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SAP Run Better Tour Toronto 2011 Evening Summary

Down Town Toronto Traffic

Down Town Toronto is famous for traffic. It took almost one hour for me to drive around 50 km. The event was held in Metro Toronto Convention Center, a very convenient place otherwise with its own big underground parking lot (though expensive).

Reached on time to the event and the first impression was good, it was fully organized and every one was quite happy and fresh for the big show.

I met a number of my colleague and friends before I even reached the main floor.

Morning Keynote

Before getting in the Keynote, I took a short time to visit SAP Partners, who came to show their product and partnership delivery model that they were having for SAP customers. I like the Products and Solutions from HP, Clockworks and RIM in addition to SAP Innovation Bar. 

I took some time to interact with RIM Playbook but as I am so much use to my iPad, I did not find it much different (though as Apple launched iPad2 yesterday, I felt RIM has to go a long way to catch).

The keynote was interesting. Amanda Lang., A Sr. Business Correspondent from CBC News highlighted the need of Innovation and Productivity in Canadian Businesses. She highlighted that it was always a need of business but with increasing value of Canadian Dollar, it is even becoming more important or critical that Canadian Businesses must improve productivity to compete in the competitive global market.

She mentioned that the corporates should promote “Why and not just Doit” culture because “Why” gives the power to Innovate or to think!

The next Keynote lecture was Mark Aboud, Managing Director SAP Canada. Mark talked about the success of some key Canadian Businesses based on SAP BI and ERP solutions. The best thing to take out from his lecture was that SAP is no longer only ERP Company, when only 40% revenue is coming from ERP products. SAP is a mobile applications company, BI company and much more …than only ERP company, though it is true that SAP started the real ERP.

CHEO dashboard in addition to CN Rail and Maple Leaf Foods projects were discussed.

The next keynote lecture was Andreas Liris of Maple Leaf Foods, who talked about the successful story of SAP implementation in Maple Leaf.



Meeting with Mark Aboud and other Live Blogger

From the morning itself, I was waiting for my informal meeting with Mark Aboud, the Managing Director of SAP Canada, which was supposed to be at 10:15. At 10:00 AM, I met Dominic Colasante from SAP Canada, who took me to Mark office, where we had a long and informal discussion about SAP vision and strategies, specially about the BI, SaaS model and SAP Business ByDesign.

The discussion was very interactive, informal and I really appreciate the positive response of all the SAP Canada executive team members including Margaret Stuart, VP and Country Director SAP Canada.

Here are the major highlights of this discussion, which was completed over a period of around 40 minutes (I will add the photo and video recording soon in the comment section of this blog, later):

SAP is coming big way in SME sector with it’s SAP Business ByDesign, which is based on SaaS and Cloud Computing model. Coincidently, SAP Business ByDesign is just launched only around 2 weeks before in Canada.

SAP is seeing a lot of growth in BI (Business Intelligence) solutions and potentially a lot of demand in BI (BW-BOBJ) solutions.

In Memory Computing with HANA (High-Performance Analytic Appliance) has been a tool of choice for those, who want immediate answer of any one of the BI query

It was an interesting discussion but the time for next presentation was approaching. We thanked Mark and other SAP team member and concluded our meeting. 


General Breakout

As there were parallel breakouts like in SAP Tech Ed, just before getting into the event, I shortlisted the ones that I will attend. Being from SAP BI background, I preferred BI solutions but also attended SAP Business ByDesign (as I wanted to see SAP approach towards Cloud Computing and SaaS).

I like all the presentations; here are ones that I found most interesting:


HANA (SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance) is the new tool of choice for those, who has a lot of data to process for reporting where you need to make a decision on live data and that too immediate. Hana has similar concepts as BIA (or BWA) that use to be working with only BW, while HANA can work with any of the data source including ERP systems. I personally think HANA will be used only by bigger SAP Customers like it use to be the case with BIA (BWA). 

Mobility Sybase unwired platform

I like this presentation as I was interested to find out the SAP initiative in the Mobility and Mobile Applications. In few simple words, Sybase has provided a platform to SAP, where you can design and connect with standard mobile devices (or rather mobile OS including Apple, Nokia, Google and RIM).

Questions were asked on subscription prices e.g. to make a mobile application for a bank but as was expected, the prices will be based on the service model you choose and the number of license you buy.

One thing is clear, SAP is committed to mobile applications and I see the potential of this technology a lot more in years to come!

BI & EIM 4.0

I like this session as it was providing more details about EIM4.0 but being from technical background I wanted to see more technical architecture, which was missing. But I think it was well presented to those who came from business background.

SAP Business ByDesign

This presentation like HANA and Sybase presentation was one of the most interesting presentations. SAP Business ByDesign is just started in Canada and will be offered on a subscription basis (minimum 10 users). The cost is also very minimal, only 149$ per use (shall be confirmed of course with SAP).

The best features are:

  • Fixed cost implementation
  • Total Hosted Solution in Cloud just like
  • Short Implementation Period (maximum 8 weeks)
  • Small Technical In-house Team


SkullCandy was shown as the successful implementation story.



It was a jam packed day, I got so much information and was quite happy to be here. I took some small drink in the evening and left the event around 5:00 PM.



I would ask any one, who loves and work with SAP should join it as it is a mini SAPHIRE and/or TechEd. It is a showcase of SAP products and strategy. Overall a very good and balance event. Had a lot of fun! 

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