by Pam Ireland, Vice President, Customer Success, Analytics, SAP

Soccer Team CheeringAt Sapphire NOW in May last year, something very interesting happened.  In every meeting, I was asked for help selling our BI tools. Not from our account executives – from our customers!

They already owned the software, so this wasn’t about a license purchase. These folks wanted more from SAP so that they could evangelize BI in their organization and get more value from the software they already own. That got me thinking – what do these BI Champions really need?  They are passionate about BI and have a wealth of knowledge. But these are folks who aren’t typically sales or marketing types. Could we help them? What did they really want to do?

After further investigation, here’s what (in no particular order) superstar BI Champions do:

  1. Brainstorm:  Talk with the people who need information and insights, not the folks who build reports and dashboards. Generate ideas and identify needs from decision-makers – this will guide you and your team to the most valuable uses of business intelligence.
  2. Demo: Show and tell still applies for adults. Whether you use pre-built demos in SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Mobile or build your own, show what’s possible and tell a story – it only takes three minutes.
  3. Why BI from SAP: You may have standardized on BI from SAP, but someone may want to use “some other tool.” Frame it in business language – business people won’t care much about total cost of ownership, data governance, or security.  Know what’s unique and different about BI from SAP, and sell it every day.
  4. Stay ahead:  Be the expert on the future. Understand our product direction, our vision, and be ready to share it with others.
  5. Learn:  Read blogs, attend conferences, listen to webinars.  Soak in as much as you can.
  6. Share:  Promotion and internal marketing can often take a back seat to more urgent issues. Don’t let this happen to you. Build a habit of promoting successes across your organization. Tell great stories.
  7. Play: Build a sandbox and use it. Carve out time for your team (and business users) to play around with data, and create new visualizations.  The newest tools are easy to use for non-techies – invite people to the playground.
  8. Collaborate:  Join the conversation. The very active BI community is a welcoming bunch.  Use social media and conferences to build a network; more importantly use the network to collaborate with other BI Champions and get new ideas.  Follow @SAPAnalytics and @SAPLumira.
  9. Thought leadership: Have opinions. Make recommendations. Write blogs, evangelize within your company, be bold in putting your thoughts out there.
  10. Inform: Find great books and articles and send them to others. Buy multiple copies and hand them out. Write a personalized note on the inside cover.

So how does SAP help BI Champions?

  • Design Thinking is a great approach for brainstorming new ideas. You can learn how to use this in your organization at
  • Engage your account team and our partners. Ask for their help to provide ideas, demos and presentations.  They need you to be successful too!
  • Understand what’s new and what’s coming in BI.  Explore What’s New in BI and Solution Roadmaps.
  • Get the vision at The SAP Analytics Story.
  • Use the new BI Champion Kit  to share videos, download demos, and inform with great articles.
  • Learn how to demo the samples that come with free downloads of SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Mobile.
  • Hand out the articles and books.

And don’t forget to share your stories with us – what makes YOU a BI Champion?