Using the Best Ingredients in Your SAP BI Implementation

Register now for October 13, 2015 webinar, The Best Ingredients for Your SAP BI Platform as part of our ongoing #BetterBOBJ webinar series!


I start most days with a cup of Starbucks and this morning was no exception. Starbucks has elevated the quality of coffee that most of us drink and created a special “third place” between home and work to enjoy it. Only three percent of all the coffee grown around the world is good enough to make it into a bag of Starbucks Coffee. A cup of Starbucks is more expensive than the brown liquid in a styrofoam cup we used to purchase from the corner gas station. But “more expensive” isn’t “most expensive” nor unaffordable. Starbucks likes to refer to their coffee as “affordable luxury”.

The Best Ingredients - Starbucks cup

Consider Shake Shack. What makes their ShackBurger compelling is that every component of the burger has been carefully considered, then elevated. From the secret blend of beef, the varieties of lettuce and tomato, the mysterious yet tasty Shack Sauce, to the cooking process that creates those crispy edges. The result is not an extravagant burger, but certainly an excellent one. Especially when compared to its fast food peers.

Shake Shack Shackburger

Now consider your BI architecture. On the surface, it may seem that everyone’s BI architecture is made from the same ingredients. But look closer. The best performing BI landscapes are built from components that have been considered and elevated, much like a cup of Starbucks coffee or a Shake Shack burger. How is this accomplished? By creating a diverse team of experts covering each component of the architecture, from the virtual server farm, the file system, the database, the web application server, and of course, the BI platform itself. This team’s composition goes far beyond just the members of your BI competency center- it’s a matrixed team of specialists throughout the IT organization.

The Best Ingredients for SAP BI 4.1 Architecture

Far too often, this team is hastily assembled after go-live. Putting your experts on the defensive about performance problems isn’t a great way to start a relationship. Or get the BI platform running at its best. Assemble this team early in the planning process (see related article, Get All Key Players to the Table). And review SAP’s best practices for the BI platform. Some of these practices, like antivirus exceptions or strict CPU and memory reservations, may not be common practice in your organization. They will require discussion and consensus.

Getting the architecture to paper is only the first step. Establish not only how the BI landscape will be built, but how it will be monitored and supported. A successful monitoring strategy will insure that you’re getting the best performance out of each component of the BI platform. You’ll also get the best performance out of each support team, hopefully avoiding those uncomfortable fire drill meetings that feel like finger-pointing exercises. Be sure to build rapport with this extended team on a regular basis, perhaps over a tasty Shack Burger.

Celebrity chefs on television frequently remind their viewers to use the freshest, highest quality ingredients when cooking. SAP analytics professionals administering the BI platform need to make similar decisions when designing a solution. On October 13, 2015, you can learn how to choose the best ingredients for your SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 implementation. I’ll be presenting The Best Ingredients for Your SAP BI Platform as part of our ongoing #BetterBOBJ webinar series.  We’ll examine the core components of the physical architecture and best practices for each one, including:

• The BI platform
• The web application tier
• Virtualization
• The CMS
• Audit databases
• Input and output file repositories

Register now. And come hungry!

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