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Author's profile photo Former Member

Looking back on my final day in Orlando

Here we are, already the final day at the ASUG and SAPPHIRE Now Conferences; the week went by in a whirlwind, and today’s schedule included another wide variety of activities.

The morning keynote was the first event on my agenda, entitled Innovation and the Future, featuring SAP’s CTO Vishal Sikka and co-founder Hasso Plattner. From Vishal Sikka I enjoyed learning about the new concept of “real” real time of in-memory computing. I certainly would not argue with his premise that the landscape is continuously evolving. Evolving continuously without disruption? Much faster analytics even on the current SAP releases? Very ambitious, and I’ll be eager to see if the newly announced  High-Performance Analytic Appliance delivers the “risk-free value” as described. These are exciting times, and both Sikka and Plattner were enthusiastic and persuasive.

After a brief stop in the Bloggers’ Corner, I headed up to the SAP Mentors’ meeting with Scott Bolick, SAP’s VP for Sustainability Solutions.  He shared with us some trends in sustainability reporting, including moving from static annual reports to more frequent, interactive reporting including BusinessObjects reporting, and moving from publishing to dialogue. I have to admire SAP’s transparency in reporting even the less positive past results and their efforts to hold themselves accountable, and I like the interactivity features.  I recommend checking out the Materiality Matrix, where you can vote on the relative materiality of sustainabilty issues, and even update your vote over time. I am looking forward to hearing more about the evolution of SAP’s sustainability reporting into a sustainability reporting solution.

After lunch my first stop was a SAPPHIRE Line of Business Theatre,  for a session on Governance, Risk and Compliance for Audit and Risk Management, featuring Bobby Joseph and Jo Ann Kern from Baker Hughes.  Their presentation covered their deployment methodology as well as lessons learned from their migration to SAP’s GRC solution.

Later this afternoon I attended an ASUG Influence Council Leadership Exchange. Experienced Influence Council leaders shared some of their tips for effective influence councils.

My last session of the day was another session for SAP Mentors, this time with SAP’s GRC  solution manager Ranga Bodla. I enjoyed having the opportunity for Q&A on the direction of this solution. Ranga explained the evolution of some of the components of the suite, and we were in agreement that there is a some confusion among customers about the functionality and value proposition of the components. Ranga added that there is the possibility of renaming some components to better convey the value propositions.

One of the highlights of these events is the opportunity to reconnect with my friends and colleagues as well as make new connections. It was great to see so many of my fellow ASUG volunteers and SAP Mentors. I especially enjoyed meeting several of the new Mentors, including Mico Yuk, Sandy Kemsley, Greg Chase, and Joerg Nalik, as well as some whom I had only met virtually, including Martin Gillet and Abesh Bhattacharjee. Other folks I was glad to spend some time with included several people who are both ASUG volunteers and SAP Mentors, including Ingo Hilgefort, Jim Spath, Karin Tillotson, Rob Jackson, and new Mentor Tammy Powlas. And, it wouldn’t be an SAP event without having time with my Mentor colleagues Marilyn Pratt, Jon Reed, Blag Tejada, Mark Finnern, Thomas Jung, Rich Heilman, and Anne Kathrine Petteroe. I also have to give a shout out to my ASUG volunteer colleagues Greg Capps, Rick Fowler, and Ben White, who were all part of the team success of the Security and Internal Controls SIGs meeting yesterday.


Tonight is the big concert with Carlos Santana, then it will time to get a few hours of sleep before I catch a very early flight home to Houston. It has been a jam-packed week, full of learning and networking, and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.

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      Author's profile photo Cory Coley-Christakos
      Cory Coley-Christakos
      Hi Gretchen,
      Looks like you made the most of SAPPHIRE NOW!  I've been following your blog posts all week, and I'm surprised you're still standing 🙂
      Thanks for the great updates and insights.  For those of us who couldn't be there, it's great to get a sense for what's been taking place.  And even those who ARE there can't be everywhere.
      Safe travels home,
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed my posts. I have to confess that I *am* pretty worn out, after my 4 am wake-up call today and early flight home. But it was a productive conference week for me, and I am very glad I had the opportunity to be in Orlando. I appreciate your feedback and I'm glad I was able to convey some of it to you and others who were not there in person.