of these cafes attached to their clothing stores around the world. I had quesadillas and they were extremely tasty and original.
My counterparts who stayed to eat the Collaborate food were not treated nearly as nicely. It seems that the prison food from 2008 (horrid sandwiches with a couple other boxed items) has made a return. Blog reader Eric H sent me this via Twitter: "Wow. You were right. I'm packing a lunch tomorrow. :)" I may actually brave the lunch and document in detail what the food looks like.
2:00PM - Exhibit Hall First Impressions
I finally made it to the exhibit hall. It always amazes me at these things how there can be so much setup chaos a mere 3 hours before the hall is supposed to open. The interRel booth looks good, but the banner proclaiming us "EPM Partner of the Year" is still lying on the floor. There's a union guy who's going to put it up as soon as he stops doing his impersonation of a three-toed sloth with two missing toes.
The hall seems smaller to me than Collaborate 2008. I think the number of vendors is down due to the economy.
7:03PM - Opening Night Exhibit Hall Reception
The opening night reception had high points and low points or to be more specific, a high point and a low point. High point: the food. While I was only close enough to observe a dessert table, it was a very well stocked dessert table with enough types of candy and chocolate to make Willy Wonka proud. Yes, I know I just complimented the food at Collaborate. Don't stand near me folks, the conference Gods are vengeful and they be wielding lightning. Note that the lunch food from today would be classified by the Obama administration as torture, but the reception snacks seem downright impressive.
Low point was definitely the attendance. We had remarkably little booth traffic for what should arguably be the busiest time of the week for the exhibit hall. There were maybe 35 clients (or potentials) that we saw the entire night. The other 100+ people who stopped by our booth were partners/vendors. 3-to-1 ratio of partners to customers? That's not marketing money well spent.
11:30PM - Tuesday's Plan
I'm back at the hotel reviewing my "must do" items from tomorrow:
- 9:45AM - Visual Analysis going beyond grids and two dimensional charts in room W230D. This is my first session at this conference with a client or to be more specific, a partner. Deepak from Tableau will be talking about using Visual Explorer against Essbase and other data sources. I'm really just there to answer questions.
- 11:00AM - Workarounds for What the Essbase Developers Forgot in room W101B. My second presentation of the day (with all of 15 minutes between even though they're on completely opposite sides of the Orange County Convention Center) is sort of a "Hacking Essbase" presentation. If it's not there in current versions of Essbase, I'm going to be showing how to workaround it. This will either be really well attended or no one will be there because it's totally wrong for the Collaborate audience.
- 3:15PM - Essbase Aggregate Storage is the way of the Future. My final presentation of the day is on how under 11x, Essbase cubes should be assumed to be ASO until BSO proves to be necessary. I'm supposed to be presenting with Matt Hanselman from American Girl but to some budgetary restrictions, he couldn't make the conference. Guess I'm presenting this one by myself!
- 5:30PM - Happy Hour Reception in the exhibit hall. Back to the exhibit hall for more fun, frivolity, and maybe even more decent food?!?
- 7:00PM - Customer Appreciation Dinner. My company is taking several of our clients out to eat at Pat O'Brien's. It's on Universal City Walk so afterwards, we'll have access to all the City Walk clubs. I'll probably end up out until midnight or later.
I may actually get 8 hours of sleep tonight. Maybe that's good karma for saying nice things about one small amount of Collaborate food?
I think I hate the Collaborate conference guide to sessions. I found it impossible to find the Hyperion and Oracle EPM sessions because they're spread across 10+ rooms. To try to make my life a bit more sane, I've put all the Hyperion/EPM sessions I could find into a spreadsheet on Google Docs. To download a copy of my handy-dandy "Hyperion-centric" Collaborate Showguide, go here:
This doesn't include the sessions cancelled each day, so if you want those updates from Collaborate directly:
May 3, 2009
I'm sitting in the OAUG Hyperion SIG meeting. There were somewhere around 50 people in the room (and three-quarters of those appear to be vendors) at the start but more trickled in over the course of the meeting. Attendance is down more than 100 people from last year. This doesn't bode well for the conference as a whole (which I think will be down from 7,000+ last year to less than 5,000 this year). There are lots of reasons for the drop in attendance (Hyperion and otherwise) from 2008, but here are my top 4:
- Scheduling. Someone at OAUG scheduled Collaborate during the first five working days of the month. To whomever this moron is: this is during month-end close. Over half of the Hyperion users who attend conferences (from the client base, at least) work in finance and accounting. They can't go to a conference during financial close! Yes, I know there's probably a really good reason for this (like this was the only time the conference center was available), but it's a fraking slap in the face to all the Hyperion attendees. OAUG, this one is your fault, so don't be shocked when your Hyperion users can't make it this year.
- Economy. This one's obvious: it's hard for people to convince their bosses to let them go to Orlando for a week-long conference. OAUG did what they could to reduce costs (including a few different hotel discounts), so I give them credit for trying to get attendance up. One of interRel's clients sent 10 people to Collaborate 2008. This year? They're sending 1. I know of several of our clients who already had paid for their conference fees who have decided not
- Last Year's Conference. At Collaborate 2008, people were expecting to see that Collab had replaced the old Hyperion Solutions conference. While Solutions 2007 had 4,500 attendees and 275+ presentations. Collaborate 2008 had fewer than 1,000 Hyperion attendees and less than 100 Hyperion presentations. People wanted more content and when the number of presentations actually decreased from 2008 to 2009, the word got out and attendance suffered. Also, as we've documented here before, the logistics last year were horrible and as I've mentioned at length, the food wasn't even good enough to torture prisoners with. Please, tell me OAUG has fixed the logistics and food issues this year, or it may end up being the death of Hyperion attendance at Collaborate.
