For me, the nuggets of gold were not the headline messages of the keynote addresses by the vendor. A lot of the keynote messages are incremental and don't change much for me professionally. Too much hype for my taste - but that is to be expected from a sales pitch. Don't get me wrong, the keynoters are great people - smart, thoughtful people who deserve to be in the mentoring roles they occupy. Instead, I found value in the practical advice revealed by several speakers in the breakout sessions. I can only comment on the sessions I am chairing but I learnt some valuable knowledge about SharePoint integration and how to more elegantly scale up a reporting environment.Maybe I prefer the tortoise to the hare these days.
I can't emphasise how valuable practical advice is in a relationship with a vendor. I work for a large company and our BI investments are not just large, the impacts of good or bad decisions I make are sizable. So straight talking from the SAP experts is important. I don't want to make this a vendor 'love fest' but credit should be given when due.Another feature of the conference has been it's sheer size. There are around 250 - 300 people in the room. This is refreshingly large by Australian standards. Tiny by international standards but I don't know of a bigger BI event locally. By my reckoning, there is about 3,000 years of experience to tap into! So day 2 should be good. All credit to Eventful Management for organizing the conference.
Now I'm worried - this post is too upbeat. I'll try to be my cynical 'normal' self in my next post!