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As many of my loyal readers (thanks, Tammy and Derek!) know, this will be my first trip to ASUG Annual Conference/SAPPHIRE. I’m gonna give a little Q & A style pre-review for those of you who are interested. Please note that these answers are largely my opinions, and if you disagree or I’m flat out wrong I’d invite you to jump in on the comments.

Why is it billed as two separate conferences if they are all sort of jumbled together?

They actually aren’t quite as jumbled together as you might think. SAPPHIRE focuses heavily on figuring out the right solution for a customer need (read: marketing) and the content is entirely SAP-driven. Annual Conference is entirely member-driven and provides best practices, case studies, and technical tips and tricks for said solutions. Plus, they have separate areas in the conference center. Used to be at two totally different places at totally different times with totally different ground transportation experiences.

So why are they together?

In a word? Synergy. SAPPHIRE is about trying to find the right solution, and ASUG Annual Conference is about using itthe right way. Whiel something is invariably lost in the combination of the two, this is one place where you can, in the scope of your potential or existing SAP landscape, see the products, talk to the people who made them, find the people who have banged their head against the wall implementing them, and get to listen to Sting all at the same time.

What are you most looking forward to this week?

Honestly, catching up with some old friends. Between the SAP Mentors, ASUG Volunteers, and social media I have a pretty wide network so these weeks for me are wall to wall catching up until next time.

What are you most dreading?

The tweet stream. Most of my follows are SAP related, and no one is going to shut up this week at all. Least of all me. I think Twitter is exceedingly useful for things like this, but it can also be really easy to get lost in it all.

What does your agenda look like?

For the community, I’m participating in a micro forum on analytics in the Mining industry , I’m going to spend some time in the “Meet the Customers” area, and I’m trying to dig deeper into the small-to-medium enterprise focus area. For myself, I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Sybase IQ and Replication Server (especially someone how has, you know, used it), BusinessObjects Explorer, anything in the mobile analytics realm, and of course I’m still hungry for as much BI4 info as they will feed me.

Where will you be on Tuesday at 7pm?

Great question. At the Diversified Semantic Layer podcast tweet up. follow @DSLayered for more info.

Can we expect more updates?

Hopefully. I try to blog once a day at conferences, but as the day drags on and the drinks start flowing, that gets tougher.

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