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Author's profile photo Twan van den Broek

SAP TechEd 2009 Vienna Recap

SAP TechEd 2009 Europe: Maximize your impact.

Maximize your impact

A recap from my perspective.



SAP is recognizing the power of communities, working on collaborative innovations beyond company borders. At least during the keynote at SAP TechEd. Let’s see how this comes in practice. Is a company as SAP really interested in working together with other consultancy firms or are they just referring to ‘end-customers’?

The biggest part of the keynote was about: Business Objects – Business Objects and Business Objects. Marge stated that only 1 employee out of 5 has enough information to do his/her job. One out of five, that makes you think! No wonder that a lot of attention is pointed at the information business area.
I personally think that SAP did a good investment to incorporate BOBJ in its suite. Insight in data and processes is key in being successful doing your business. Deliver the right info (Business Objects) at the right time (BPM) whenever you need it (Portals and Mobility).
However please note that the SAP TechEd audience is not only BOBJ oriented, there are a lot of developers, portal specialists, integration consultants, BPX, … that were able to make the business case to visit SAP TechEd. It would have been very polite to have paid attention to their focus areas as well.

The demo by Ian was a demo as expected on stage at SAP TechEd. You have to watch the replay [starting at 1:33:30]. It was about using mobile, web and SAP technology to really support you in doing your work.

After the keynote I planned to go to SOA260, SAP Technology: Putting it all together. But ended up preparing the BPX Process Design Slam evening event with Marilyn Pratt, Greg Chase and others. Finally we had time to sit together physically and to share ideas on how to make the #bpxslam09 a successful event. More in my The BPX Process Design Slam 2009 of this fun evening event.

BPM160, SAP NetWeaver BPM for Business Process Experts

It was hard to choose between this session and BPM161 which had a more developers approach. Decided for the BPX version in order to validate how SAP is trying to involve the business people in SAP projects. To bridge the gap between business and IT will facilitate them working together and by that deliver innovative solutions at high speed. To do so business and IT have to agree on the same language, that can be BPMN and SAP NetWeaver BPM can be the tool to be used by both BPX and developers.
Great new feature is to have a business friendly modeler. Without all kind of techie errors, business people will start using the SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio. What about a light version, meant for business people?


The biggest difference with previous years was that DemoJam was more about ‘Demo’ than ‘Jam’. None of the participants were actually coding on stage. I thought that this was a prerequisite? Nothing wrong with the demo’s, don’t get me wrong. Just different than last years.
Again a lot of Business Objects infiltration. Things just look very fancy when BOBJ dashboards are used.
Funny thing is that Yowie was the winner on Twitter whilst the live audience chose for BOBJ on an iPhone, lots of Business Objects people in the room? Suggestion for next year is to incorporate voting via Twitter.
Make up your own mind by watching the DemoJam replay.


BPM260, Best practices through simple samples using SAP NetWeaver BPM and ES Workplace

With the service repository getting filled with more and more services it becomes harder to find the right one for your process. Remember the SE37 dilemma? Lots of function modules or BAPI’s with a name that sort of describes what you want to do. But no documentation and thus a hard job to actually find the right one and to learn how to use it.
The ES workplace is enhanced with two great features:

  • Example data which show what data needs to be provided and what you will get as a result.
  • Simple sample apps, downloadable example applications which can be imported in SAP NetWeaver BPM to get a kick start for your own process.

BPM162, Debugging, Monitoring, Traceability and Troubleshooting with SAP NetWeaver BPM

This show got cancelled. Sad news as this is one of the key success areas of SAP NetWeaver BPM. Wish I could watch the USA replay.


Live interview by Marilyn Pratt with Wout de Jong, Caspar Laar and me about the BPX Process Design Slam of Tuesday evening.

Watch the SAP TV replay.

BPM262, SAP NetWeaver BPM Integration with Visual Composer

This session unfortunately got hacked by lots of ‘beatures’, bugs or features. I didn’t make it to the interesting Visual Composer part as the process in BPM just didn’t want to get error free. Finally our instructor stated to start all over again. Not really an option as time was running out. I will have to wait for the CE7.2 download version to do this at home.

BPM264, Asynchronous Communication and correlation handling with SAP NetWeaver BPM

BPM in CE7.2 gets extended with intermediate events. Processes can be modeled as they are. Sometimes a process has to wait for another process, maybe in another system, to complete. This feature makes it possible.
I made it to the end and got all exercises working. Great session.


BPM113, Eneco implementing outage management with SAP NetWeaver BPM

Real life story on using SAP NetWeaver BPM for outage management. An existing, mostly manual, process has turned into an automated process with manual intervention only at process steps that require so.
Eneco/Stedin had process management at 3 levels:

  • Business view, modeled with Casewise
  • BPM, modeled with SAP NetWeaver BPM
  • ERP, modeled with Solution Manager

Their biggest challenge was to manage the disappointments from previous SOA projects and the prejudices on SAP flexibility and user friendliness.

BPX Process Design Slam debrief

Watch the replay  about evening results, plans for SAP TechEd Bangalore and ideas for 2010.

Enterprise geeks

Enterprise Geeks interview by Thomas Jung with Marilyn Pratt and me on the BPX Process Design Slam and evil plans for 2010. Listen to the replay.

Agile meetup at the Expert Networking Sessions area

We had a lively discussion on Agile, Scrum and SAP. Currently I am involved in a large SOA SAP development project. Our Agile, Scrum approach is key in executing this project successfully. At the meetup spotted opportunities to apply the approach to the BI area as well.
In a more traditional SAP project, implementation of ECC Finance and Logistics functionality, Scrum doesn’t seem to be the first methodology that comes in mind. However I still believe that aspects of agile can be applied in such a project as well. Short iterations, multiple feedback moments and real team collaboration will ensure team focus on the end results. We need to collect experiences in that area.

One more day

Three days fully packed with sessions, hands-on training, discussions, meet ups, … I think we need one more day. Why is SAP TechEd USA offering one more day than Europe? With one more day the community events can get the time slots that they deserve, not just after the DemoJam. A new day does not mean that you need a lot more sessions. Please plan popular sessions at 2 or 3 time slots. It makes planning my personal agenda easier.
Please help me and put this in your evaluation form as well.

Final words

Great to see how SAP integrated Twitter in the event. Screensavers everywhere to get live updates from participants. Next stop is to get audience participation during keynote via Twitter, 2010?

Twitter Screensaver

When you are a frequent visitor you can clearly see the increments in SAP products. Besides the hands-on training and the latest roadmaps, SAP TechEd is also a great event to actually meet all the SDN/BPX bloggers, co-tweeters and SAP Mentors. Here the collaboration of the future is composed, beyond company borders within communities formed by people of the same mind.

Want to share SAP TechEd experiences? Join me at SAP Inside Track Eindhoven or Bonn.

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