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So this is SAP TechEd season again. After being in Berlin last week we are back in Las Vegas at the Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center for another successful event.

For many customers, partners and SAP colleagues this is maybe the first time attending SAP TechEd. Many others are looking forward to adding SAP TechEd 2010 to their list of events having attendeda and enjoyed.

For me personally this SAP TechEd season is a very special one. It’s actually the first time that i am attending as a partner, not as an SAP employee anymore. As you may know i left SAP in July 2010, being with the company for more than thirteen years, and accepted a new challenge by being responsible for the global SAP alliance at Citrix, one of SAP’s global technology partners.

Many of you asked me why i actually left SAP, working quite successfully there for many years. Well, during the thirteen years in Walldorf and Palo Alto i always looked for something new to work on to be able to extend my skillset. Starting in a team called ‘Advanced Technology Group’ in 1997 where i mainly worked on optimizing very large database (1TB was ‘very large’ at that time 🙂 ) i moved over to Palo Alto in 2000 to SAP’s e-commerce startup called SAP Markets, working on monitoring capabilities for distributed landscapes.

In 2003, back in Walldorf i joined the adaptive computing team which was somehow the unofficial start of my virtualization journey at SAP. After productizing the adaptive computing controller tool and doing hundreds of presentation at SAPPHIRE, SAP TechEd and other events again i decided to do something new and joined SAP’s ecosystem team, going back to Palo Alto (wagging tongues say that i moved back mostly because of the sunny weather in California … ts, ts, ts :-), working on SAP’s virtualization strategy and evangelizing it. This was a great time because i was working with many customers and external partners, like the friends from Citrix, Intel, VMware, just to name a few. And i went to many industry resp. virtualization events where normally SAP was not so visible (I remember GridWorld 2005 in Boston where participants were very suprised, in a positive way, to see SAP having a booth). And after all Silicon Valley is THE place to be when you want to work on new topics with existing partners and startup companies.

Well, after working with SAP partners for such a long time i always wondered how it is to ‘sit on the other site of the table’. How is it to work with SAP as a partner?

Is it really that great as SAP’s partner marketing always claim? Let’s give it a try.

The nice thing of having great relationships with all different kinds of partners is that you also get a good view on which one would fit best from an employer perspective. Finally i decided to join Citrix because firstly they/we have a great product and technology portfolio, secondly besides the presentation server resp. XenApp products being used by many SAP customers successfully for years now there are many great opportunities for new solutions for SAP customers based on products like XenServer on the backend or XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver on the frontend. Last but not least Citrix has an exceptional company culture, very similar to SAP. So here i am now with Citrix.

As i said i am responsible for SAP as strategic alliance partner. And after working with it during the first three months at Citrix i can confirm that SAP’s ecosystem is a unique one. Everything around the SAP service market place, the partner portal, EcoHub, the SAP TechEd events, SAP Co-Innovation Lab, etc., just to name few, helps partners to work with SAP on  joint projects and solutions to offer them together to customers. Of course i still have to do some work by myself 🙂 but SAP offers a lot to make my life easier.

Thanks, SAP, you were a great employer and you are a great partner to work with.

Let’s go back to the SAP TechEd season now. After a great event in Berlin with 4000 attendees (only the weather was a bit too cold already) we arrived here in Las Vegas on Friday. I had the pleasure to be on the same flight together with SAP colleagues Marilyn Pratt, Craig Cmehil, Linda Bortolus, Brian Bernhard (check out http://yfrog.com/nbv1vbj how excited he was about boarding in Berlin) and many more, we really had a good time during this 18 hour travel. (http://yfrog.com/5nnx0sj shows us in the limo to the Venetian/Palazzo; tweet, tweet, tweet 🙂 )

I used the weekend to check all demo setups once again, update slide sets with newest content (we actually had our own Citrix Synergy event, also in Berlin, right before SAP Teched, and i want to make sure that i have all information up-to-date), to register and to get the conference material, and of course trying to get rid of jet lag asp (at least i tried).

Yesterday the innovation weekend started (http://yfrog.com/77gysj), where many event attendees came together to work on exciting business ideas. This will go on until this afternoon with a presentation of the results at the end.

Today we have a couple of pre-conference activities run by ASUG, these are actually promoted on the Palazzo’s hotel information channel as well, together with the  information about a wedding cerenomy today at 4pm in one of the wedding chapels (http://yfrog.com/bf3kwj):-). But for me, today it’s mostly about preparing resp. checking our booth. Actually it should be ready to use, provided by the SAP TechEd event team; i’ll post a picture later.

At the booth we will provide all information about using Citrix products and technologies in a SAP environment, including showing a variety of life demos (let’s hope that the network connection to the demo landscape at SAP’s Co-Innovation Lab in Palo Alto is with us this week; it worked ok in Berlin but i want to see it working better here in Las Vegas; must be related to the cold weather in Germany, making the bits and bytes going slower:-) ).

A major topic for Citrix is, of course, SAP supporting XenServer. During my time at SAP i was working with all partners providing hypervisor-based virtualization solutions officially supported by SAP for productive usage, and i am very happy that Cirix was ‘invited now by SAP to join this exclusive club’. If you want to learn more about it please don’t hesitate do look for us at the Citrix booth #114 in the exhibition hall.

Finally together with the SAP Co-Innovation Lab colleagues we have a session showing Citrix products like XenClient, XenApp, XenServer, Receiver and many more in an SAP environment. Please join us for this session ‘A Citrix SAP Day in the Life’ on Tuesday, 10/19, at 12pm in Lounge 3.

Ok, it’s now 6:40AM her in Las Vegas, so much for getting rid of jet lag. I will have breakfast now and then i am on my way to the exhibition hall. I hope to see you here at SAP TechEd Las Vegas, on the show floor at the Citrix booth or in one of the many sessions.

Enjoy SAP TechEd Las Vegas.

Regards,

Roland

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