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Well, I have had a good week now to recover and attempt to remember all the fun, good times, great food and drinks, old friends and new friends, information, wagers won and lost, and more that made up my SAP TechEd 2010 in Las Vegas experience. The week seems almost all a blur now. Too much to do. Too much to take in. Not enough hours in the day. Not enough energy in my body. The recreated, synthesized sound of ghost coins dropping in slot machine pans, the bark of pit bosses, the flashing of multicolored neon lights are all but gone from memory now, but a few highlights of my trip have managed to stick with me. Other people have recounted their TechEd experience in just about every way in blogs during and since….some detailing the technical information, keynote, etc…..some speculating or providing their impressions from the same/similar material. They all did a fine job of this. Kudos all around to the bloggers!!! Therefore, I figured I would go more of Hunter S. Thompson route (we were in Vegas after all), so here is my take on TechEd 2010 in photos and “top 5’s”…

 

 

Top 5 COOL Things I saw at TechEd 2010 (in no particular order)

 

  • Event Insight + Project HANA

Whoa! REAL real time is the new black!!! Holy hell, this was impressive stuff! Just in-memory processing alone (HANA) was awesome to see. I can only imagine some of the many applications!….and it scales….the capabilities of which have not even been shown yet! Very cool! I think this has the potential to launch entirely new businesses around “business pattern recognition”, as well as identifying “fake”/false patterns and discovering up till now unknown patterns that exist and do affect business. Heck, I think using Project HANA alone on things like SETI or similar data “crunching” endeavors would be a cool experiment!

 

  • Graham Robinson’s “The Right Way to Enhance SAP” session

How is it that SAP can make the switch and enhancement framework seem so friggin’ complex, convoluted and confusing in all their many sessions and presentations I have seen over the years, and yet, Graham Robinson made look all so easy and simple in less than one hour….WITH actual live working demos!?!?!?

 

  • Duet Enterprise + Project Gateway

Furthering my (well documented/posted over the years) theory that Microsoft and SAP will be revisiting the idea of combining very soon. Not to mention, this TechEd seemed a bit more “MS heavy” than any I recall in the past. Maybe I am chasing windmills…but what if I’m not? (haha)

 

  • People actually approaching SAP Mentors!!!!

I know….crazy right? haha But I think SAP Mentors are finely getting a bit more recognized. I know personally that no less than 7-8 times over the week at TechEd I had people approach me, grab me, yell at me, etc. and say “Hey! You’re a Blue Shirt…..let me ask you something….”. They would rattle off their question and just like any and all of us Mentors do, either I would answer or I would go locate a Mentor that could help them out. We LOVE that stuff! It seemed in the past, either people did not know about the SAP Mentors or quite what to make of us when they saw us all strolling around in our rugby shirts (no, it’s not a cult, team, product, clique, or secret society). This year though, it seemed perceptions have changed. Very cool!

 

  • Thomas Jung with 30 minutes of actual “free” time

You just do not understand. This just doesn’t happen! Much like my MS + SAP theory above, I believe that the original Thomas Jung was absconded by SAP in the middle of the night years ago, taken to Walldorf and cloned….yes, cloned! The Thomases (as I refer to them) now appear around the world at all of the SAP events, sales calls, training sessions, etc. at any given time. In fact, I believe there were no less than 3 Thomases in Las Vegas (though I hear one was sent to the shop for repair….it kept talking about the “future of ITS”). The original Thomas is kept in Walldorf in some small, though luxurious, condo where he churns out ABAP code all day….FOR FUN!!!

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Things I learned at TechEd 2010 (in no particular order)

 

  • The people at Tao are scared of shoelaces and people named Thorsten!

Apparently they are very fearful of both…and more so, in combination! They would not allow us (with our scary shoelaces) or Thorsten inside at all…..even after we pleaded that once inside we would be sure to run up a large bill on Chip Rodgers’ tab! (KIDDING, Chip!)

 

  • Find a SAP Mentor? Easy!

