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Can you retrospect about an event that was only a month ago? Podcast/Video!

Did I say last month that I was not going to write any more blogs about the 2008 ASUG and Sapphire conferences?  Perhaps.   But a couple things have happened this week, so I’m sharing a retrospective of a few more highlights from the shows.

School Daze 

First, I’ve been meaning to relate parts of a conversation that shel israel and I had with Dr. Simha Magal of Grand Valley State University, as we were waiting for the bus to take us to the Clapton concert.    Dr. Magal shared a story about his curriculum in the Seidman College of Business, where they teach SAP software practices.    While I’ve not heard of this, I have heard of Grand Valley State University, as it has been the site of ASUG Michigan chapter meetings, and I had mapped the site with google.

Example of plotting an ASUG Chapter meeting site:,-83.012695&spn=12.371902,26.279297&z=5 

If anyone can correct the building location to a finer resolution, that would be great! 

Today, Dr. Magal responded to the LinkedIn invitation I sent just after the annual conference; if I can speak to Michigan volunteers this weekend at the ASUG planning meeting, I’ll want to know more about the way students are learning using Second Life, and other new media. Shel said he’d fly there to see this in action, as he had not heard of using these teaching methods either.

Media 1 

Earlier this week, SAP TV released 2 different “variants” of a conference video, and I was happy to see that I made the final cut.

The YouTube trailer is online here: 

“Connect Geeks & Suits” “Jim Spath” “Black & Decker” Wow! That’s me!

Thank you, Princess Von Trapp!

Short version: 00:02:56

Full version: 00:03:55

Jon And I 


Jon Reed and I met at the blogger area (and a couple other places), and for some reason he thought he should interview me.  Jon has allowed me to share this, as long as I provide proper acknowledgment of his site and sponsor(s). 

Wrapper texts are here:

And, the podcast link (almost 35 minutes): 


Note that these are my opinions.  If you agree or disagree, add comments to this blog. 

What went well, what could be improved?

What went well?

  • Registration was pretty simple for me, arriving in the middle of the day Sunday. I heard complaints that the bar-coded forms were sent out late, but I don’t think that was a major hassle. I had to argue to get a speaker badge, and I had to show them my name in the book.
  • The pre-conference days sessions worked out well, from what I’ve heard, although attendance ranged from full to sparse. I think there were time conflicts Sunday, with a few events overlapping others.
  • There’s no way to top Clapton, unless half the Beatles came back to life.
  • The last day sessions were better attended than in prior years, I thought. The Data Governance session had a good turnout, and Butch McNally told me the SAP/MS interoperability free, Wednesday afternoon session was also valuable.

What could be improved?

  • I’ve written about bottled water elsewhere, so I’ll just mention that I see ways that we can demonstrate better citizenship.
  • Keynote speakers and times changed drastically from years past, and even chaned up to a few weeks before the conference.  Conference planners – we like to have our education tracks uninterrupted.  Thank you.
  • The ASUG Community meeting I attended part-time overlapped 2 conference sessions, making the coverage challenging. I’m not sure how this could work better, except by getting back lost education hours.



And now, on with the show(s)!  Plans are well underway for fall events. I’m not going to Las Vegas.  I am planning to go to the ASUG fall event in Nashville; and there’s another in Dallas.  Before you know it, the CALL FOR SPEAKERS for next year’s 2009 ASUG conference (again in Orlando) will be open, so it’s not to soon to start thinking about what you want to present!

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  • Jim, it was such a pleasure to meet you in Orlando – finally. I am very happy that you like the video. Of course, it is only as good as its protagonists :-). Well done!!