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As TechEd Vienna is just about to kick off, I realized – while I was on a plane this past weekend – that I forgot to blog about what took place less than 2 weeks ago.
It is always tricky to summarize 4 days of activities taking place during the TechEd conference into a single blog, so I am going to try to give you my perspective of some of the activities that caught my attention during TechEd 2009 Phoenix.



TechEd 2009 Phoenix kicked off with the morning keynote event presented by Zia Yusuf (Executive VP – SAP Global Ecosystem and Partner Group), Dr. Vishal Sikka (CTO – SAP), and Ray Kurzweil (Inventor, Entrepreneur, Author, and Futurist).


Zia welcomed attendees and recognized all individuals acting as agents of change within the SAP ecosystem – thanks for highlighting the SAP Mentor initiative.

Within the difficult global economic context, and with change occurring rapidly, he highlighted fundamental elements of process changes within an organization:

  1. Event: an organization must change its strategy due to environmental shifts or product updates (i.e. a new market opportunity)
  2. Strategy: an organization must adapt its business processes accordingly (i.e. Sales, H/R, Manufacturing, etc.)
  3. Execution: Based on the new strategy, business software adjustments must be implemented, and each organization must rely on its ecosystem (people, partners, vendors) and consider each one as a potential agent of change

Zia then turn the stage to Vishal for his presentation.


Vishal’s presentation focused on the theme of Timeless Software that he had articulated previously in his blogs (Timeless Software: Part 1Timeless Software: Part 2, Timeless Software: Part 3). Here is a condensed list of the points he made during his presentation.

As change is pervasive, unstoppable, and accelerating, ensuring innovation without disruption is a recurring question among customers. Therefore a set of principles coined as Timeless software can be identified, which focuses in two core aspects: Content and Containers.

Based on that separation of concerns, the engineering process of Content and Containers must exhibit specific characteristics in order to enable technology to remain timeless (i.e. be usable for a significant period of time and not become deprecated in a relatively short time)
For the Content aspect, Vishal identified three areas:
    · Design Thinking (focus on the purpose, usage, and consumers of the application)
    · Intent | Optimization (runtime execution of the content that is fairly technology independent and interoperable – i.e. Cloud computing)
    · Adaptation for Consumers (i.e. ability to leverage content across multiple device environments)

For the Containers aspect, Vishal reviewed the key principles to ensure platform evolution based on optimization of physical resources – computing, network, and memory:
    · Modularity with Coherence (exposing capabilities through interfaces/events to ensure stability)
    · Locality of Design (construction of systems around locality)
    · Optimizing Across Layers (i.e. in-memory management technology, data management, multi-core CPU)

He then concluded his presentation with an architecture landscape review that encompasses the principles he had been describing previously.

Following Vishal, Ray took the stage.


Ray’s presentation was about the acceleration of change, and how today many science fields (i.e Biology) are becoming about Information Technology. Based on data he has been analyzing over time, he is proposing an extension of Moore’s law that forms the basis of the concept of Technological Singularity (link to Wikipedia).


If you need more details about Zia, Vishal and Ray’s keynote, you can watch the replay here.


Ad-hoc Meetings and Sessions

Throughout the conference, ad-hoc meetings and discussions took place, such as:

  • Expert Networking sessions in the Clubhouse
  • SAP Mentors meetings at the Clubhouse and throughout the Convention Center

I also had the opportunity to support multiple hands-on sessions (thanks to Peter McNulty, Boris Magocsi, Jeff Gebo, Radoslav Tsiklovski, Viliana Encheva, Ron Hendrickx, Horst Keller, Nick Holshouser, Blag), co-present an ASUG session (thanks to Bob Moloney), and attend other hands-on TechEd sessions (i.e. BPM, Search, ABAP, etc.).


RIA Hacker Night

Craig Cmehil welcomed us to RIA Hacker Night with a schedule full of demos, as well as some Pizza and free drinks so we would be ready for some serious coding 😉
Before Duane Nickull (Adobe) started his cool tutorials of the Flash Platform tools and capabilities, Rich Heilman and Thomas Jung demonstrated some of their fantastic coding efforts:

  • Rich showed us how easy it can be to develop Xcelsius components using Flash/Flex based technologies


  • Thomas demonstrated some really cool NetWeaver ABAP UI stuff, but the real kicker of his demo was his ‘hobby’ project: a REST framework integration for ABAP Objects




Even during some difficult economic times, SAP always produces a great TechEd event that focuses on delivering tangible value to all attendees. Any event of this scale must have operational logistics, collaboration tools, great speakers, key executives support, and partners represented in order to be successful.
Kudos to all the TechEd event team, mission accomplished again!
Safe journey to all SAP Mentors, and hope to see you all next year in Vegas!

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    You remind me Joseph that I still have many clips and pics to upload still from Phoenix and we are in the throes of Vienna here. Glad you find such value from the TechEd events.  I’ve heard great feedback from the access you all have had to folks like Marge Breya, Herve Couturier, as well as interactions with the SCN team and execs, and each other as SAP mentors and participants.   Transparency, access, approachability are words that resound here.

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