FIRST PerformancePoint Server book available!

We are VERY excited to announce that the first EVER Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 book is now available!

This first book covers deployment as well as implementation tips to help customers and partners understand what PPS is, and how to get started with the application.

Order it here! If you have a quick insider look, check out the FREE preview chapter here.

This is the first of a large list of titles. In about a month, a second book will be published covering Planning with PerformancePoint Server (details here), and over the next six to nine months, a set of other books will be made available, including a “PPS for Dummies”!

Kudos go to Nick Barclay, Adrian Downes and Anthony Mann for making this possible!


PerformancePoint Server 2007 coming to ANZ!

So - we've been to New York, London, Boston and many other places around the world to talk about Microsoft Performance Management.

This tour wouldn't be complete if we didn't go to Australia and New Zealand! Well, we'll be there in the next three weeks!

Please see below the main dates:

  • Melbourne - November 28 - Register here, Agenda here
  • Sydney - November 29 - Register here, Agenda here
  • Auckland - December 4 - Register here, Agenda here
As always, if any questions, please feel free to ping me directly!


I want to get in touch with you, not your number!

This week, the Economist had a special 14-page coverage on innovation. While the report is interesting in the diversity of subjects it covers, like many of the books I've read on innovation, I think it misses a crucial point on innovation.

Read books such as 'The innovator's Dilemna' or 'The Innovation Killer', you will find out that they attempt to make their point by first redefining what "an innovation" is. In the innovation killer, for example, the author defines an innovation as "application of an idea that results in a valuable improvement".

Great - IMO, however, it's always better to define what benefit something does, rather than what it is...so...here is my attempt: I think that, put very simply, an innovation solves an existing problem more efficiently than any other existing alternative. Arguing if innovation is related to invention is pointless because solving a problem in a better way might require an invention or not.

Take the world of telecommunications, for example. Telecommunication is about enabling people to better communicate and remain connected. Think about Nokia's tagline: "connecting people" or even T-Mobile's "stick together".

How did humanity start solving this problem? First, very physically with in person conversations, on to smoke signals than to the phone. The phone revolutionized the way people communicate by making it unnecessary to physically put both parties in the same room to communicate efficiently. Look where we are today. We can now have virtual meetings through products like LiveMeeting or Roundtable (by the way, Microsoft launched its suite of communication products this week - just amazing - check out the keynote and demo here).

While the above paragraph is a very shortened and simplistic history of communication, there are two trends to observe:

  • Innovation is not about the innovation itself - it is about what it does, what problem it solves. Note that throughout the years of innovation, the means to solve the problem have varied greatly, however, the problem has never changed: "connecting people"

  • Innovation requires a different way to think about "the problem": if you read Christensen book, you'll find that he advises NOT to listen to your top customers if you want to innovate. While his statement can be misinterpreted (after all, Geoffrey Moore, teaches us the exact opposite in 'Crossing the chasm'), I think that what he meant was that innovators are ones that are not stuck in the old way to think about customer problems. I think the main lesson here, is that most innovations come from players that have to approach the problem in a way that might be different than more traditional or existing approaches, either due to their own limitations or due to their business model. Worked to its fullest extend, a innovative approach can the industry inside-out and make old players somewhat obsolete because they are stuck with their own model (Christensen has older hardware examples, I think of more recent ones such as salesforce.com vs. SAP, Netflix vs. Blockbuster...etc).

If you watch this great keynote from Jeff Raikes on the world of communication, you'll hear one of my favorite soundbites: "I want to get in touch with you, not your number!".

To me, this statement, summarizes the point of innovation . An innovation is not about what it is, but about what they accomplish: in this example, getting two or more people in touch more efficiently.

The main challenge for telecommunications remain ahead however. For one, I find it outrageously backwards that we still have to travel hours to a destination to present or attend a short meeting. This model is highly inefficient and while I can see the benefit of in-person presence, I can't imagine that this will not be the main problem we need to solve next.

How can we emulate this presence? I can't help to think that someone must be working on this. After all, isn't physical presence just an optical illusion? Shouldn't technology allow us to emulate it exactly? We might have tried using teleconferencing software and other inventions but we have not done so with a high-enough level of fidelity so it can be validated...


SAP to buy BOBJ - the biggest acquisition ever.

Below excerpts from the least anticipated acquisition in BI (IMO).

SAP's buying BOBJ! Full article here

SAP, the big German software company, has agreed to buy Business Objects, a leader in the fast-growing market for business intelligence software, for $6.8 billion.

In its most recent quarter, Business Objects reported a 23 percent increase in sales, to $363 million, while profits rose 68 percent to $66 million.

John Schwarz, the chief executive of Business Objects, said in the conference call that 40 percent of his company's customers were also SAP customers. "We have a tremendous opportunity to align and package solutions together," he said.

The $18 billion-a-year business intelligence market is increasingly moving into the hands of larger companies.

Business Objects was the largest of the publicly traded business intelligence companies, which include Cognos and MicroStrategy. There are also a few significant privately held business intelligence software companies, and SAS, headquartered in Cary, N.C., is by far the largest.


Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 Launched!


Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 launched last week in New York! (webcast available here).

See here some examples of the great press and analyst coverage.

So - what's next?

Lots of events are following, such as the Microsoft Virtual Business Intelligence Conference on October 4th (register here), or the London launch event on October 16th (check it out here).

Keep up to date by visiting the PerformancePoint Server 2007 site here. And, of course, if you want to download the RTM software, visit Microsoft TechNet here.

Enjoy and see you in London!

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 launch in New York!

Come join us at the PerformancePoint Server's launch in New York! The event will feature keynotes from Michael Treacy, Peter Klein and many of us from the product team.

Speakers list here. Register here and see you in New York on September 20th!


PerformancePoint Server 2007 at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007

This morning, we had the opportunity to demo Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 during Jeff Raikes' presentation at the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007.

The demo tells a great story of Unified Communications and Business Intelligence together. The Office Communications Server and PerformancePoint Server products both release this year, and together, they really deliver advanced capabilities to a much broader group of information workers.

Watch the webcast here (demo starts at minute 17). Read the script here!


CapGemini and Microsoft Performance Management

Check out this paper on CapGemini and Microsoft Performance Management.

The paper highlights Eddie Short's thinking on the 'Intelligent Enterprise' and how it relates to Microsoft Microsoft Performance Management.

Microsoft's Business Intelligence Conference!

Over 2,600 attendees from 65 countries. This was THE business intelligence event of the year!!! The event featured keynotes by Steve Ballmer, Dr Kaplan, Michael Treacy and Jeff Raikes, President, Microsoft Business Division.

  • I had the opportunity to give a PerformancePoint Server demo during the Jeff Raikes keynote (watch it here).
  • I also talked with Ron Powell from B-EYE-Network, about the three key factors of Microsoft’s success : the technology, the people, and the Microsoft model. Listen to the interview here.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with me, email me directly @ bruno.aziza@microsoft.com