If you ever want to find the highest congregation of SAP Mentors, just show up at the Enterprise Geeks (enterprisegeeks.com) daily podcast. Seems no matter what was going on or where people were suppose to be, you would find at least 10 or more Mentors hanging around the podcast. The podcasts were well worth it too! Good times! Check out their site TODAY!

 

  • The Australians do NOT mess around!

I guess if you are going to make a flight across the world to show up at TechEd, you are not coming just to play! These guys rocked in Innovation Weekend and totally dominated in Demo Jam. Geez…a little warning would have been nice. What happened to “friendly competition”?!?!?  I hear through the grapevine that the Demo Jam winners have thrown down the gauntlet and challenged Thomas Jung and Ed Herrmann to a contest at the Australian tech conference in 2011.

 

  • Pro Bull Riders have groupies too!

I know, right? Mind blowing! I thought only us developers, system administrators and security folks had groupies. Come to find out, I was wrong. The Pro Bull Riding (PBR) championship was in town at the same time as TechEd and several of those people were staying over at the Treasure Island where I stayed. In fact, they had a big party Wednesday night over there. The pro bull riders were treated like rock stars. They were getting their pictures taken, signing autographs, etc. You know….all the things we all take for granted. And they had some absolutely beautiful women hanging around with them. Oddly enough, these women did not seem too impressed that I was a SAP Mentor. Weird, eh? haha

 

…..and the top thing I learned this year at SAP TechEd…….it is back in Las Vegas again next year!!!……See you there!

 

 

 

flying over the Hoover Dam and new bridge over it

flying over the Hoover Dam and new bridge over it

 

 

Mark kicks off the Mentors reception

Mark kicks off the Mentors reception 

 Mentors at piano bar at Venetian

Mentors at piano bar at Venetian

 Dining hall

Dining hall…seems a bit small, eh?

 keynote

keynote…or time travel? I saw the future!

 Enterprise geeks podcast

Enterprise Geeks podcast

 expert lounge

expert lounge

 SAP LIVE TV! (I know these guys!)

SAP LIVE TV! (I know these guys!)

 Staying hydrated at TechEd is a must!

Staying hydrated at TechEd is a must!

 SAP Mentors on stage at Demo Jam

SAP Mentors on stage at Demo Jam

 about 1/3 of the Demo Jam crowd...packed!

about 1/3 of the Demo Jam crowd…packed!

 Demo Jam kicks off!

Demo Jam kicks off!

 typical TechEd session....packed!

typical TechEd session….packed!

 cruising around the main hall

cruising around the main hall

 Lifehouse concert Thursday night

Lifehouse concert Thursday night

 one of many off-site, satelite craps workshops

one of many off-site, satelite craps workshops

 Impromptu meeting of gamblers anonymous?

Impromptu meeting of gamblers anonymous?

 late Late LATE Thurs night/Fri morning socializing before TechEd ends

late Late LATE Thurs night/Fri morning socializing before TechEd ends

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  1. Susan Keohan
    1) As always, warm welcome and exciting things to learn and see and do, graciously scheduled by Mark Finnern
    2) Meeting people at Baggage Claim coming into LV – and then loaning one of them a shirt because his luggage was lost
    3) Expert sessions that I hosted – So much fun, but *way* too short!
    4) Bribing piano bar guys with Jamie Oswald’s iPhone to play a tune
    5) The feeling of community/family/friend that lasts
    6) oh, wait, you only wanted 5 things. I could go on and on.  BRFPlus session, someone running off to a drive-thru wedding, spending time with the esteemed Thorsten, my fellow ASUG volunteers, tweeting from headquarters, assisting Tammy ‘Does it all’ Powlas in the Worldwide Ways of Workflow session, and I have to stop somewhere, so I guess it’s last but not least, winning a SCNotty!
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  2. Graham Robinson
    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the positive feedback on my lecture session – nice to know my message hit the mark.

    Thanks also for the craps lesson – sorry I didn’t do the teacher justice. But like a true mentor I did immediately try to pass on my new found knowledge to another. 🙂 With mixed results.

    Next year mate!

