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Intro

From March 22nd – 24th 2010 Eventful Management hosted the annual Mastering SAP Technologies conference the theme for this year’s event was “SAP technology as an enabler to accelerate efficiencies and productivity”.

This year MST was hosted at the Sofitel Hotel on Wentworth Street not far Circular Quay in Sydney Australia. Well over 375 SAP customers and partners attended and contributed to this great event.

In this blog I would like to share with you some of my experiences of the event and I would like to do this by taking a few different perspectives since I was involved in a number of different ways…

As an event sponsor running a Pod…

This year I got the opportunity to organize and run the Pod (small booth) that my company PLAUT IT Australia had sponsored. We had three themes that we were promoting this year:

 

  • Portals – Strategy, SharePoint Integration and Portal Usage Analytics
  • MII – Creating the Perfect Plant
  • GRC – Managing your kingdom without building a fortress

It was a great opportunity to get out into the SAP community here in Australia and get our message across. We had lots of interest from the attendees and had a chance to talk to many people around topics like Portal strategy and how important it is to plan well in this area to avoid confusion and duplication of effort. We also got a chance to showcase some great products from our overseas partners Sweetlets and Btexx that complement our message around Portal Usage Analytics and SharePoint integration.

The Eventful Management team as always were great and always there to help and support us – I really can’t recommend them highly enough, you certainly can tell that they are a well oiled machine when it comes to running these events!

As a SCN member and contributor at Inside Track…

This was only the second time that I had a chance to attend an SAP Inside Track event. The previous one I’d been to was at TechEd 06 in Amsterdam and at the time they were still called “SDN Days” I think. In any case I really feel strongly that SCN is a fantastic thing so I decided early this year to propose a session on improving the User Experience (UX) in SAP Applications. To be honest I don’t think I thought that anyone would actually be all that interested…or that my session would be chosen… how wrong was I! So having really done no preparation for reasons you see in a minute… and not strictly being a UX expert I suddenly had about 25 people around me all wanting to hear about UX in SAP :-)… Luckily for me I found that everyone was very willing to talk about their own user experiences with SAP so after a brief intro from me and a bit of ongoing facilitation we ended up having a great discussion and actually had to be cut off after 45 minutes! Thanks to everyone who contributed at the Inside Track and special thanks to the great SAP Mentors Thomas Jung and Graham Robinson who helped me out and who are never short of insights into practically all areas of SAP 🙂 

As a speaker…

This was actually a very last minute opportunity for me as I only got the call to step in last minute as a speaker in the Demo Track. But what a great opportunity and although it was a little daunting it wasn’t one to be missed. To add a bit more of a challenge it was the Demo Track I was speaking in so I needed demos not just slides! So as to tie in with the conference theme I put together a presentation that was about 50/50 slides/demo entitled “Accidental or Planned… what’s happening? Do you know what’s going on in your Portal?”. In the presentation I talk about the importance of having a Portal strategy at your organization and had demos from two of our partners that covered how to measure the success of your portal using the Click Stream product from Sweetlets and how to integrate SharePoint content into your SAP Portal using the Btexx product Collaboration Manager. If your interested to know more about these products in Australia or you’d like a copy of my presentation then please contact me. By the way Sweetlets and Btexx just announced a partnership of their own so be ready to see more about these two great companies.

As an attendee…

Of course I was also an attendee… or perhaps part-time attendee is a better description as I had my hands full running the pod and preparing for my presentation. However I did manage to get into many of the great sessions. Some of the areas that stood out from my perspective were:

 

  • There was a strong focus on Agile development and best practices.
  • BPM was certainly being promoted – although I am still a little bit in the dark in this area and really need to understand more around how BPM and traditional SAP workflow will work together… perhaps I need to get to more sessions next year 🙂
  • Solution Manager and all topics concerning it were very popular
  • All the sessions on Adobe and Interactive Forms by Adobe were jam packed!
  • People were really interested in how to integrate SAP and Microsoft technologies in particular it will be interesting to see how DUET Enterprise will be adopted as it seems to be a big improvement on the current DUET offering.

Outro…

I hope that this blog has given you some interesting insight into this year’s Mastering SAP Technologies Event and encourages you to get involved. I personally am really looking forward to next year’s event and getting another chance to meet interesting people and learn new things.

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4 Comments

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    Thanks so much for this comprehensive share and enjoyed your Intro and Outro (how clever).  I wondering if you see Agile which you mentioned as an active content, getting positioned or aligned with the BPM topic.
    It’s always instructive to see how certain contents resonate with different populations and demographics
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    1. Matt Harding
      Hi Marilyn.

      This is exactly the topic which I discussed at Inside Track.  We have Agile methodologies such as Scrum being pushed plus BPM (modelling and management at a business level rather than the Galaxy BPM technical level) also being pushed as best practice now; but no real link between the two yet.  I have some ideas about it, but I haven’t seen the two combined effectively to date from an Enterprise perspective.

      Definitely worth a weblog about shortly I’m thinking.

      On a separate note – Nice blog Simon – and good to see a few blogging about Mastering Tech!

      Cheers,
      Matt

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      1. Marilyn Pratt
        Hi Matt,
        Looks like your Inside Track in Australia had great presentations, including your “more questions than answers” around the future of BPM.  I know that you would have some great sparring partners on that topic in the persons of Twan van den Broek and Ann Rosenberg.  Do a search for their blogs and you might see how they feel about connecting the dots (If you aren’t familiar already with Twan’s (external) and Ann’s (SAP) thoughts on the subject!)  Sounds like an incredible lineup in Sydney with a “star-studded” group leading the discussions.  Bravo to you all “down under”
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  2. Simon Kemp Post author
    Hi Marilyn and Matt,

    Thank you both for your feedback. I will certainly check out Twan and Ann’s blogs. I think it is really important and interesting to be able to leverage different areas and take ideas from one and make them applicable to another. In my mind that creates real innovation and ultimately value.

    I look forward your post Matt.

    Thanks,
    Simon

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