1.How mature is your Xcelsius development practice/project
Some customers are long time users of Xcelsius who already know how limited Xcelsius is when it comes to filtering, aggregating, sorting, and other important functions that Essential Plugin Bundle provides. New customers do NOT understand that this functionality does not come easy in Xcelsius and need to be explained why these components were created and who created them to paint a picture and escalate the importance.
Centigon Solutions and partners have a long standing history with the Xcelsius technology as previous employees, consultants, and now renown experts in the technology. It is this expertise and understanding of what customers really want to do with Xcelsius that allows us to anticipate and provide critical “Essential” functionality with Essentials Plugins. In the case of Essentials Bundle, both new and experienced Xcelsius developers really need this capability to deliver on the BusinessObjects value proposition for Xcelsius.
2.What is your role in your Xcelsius practice/project
The person’s role is critical to pitching value. If it is an Xcelsius developer making the purchase decision, they will care about the power of the functionality Essentials Plugins provide and the specific functional gaps that it fills in. For a project manager or business stakeholder, they will care about the overall value, time savings for development, ease ofÂ maintenance, performance, and power delivered to end users.
- For developers the overall value of Essentials Plugin bundle is a significant decrease in development time for creating basic dashboard capabilities like sorting, filtering, aggregating, drilling, what-if analysis, and design aesthetics.
- Xcelsius does not provide a good approach for any of the above, which is why we designed Essentials Plugin BundleÂ specificallyÂ for developers who do not want toÂ buryÂ themselves in Excel logic. Excel logic is a great tool for staging and calculating data on the fly but a bad habit for Excel gurus who create multiple layers of Excel logic that ultimately destroyÂ performance,Â maintainability, and increase development time
- For developers the overall value of CSV Connector is an ability to refresh Xcelsius dashboards with live data, without using web services or XML. This is a sticking point that has slowed many Xcelsius development projects down because customers usually look for the least path of resistance to get something up and running initially.
- Many projects that initially use Excel data require a developer to manually update or generate SWF files from Xcelsius. CSV Connector eliminates that process, allowing developers to generate CSV files from Excel and connecting them directly to Xcelsius for live data (without web services).
- CSVÂ ConnectorÂ provides a very good approach not only to connecting to data, but injecting a simple layer of filtering and aggregation to streamline the data before it is loaded into the dashboard.
ForÂ BusinessÂ Stakeholders / Project Managers
- For non-developers, the overall value of Essentials Plugin Bundle is a faster delivery time for dashboards, a decrease in complexity forÂ maintenance, and aÂ significantÂ increase in performance.
- Delivery manager or stakeholder wants to arm all of their Xcelsius developers with Essentials Plugin Bundle if they are serious about building dashboards.
- From beginners to top tier experts the plugins really are “Essential” to building good dashboard designs to ensure a scalable project rather than a complex one-off solution with lots of Excel logic and “workarounds”.
- For non-developers, the overall value of CSV Connector is an ability to get a connected dashboard up and running quickly with minimal intervention from IT.
- Customers having the ability to save data form Excel or extracting data from legacy systems is a huge draw which is why we sell more CSV Connector licenses than all other components combined.
3.What are specific pains leading you to find essentials plugin bundle?
Usually there is one component that will draw customers into the essentials bundle because they have found out that Xcelsius does not perform the functionality out of the box. In other scenarios customers just want to see with one broad stroke what we can do for them. Either way, starting with theirÂ specifiedÂ needs and then expanding on what other Essentials Bundle components do usually helps them get a full picture of capabilities they didn’t know they needed yet.
The following is the value proposition for each individual component by itself.
- Provides sleek aesthetics for dashboard designs- The result of a well designed dashboard is a tool that is more inviting andÂ perceivedÂ as easier to use.
- Good design facilitates user adoption which is a topÂ priorityÂ for developers and stakeholders who create dashboards.
- Comes with over 20 pre-canned design templates that developers can further customize color and layout. We don’t want developers starting with a “blank canvas” and then have to design from scratch
- Provides complete control over data sorting in Xcelsius which does not come with Xcelsius
- There is one exception to this with the release of Xcelsius SP3 which does enable chart sorting but does not provide dynamic control over sort order or sort type (axis labels vs values)
- Alleviates extremely complex logic that we have seen developers create to enable their own sorting. In turn this improves performance, reduces development time and potential user error, and simplifiesÂ maintenance.
- One of the most powerful logical components available for Xcelsius
- Allows developers to manipulate data on the fly without significant performance impacts, which is not easily achievable in Xcelsius
- SUMIF and COUNTIF for aggregating data is eliminated with 2 simple properties
- Simulates basic Excel Pivot table functionality which is very powerful but NOT supported by Xcelsius
- Reduce any reliance on Excel for filtering and aggregating data
- Removes a lot of workarounds previously required because Xcelsius can’t dynamically aggregate data without multiple layers of Excel logic
- Leads to simplified dashboards forÂ maintainableÂ and better performing dashboards.
- For developers, the Preview window gives an exact representation of what data will look like after it is processed saving many hours of development time, once again illustrating our in depth experience and understanding of what organizations require to build powerful dashboards quickly.
- The only component that allows developers to create scenario/ what if analysis with hundreds of inputsÂ effortlessly.
- Unique component designed with an in-depth understanding of Xcelsius limitations and what develpers really need to create robust scenario analysis.
- Introduces input persistence and lookup which is not possible out of the box with Xcelsius (because it would create an Excel loop).