The Fast Twitch
The article "Putting Analysis Back in BI" (on intelligententerprise.com) is interesting, but it misses the mark by excluding the emerging category of high-performance continuous data processing systems. The reality of corporate governance and management where pervasive real-time systems exist is a new world indeed. Granted, the ESP/CEP (event stream processing/complex event processing) space is grappling with definitional and existential issues. Still, this infrastructure component category promises to push these applications deeper into the organization than we have imagined. The age of the "fast-twitch enterprise" is nigh. ESP/CEP platforms from Coral8, StreamBase Systems, TIBCO, IBM and others are in the early stages of bringing infrastructure to the market that will augment how we think of BI and where data, event and message analysis gets done.
'Easy' Is a Relative Term
As a relatively new user of BusinessObjects XI, I was disappointed with my upgrade from Release 1 to Release 2. I was hoping to see some mention of this in Cindi Howson's article, "BusinessObjects XI Makes It Easy and Tempting to Upgrade" (May 2006). I had problems visualizing the upgrade path from R1 to R2, so I went through the arduous and frustrating job of getting in touch with technical support. A week later, a support person told me that the only upgrade path from R1 to R2 is to install a fresh copy of BOE XI R2 onto a second server (which I don't have the resources for) and manually migrate R1 reports. I will give BusinessObjects credit for one thing: The installation of R2 worked right out of the box.
Systems analyst, Apex Microtechnology
Author's reply: I don't evaluate installation aspects of BI products because it's the smallest part of a BI deployment effort, and space is limited in product reviews. That said, I can attest to BusinessObjects' installation as being one of the most straightforward. According to vendor documentation, you can upgrade XI Release 1 to Release 2 directly with the install program. I encountered no problems in upgrading my test environment. While technical support gave you a valid way of upgrading, it seems the information was not entirely correct and representative of the support problems I discussed in the article.
The Key to Success
I agree with Colin White about the importance of developing a single interface to enterprisewide information to achieve more complete and faster access ("Toward the Personal Workspace," February 2006). However, there must be a streamlined and standardized format. Plus, if the information isn't current, accurate and reliable, it's overwhelming to search, difficult to comprehend and not useful for the job at hand--the problem with today's collaboration and portal systems. To encourage adoption, information must be tailored to a job's requirements. If there is no consistent effort to support access and understanding at the job-specific or task level, personal workspaces will only perpetuate poor job performance.
New York, N.Y.
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