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Welcome to SAP WorkSmarter Blog. If you are business user at a company that is using SAP, you will find a lot of interesting content that will help you get the most out of SAP applications. In addition, we plan on covering general topics that we think will help busy business professionals like you.

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SAPPHIRE NOW – Database & Technology Campus: Call for Ideas

 

Is there a UI topic that you would like to learn more about while at SAPPHIRE NOW? How about a UI project that you are working on and would like to get advice from the experts or discuss it with peers who have implemented something similar?

Preparations are underway to put together the best agenda concerning SAP’s Database and Technology solutions for this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW events. Initial content includes customer panels to discuss portals and content solutions such as SAP NetWeaver Portal and theater presentations to learn about SAP’s UI strategy and trends. There are also test drive areas and hands-on demos to discover how solutions such as SAP NetWeaver Gateway can help companies extend the reach of their SAP data. In adition, discussion tables are being planned for deep dive discussions on how to maximize the value of IT investments with solutions such as Duet Enterprise.

We want to hear from you! As we move forward with these preparations, we would like to get your thoughts and ideas on the subjects that you are most interested in to make sure that we deliver the content and experience that you have come to expect from SAPPHIRE NOW.

Use the Comments section below to submit your ideas or Tweet them to us @SAPWorkSmarter!

#SAPGateway #DuetEnterprise #SAPPortal #UI

SAP NetWeaver Gateway – Extracts from an interview with Adi Kavaler

Some consider SAP NetWeaver® Gateway a game changer in the sense that it empowers non-SAP developers to build applications that integrate SAP® with a variety of user experiences, something that was never possible before. I spent some time with Adi Kavaler, Head of Solution Management for SAP NetWeaver Gateway, talking about Gateway and its objectives, functionality, tools, and the road ahead. Here are some highlights from this interview.
Connecting information workers to critical business informationNot too long ago, information workers worked on isolated applications, in diverse environments and with very different experiences. They spent their time with productivity applications (e.g. Outlook, Word and other software), rarely having to interact with information from SAP or any other business application. This led to employees not knowing how to operate or take advantage of the information stored in technology assets that the company had invested in. Identifying an opportunity to change this, SAP decided to focus on the users working environment of choice and to format the information in a way that they could easily consume it. Hence, Gateway was born.

Bringing SAP data to any user experience

SAP NetWeaver Gateway provides the ability to enable consumption of SAP data through any application, experience or user interface. Developers can easily integrate critical SAP information into web, desktop or mobile applications and thereby create new exciting experiences and business processes for end users which we have not seen before.

“The ultimate goal is to get SAP data into people’s environments
taking advantage of the different platforms, devices and environments
they are using (e.g. social media, mobile devices, browser applications).
SAP NetWeaver Gateway is making this possible by offering the ability
to consume information through a variety of new channels.”
 Multi-purpose, multi-channel enabler

Emerging media, especially social networks, are offering companies new avenues to gather information and connect with consumers. Some companies are using their social profiles as a communication medium while others are using social media data to look for trends, do so sentiment analysis, etc. Some companies are taking this a step further and using Gateway to integrate social media with their business data to offer better services and/or products. For instance, a global sports apparel manufacturer is building a network of gyms that use their equipment (e.g. treadmills, bikes, etc.) in order to better serve their community of customers. Through Gateway, they are capturing information from the dedicated applications running on the equipment as well as from the user’s social media profiles. They are using this information to get a better understanding of the way people exercise so they can provide relevant advise to users in order to help them improve their workout, achieve their fitness goals, etc.

Adding developers to the equation

In order to deliver a variety of experiences, custom applications need to be developed by developers that are experts in building user interfaces. To enable productivity of those developers, Gateway offers a simplified development environment where developers can use the tools they are most comfortable and familiar with to build applications. In addition, since Gateway will be featured in the Development Center (to be released soon), developers will be able to connect with other developers and share knowledge, get advise, access sandboxes to practice, etc. so they can quickly get up to speed and start building innovative solutions.

