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Author's profile photo Former Member

My experience at Innovation Weekend 2010

When Innovation Weekend was announced, I knew that I was going to spend some time on it. A lot has been reported on it already, so I won’t waste real estate rehashing it, but if you have not yet seen the business cases, you may want to have a look at the wiki with their overview.

Several planning calls were held over the past month; through joining a few of them, I learned enough about the cases to decided that the National-Regional coordination case would be a good fit for me. Conceptualizing a process and architecture to meet a business need is something I have done for years for SAP security and compliance; in addition, with years of wearing multiple hats volunteering for ASUG, this challenge is very familiar to me. On top of all that, working on this case would give me the opportunity to work with one of my new SAP Mentor colleagues, Michelle Crapo. Michelle posted a greatInnovation Weekend Business Case to entice event attendees and other SCN members to the team, and I spread the word on my ASUG blog (login required).

Due to previous commitments, I did not arrive in Las Vegas until Sunday evening, so when I arrived at the event, the teams were already busy at work. The use case had morphed slightly since our pre-event calls but still sounded like an interesting challenge. After catching up with Michelle, I spent some time visiting with more SAP Mentor colleagues, including Marilyn Pratt, Craig Cmehil, Mark Finnern, Tony de Thomasis,  Jamie Oswald, and John Harrickey. 

Technology challenges cropped up from time to time.  A process flow was outlined on a flip chart, but I had trouble getting into the StreamWork work space to see the work done. Logging into the network was difficult for several members of our work group, and authentication difficulties hampered progress on development of our prototype. Mid-morning Monday we were still struggling to get the different technologies connected. The plan was to use StreamWork activities for goal setting and voting, and BPM to populate a mobile dashboard with the voting results, which could be viewed by several variables.  While the dashboard prototype looked promising, the authentication issues with BPM forced the team to reconsider the architecture and look to River as the integration technology. Omega was also going to be utilized for managing the projects that were triggered by the voting results, if we could get the web service to work.  As one of the use case subject matter experts, I could only chime in from time to time but mostly sit back and watch as the developers wrestled with the integration challenges.

Our team raced against the clock to pull together a demo of our solution.











Since the integration was not fully functional, some of it was mocked up, but at least we had an architecture that supported our use case. I agreed to present the business case for our demo, and John Harrickey would describe the solution as he and other team members would demo the components.

Soon it was showtime. Despite some technical challenges, we were able to demo our solution, which included 4 on-demand components.  We didn’t quite achieve a fully functional solution, but we had a lot of fun trying, and I think we all learned something about these on-demand solutions, thanks to the efforts of the members of our team:

Garrett Miller 

Michelle Crapo

Claus Andreasen

Mark Chadwick

John Harrickey

Sergey Vlasov

Arnil Bahaw

Anna Gurdon

Vijay Vijayasankar

Greg Chase

Samuel Kadolph


After the demos, we enjoyed a surprise visit from Vishal Sikka, who shared some impromptu observations on Innovation Weekend, and he thanked us for participating. Then the judges retired to vote, and the teams huddled up for our own voting.

Congratulations to all of the teams and especially, the winning team, Optimizing Fundraising Process! You can see their solution tomorrow night at Demo Jam!

Thanks to Craig Cmehil, Marilyn Pratt, and everyone on the Innovation Weekend planning team! It was a great event, and one that I hope is repeated.

Now it is time to head to some evening networking events, relax and get ready for another big day tomorrow.

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      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt
      Thanks for providing content and context to the National/Regional business case.  Unmatched commitment and comradery apparent in all the groups.  There were very few "dropouts" for such an intense 30-hour event.  A tribute to community capacity for collaboration.