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TechEd 2011 DemoJam – A fun event but…

I really enjoyed this year’s DemoJam though it was an enjoyment with a niggling concern that the show had lost the focus and soul of DemoJam. I also strangely felt I had been marketed to rather than seen genuine competition between diverse DemoJammers.  

There’s no doubt with the new format that Marek and the rest of the SAP Research team involved in Brisbane (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi ,oi) deserved to win as they showed us something really innovative and awesome but has the point of DemoJam changed?

So what’s wrong?

Okay – I believe DemoJam is about innovation in the SAP Enterprise space, and all the participants definitely were innovating in their space (I was really impressed with all of them); but in my opinion it was more a show of SAP products/features (new or upcoming) than a competition.  Even the host would give biased information about each presentation (albeit in an entertaining way) but this added to the fact that it was more of a sell than a true competition.  There were a couple of entries that were more traditional entries but the playing field was not really fair in my opinion (though one got really close).

In previous years, Al Templeton and myself would say – “We need to enter this” – “We can win this” – then last year we did and won – but with this year’s entries – there’s no way we would have even tried. For us, it wasn’t months of development, but there was definitely some significant personaltime invested by us into DemoJam.  And it wasn’t just us – most entries I believe were all in the same boat (shout out to John Astill).

See to me, DemoJam is best when it is a truly geeky event where developers/innovators get to show off something cool and practical they’ve done in their own time for the enterprise.  It’s not SAP professionals showing something they’ve being doing as part of their day job for the last 6-12 months or longer.

So to add to my angst, when we won, we had no qualms in encouraging others to compete in the 2011 competition but looking back at the change in format, I’m worried about our advice?  

Is DemoJam now a Marketing Event?

I can’t help think that as soon as you open up DemoJam to presenting your day job – it becomes simply an exercise in SAP marketing and who’s got the best use-case/technology.  If this was the scope, then I’m surprised porting ABAP development into Eclipse wasn’t includes as that would be another excellent DemoJam idea (maybe it is at another venue – if so – good luck!).

HANA – Not sure why this word appears here, it appears to be mentioned everywhere at the moment whether it is needed or not.

Prosed New (or is it Old) Rules

So I’m nearing the end of this scattered rant; but how about some rules for next year’s DemoJam:

  • Demo must be leveraging/working with SAP products in an innovative way with a real business use case
  • Demo must be put together in your own time and not part of your day job – Sure – if you have a 20% Google innovation policy – that’s probably okay but it shouldn’t be something you have a KPI to deliver!

 

And if the rules reflect this; I’ll pledge to enter next year’s event (hopefully Al will still join me) and challenge other’s to do so!

Some last Comments

Inclusion of Innojam Winner

While I’m still waiting for the SAP Mentors to release the “Do I Know you?” app; the inclusion of the InnoJam entry was a good thing.  If the above rules are put in place, then not only should the innojam be presented on stage, but they should be part of the competition and voted upon.

Finally a Shout Out to The Winning Team

Knowing where SAP Research came from with the demo – they definitely put in some effort to get ready for DemoJam.  Things were looking awesome at the beginning of the year when we first saw this at Mastering Technologies under the very cool but trademarkable name “Holodeck”; but the use-cases were limited at that point.  I still definitely have high hopes for this to be productionised ASAP – especially with the BPMN use-cases.  Anyway, kudos to the team and look forward to seeing more impressive stuff out of the research labs at SAP.

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41 Comments

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  1. Juergen Schmerder
    Hi Matt

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would not go as far as calling it a marketing event, but I kind of agree with your overall assessment.

    No doubt: Congratulations Marek (and team) for a well-deserved demo jam win!

    However, I would love to see more demos that are built in real hacking mode – just like demo jam started years ago. My dream (of course) is to see an InnoJam winner win Demo Jam. But as of now, a demo built within 30 hours (with technologies you’ve never seen before) can not possibly win against some “product” (no matter if from SAP or partner) that has been polished for a year.
    BTW, this year’s InnoJam winner DID actually compete in Demo Jam.

