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Arrival

After being stuck in abnormal amount of bad traffic in St. Louis(all roads were jammed), I made it to the event with about 10 minutes to spare.  The first order of business was to find Jamie Oswald to get those wonderful “Run SAP Amazinger” with SAP Mentors stickers.  In the process I think I caused Jamie to spill coffee on his shirt, as I think he was shocked that I was wearing the same shirt.

Morning Keynote

Before the keynote we ended up sitting in the back of the “SAP Event Church”.  It’s a favorite spot for wolf pack members(SAP Mentors) to study their prey.  One minor problem before we got started, was we didn’t know how to get wifi.  That got resolved relatively quick and we got ready to go.  Now both Mr. Oswald and myself had dueling iPads “insert geeky deliverance reference joke here” and it was race to see whose tweets would reign supreme.  Oh sorry I someone crossed the event with an Iron Chef Competition. 

I personally must admit that I was worried about breaking the API call limit for twitter during the keynote.  I’m not volumous tweeter, but I’m sure my followers were wondering if I finally went crazy and had a wonderful 96 ounce diet dr pepper before the event.  Luckily for me and my followers it was just powered by one can of diet mountain dew instead.

The keynote itself was great.  Steven Lucas who presented was awesome and charmed the crowd with humor and SAP themes of IT/Business Bliss.  Seriously though I think the important takeway the message delivered by SAP today is the same message that I have been hearing since SAP Teched 2010 LV and even a little earlier.  Let’s give major points for consistency

If you followed my tweet stream from today you would have probably gotten most of the major points from the keynote.  In order to allow Steven Lucas not to have to develop new material for the other cities, I will just list a few interesting takeaways from the speech

  • 50% of profits for large companies come from products launched in last 10 years
  • 72% of workers say web is easier to locate knowledge than corporate IT systems
  • SAP Carbon Impact technology was used to prevent fish from becoming “sushi” (swimming upstream through turbines)
  • Finally – SAP wants to help customers to transform their business and also tranform itself along the way as a shared journey.

   Partner pods

My co-worker Tandra Williams and myself went after the keynote on quest to get stamps for the prize drawing.  One of the more interesting pods we viewed was the blackberry playbook pod.  For full disclosure I bought an Apple iPad last year in first half of April.  The Playbook looked nice and interesting, until the apps started crashing.  However I will say this the RIM folks were always great to ask questions and show off the technology, and besides the product is not due till March.  Competition is good, which means that when Apple orders to me buy the iPad 2 they will have to made it better because of the other tablet vendors. 

General Breakout – Mobility  Sybase unwired platform

Honestly I’m not sure why I attended the mobility sessions beyond the fact, that it seemed better than the other two choices at the time.  I mean I actually got to the install the Sybase unwired platform at Teched, so I was mainly looking for something new that I didn’t hear already.  Luckily there were two interesting points from the presentation

  • There are more mobile phones owned than toothbrushes in the world
  • Mobility strategy for the enterprise is an important decision that must be made first but start small and quick

Q&A with Steven Lucas

Because Steven Lucas our key note speaker was kind enough to speak with the event live bloggers, I think the summary deserves aQ&A Session with Steven Lucas at SAP Run Better Tour St. Louis

Lunch – where are the seats?

Once the Q&A session was finished I headed back with Jamie down to the lunch area.  Free lunches are always good, but the only problem this time, is that unless you were a mining industry customer lunch was standing up.  Luckily my co-worker and myself decided to solve this problem by heading up to the Union Station Food Court, where plenty of comfy seats prevailed.

Afternoon Breakout – BI & EIM 4.0

The session after right after lunch always tends to be harderst.  I think the problem is that my brain was not ready for a more detailed review of the BI product.  It was a decent review and covered quite a bit of different features in the toolset.  I just personally was not into the session, even though the content was “quality”.

SUP revisited part #2

Yeah another SUP session, but why not.  I like mobility and maybe there might be something new again.  Well there wasn’t anything too new that I didn’t heard, but the speaker actually kept my attention for most of the session.  That’s pretty good feat to do considering I attended about 7 hours of mobility presentations at Teched 2010.

CRM Marketing

I was excited by this session because I wanted to see if there was something I could learn and apply and take back to my own implementation.  It’s always interesting to “compare notes” on how CRM implementations are done and what problems are faced.  I was not disappointed and the CRM tech geek side of me perked up when mention of Multiple Exchange Project popped into the presentation.  It was a good presentation on talking about doing CRM the right way and the key points from the presentation are below:

  • Start small and set foundation
  • Get buy-in and leadership support
  • Need strong project leadership
  • 80/20 rule
  • Adoption out of gate
  • Fight customization but don’t comprise business need
  • Pay Attention to system performance

Those were great words of wisdom that capped off a great presentation.

Departure

Some appetizers and St. Louis style refreshments were provided.  Although I did not partake in the refreshments, I did try out one or two of the appetizers.  Hoping to beat traffic again I left around 4:20.  Unfortunately that didn’t pan out once again and another crazy bad traffic resulted in a longer trek back to my home in St. Charles.

Conclusion

The event overall was a great experience, and I was very happy SAP chose St. Louis to “go first”.  It was a nice way to expose people to topics discussed at SAP Teched but couldn’t attend and get people excited about SAPPHIRE. 

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