- Swine/H1N1 flu. Okay, this one is a little silly, but there are people afraid to fly (Joe Biden, for instance). I've already talked to four people from the UK who have decided not to come because of flu fears. This is just bad timing.
There were about 1,000 Hyperion attendees at Collaborate 2008, but I think they'll be getting less than 600 at this year's conference (with over half of those being vendors). My prediction is that attendance is so far down from last year, that they won't even announce attendance publicly for Hyperion or the conference as a whole. I could be wrong, so if anyone sees an actual attendance announcement, share it with us on this blog.
A lady (who's name I didn't catch) from OAUG gave a brief "welcome to the conference and you should become a paying member of OAUG" speech that listed less than 3 minutes. While the lady seemed nice enough, I saw Ray Payne, new President of OAUG, in the back of the room, and I really wish he had done the official OAUG portion, because it would have shown OAUG's commitment to the Hyperion SIG. While I know he was there (which did show me his commitment), most of the room didn't know who he was. I think he had a conflicting session right at the start, but I do like that he stopped by our room for a bit.
Ed Delise Opening
Ed Delise is the current president of OAUG Hyperion SIG (though he's stepping down to let someone else run as president). Ed gave a 20 minute discussion about what the Hyperion SIG has done over the last year and what their goals are for 2009. The membership is up to over 600 people, and they're looking for more people to join.
He talked about the elections briefly. I strongly encourage those interested in directing the future of OAUG Hyperion SIG to run for the board. I especially encourage people from the client base to run for board positions: the board right now is way, way, way too partner heavy. The board wants to be less than 50% vendors, and I wholly concur. Click here to find out the open positions (you have until May 6 to nominate yourself):
Hyperion Solutions Returns?
Kristin Newman from interRel announced that OAUG is working to develop an EPM/BI/Hyperion-specific conference separate from Collaborate, OpenWorld, and Kaleidoscope. The proposed logistics put this in November 2009 back in Orlando. I'm amazingly excited to hear this, and I anxiously await more information on this. I first mentioned to Ray Payne that there should be a stand-alone Hyperion conference around 2 years ago, and I'm thrilled as... something really thrilled that they're going to try to put one on.
I'm presuming that the unified conference will include the end user content from Collaborate, the technical training from ODTUG Kaleidoscope, and the Oracle high-level sessions from OpenWorld into one. UPDATE: I talked to Ray Payne at the Hyperion SIG reception, and he did agree that November of this year was a bit aggressive. Whenever it happens (as long as it's in the next 12 months), I'll be there. Follow this blog for further updates on "Solutions 2: Long Live Solutions."
EPM in Troubled Times
Mike Schrader from Oracle (BI & PM Strategic Architecture) gave a presentation on "EPM in Troubled Times." I don't have much to say about this presentation, because it was a bit high-level. If he sends me a copy of the PowerPoint, I'll link to it from here.
I do want to point out that Mike (and a few other guys from Oracle as well as a partner or two) has a book coming out hopefully by the end of the year called Oracle Essbase & Oracle OLAP (catchy name). It supposed to cover using Essbase as well as Oracle OLAP from, judging by the chapter names, a business use case standpoint. I know several of the authors and I respect their expertise. I don't know how good those authors are at writing, but technically, they're very competent, so I encourage you to consider buying the book when it comes out (after you've bought one of our Essbase books, of course ;-).
At the end of Mike's presentation there was a hilarious (to me) discussion of "what the heck does EPM really mean?" Someone asked Mike for his definition of EPM, and he said "It's going beyond operational excellence to management excellence" and the room went dead silent. I was cracking up on the inside. After Mike's presentation, there was a 15-minute break to let people stretch their legs, network, and drink. After the break, the room had dropped to 40 people. I'm not sure where the rest went?
Each of the 5-6 domain leads for Hyperion SIG got to spend 5 minutes telling about new developments in their individual areas of expertise. Hearing long-winded people (myself definitely included) limit themselves to 5 minutes was high hilarity. Tim Tow from Applied OLAP was kind enough to give me his 5 minutes, so I got to talk for 10 minutes on Essbase 11x, and I finished with just 24 seconds to spare.
Ed Delise fielded roundtable questions from the audience for several minutes until the questions started getting pointless. I personally don't like these just because they can turn into "and here's this obscure bug I ran into: has anyone else heard of it?" sessions. Ed fielded the questions really well, but I didn't derive any value from it.
After the SIG, I'm heading to a reception that interRel is co-sponsoring at BB King's next door to the conference. It lasts from 6:30-8:30 and then I'm headed back to the hotel, because I agreed to do a presentation on Essbase Studio at 8AM tomorrow morning (proving that I also am a moron).
I'll be here all week
I will, shockingly, be blogging all week about Collaborate. If you want to follow my Collaborate blogs this week:
As those of you who actually read this blog on-line at http://looksmarter.blogspot.com/ know, you can know follow me on Twitter (my feed is in the top-right corner). Clicking on http://twitter.com/ERoske will let you follow everything I do, everywhere I go, and every random thought I have. I will warn you ahead of time: a lot of thoughts go through my head that are not Oracle, Hyperion, EPM, or BI related. While I try to leave those off the blog, I won't filter my thoughts/happenings on Twitter.
So if you want unedited, stream-of-consciousness Edward, subscribe to me here:
I apologize in advance for anything offensive I Twitter. May Gods have mercy on your soul.