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 After SAP Inside Track Sydney yesterday, I was psyched up even more for the first day of Mastering SAP Technologies.

After the Chairperson’s welcome, the opening Keynote was delivered by Abbe Mulders, recently retired VP and CIO of Dow Corning. I especially enjoyed her frank reporting of lessons learned from their web site project and the challenges they faced due to lack of industry knowledge in their original project team structure. I could see the truth in her admonishment that consultants only get you so far, and you really need in-house expertise on a project team.

Then the inestimable King of ABAP himself, Thomas Jung, delivered a keynote on Web Dynpro ABAP. There is real value in hearing about the NetWeaver roadmap from someone who really knows the technology, and Tom delivered it in such a way that you didn’t have to be a developer yourself to understand the features and benefits he was describing. The improved user experience gained from Web Dynpro ABAP certainly appears to bring considerable benefits; it was very exciting to hear about coming functionality such as CHIPs and Floorplan Manager.

I later attended a session by Mark Doran on Yellow Pages’ SAP Identity Management Journey. It is always interesting for me to hear from customers on the business drivers for their implementation of a solution, whether or not they achieved the expected benefits, and both the upside and the challenges of the deployment.

The topic of my presentation today was Maximising Your SAP Investment for Compliant User Provisioning. The main learning point was the benefits and risks of using HR and other data in SAP security processes. Letting HR processes, events, and data drive a lot of your SAP security user management and provisioning can help you have consistent user master data, but it is not without its potential risks and challenges. The demo of our provisioning toolset showed these principles in action.

Karin Tillotson’s presentation followed mine. The Evolution of Information Lifecycle Management is a topic she knows inside and out, from her work on the ASUG Influence Council on this solution. For me one of the key take-aways was that e-discovery involves much more than emails these days; Karin pointed out that it also includes images, databases, spreadsheets, voicemail, instant and text messaging. 

All in all it was a very productive day of learning and networking.

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