Mobility as the new UI

One of the main integrations that customers are requesting is for business data to be accessible through mobile devices. Gateway facilitates the consumption of SAP data through mobile devices by providing the services that connect SAP’s Business Suite and the mobile platform. The integration with the mobile platform enables functionality such as data synchronization, offline support, multi-device management, etc. providing additional value to the applications supported by Gateway.   

For more information about SAP NetWeaver Gateway, visit:

 

SAP UI at the Administration & Infrastructure 2012 Conference

 

SAP UI solutions will be featured in presentations and at SAP’s booth during the Administration & Infrastructure 2012 Conference in Las Vegas from February 28 – March 2. Attendees will be able to talk to experts, learn from presentations, participate in interactive discussion forums and watch live demos featuring SAP NetWeaver Gateway, SAP NetWeaver Portal and Duet Enterprise.Here is a quick overview of SAP UI’s sessions during the event:

February 28, 2012

1:15 – 2:30 pmDiscussion Forum at SAP’s booth Any environment, any developer: What SAP NetWeaver Gateway means to youThis interactive forum examines common SAP technology platform and system architecture challenges, including the need for enhanced communication, secure information sharing, and improved interoperability.  Coupled with this discussion are live demos that show how SAP NetWeaver Gateway helps overcome these challenges by providing simple and standard access to business processes and data using any device and environment.
5:30 – 6:15 pmDiscussion Forum at SAP’s booth Fast track to innovation: How to quickly develop solutions using SAP NetWeaver Gateway Take your knowledge of SAP NetWeaver Gateway one step further and join this expert roundtable for insight into the most important concepts of application architecture, development, and integration.  Discuss key implementation considerations and view demos that show how your use of SAP NetWeaver Gateway impacts system architecture, from data connectivity to user experience.

 

February 29, 2012

11:30 – 12:15 pmDiscussion Forum at SAP’s booth Improving user productivity with SAP NetWeaver Portal Wish you could do more to improve usability of SAP? In this session we will discuss how to use SAP NetWeaver Portal to improve user experience and boost user productivity. Coupled with this discussion are demos of key portal capabilities that drive business value while engaging users and allowing them to perform their required business functions.

 

March 1, 2012

10:15 – 11:00 amDiscussion Forum at SAP’s booth Creating modern user experiences with SAP UI technologies This interactive forum discusses the range of user interface (UI) options available to SAP customers and provides insight into capabilities and requirements of each option. Coupled with this discussion are demos of various UI and an opportunity to see how they can be leveraged to deliver business information and applications to any user, through any interface, and on any device in order to increase business users’ productivity.
11:45 – 12:30 pmDiscussion Forum at SAP’s booth Best practices for integrating SAP and Microsoft Sharepoint This interactive forum discusses two of the most common requirements of SAP and Microsoft customers:- Business users require unified and simplified access to the data and actions they need

- Greater ability to meet business requirements

Coupled with this discussion are demos of ?Duet Enterprise and an opportunity to see how it blends SAP with Microsoft SharePoint, combining collaboration and productivity with business data and processes.

 

March 2, 2012

8:30 – 9:45 amSession No. 123 Extend the reach of SAP applications to business users with SAP NetWeaver GatewayLearn how to leverage SAP NetWeaver Gateway to connect a variety of user experiences — such as social networks, collaboration tools, interactive Web applications, and mobile devices — to SAP applications. Examine key concepts and protocols such as REST and OData and gain insight how your use of SAP NetWeaver Gateway impacts system architecture, from data connectivity to user experience. Explore the most important concepts of application architecture, development, and integration, and understand the benefits and implications of leveraging SAP NetWeaver Gateway — including tips for determining whether and how to use the tools in a complementary fashion. Explore real-world examples of the business scenarios and solutions implemented by leading SAP customers and partners using SAP NetWeaver Gateway. Take home a consolidated list of features, implementation considerations, and sample code.

 

For more information about the event and to register, please visit: http://www.admin2012.com/.

