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#SITBRU: “This is not your father’s SAP” Session on Innovation

First, I want to thank Martin Gillet for hosting today’s Brussels SAP Inside Track sessions.  Not only did he do this, but he also gave an excellent ASUG webcast this week.  I admire his enthusiasm at BOTH events!  Thanks to both Aslan and Mark Finnern for hosting the webcast side of things.

In today’s session that I was able to attend, Craig Cmehil reviewed and discussed innovation.  SAP is on “the hunt” for innovation.   In fact, SAP is holding an Innovation weekend before TechED this year. 

Craig explained that since 2004 SAP has had “DemoJam”  at TechEd  since 2004 – all around the world – a showcase for customers and partners.  SAPLink  was  first shown in 2006 in Las Vegas  and Shai Agassi stood up in the audience to ask questions.  

SAP does “not want to be in an ivory tower “ – Craig’s task is to go and talk to people.  He has collected over 200 co-innovation topics – things not being done by SAP.

Part of problem is that he has found over 200 topics but they (SAP) only feature 18 at DemoJam.   “SAP is fantastic  at innovation” but “bad at communication”.

SAP wants to capture innovations  and share with outside world.  As an example, at SAP Inside Track Bangalore  – a partner with SAP explained what he was doing with the Sugar industry – a “no waste industry”.  As a result, this partner has a big meeting with SAP next week.  

Craig said he saw only 2 iPads in the room at #SITBRU– does it make sense for SAP to develop apps for iPad or smart phone?  Mobility is a big topic for SAP.

It is “not easy to be open and transparent”.  The goal is to publish 85% of projects by the end of the year; not an easy task.  This is when he said “It’s not your father’s SAP anymore”.

Craig said that SAP has never announced a product at SAPPHIRE and then had it available for TechED.  This is planned for Gateway.  With the Gateway, development is to be closed in October and you will no longer  need ABAP skills to know SAP.


He also explained that SAPPHIRE is a sales event while TechED  is your education event.  TechEd is where you come and learn with  hands on sessions, such SAP Technology innovation weekend at TechED with real business cases, real sandbox systems – taking an idea to prototype.

Q: How make sure innovation goes both directions?  Advantage to partners?
A: Sugar industry example – filled a gap in SAP offering – set to meet with industry experts around the world; partner has audience at SAP.   Craig got things in motion, also contacted SAP sustainability group.  There is also Idea Place on SCN – still in infancy where you can place an idea around topic, such as  “I’d love to see xxx, and others give feedback.  SRM has an ideation environment.

Q: Cost of gateway?
A: Don’t know, development still going on


Thanks again to Martin Gillet and Craig Cmehil for another great SAP Inside Track!


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