Power View Report From PowerPivot V2 (2012) Workbook Running on Pivotstream Cloud Platform

My First Real Experiment with Power View – Built From a PowerPivot V2 XLSX!
(Running on our New V2 Cloud PowerPivot Platform)

Lots of Work Pays Off

The #1 question I hear every day is “when will Pivotstream offer support for V2 on their cloud platform?”  And in fact, that’s maybe the #1 question that I ask of the team every day, too.

There’s a lot of demand for it, given all the new bells and whistles in the V2 release.  But we’re no longer a fledgling little operation – we can’t just upgrade everyone overnight.  Actually, we could, but that would be irresponsible – we have to make sure none of our customers get burned in the process, and huge software releases like V2 have a tendency to be…  finicky.  If we upgrade everyone and things start breaking, saying “it’s Microsoft’s fault” is not an answer – we have to hold ourselves to a higher bar.

So our V2 cloud platform is a completely separate and parallel investment – new hardware, new domains, new base URL’s, etc.  A lot of time and money, in other words.  So if you’ve been wondering “what the heck are they waiting for,” now you know.

In Private Beta Now, Sign Up for the Public Beta

We have about 15 early adopters running on our V2 platform at the moment.  These are folks who did NOT have V1 deployments with us, which makes them ideal candidates for kicking the tires – there is no “conversion risk” for them.

We will be opening up to a larger beta audience in the next 7-10 days.  If you would like a free beta site, a place where you can upload PowerPivot V2 workbooks that others can view in the browser, and a place to create Power View reports off of those workbooks, click the link below and be sure to specify in your request that you want the V2 Beta.

Click Here to Request a V2 Beta Site

This Just In:  Credit Cards Are Villains.  Be Gone, Villains!

imageThere’s really not much difference between a beta site and a free trial site of course – either way you get to see whether something is going to be useful to you today/soon/never.

Our commerce team recently ran an unfortunate experiment on our trial page where, for some visitors, the page said something like “a credit card is required to sign up for the free trial, cancel within 30 days and owe nothing.”

Guess what?  Among people seeing the new message, trial requests fell off by about 80%, while people who didn’t see that credit card message continued to request sites at the original rate.

Moral of the story:  free is free. If you want to try this out, at any time, we will NOT be asking for a credit card.  If you fell into the test group seeing the credit card message, thanks for being a guinea pig, but that experiment is over.

Most people requesting trials aren’t ready to “buy” yet anyway.  We see a very clear progression of folks trying it out for 30 days, and liking what they see.  But then they go away to talk with their teams for awhile, and then come back 1-3 months later.

That’s cool with me.  I’m emotionally invested in having as many people see this stuff as possible anyway.  I’m very proud of the whole thing.

Images, Really?  Yes!

Power View images in a card view

Power View (pictured above) is just one of the V2 benefits of course, but it’s certainly an exciting new “weapon” for the Excel Pro arsenal.  Displaying images in Card View (above) is particularly empowering.

Those images are NOT hard-coded into the cards, either.  They come from columns in the PowerPivot workbook itself:

Power View images sourced from a URL field

The images are sourced from a URL field!

In Power View, All I Did Was Check the Checkbox, and the Images Appeared on the Cards

In Power View, All I Did Was Check the Checkbox, and the Images Appeared on the Cards

(Note that I did struggle for a few minutes before discovering that I had to go to the File menu in the PowerPivot window and turn on “Advanced Mode,” which gave me a new ribbon tab – on that tab, I could tag a column as being an image column.  One-time learning, my Advanced tab will now be “on” forever.)

“V2 in the Cloud is a Big Deal, Shouldn’t You Do a Press Release?”

I’m so glad you asked.  We DID do a PR, maybe you’ve seen PRWire spamming it in Twitter 🙂

Hey, even yours truly is quoted in it, saying things like this:

“Cloud PowerPivot is game changing for the SMB and the mid-size to large enterprise.  Our customers experience flexibility of enterprise-grade cloud services, the familiarity of their preferred Excel analysis platform, the value of our proprietary software that provides multiple data refresh options, unique presentation and integration components, platform accelerators, core and thin workbook frameworks, and integrated monitoring and management, all bundled together in a single service built on Microsoft’s BI stack of SQL 2012, Analysis Services, SharePoint 2010, and most importantly, PowerPivot. There’s nothing comparable in the marketplace.”

Do I talk like that in real life?  You betcha!  Just yesterday, after ordering a coffee drink known as a “StuporBall,” I said something very similar to the barista.  Something to the effect of “The StuporBall is a game changer for the caffeine addict in all of us.  Your customers experience a euphoria and a productivity surge that is second to none, enterprise-grade if you will, and in a highly portable and taste-friendly package that is affordable, eco-friendly, fair-trade, and friendly to local businesses, all in an eclectic setting that avoids the ennui associated with most traditional coffee shops…”


I may just be joking a little bit there.  But if you’re in Northeast Ohio and happen upon a Phoenix Coffee, try the Stuporball 🙂


Read the entire press release here.