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Wow straight from SAP InnoJam to the user group Summit.  Here are my observations from day 1.  There was more enthusiasm and excitement in the attendees than I have ever seen before at any of the previous summits.  I am unsure why.  Sure the agenda looks good with some interesting sessions and great speakers.

The first keynote was CITIC Pacific’s Iron SAP Plan.  The usual start to a presentation about “who we are”.  But it kept on going and I was worried that there would be more slides about the company than what they are planning to do in relation to SAP.  However when the speaker started talking about their SAP outsourcing strategy it became apparent why it was necessary to explain so much about the company and its huge operations in a remote location.  It was a good presentation and I would love to hear a follow up presentation after the SAP plan has been implemented.  To reinforce my earlier observations I have never seen so many questions from the audience at an opening keynote.  The questions also demonstrated a level of SAP sophistication.

Jeff Word was the next keynote and spoke about SAP’s technology strategy.  A couple of observations, firstly there was a lot of “we are going to change the world, wait and see”.  Secondly there is no room for existing database vendors in new world of HANA and finally this the new approach by SAP to have no PowerPoint slides or very basic ones in their presentations.  I like grabbing some of the key messaging slides to include in my lectures.  So I am not happy.

Two of the sessions in the afternoon were conducted by SAP Mentors.  Ingo Hilgefort, BI Guru, conducted a round table session where the audience fired questions at him.  John Moy conducted a session on Mobility.  Both sessions were packed with John’s being standing room only.

The final keynote was Fonterra discussing their SAP strategy.  It was a good presentation about their existing solution footprint and the SAP replacement.  Again I want to see a follow up presentation after everything has been implemented and there were lots of questions.

So far the event has been worthwhile.  I will provide summary of day 2 shortly.

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