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Parting thoughts on the final day in Orlando

It was really hard to get going this morning after last night’s evening of great entertainment by Don Henley, so as I feared, I missed the 8:00 AM NetWeaver Strategy Session: Identity Management Roadmap. Since several ASUG members had mentioned IdM projects as current or possible future projects in their landscapes, I will plan to ask the speaker, Bettina Schaeumer, to repeat the session in a web cast as soon as possible.


I did make it to one of my 9:00 sessions, Security and Compliance Best Practices for Global 500 Companies. Among the key takeaways: global 500 companies can see quick payback by implementing speedy and efficient GRC solutions. The speaker claimed that a good GRC solution implementation can result in improved reputation, increased employee retention, and revenue growth; I would have liked to have seen some references backing up those claims, but perhaps I will find it on the consultancy’s web site.


The second session I attended today was Security Design for Business Consolidation (BCS) within BI. The key takeaway for me was that the authorization objects of the Consolidation Workbench and Consolidation Monitor are different and apparently somewhat obscurely documented, so many iterations of testing and role troubleshooting were required to get the roles working as intended. Their project required more security resources than originally planned; realistic expectations and an early start to security modeling were strongly encouraged.


I made a brief stop in the ASUG Booth area, where I chatted with fellow SAP Mentor Jon Reed, and I also caught up with SAP Community Evangelist Mark Finnern just off the show floor area. It was great to reconnect with so many of the SAP Mentors during our time in Orlando.


On the SAP installation side, this year’s Conference attendees seemed to be primarily new SAP implementations, customers who are preparing for an upgrade or implementation of additional functionality, or people moving into new roles in their organization. In my observation, most of the “regulars” whom we’ve seen at ASUG Conferences for years were not with us this year. The schedule offered a wide variety of sessions, both on the ASUG education schedule and in the SAP Theatres; however, I would like liked to have had more time for education and spent less time in keynotes. I’m sure that the keynotes are very informative for the decision makers who come to SAPPHIRE with long range planning in mind, but for those of us in application support functions, we just need practical real world lessons about what we have installed or are in process of installing. Having both events come to a halt for so many keynotes really eats into the productive time. All the same, I came away feeling good about my time and money spent in Orlando.

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