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For me, the closing SAPPHIRE event was the Don Henley concert which took place on the same main stage as the keynotes. Given that Don is in his early 60’s, I wondered if he could pull off the vocal range that he displayed early in his career. I was hesitant as to whether the touring band would have the proficiency of the Eagles.

I had no reason to worry. Don’s range was amazing and the band was tremendous. Closing my eyes, I could almost imagine that this was the Eagles of 20 years ago.

I was particularly impressed by the rendition of one of my favorite Don Henley songs, “The Boys of Summer”. For those that don’t know this 1984 song, it became famous for the lyric “I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.”  The dichotomy between counter-cultural Deadheads driving symbols of the establishment was supposedly inspired by Henley seeing fellow ex-Eagle Joe Walsh driving a Cadillac Hearse with a Grateful Dead sticker on it.

I know the analogy is a stretch, but I couldn’t help thinking about how counter-cultural Web 2.0 is now becoming mainstream, too. From SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, to the SAP Social Network Analyzer Prototype, to the new user interface of SAP CRM, Web 2.0 concepts are popping up all over SAP. Web 2.0 is the Deadhead sticker on SAP ERP.

Perhaps that is my most vivid memory from this SAPPHIRE. The world of making decisions and the world of executing them really do seem to have collided.

People are working very hard to help organizations ensure that what they say they want to do matches what they end up doing. And they are pursuing these opportunities in more sustainable ways.

In a difficult economy, the message was focused on delivering value. Nothing could be more clear.

Two notes: The Insights from SAPPHIRE platform closes on Fri but you can still access this content at SAPPHIRE Online. (If you return to the event link after 8 PM EDT you will be automatically redirected the the new destination.)  And for those that want to follow my normal blog, you can find it at http://alignment.wordpress.com/.

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