 

Productivity tips by SAP employees (Interview Series)

Mark van Heijningen is responsible for LE Marketing in SAP‘s Market Unit The Netherlands. He has been with SAP for almost 7 years contributing in different Marketing roles, including Solution, Industry and SME focus. Currently, he is located in Palo Alto and is participating in SAP’s Top Talent Fellowship Program. In his fellowship role, Mark is supporting the Global Technology Marketing team with the Integrated Marketing Planning for SAP Mobility.
1. What’s the biggest challenge that you face in your current role?Dedicate enough time to strategic projects since these are projects that have a bigger impact than just the short term. They can be innovative or new, and they require more time to achieve the results. An example could be a data quality improvement project where you won’t see the results in marketing KPIs right away, but in the long term you’ll profit from better conversion rates.

2. How do you keep productive during your day?

Spread different types of activities through the day. For example, right after lunch get some physical activities done (e.g. process your mail, etc.), don’t start most days with opening the mailbox and responding to the first e-mails (I usually start with a dedicated task that I want to accomplish that day), and try to participate only in meetings that are truly relevant to your role.

3. In your opinion, what is the secret to a successful career in the SAP world?

Keep innovative, thinking in both quick wins as well as more strategic improvements. It’s also important to be accountable for your ideas and projects. And don’t forget to share the progress of those projects with colleagues and management so that they can anticipate where you and SAP are heading. 

4. What’s your favorite mobile app?

In general, Angry Birds is addictive… In business terms, Evernote is very easy to use, especially when I am on a conference. And SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is a fantastic tool, and uploading your own dataset is very useful.

5. Where can we find you online?

LinkedIn is the B2B standard in The Netherlands and I have been using this a lot for a long time. Twitter, I use more occasional and Facebook is mostly for my friends and family network. I don’t write a Blog, but from time to time I do react within discussions on Molblog (Dutch Marketing weblog).

Duet Enterprise at SAP TechEd Madrid 2011 + SAPPHIRE NOW

 Experts from SAP and Microsoft will be on hand at SAP TechEd Madrid + SAPPHIRE NOW next week to discuss Duet Enterprise latest projects, talk about new features and tools, show demos and provide information about partner’s innovative solutions. If you are attending, take advantage of the following activities: Duet Enterprise by SAP and Microsoft
Session Information Date and Time
Duet Enterprise for Microsoft SharePoint and SAP (Networking Session)Hosted by Holger Bruchelt, Duet Enterprise Solution Manager at SAP, this session is for you to ask questions about Duet Enterprise and get valuable insights from customers and peers. Tuesday, November 83:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Wednesday, November 10

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

SAP and Microsoft: Building Apps for Both Worlds Using Duet Enterprise and Gateway (Hands-on Session)Learn about Duet Enterprise and Gateway in the context of SAP and Microsoft interoperability in this session. Learn how to build applications for Duet Enterprise and SAP NetWeaver Gateway that can be consumed by Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Office 2010 and even Microsoft-based mobile devices. Tuesday, November 92:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Duet Enterprise: In-depth Overview of Duet Enterprise and Feature Pack I (Lecture)Discover how Duet Enterprise can help IT serve the business more effectively and enable employees to consume and extend SAP applications from Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office. Understand how the Feature Pack for Duet Enterprise helps accelerate the development of Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Office applications consuming SAP data and services. See a demo and learn how users can benefit from unified and simplified access to the information and actions they need. In this session, we will also review the product functionality and architecture. Tuesday, November 912:15 pm – 1:15 pm

 

Partner Innovation with Duet Enterprise (Networking Session)A Duet Enterprise partner will lead this session sharing their experience, results and benefits of integrating the worlds of Microsoft and SAP leveraging Duet Enterprise.   Wednesday, November 101:00 pm – 1:30 pm &

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Duet Enterprise: In-Depth Overview (2-Hour Pod)An opportunity to have deep dive conversations with Duet Enterprise experts about Duet Enterprise and how the solution can be leveraged to enable interoperability between the worlds of Microsoft and SAP. Wednesday, November 103:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Friday, September 16

9:15 am – 10:15 am

To register for the event and for more information, visit http://www.sapteched.com/emea. The event will take place from November 8 – 10 at the Feria de Madrid. 
Duet Enterprise, a product jointly developed by SAP and Microsoft, combines the collaboration and productivity supported by Microsoft SharePoint with the business data and business-processing functionality of SAP applications.

