Hello to all recent, future and past visitors and participants of the SAP TechEd event. For those of you that are following the blogs regarding the event, you should already know what I am about to write (same thing like last year’s review and just change the date and the place – well not really). For the others, before I start to explain what I am about to write, let me just write it and we’ll see if something good comes out of it (comments appreciated).
As I was really impressed by the TechEd last year in Munich, I signed for this year’s event already in the pre-sales phase and believe me the reason was not to save the XX % out of the standard price, but really because I wanted to experience again the same spirit and feeling of the exhibition like last year. But as they say in real life – nothing is like the first time – well they were right. For those of you that weren’t participating last year, you can read my review for the event SAP TechEd 2007 Munich – ESOA – ExperienceS fOr A lifetime. For the rest I won’t waste your time on reading an article of how it used to be and how it is supposed to be, I’ll just give you my perspective of how it was.
So to start off, I arrived in Berlin on Monday and went through the pre-checking procedure since last year there was a massive queue waiting for their IDs 10 minutes before the key note and most of the people missed it because of that. Obviously SAP learned their lesson and this year there were so many counters for registering and taking your badge that even for the 4500 people the average registration time was less than 2 minutes. (WOW SAP….Congrats on this one). Monday went by and I woke up on Tuesday morning with an eager heart. I had high expectations, reaching over the hill of what was last year. First thing off – the ICC Berlin Messe – OMG ( the only comment I can make about it). Probably the most complicated place to get around with. As I got the map on Monday I still had time to really investigate what exactly was meant with it, so I just decided that following the signs should do it. First thing in the morning – i left my highly sofisticated map in the room. Using the “Fast Lane” at the entrance area was a good decision, but still not making much sense since as I said registration process was taking between 2-3 minutes. The key note started as planned and on time with a full hall. Unfortunately it was quite obvious that Leo Apotheker was not the right person with the right technical background for such a note. In my opinion he wasn’t enjoying it, neither did I. Anyway he got his applause and went offstage after his Demo guy cheered up the atmosphere with some quick and catchy Demos. During the key note I thought to myself that actually the evening event on Wednesday is also in the same hall. The event was a concert of the somehow unknown Steve Winwood. Then I realized that the complete place is seated only and there is no way they will manage to remove all those seats for the concert. Oh great I went to a sitting event….again OMG. For the so much sitting that I got those days it would have been appropriate to have a standing event (example: last year). Anyway I decided to pay it a visit and see if it is going to be as bad as I anticipated, but I’ll talk about it a bit later.
The most interesting and intruguing think I found about SAP TechEd 2008 were the hands-on session. Really, really and I mean really good content and presenters giving almost instant answers and providing excercises that actually make sense.
I personally attended more than 6 and they brought me up to a knowledge stand where I can make the “simple” calculation 2+2 = 7.1:) Yes that was the outcome of the whole TechEd actually, that whenever you want to connect, collaborate and co-innovate you better put your cards on SAP NW CE 7.1. It’s much faster than 7.0, provides really rapid development tools and can connect to practically any backend system. Putting the Enterprise Serrvice Repository on top is really the cherry of the sweet cake, which I managed to taste there.
Now this really nice cake was a bit spoiled by the whole organisation of the event, there were too less chairs for all participants during meal time (I’ve seen people sitting on the ground!!!), some of the hands-on rooms were so “good” air-conditioned that the tempreture inside was not more than 16 degrees and guess what – some of the sessions were 4 hours long!! But really the spoiled (this time) cherry on the top was the evening event on Wednesday. As I earlier anticipated – what did SAP though about when they organised a sitting event to some guy that not even 30 % of the complete audience knew. I mean no offence the music was ok, but the only collaboration possible was with the two persons sitting on my both sides. Really redicilous.
As I mentioned in the beginning without collaboration the co-innovation dies fast, so this is what happend to this event too – most of the pepole left far before the event was over. Surprisingly this year there was only PLASTIC BOTTLE BEER on the evening event and it tasted like…phew…
Since SAP did not provide what we expected – we had to organize on our own. Thank God that Berlin is a big city and provides a lot of potential to connect, collaborate and co-innovate!