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March 8th brought the first installment of ASUG chapter meetings for the Philadelphia area.  The December meeting was a real success and the chapter volunteers tried hard to see if we could come close for this meeting.  Little did we know that we would manage to completely surpass December!  Our location, as always, is SAP's North American Headquarters in Newtown Square, PA. Rather than my usual detailed blog, here's a shorter recap of the meeting:

Chapter Chair Gail Jusiewicz opened the meeting with a great 'State of the Chapter' presentation to let everyone know how the chapter was doing.  Let's take a look at the numbers and see:
  • 13 Sponsors
  • 176 registered attendees
    • 130 on-site!!
  • 6 folks even volunteered to assist with logistics the day of!

Because of the large crowd, SAP moved the breakfast and opening session to the large Auditorium to accommodate everyone comfortably.   Our thanks to SAP's Cecilia Barclift, who helps us coordinate the meetings at Newtown Square.  She is truly a supporter of ASUG and a real asset to the chapter team.  We also had a chance to welcome Steve Abramowicz from PJM Interconnection as the chapter's newest Communications Chair!  In addition to Steve, the 2012 slate of Philly volunteers include:
  • Gail Jusiewicz, Pepco Holdings – Chapter Chair
  • June Wright, Air Products – Chapter Vice Chair
  • Greg Miller, Pfizer – Program Chair

In late 2011, the Chapter leadership took the time to add some folks to the Chapter volunteer team as 'Market Leaders'. ASUG HQ created the role of Market Leader to help formalize some of the volunteers who have been helping without a 'title', as well as letting partners serve as volunteers.  The Market Leaders for 2012 in Philly are:
  • Greg Myers, EV Technologies
  • Pankaj Jalan, Deloitte & Touch
  • Derek Loranca, Aetna  (It's nice to be recognized, but I would've kept helping the chapter with 'wrangling' BI content without a title!)

As Gail closed, she mentioned that this meeting was the largest under her tenure- congratulations to Gail!  The meeting was then turned over to Rich Huhn from SAP.  As he does at most Philly meetings, Rich took a few minutes to bring the chapter up speed on what's going on with SAP in general.  He talked about the upcoming 'usability' sessions that will be coming to the Philly chapter next time around.  These sound like a pretty good deal:  half-day hands-on sessions with some of the latest SAP products.  We are looking to schedule one of these 'mobility' sessions for ASUG installation members at our next meeting!
Rich also talked about SAP's strategy was in 2011:
The 'five markets' SAP is looking to position HANA for in 2012:
After Rich's session, it was time to break out into the tracks for the day.  We had 4 tracks scheduled for today:
  • Track 1: Mobility
  • Track 2: BI
  • Track 3: EAM/PLM
  • Track 4: Technical
As a 'BOBJ' guy, I grabbed a seat in the Solutions room for the BI track.  The two morning sessions talked about using BusinessObjects against SAP ERP datasources:
  • Session 1- Integrating SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0: Chris Greer, EV Technologies
  • Session 2- Best Practices for SAP BusinessObjects – Lessons Learned from Implementing SAP Business Objects BI 4.0 on SAP NetWeaverBW: Steve Clymer, BICP

If you're an ASUG member, head over to the Philadelphia Chapter portal and grab the slides from these (and all of this meeting's) sessions!

After lunch and some extended meetings (so I missed BI session #3, sorry!), it was time for a Philadelphia Chapter favorite- the BI Roundtable.  The roundtable offers attendees the chance to ask their SAP BI questions to the day's presenters, as well as the Philly chapters resident BI 'gurus'.  This month, the gurus included Pfizer's Greg Miller, BICP's Steve Clymer as well as SAP Mentors Greg Myers and myself.  We also had a surprise guest in the back of the room- SAP's Terry Reddington.  Terry is SAP's Point of Contact for the ASUG Strategic SIG and was able to field a more 'official' SAP presence when the questions invariably turned towards things like HANA and strategy.  The roundtable also covered ASUG's upcoming BI community webcasts and in-person training opportunities (like pre-conference sessions at ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire!).

Overall- it was a great chapter meeting.  I know that Greg Myers and I are hoping that 2012 will bring more 'platform agnostic' BusinessObjects customers to these meetings, too.  Next meeting is scheduled for June 14th and if you're in the Philadelphia area, come and check it out!