SAP InnoJam 2011 in Sydney is over now and it was a great experience for me. This time I didn’t sleep at all during the event. After the InnoJam I took 2 weeks of vacation which will be over for me next week. Nevertheless I’vepulled out this blog post that will be followed by 2 additional ones talking about the SAP InnoJam in Sydney that I’ve enjoyed a lot.
I’ll provide you in this first part of my insomnia blog series with some “behind the scenes” details about the event preparation and how the actual event went.
The event planning
When we started talking with Tony de Thomasis and Kim Salter about having an SAP InnoJam in Sydney we wanted to host the event at the Concention Centre right before the SAUG summit.
Those of you who don’t know, yet, what the SAP InnoJam event series is about can read SAP InnoJam In A Nutshell I wrote.
After many back and forth we needed to find a cheaper way to make the event happen. Therefore we started looking for an alternative venue. With Tony de Thomasis and Paul Hawking we got connected with Bernhard Wieder, professor at the UTS Business School who offered us to host the event there.
Once we knew that this opportunity would help us to stay within our budget we started to identify the right SAP technologies for the event. We wanted to have SAP NetWeaver Gateway and Sybase Unwired Platform. After talking to Karsten Schulz from SAP research in Brisbane we knew we would also add Holodeck (now called 42notes) and Gravity to the event portfolio. After getting some feedback from the SAP community and also from the participants of the SAP InnoJam 2011 in the Netherlands we knew that we wanted also to have HANA in Sydney. So we SAP InnoJam 2011 in Australia: Call for Business Scenarios.
Oh no! Will we really have to cancel the InnoJam in Sydney?
After having around 10 people for the event we saw that people didn’t register for it anymore. Some of you told us that the fee of AU$300 was to high as some would pay it out of their own pockets. This was a tough one as we really wanted to make the event happen, but couldn’t stay within our budget. We’ve looked for additional funding and finally got it.
With that funding SAP InnoJam 2011 in Australia: Join today for AU$180 which brought us additional attendees but not enough to make it a good experience for the attendees.
We had to set a deadline. If we wouldn’t get at least 30 attendees by July 20th we’d have to cancel the event. With the amazing work of Tony de Thomasis, Kim Salter and other people within and outside of SAP were able to get the necessary people for the event.
SAP InnoJam 2011 Sydney got a final GO.
There are some interesting blogs that had been written about the reasons why people should be at the event. Here are two of them:
- Why your boss should send you to SAP InnoJam 2011 in Sydney (Jul 30-31)?
- To Jam or not to Jam… Why I decided to sign up for InnoJam Australia after at first being skeptical
Oh no! How do we get the HANA server to Sydney in 8 days?
Now that we had the official go the next issue was a logistical one. We wanted to have a HANA server on-site to get the best experience for the users.
But the server was in Walldorf and the InnoJam was just 7 days away.
With the help of some awesome colleagues at SAP we were really able to get all the necessary paperwork done for the german customs.
After I also found the person with root rights on the server we were able to shut down the server, pack it and get it picked-up from DHL to be sent to Sydney.
All of this within roughly 24 hours and with the involvement of around 15 people.
After arriving in Sydney on Thursday the server wasn’t there, yet. With the online tracking tool of DHL I saw that the server just arrived with me at the airport 🙁 meaning that the server still had to go through the customs. It took the customs only a couple of hours, but after some phone calls on Friday from the UTS Business School (yes, the server didn’t arrive there yet) I was told that the server went through customs on Thursday late afternoon. “Yeah!” I thought, but the person told us that they were under-staffed and that they couldn’t garantuee that the server could be at the UTS before Monday. Once telling them we’d pick up the server ourselves from the DHL station and after being on the road to the airport we got a phone call that the server had just been delivered to the UTS. It was 4:30pm on Friday.
To keep it short: it took me additional 6 hours in the loud and cold server room, but at the end the HANA server was connected to the local network infrastructure and was ready to be used by the InnoJammers.
The first day of the SAP InnoJam in Sydney
People started arriving at 12:30pm and at 1pm we started the event. Bernhard Wieder opened the event with a short explanation why the InnoJam was happening at the UTS Business School and was followed by Karsten Schulz from SAP Research in Brisbane who held the keynote.
During TechFire we presented the following SAP technologies
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway (by Andrew Whitaker)
- HANA (by Onno Bagijn)
- Holodeck (by Marek Kowalkiewicz and Daniel Ricketts)
- Sybase Unwired Platform (by Dan Getliffe)
- Gravity (by Alexander Dreiling)
Although we’ve had 13 business scenarios at the end 5 teams were formed
- Team 01 – Cibernators
- Team 02 – Keeping the CFO happy
- Team 03 – Long term forecasting using predictive markets
- Team 04 – Mad Doc
- Team 05 – Holistic Mobility Asset Lifecycle Management
In my next blog I’ll provide you with the details around the 24 hour coding and the final presentations for the SAP InnoJam 2011 in Sydney.