Productivity tips by SAP employees (Interview Series)

Shahar Man is a Development Manager in SAP Labs Israel. He has been with SAP for more than 8 years, starting as a Developer, moving on to Team Lead and Development Manager. During his tenure at SAP, he has been involved with several technologies and products including SAP Business One, Duet, Duet Enterprise, and more recently, SAP NetWeaver Gateway.
1. What’s the biggest challenge that you face in your current role? As a Development Manager and a people manager in a global development organization, one thing I find challenging (but extremely rewarding when it succeeds) is to keep the group laser focus on its goals while always leaving room for their bottom up innovative ideas. It’s great to find the sweet spots when people are passionate about new technologies and can come up with cool stuff that meets the need of the hour and find its way to our customers.

2. How do you keep productive during your day?

Here are some tips that work for me, I divided them to categories:

MS Outlook best practices

Outlook signatures: Use the outlook signatures function to instantly embed important information to your mails and meeting requests, e.g. have a new signature called “my SAP Connect Details”, when you initiate a new meeting request, choose insert-> signature to embed your SAP Connect dial in numbers and URLs , instead of looking them over and over again.

OOOps: It happens to all of us, you click on the send button of your mail and you immediately realize you forgot to: add a recipient, attach a document, add an important comment, etc. My trick is to add an outlook rule that delays all email deliveries for 1 minute (it takes just a few clicks to set it up). The emails wait patiently in your outbox for a full minute before they get sent giving you time to go back and change it as you wish, it has saved me so many times.

Read Later = Read Never: I don’t use folders to file emails to be read later; with the corporate pace, if it’s not in your inbox, you will simply never read it.

- Colorful calendar: I’m using colorful categories for the different type of meetings I’m joining (e.g. intense management meetings = Red, lunch = Orange, relaxed brain storming with my team = Green,  etc..). With just a quick glance at my calendar in the morning or the beginning of the week, I can tell what kind of day/week I have ahead and hence balance my energies. e.g. if Tuesday is mostly Red, I will consider pushing one of my tasks to a Greener Wednesday.

Tasks

I maintain three task lists on a single page that I always keep visible on my desk:

  • Urgent – up to 3 things that must be completed by EOD
  • Important  – with high priority but not urgent
  • Personal – tasks of personal nature (e.g. booking travel requests, expense report)

Meetings:

My physicist friend once told me “Important is a vector and not a scalar,” a meeting is not just important, it is important to someone. So make sure you are this someone before you automatically accept; try to understand if you have a vital role in the meeting.

3. In your opinion, what is the secret to a successful career in the SAP world?

There are so many opportunities out there offered by the company on so many levels: so many different roles, completely different products in so many locations all over the planet. Ask yourself where you want to be 5 years from today, it will usually help you with find your next career ideas. I think the secret is to keep moving away from your comfort zone. Stay open minded and no matter what you have done till now, there is so much more to explore and learn. As an example, in the past, I moved from a development team lead position in SAP Business One to a similar position in Duet. Although it was not considered a promotion, I enjoyed and learned from the change to a product with a more technological focus rather than Business logic focus.

4. What’s your favorite mobile app? 

Fruit ninja is my weakness.

5. Where can we find you online?

Linkedin and twitter (@ManShahar)

Attending the SharePoint Conference?

