It looks like Business Objects is trying to put restrictions on User Group speakers again. For now they are focused on preventing one single consulting group from presenting at User Group meetings. You may remember me mentioning a former BO partner, CTTS in southern Michigan. CTTS provides the leadership for two BO user groups and also provides very popular presentations for other user groups across the country.
But as you may remember from previous BLOG posts, CTTS had a nasty legal battle with BO and BO was forced to settle with terms they apparently didn’t like. Now one of BO’s User Group coordinators has started telling User Groups that BO will not fund any meeting where CTTS is doing a presentation. According to the group in Pittsburgh this means not only things like meeting space and refreshments, but it also means no BO speakers and no Email notification to the members.
Despite this, CTTS is still being invited and scheduled at meetings all over the country, but at least one BO group in Kentucky seems to be so interested in following BO’s lead on this that they have asked CTTS staff not to even attend their meetings, let alone speak at them. BO denies that their policy forbids anyone from attending meetings. And they have told me that this does not (currently) apply to all independent speakers – just to CTTS. But if this tool is effective I doubt BO will stop here.
The sad part is that user groups have to work to find practical and interesting presentations. So, if you are part of a BO user group you should find out if your group is more interested in a free lunch or solid product information.