Tim

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BI conference- Day 3

So after a slight delay, here's a quick note on Day 3 and the conference in general.

We only caught the second half of the Keynote from Kurt DelBene of the Office group - investing in Excel - making it more rich - and what a great reporting tool Access is? errr Ok.  You can imagine the fun and games that goes on between the Office and SQL teams, with the PPS team stuck somewhere in the middle :)  More ridiculous staged customer Q&A style discussion followed about how great Office is - which saw a good chunk of the audience leaving again - seriously guys!

The first session of the day - Avoiding Common Mistakes with Analysis Services - nothing ground breaking here but the session was really well presented by Craig Utley, who in particular explained the concept of attribute relationships really well.  Plus a reminder of the extremely useful ignoreunrelateddimension property which stops users from seeing data where they've  selected a dimension that doesn't link to the measure group (think AdventureWorks, Reseller Sales with the customer dimension).

I ducked out of the last session to take a look round the shop - I nearly got myself a Microsoft embroidered denim shirt but I knew how envious the guys back at the Adatis office would be and they didn't have enough for the whole company.  I settled for two Microsoft golf shoe bags - Martyn and Sacha are gonna be so pleased on their birthdays!

So highlights for me:

  • Getting to meet some very cool people, particularly some of the PPS product team who took time out of their schedule to chat to us and were genuinely interested in what we had to say.
  • The BI power hour was great - some genius use of PPS as I reported in Day 2 - I hope we can get our hands on the "Perfoply" and "Girlfriend Management" Planning models.  They could be deal clinchers with certain potential customers just to show how varied the possible uses of PPS Planning are.

Lowlights:

  • Some very average sessions (mixed in with some very good ones mind).  The chalk talks were particularly bad logistically; over-subscribed, overcrowded and poor AV;
  • As reported by Dan English and others there was a serious lack of any PPS v2 (or even SP2) information - you'd think with Gemini being announced they'd want to at least hint about what was coming (particularly from a M&A perspective).  However, the "Upgrade to PerformancePoint" button in Gemini might suggest it's going to play a good part.  I have a feeling M&A V2 will be a huge step up.

Generally pretty good - I'll be back next year for sure.  But for now time to get back to the important business of day 5...

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