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A reminder

You can argue about the power and importance of social media but it remains a fact that being connected is important. As time moves on, new ways are being created to get connected. It can certainly create opportunities and provide valuable information.

I got a reminder from @fredverheul that Innojam NL was about to take place and it was just the reminder I needed in order to focus on getting there.  I also noticed on twitter there were quite a few community members going to the SAP Innojam NL and it would be a nice opportunity to meet them. Conversations and discussions online are great but nothing beats a person to person conversation.

Organizational sweetness

After a two hour drive I arrived at the headquarters of SAP NL which looks really nice. From the highway it looks like no one is home but up close it’s a totally different story. The event was very well organized, very nice location, rooms and people.

SAP brought in specialists in the technology area’s that were presented and were later on to be used in the Innojam and there were a few SAP Mentors present. The t-shirt looked even more impressive in real life by the way. It was @steinermatt so it was a pimped out (not chromed out though) t-shirt with an Enterprise Geeks badge on it. The whole thing reminded me of an X-men suit for some reason.

Geographical differences on social media and involvement

One thing that slightly surprised me, although I already knew that there are more Dutch persons active on twitter compared to Belgians was the amount of mobile devices in the presentation room and the amount of tweets that were flowing from the audience (around fifty persons in total).

In Belgium I tend to be the only one tweeting and the rest looks at me like what in god’s name is that guy doing playing with his iPad during the presentation. Seriously get up to date guys.

You can still find the tweets when you search on hash tag #SAPInnoJamNL through http://search.twitter.com.

The fact that there is much more social media use in the Netherlands is not the only factor. There are also much more persons actually active on SAP Community Network compared to Belgium. Alright, we have to give Belgium some credit so let’s state that Belgium is smaller to still get some points here. I do think I can conclude Belgians working in SAP need to get more awareness of the use of social media and what kind of benefits both social media and community involvement can bring to the table and trust me wherever I can I’m spreading the message.

Atmosphere

Before the presentation on technology and afterwards the business cases @ruinogueira started with a little Pictionary quiz which was meant as an ice breaker and which was well received by the participants. Although he could take some lessons to draw some real art, it started the event with a serious fun factor and laughter was catching the participants. There was a certain vibe hanging in the room, participants were really eager to get their hands on the new technology and of course they all seemed very passionate about SAP.

Technology presentations

The technology presentations were done in a six minute span for each technology in order to keep the presentation times down and have more time to get to the actual work.

The live demo of SAP HANA using the Kinect sensor to capture the presenter’s movements and whereabouts was really nice as he shifted through the slides in a minority report like fashion waving his hands around. SAP is really looking into all sorts of ways to innovate using not only game mechanics but in this case even hardware designed to play games.

Other technologies presented were Sybase Unwired Platform, SAP Netweaver Gateway and Project “River”. One or more of these three last technologies were to be used to build the applications for the business cases.

Social media everywhere

Not only tweets were very much present during the event. It also caught my eye that the participants were eager to integrate social media into their applications. Social media is here to stay and has gone beyond hype mode. There will be a lot of social media integration in future SAP products.

Business cases

After the technology presentations a number of business cases were presented. The goal of these business cases is that the participants can split up in groups and choose a certain business case to work on. This way there can also be some actual output out of the event in the form of one or more applications that are actually going to get used afterwards. Of course in a limited time span of around twenty four hours there is only so much you can do but the results were quite nice though.

The business cases were presented in a similar short fashion as the technology presentations. One of the most funny moments was when @fredverheul had to do the presentation for the business case he had entered without any content so he started to use the white paper and a marker which gave some hilarious moments as first the participants started guessing what he was drawing (still caught in the Pictionary game moment from earlier on) and then he wrote B.S. which caught the participants imagination on what the two words would be of the abbreviation.

Brainstorming with @thorstenster

Since I couldn’t stay throughout the whole event I picked a room to participate during the time I had left and I ended up in the Dessert room along with a number of other participants and SAP Mentor @thorstenster.

The first thing to get the business case going was brainstorming what was going to be build. There were lots of ideas and lots of content. The group also had some bad luck since the Project “River” server was unavailable and they lost time to work on their business case. I wasn’t able to stay so I cannot give much more detail on this but I invite you to read the blogs posted by @fredverheul and @ruinogueira to see the final presentations and find out who won and so on:

Conclusion

Although I couldn’t stay and I had to head back to Belgium I was glad to be able to attend SAP Innojam NL 2011 and I will surely look out for the next time it takes place in NL and hopefully I can get my schedule around to actually stay throughout the whole event. Anyone who is passionate about SAP will feel right at home and even though it is a development oriented event, as an administrator it is interesting to see the new SAP technologies and experience how the participants use those technologies to come up with new applications and ideas.

If you have some basic programming knowledge or some knowledge from the past you are likely to be able to contribute anyway as the new technologies also offer a lot of possibilities and are very open to all sorts of standards. It is not a necessity to be an ABAP programmer to be able to contribute.

It would be great to also bring this event to SAP Belgium so I already voiced my opinion and experience on this SAP event to one of the board members of the Belgian user group SAPience in order to get the ball rolling and hopefully they will look into the possibility of hosting such an event.

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4 Comments

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  1. Bala Prabahar
    Tom,
    InnoJam or Innovation Weekend(as called last year) is truly an innovative idea by itself. I learnt the magic of collaboration and team work in Las Vegas last year. Since developers who developed the tools are available onsite, you learn faster, quicker and get “insider” info on general “philosophies”(or guidelines they followed) behind the development. Since SW is not science, that would help you get a better understanding of the tool. Documentation is probably not going to reveal that.

    InnoJam is cheap, quick, hands-on, collaborative, helps networking(this is big. Not just handshakes and business card exchanging), demonstrates win-win situation for all involved, makes everyone feel important, and the idea is innovative.

    In short if used appropriately 30h of InnoJam will be the best(or one of the best if you attend more than one in a given year) 30h of the year.

    Regards,
    Bala

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Bala

      Thanks for your comment and I cannot agree more that these events are really bringing added value. I totally forgot to exchange business cards but then again they can easily track me down on SCN, twitter or linkedin.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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  2. Fred Verheul
    Hi Tom,

    I’m really glad that you enjoyed the event, even if you could only stay on Friday, and I was pleased to meet you in person.

    It’s a great blog, and I think you captured the vibe perfectly (to paraphrase Robin van het Hof, aka @qualiture).

    If you need any help/tips to organize this event in Belgium, please let me know. I’m sure a lot of the participants of SAPInnoJamNL would be thrilled to participate again!

    Again: great blog, and looking forward to meet you again.

    Cheers, Fred

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author
      Hello Fred

      Thanks for your comment. Innojam NL was a great succes. For Belgium I’m awaiting the new user group rules/changes which are supposed to be coming after this summer.

      Thanks for offering help I will surely keep it in mind and do something with it if the opportunity rises.

      I’m involved in SAP Inside Track organization Belgium together with Martin Gillet so that should still take place in 2011, more on that soon.

      Kind regards

      Tom

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