Mastering BI in SAP Conference – Highlight of the year!

I recently attended the Mastering SAP Business Intelligence conference hosted by The Eventful Group. The conference took place at the Southern Sun on Grayston in Johannesburg from 21 – 22 August, 2011 with workshops on the 23rd of August, 2011.  

It was the first ever conference to be held on Business Intelligence within SAP in South Africa and it was well worth the wait. Thank you to the sponsors for making this event possible: Satreno, T-Systems and Gijima.

Here are some conference statistics from the post conference website :

  • 220 SAP Business Intelligence Professionals from 100 organisations immersed themselves for 3 days of networking, learning and sharing in this thriving community.
  • Overall Satisfaction Rating of 4.52 out of 5 (rated by 92% of participants).
  • 33 presentations and sessions from local and international companies.
  • Two instructor-led workshops, roundtable discussions and special sessions.
  • 11 SAP Partners showcased featuring complementary services and technologies. 

The conference atmosphere was electric and the air was filled with the excitement of having the opportunity to listen to other customer experiences and to connect with local and international speakers. Eventful Group provided ample opportunities (over coffee, tea or drinks) to network and reconnect with colleagues from the past.

I asked a few delegates/speakers to give their view on the conference and here they are:

Josh Fletcher, National BI & EPM Architect, CSG

‘I was privileged to be part of the inaugural South African Business Intelligence conference, and speaking to many delegates, it was evident that this conference was both welcomed by the delegates, and the kick-start needed for a strong business intelligence community to grow.  For me, the networking and relationship-building that the conference facilitated was worth as much as the conference sessions themselves.’

Grant Rothman, Nedbank

“I thought the conference provided an excellent opportunity to meet others who are involved in the same or similar lines of work, to share ideas on what worked or did not work and to get a clearer understanding of what potential future opportunities exist.”

Johan du Plessis, IT Director, Consol

“We confirmed our BI strategy to date but got some fresh unbiased insights in how to take it forward.  “

Umesh Sita, Head of Business Intelligence, Britehouse Specialist SAP Division

“The conference was the first gathering of business representatives interested in Business Intelligence in Southern Africa.  It was impressive to see the calibre of the international and local speakers sharing their experiences with local audiences.  The international’s experiences have hopefully taught us that South Africa needs to ‘jolt’ itself and leapfrog our current BI plans and programs and stop playing catch up to the rest of the world in terms of deployment of BI practices and solutions.  I suspect that the next Eventful Group BI Conference will be very well supported as companies look for that competitive advantage in their BI solutions.”

The keynote delivered by Braam Malherbe ( caused a few delegates to wipe away a tear as he spoke about his Great Wall of China journey and the his support for Operation Smile (an international charity organization providing corrective surgery for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate disfigurements).

It would be difficult to provide feedback on every session I attended, but I enjoyed hearing about local experiences from City of Cape Town (Lynn van Rooyen and Zimkhita Buwa) and international insights from Gabe Orthous.

With regards to the post conference workshops, I was lucky to book early and get a spot on the BI 4.0 workshop hosted by Ingo Hilgofort (@ihilgefort) on Wednesday. The product exposure and expert tips and tricks were invaluable. Thank you to Ingo for trying to spend time with every single one of us.

The Eventful Group excelled themselves with their attention to detail and focus on customer service, I have honestly never experienced such helpfulness and friendliness at any event I have attended.

I am looking forward to attending this conference next year and will definitely encourage anyone involved in SAP to attend. See you there!

Dorothy Cadle

BI Principal at Bold Shore Consulting


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