This entry will recap the Biz.ONE User Group Conference, held in Garden Grove October 23-25, 2017 – and what’s on the horizon for SAP Business One.
I had the pleasure of attending the Biz.ONE conference, hosted by the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG), in Orange County, California a couple of weeks ago, and I’m here to report that it was an enlightening trip. This user group is not a large one, but a passionate one, full of workplace leaders who are genuinely seeking to better their processes by managing and leveraging company data to make better decisions for the future of their company. Some buzzwords throughout the conference included digital, cloud, and automation, but the networking, exploring, and learning did not stop there. This article will zoom in on the key takeaways for the future of SAP Business One, gleaned from the action-packed agenda of this year’s Biz.ONE conference.
This year’s event was the result of a different approach. ASUG wanted to take the conference up a notch this year and hired Eventful Conferences to do what they do best: put on an event that answers the questions and speaks to the professional curiosities of its attendees. I met several members of the Eventful Conferences team, and they told me all about their process. These event producers went into full research mode, seeking and discovering what this sector was most interested in, what was life-and-death to the success of their specific job roles, and what was coming up next in terms of technology and business best practices. What resulted was a nuanced, user-led, and hands-on learning experience. Oh, and the food was delicious, but I digress. The event remained exciting because of moving between well-received, relevant sessions and tracks to expo hours to unique keynotes and panel discussions.
One theme that could not be missed was the topic of digital transformation. If you haven’t fully plunged into the topic of digital transformation, a great place to start would be to read Hanna Kim’s dissection of important takeaways in regard to the topic, part 1 and part 2. In short, digital transformation is the result of overhauling and upgrading processes, products, and services in the context of utilizing today’s technology. It makes perfect sense to me that this buzzword would be a central focus of ASUG, as it is permeating the business world – and as technology continues to evolve, at more of a rapid pace, digital transformation will likely happen more regularly. SAP B1 is looking toward the cloud and relying on SAP HANA to support their path forward as an accounting system, while also inviting more exciting technologies into the B1 ecosystem.
Part of the reason digital transformation is so important to the business world today is due to the true disruption that is cloud technology – across the board, but in the corporate space, it is an unavoidable topic. In fact, Michael Cardi, Channel Enablement and Solution Expert for SAP, presented “The Cloud is Driving Digital Transformation: How to Adapt for the Realities of Cloud.” Cardi discussed how the Cloud changes the game for all businesses – and how each functional area of your organization should be adapted to align with these realities. He also explored some of the tools available in SAP Business One to assist you in this transformation. And there was also a forum on the Business One Cloud Solution. SAP is focused on scalability, agility, and flexibility of cloud technologies as the certain future.
In terms of scalability and flexibility, automation seems to be a relative to “self-service.” Because of modern technology, we’re all trying to accomplish more in terms of amount and depth of our analyses with not just our SAP B1 data, but other information from distinct data sources as well. In addition to seeking the ability to access, analyze, and manage data through self-service solutions, B1 users are also looking to automate reporting, budgeting, dashboards, data warehousing, and so on. And accordingly, you could see that in the programming and the marketing around the independent software vendors that came to exhibit at this year’s Biz.ONE conference. That all said, this year’s event was not all work and no play.
Let’s just put it this way: the ASUG knows how to have a good time while networking. From the Welcome Reception to informal networking at a hotel bar and grill, from interactive keynotes and panel discussions to the House of Blues, the Eventful Conferences team did not mess around when it came to delivering fun, musical, and Disneyland-adjacent activities for attendees. B1 users were able to move beyond the more formal breakout sessions to listen to live music, share their work, and enjoy some refreshments – see, working hard and playing hard. It was a fun environment – and one that is indicative of a growing B1 user community.
Solver was happy to return to this conference, this year as a Silver Sponsor. The team was able to demo the BI360 solution for those who stopped by the booth. It appeared that the power of Excel, accelerated by modern, dynamic technologies in the form of an add-in delighted those who were looking for ways to upgrade and transform their regular reporting and budgeting processes, in addition to managing multiple data sources in one place and/or consolidate multiple companies’ data sets. It was a great experience, and Solver is eager to return next year. Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver offers BI360 through cloud and on-premise deployment and is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.