 Companies looking for solutions to help them integrate their SharePoint platform with SAP systems, should consider Duet Enterprise. A product jointly developed by SAP and Microsoft, Duet Enterprise combines the collaboration and productivity supported by Microsoft SharePoint with the business data and business-processing functionality of SAP applications. Duet Enterprise by SAP and Microsoft
 If you are attending the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2011, visit SAP’s booth (No. 431) and take advantage of the opportunity to talk to Duet Enterprise experts and see first-hand how the solution works, learn about its features and capabilities, and get best practices and tips from customers and partners. In addition, attend the following presentations,  disccusions and executive breakfast to obtain insights and information about the latest updates and initiatives related to Duet Enterprise and its partners:
Session Time and Location
Free your Data, and the rest will follow: 5 ways to gain deeper insights with Duet EnterpriseImagine being able to create and/or approve a purchase order, or receive real-time alerts from the manufacturing facility, or see your sales opportunities stored in SAP without ever leaving the SharePoint environment. With Duet Enterprise you can. Learn how to increase your productivity, collaborate effectively with peers and make better business decisions by seamlessly accessing data from SAP systems through the familiar interface provided by Microsoft SharePoint. Find out how to get started and get recommendations on how to achieve the best results. Tuesday, October 4
1:15 – 1:30 pm
SharePoint Express
Meet the Experts An opportunity for in-depth discussions with Duet Enterprise and SAP NetWeaver Gateway experts. Tuesday, October 4
2:30 – 3:30 pm
SharePoint Express
Discover how Duet Enterprise can help companies bridge the gap between the worlds of SAP and MicrosoftJoin us for breakfast to learn about Duet Enterprise solutions and strategies to enable interoperability between SAP and Microsoft, discover how a customer is currently using Duet Enterprise, and review business scenarios and innovative solutions developed by one of our partners using Duet Enterprise. Engage in discussions with our 4 panelists and get tips and insights into how to maximize your IT investments on SAP and Microsoft while enabling collaboration, boosting business agility and increasing user productivity. Wednesday, October 5
7:30 – 9:00 am
Anaheim Convention Center, Room 205AB
How is Duet Enterprise helping customers in the real world?Productivity. Collaboration. Growth. Customers are seeing positive results in these three areas after implementing Duet Enterprise, a solution jointly developed by SAP and Microsoft that combines the collaboration and productivity supported by Microsoft SharePoint with the business data and business processing functionality of SAP applications. Join us for this session where we will review examples of customer’s business scenarios and the solutions that partners have developed based on Duet Enterprise to help them achieve their desired results. In addition, learn how Duet Enterprise can enable intersystem interoperability and what that can mean to your business, IT department, end-users and extended network. Wednesday, October 5
9:00 – 10:15 am
Bring the power of SAP applications to Microsoft SharePoint platformJoin us to learn how simple it is to consume and extend SAP software content through any device or environment. You will discover how developers with no SAP software knowledge can bring the power of SAP applications to different users and enable new ways of working. We will discuss several solutions, including Duet Enterprise, a solution jointly developed by SAP and Microsoft, which combines the strength of SharePoint business collaboration platform with SAP’s world-leading business processes. At the end of the session you will have the information you need to start getting more value out of your IT investments immediately. Wednesday, October 5
1:45 – 3:00 pm
 The SharePoint Conference will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA from October 3rd to the 6th. To register and for more information, visit: www.mssharepointconference.com.

Productivity tips by SAP employees (Interview Series)

Barbara Gmeiner is a Marketing Manager working in the Business User & Solution Marketing Group, Market Unit Germany, SAP. She has been with SAP for 8 years contributing to different groups including SAP Consulting, SAP for retail, CFO solutions, and Business Analytics. She is currently participating in SAP’s Top Talent Fellowship Program playing a key role in driving the launch of new SAP HANA applications.
1. What’s the biggest challenge that you face in your current role?  Working in cross-functional teams across different countries and time zones makes it sometimes a bit difficult the get things done very quickly. Finding a common time slot in this kind of team set-up can be a task that is not easy to fulfill. But, I enjoy this working environment. By collaborating with people from different departments, countries and cultures, you really broaden your horizons, get new ideas and learn from each other. This is indeed enlightening. 

2. How do you keep productive during your day?

I try to keep focused by not reading incoming emails and concentrating on my task until it’s finished. Furthermore, I take a short walk every day to clear my head. In regards to meetings, I only attend the ones that are really important for getting my work done; meetings where my participation is crucial and where I get important information and new ideas to improve my work.  

3. In your opinion, what is the secret to a successful career in the SAP world?

I think that it’s important to do your work with passion and commitment, take responsibility, see the broader picture and don’t think in silos. It’s also important to build a good network and be a team player but taking the lead when necessary.

4. What’s your favorite mobile app?

I have heard about an app for travel expenses. I think this would be very practical as you can process your expenses while waiting for your flight or train. It’s an app that allows you to save valuable time by not having to get your expenses done while you are at the office.

