From where did they come from? Who were they? Where were they going for dinner?
Our protagonists and main heros of the story were Natalia S. and Guido S. (no, they were not married to each other). Both long term and life crucial software developers for a rather unbeknownst but quite sizeable company here in the Bay Area.
The reason they had to climb up the hill was a meeting with their board member, Shai Agassi, who resides in an office in a luxury building at the top of the Hasso Hill. Shai, who may not be mistaken for this tennis player, who is married to the German tennis player Steffi, who is from Schwetzingen, which is close to Heidelberg, which itself is not all too far from Walldorf, where the Headquarter of this nearly unbeknownst company is – where was I? ah, yes – Shai Agassi is responsible for coding. Coding, of course, that sells.
They came together to discuss, with what obligatory coding mankind could be honoured this time. Discussions about such irrelevant topics are led rather seldom in this company. Shai saw the time come to discuss it on this very day, especially as he felt that his chance to influence the direction of such a discussion were strong. (It must be mentioned, that stubborn SAP developers tend to be real wisecracks and find countless reasons, why something did not, can not, and will never work. But today they were out of breath from the climb up the hill.)
Shai Let’s make it happen together and build a.. a.. what’s the word for it?
Guido still breathing heavily, gasping for air: Air!
Shai Air/3! That’s it!
Natalia shaking the head in disagreement, and in her exhaustion switches to her Russian mother-tongue: Njet!
Shai NjetWeaver! Brilliant idea. Let’s make NjetWeaver!
We shall not recap the whole discussion, the logic of thoughts might stun people who were not present in this meeting. I shall only let you know the result: SAP Analytics
That was the point, where history and great poets will be quoting the following words of severity from two committed men:
Shai SAP Analytics! Can you make it, oh my dear Guido?
Guido That might rest too heavy on my shoulders and be absolutely impossible!
Shai He shall not tell me it’s impossible. He shall tell me that he is going to think about it! I will give him a week!
Guido It will take me at least 3 days!
Shai So it be, I shall grant 10 weeks for doing so, but not a single year more.
Guido You’ll have it tomorrow, but hear this as my final word!
Man, it’s tough to negotiate with Shai. And both Guido and Natalia rolled down the hill to brew SAP Analytics in their cauldrons. Some Business Intelligence here, Macromedia Flash there, spittle from a thousand spiders, some chunks of dragon-breath, a magic spell in an ancient language, and with a loud crunch the thing fell on the floor. It was still ice-cold, quite slimy and unshaved, but very much alive: the first animated pie chart could be seen revolving in it. While the moon was lightening the dark room, their faces smiled: they had made real coding.
Guido S. demonstrated the SAP-spirit: Impossible things we finish immediately. For miracles we need a day.
And the next day two slightly chubby figures slowly walked up a small hill, breathing slowly. Their hands clutched tightly around a dithering something. The animated charts proved hard to tame and the data was dragging them to earth, but they knew that Shai will not throw them as punishment into the CRM development: they had already suffered enough.
And it was as foreseen by the old seer Nostradamus: The craving of Shai will be appeased by SAP Analytics.
Shai gave Guido and Natalia some feedback of outstanding significance on the way (Put this button on the left side., Change the text from “Send” to “Subscribe”) and down they went again. And up, and down, and up and down. And down, and up.
Then it was the last night, and the following morning two athletic looking figures with luxury bodies speed up the slightly ascending slope. On their fingertips revolved some cutely styled, dancing graphs, beating the rhythm for our two developers.
What can be said? Shai was beaming, danced the steps of victory with them and with some really minor additions to improve the perfect code (Make it exportable into Powerpoint., Integrate it with Peoplesoft., Make the pie chart smell like chocolate cake.), he sent them down to celebrate with some bottles of butter beer. And then they called the other druids, magicians, witches and some developers to make it happen together.
How can customers enlist in the diet program? That’s very easy: we give them SAP Analytics and while they are hypnotized by the many rotating pie charts, we reduce the weight – of their wallets…
More anecdotes can be found in the Humour@SAP weblog series.