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A few years ago, I was considered to be the “SAPPHIRE Reflections – Welcome to the INSIGHTS from SAPPHIRE Blog” for large SAP events like SAPPHIRE.   Best I can tell, I was asked because I was one of the few executives who were active in social media; my initial blog entry was almost six years ago.  Happily, this designation died at SAPPHIRE NOW 2010 with the advent of dozens of on-site SAP social media reporters who captured footage from keynotes & sessions, interviewed customers & partners, and provided on-the-spot commentary.

In my SAPPHIRE NOW 2010: End of the Official Blogger post last year, I compared this openness of social media with a change in the event itself.  Rather than just happening in Orlando, SAPPHIRE NOW occurred simultaneously in Frankfurt, Orlando, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Tokyo, Sydney, and Singapore.  And much of the live event was captured and broadcast on an on-line platform for the rest of the world to see.  

Feedback from last year was so overwhelmingly positive that we were awarded one of the 14 most innovative meetings of 2010, but we’re not content to rest of our laurels.  For one, we want to transform the event from three days in May to something that continues throughout the year.  As such, there are two global SAPPHIRE NOWs this year; one in Orlando in May and the other in Madrid in November.  Both will be broadcast live to other physical locations around the world.  The strategy is simple – it’s about creating a personal, local experience when you need it.  SAPPHIRE NOW, not SAPPHIRE some time later.

I’ve walked through some of the downstream effects of having multiple events with several members of SAP influencer community and Dennis immediately grasped the ramifications. More frequent marketing scrum cycles are reflective of more frequent development scrums cycles which reflect the increased speed of change of SAP.  It’s not just about innovation; it’s about consuming those innovations in more digestible morsels.  

There are several other interesting changes coming to SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. We are going from one hands-on area in the Innovation campus to six; one in each campus.  It won’t be just hearing about SAP solutions but you can experience them first-hand.  And trust me, there are some that might surprise you…

I’m also really excited about the new content concierge counters which are designed to help you understand the bigger trends at SAP like On Demand and In Memory.  But more about these in another post.

Many people picked SAPPHIRE NOW 2010 is a signal post in the revitalization of SAP.  I have even higher expectations in 2011.

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  1. Bala Prabahar
    First time I read Dennis’s blog, I didn’t see him addressing my concern. Second time I read, yes, he has, as usual, eloquently addressed it:

    “In an ideal world, I’d like to see the co-CEO’s do their selling job in 15-20 minutes and then get out the way for customers to speak to their successes.”

    I would like to see more customers speaking to their successes than SAP executives selling their products in major events.

    Frankly speaking, I don’t get excited about new technologies even when I experience them first-hand in major events. That experience wouldn’t really tell me whether it could be implemented in real-world (from cost and technical standpoint).


    1. Former Member Post author
      Bala, your point is well taken.  Over the last few years, the presentations in the campuses have evolved from mostly given by SAP employees to mostly given by customers/partners.  Last year, we did the same with the broadcast center.  This year, we’ll be changing how the executive keynotes work as well — I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

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