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The electronic newsletter of the
Silicon Valley World Internet Center

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


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Pub Master: Mr. Richard Probst, Senior Consultant, SAP
Summary and links below.


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Pub Master: Mr. Richard Probst, Senior Consultant, SAP
Summary and links below.

To access Richard Probst's Power Pub presentation on the Center's Web site:

  • Click Here.
  • Scroll down to the "*September 29, 2004, Power Pub" and select.
  • You will see a link to the presentation in PDF format.

On September 29, the World Internet Center hosted over 80 participants from around the Valley to discuss, with the guidance of Pub Master Richard Probst of SAP, the future of analytics. The Power Pub, sponsored by SAP Labs, was indeed full of "power" from hot start up companies to representatives from the big players, including SAP, IBM, Deutsche Telekom, Oracle, Cisco, HP, PARC, McKesson, Genentech, and Adobe.

A lively discussion ensued around these three Guiding Questions:

  • What are the differences - if there are differences - between business intelligence, balanced score card and analytics?
  • Is the real-time enterprise really achievable and what role do analytics play?
  • Who should be using analytics? (Are they just for the king, or can the common man play too?) The following summarizes key points made by individuals during this hour of lively discussion: * Most people do not need a lot of information. Rather they just need a balanced scorecard.
  • People need to figure out what question they really are asking of their analytics capabilities so that they simply are not looking for information where they can only find it, but looking for information throughout the enterprise.
  • We need to dwell on process, not on state.
  • Executives should not be making real-time decisions.
  • We are getting "push back" from customers who are overloaded with analytics; rather they should be getting just the right information needed at the right time to the right person.
  • Business analytics is covering up bad management: we haven't taught people how to run and control their own businesses.
  • Is the "real-time" enterprise achievable? Maybe we don't want a "real-time" enterprise? There may be negative value there.
  • We need to figure out what we can measure effectively and then give people the tools to go out and do that.
  • We may not be learning the "right" thing out of all these data. If we have the "right" data, then we need to "cook it down properly" and we just are not there yet.
  • The real key is navigation. [Countered by] Navigation only works if the map is accurate. Navigation doesn't help if there are no roads -- what do we do if there are disruptive changes?

After the Power Pub closed, participants wandered down to the Cabana's salon for several more hours of heated discussions around intellectual capital assets and real-time analytics.

Many thanks to Richard Probst who, as Pub Master, ably managed this large group of participants. His presentation on the Future of Analytics is available on the Center's site (see the link above). We extend a special thanks to SAP Labs for sponsoring this exciting and well-attended Power Pub.


Before joining SAP in 2004, Mr. Probst spent 9 years driving product strategy for three venture-backed startups. Calico Commerce pioneered online product configurators, with Cisco and Dell as customers, leading to a $2 billion IPO in 1999; Calico was later acquired by PeopleSoft. Ejasent invented utility computing for transactional web sites, for Charles Schwab and other surge-prone sites, and was acquired by Veritas for $59 million. Nominum is developing a new generation of name management infrastructure, led by the inventor of DNS. Mr. Probst was founding VP of Marketing for Ejasent and VP of Product Marketing for Nominum.

Prior to his startup experience, Mr. Probst was at Sun Microsystems for 10 years. From 1985 to 1990, he managed development of Sun's user interfaces, including SunView, XView, and Open Look. Over the next 5 years, he helped bring CORBA into existence, as program manager for Sun's Project DOE, as business development for Sun NEO products, and as a member of the board of directors of the Object Management Group. In 1991, Mr. Probst coined the acronym "CORBA".

Mr. Probst has an MS in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a PhD candidate until he left to join Sun. His undergraduate degree in psychology is from Yale University.


Headquartered in Silicon Valley and started in 1996, SAP Labs North America ( is the company's first development lab established outside of Germany and is designed to take advantage of Silicon Valley's rich culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism-to infuse "start-up" thinking and business practices into a multi-billion dollar global enterprise. The Lab, which pioneered SAP's efforts to globalize development, employs more than 750 tech professionals at its main campus in Palo Alto, Calif., and another 500 via a network of 11 offices located across the United States. Labs' field offices are strategically situated to better learn from and serve the needs of SAP's customers by delivering industry-specific and customized solutions. The alignment of development resources around industry and customer needs is indicative of the unique approach Labs employs to drive innovation where it can have the most impact. SAP Labs is responsible for several major tec! hnology developments, including SAP NetWeaver, the company's core technology platform that now serves as the foundation for SAP's overall enterprise software and services strategy and SAP xApps, a family of packaged, composite applications.



The Silicon Valley World Internet Center thanks its Corporate Sponsors and Knowledge Network Partners for their continuing support:

Archstone Consulting

• Halleck
• IC Growth, Inc.
• Market Wire
• Incucomm



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