    Cheers
    Graham Robbo

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    1. Christopher Solomon Post author
      Thanks, Graham. SAP owes you for that session! In fact, they should just give up and let YOU go around and explain it to folks. (haha) As for craps, well pal, you have a year to “train”. I will meet you on the craps table in Vegas next year!
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  3. Tammy Powlas
    at my session.

    I am still buzzed by TechED – I am amazed everyone is finding time to post such great blogs like yours.

    I have many great moments from TechED but my #1 is the SAP Mentor support I received while I was there.  It was a great experience – my first TechEd as a Mentor was very special.

    Tammy

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    1. Christopher Solomon Post author
      Tammy, I was going to add “the women of workflow” (WoW) to my list, but I know how you and Sue don’t like the spotlight…more of the “behind the scenes” types….true to workflow.(haha) Your session (and Sue’s) was great! I LOVE to see workflow session ANY time! Thanks and see you next year!
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    1. Christopher Solomon Post author
      Many thanks, my virtual friend Suresh. I was hoping you’d like a bit of a “different” take on TechEd. Maybe one of these years, I will actually get to meet you at a TechEd. haha
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  4. Michelle Crapo
    1.  My last day at Teched, I learned about the infamous “CHIPS”.  Wow – talk about making it easy to put together a nice interface. (Graham made a special appearance at that one.)
    2.  New Mentor shirt.  As this was my first SAP event as a Mentor – only 2 weeks into a mentor – I can’t comment on before.   But this was amazing.  People did stop me to ask questions, and just to talk.  I met more people this year, than in previous Techeds.
    3.  Hands-On sessions.  As always, they were a highlight for my Teched.
    4.  Innovation weekend.   I played with new technology.  Met some incredible people.  Great presentations.
    5.  Most important meeting people.  I met the incredible group of Mentors this year.  Let me tell you, it is worth stopping them.   They are awesome people, and always willing to help.

    Nice meeting you!

    Michelle

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  5. Jeff Woehler
    Really good summary of the week, Chris.  This was my first year at SAP TechEd – the whole week was pretty exciting.

    My top 5:
    – a 3-hr discussion with an SAP Mentor on the flight out… really cool.
    – struggling to learn how to develop a simple SAP mobile application for the blackberry.
    – trading notes with my co-workers during lunch (SAP feeds you well).
    – meeting new people while learning WebDynpro, etc. during the hands-on labs.
    – dinner with the enterpriseGeeks.

    Have fun.

    Jeff

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    1. Christopher Solomon Post author
      I like you’re top 5….especially that first one….I wonder who that Mentor was? Hmmmmm….also, dinner with the EnterpriseGeeks?!?! Wow! I didn’t even get the invite for that and I’ve been to several TechEds now!(haha) See you next year?
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  6. Thorsten Franz
    Chris,
    Wonderful recap of TechEd Las Vegas – makes me feel as if I had actually been there! In fact, it was a pleasure meeting you, and I think I’m going to be a groupie (stalker if rejected) of yours if you keep that hilarious style of writing.
    A spare Thomas Jung clone at the repair workshop who keeps talking about the future of ITS – that was really lovely. I hope Sue will be able to secure one for our WIT group, which is trying to make out the light at the end of the tunnel for SAP Business Workflow. 🙂
    Cheers,
    Thorsten
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    1. Christopher Solomon Post author
      Thanks for the compliments, Thorsten. I will keep writing if you keep reading! As for groupies, you’re not fooling anyone. I saw all your female groupies fawning along behind you everywhere you went. You are a rock star too! (haha) As for the Jung Clone, well, you need to speak to SAP about that….but they will deny it. =)
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      1. Thorsten Franz
        Since HANA, it is no longer a secret that SAP has the best mad scientists (some of whom are brains and eyes in vats of nutri-fluid on a shelf in Walldorf). So denying the existence of the Thomas Jung clone army would be completely incredible.
        Cheers,
        Thorsten
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  7. Dagfinn Parnas
    Loved the recap, it just somehow captured the intensity of the event.

    And as always a pleasure meeting you again and learning the ropes Vegas style.

    Cheers
    Dagfinn

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