Last year in Phoenix, we had 3 parallel events catering to developers, BPXers and BOBJ gang. I really thought it was a wasted opportunity to keep three communities in silos. I blogged about it, and also spoke briefly to Marilyn Pratt on the topic.
I honestly did not have high expectations going into the innovation weekend in Vegas – partly due to giving up part of my weekend. But I was pleasantly surprised. No more silo approach here – developers, BOBJ experts and process people all partnering with each other is what I saw. SAP did great – I really liked the new integrated approach.And compared to the process slam last year, the quality of the business cases have also improved. They were better defined, and presented. I think the participants also appreciated the fact that the cases were primarily from nonprofit world
This is a fantastic start and I hope this becomes a great tradition.
There are a few things that can be done better though in my opinion- and this does not in any way ake away any of the credit that SAP deserves for the great improvements they have already made.
1. Before we started the exercise – we had to sit through a LOT of presentations of varying quality. I would say it was at least twice as much as what was needed. I had barely any energy left at the end to work on a case. It took away some of the unconference feel for me.
2. As I told my dear friend Jon Reed (@jonerp) yesterday, you cannot innovate on an empty stomach.SAP should consider feeding the participants with something better. I, and several others in the room, skipped the food served there and stepped out to eat.
3. Judging – I don’t particularly like the idea of 60% of the weightage going to judge’s scores and 40% to community scores. I would much rather see the weightage skewed towards community voting scores.
4. WiFi was a big pain yesterday. It seems to have improved today – but this is a recurring theme at big SAP events now. And I am sure the dedicated event organizers will do something about it to prevent this from happening when thousands of people will access the network from tomorrow.
Many kudos to SAP for learning from last year’s event and improving the event this year. Way to go.