5. Where can we find you online?

Facebook and Xing (German equivalent to LinkedIn).

Productivity tips by SAP employees (Interview series)

 

Introducing our Productivity Tips by SAP Employees interview series, a set of short interviews with SAP employees who will share with us some of their challenges at work and how they stay productive throughout their day. We start this series with Thomas Grassl from SAP’s Solution Marketing team and will bring you new insights and recommendations every other Wednesday, so stay tuned!
  Thomas Grassl is Senior Director of Solution Marketing for SAP. Mr. Grassl has more than 15 years of experience in the software industry specializing in enterprise applications. At SAP, Mr. Grassl leads technology marketing for User Interaction and Mobility responsible for analyzing market trends, defining and marketing solutions that serve the productivity needs of enterprise users and external consumers.
1. What’s the biggest challenge that you face in your current role?The marketing area I manage covers a broad product portfolio area, with different marketing requirements. This requires a constant balance between standardizing on core marketing activities while still addressing the specific solution needs. Biggest challenge is to empower the different teams to maximize marketing for their area while keeping overall operations and information going.

2. How do you keep productive during your day?

I’m a big fan for GTD (Getting Things Done). This helps me to put the activities in to the context/project I’m working on and I don’t need to remember things. Works pretty good. Another productivity trick I apply is turn off all email notification and work down my inbox at certain times.

3. In your opinion, what is the secret to a successful career in the SAP world?

Understand what makes companies improve their business outcome, competitiveness and their bottom line. Apply this to whatever you do in your job – “how is this impacting the business.”

4. What’s your favorite mobile app?

So far, Twitter on my Blackberry.

5. Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @grassl

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SAP StreamWork at SAP TechEd Las Vegas 2011

SAP StreamWork is a collaborative decision-making solution that brings together the people, information, and proven business approaches to drive fast, meaningful results.
At SAP TechEd Las Vegas, SAP StreamWork experts will provide information and show live examples of how companies can leverage the solution’s decision-making and collaboration tools to bring people together and drive results. If you are attending the conference, register for the following sessions and make sure to schedule some time to talk with SAP StreamWork experts: 
Session Information Date and Time
SAP User Interface Strategy and Roadmap (Lecture)This session will explain the cornerstones of the SAP user interface (UI) strategy providing insights into the current SAP UI portfolio and future direction in terms of major UI frameworks, clients, and tools. Additionally, the session will help you understand the influence of new focus areas including: HTML5, mobile, SAP data and SAP StreamWork applications, and how they fit in the overall UI strategy. Tuesday, September 1310:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

Wednesday, September 14

4:30 pm – 6:30 pm 

Collaborative Decision Making in the Enterprise with SAP StreamWork (Lecture)SAP StreamWork is the first and only software as a service (SaaS) collaborative decision-making solution that brings together people, information, and methods to drive fast, meaningful results. In this session you will learn with live examples how to leverage SAP StreamWork in your daily work and how business solutions can be extended with collaborative, analytical, and social intelligence capabilities based on SAP StreamWork. Tuesday, September 1310:15 am – 11:15 am

 

Thursday, September 15

3:15 pm – 4:15 pm 

Leverage the Power of Social Networks in your organization (Lecture)SAP People capability, lets you quickly explore and find the people and connections to do your job. This session will explain how to use SAP StreamWork People capability to create your own social network and to collaborate efficiently as part of a cross-organization network. Tuesday, September 133:15 pm – 4:15 pm

 

Thursday, September 15

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Developing Collaborative Solutions with SAP StreamWork (Lecture)Have you ever wondered how to bring more collaborative capabilities into your business scenarios? And how to extend the reach of your business solutions? Then this session is for you. We will guide you through some of the existing integrations with SAP StreamWork and give you an overview of how to leverage the SAP StreamWork APIs to bring more collaboration into your business processes. Wednesday, September 145:45 pm – 6:45 pm

 

Friday, September 16

10:30 am – 11:30 am 

SAP TechEd Las Vegas will take place at the Venetian Hotel from September 12th to the 16th. To register and for more information, visit: www.sapteched.com/usa/.

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