    But when we go back to the model of raw hacking – do you think there’s a risk we’ll loose some of the “wow” factor? Holodeck was indeed impressive… And yes, I know, womblings helicopter and your super-generic mobile app were impressive, too – but will we get this quality year after year after year?

    –juergen

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks for commenting Juergen. And whoops – But really, competing against the other guys was a bit tough IMO with the format so in my head maybe I blocked what truly happened out (perception is reality right?).
      I agree it definitely wasn’t just a marketing event – those teams up there obviously spent a lot of time above and beyond getting on stage but you got the general feel of my message. And yes – If the Innojam could genuinely compete, then I don’t think it’s a long shot at all.
      In terms of the Wow factor – if we can genuinely open this up to everyone, then I think we have a lot of Wow out there.  For example, that Sybase demo for me was not about the product but the concepts used to make something amazing.  Similarly, the HTML5 stuff was just showing SAP people what’s happening in the non-ERP software world rather than being radical.  If we can get more traditional innovations into SAP (which are happening every day) then we could be onto something.  eg. Gateway is an enabler for Innovation, and not the innovation itself – if we can imagine what we can do with an open API into SAP running in-memory, the potential is limitless (and I’m not just talking mobile apps!!!!).
      I suppose in general, if the scope of the Demo is reduced, the innovation entries should be significantly increased (some faith required).
      But then again – Maybe we just hand the keys over to SAP and other aligned vendors to run their own internal DemoJam at TechEd each year so they can wow us?  But that to me would be overall disappointing regardless of how impressive the demo’s are.
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      1. Juergen Schmerder
        Random thought, late at night: what if we pulled the mentors into the pre-selection process? Would you guys be able to be “neutral” in the sense that mentor submissions don’t have an unfair advantage?

        –juergen

        PS: I am not the one to decide…

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        1. Matt Harding Post author
          Tough one.  Personally I’d have no problem, but that’s where the anonymous part comes in handy right…It could damage Mentor relationships if not handled correctly, but definitely a weighting from Mentors could be interesting.
          Note – You’d probably want to specify how to rank as I would rate,  simplicity (or as simple as it can be), ingenuity and coolness as key in my ranking. Also, the demo’s did do a good job of this this year still so were the right candidates put forward most likely.
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            1. Matt Harding Post author
              Hey Abesh. The problem with mentors is we tweet what we’re up to, so for example – in 2010 – at least two sets of mentors put their video submission on-line.  Plus in both of the video’s – I believe names were in the video.
              Easily fixed I know but for the most part – we kind of notice what we are doing for this event early on.
              Cheers, Matt
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        2. Greg Chase
          There are too many mentors, and too many mentors who engage in DemoJam to make them the sole judges.  Of course there should be some Mentors, but also some knowledgeable SAP folks, others from the community, and maybe a notable analyst or two.
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  2. Greg Chase
    To me it doesn’t count if its native SAP people submitting innovations.  They simply have too much access to assistance.

    Sure we can have some guest SAP Demo Jam exhibitors, but they shouldn’t be counted in the voting.

    I say this as an enthusiastic participant in InnoJams 3 years in a row!

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks Greg. That’s a good option to add and I think that was done one year with the imagineering group and eGheads WII hands.  I wouldn’t want to stop those who are doing it in their spare time from SAP entering, but…
      So effectively, combined marketing and techie/innovation. Win Win!
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  3. Michelle Crapo
    You really think consultants don’t pay their people time / money for working on a demojam project?

    Customer?  Well I would hope my company would get some value from what I created.  Could I get company time to do it?  Probably not.

    SAP?  Yes, they could stop their people from working on the project during company time.  We may lose some ideas, but oh well!  Eventually we may see them as products.

    Consultants?  What about those people from a consulting company.  I bet they have company time to work on a project.  I bet they have as much time as the company could give them.  How would that be controlled?

    So could we limit SAP?  Probably.  Consultants – no.  Customers – we are always limited.

    I’m not sure how you could limit / police this.  Only allow Innojam teams to do it?  OK – but then it’s no longer demojam.  It is Innojam.

    We could somewhat track people via SAP Streamworks.  It would give us a date and time.  But how would we know it was work time or not.

    I think it’s a good thought.  BUT I think the fix for the problem would be hard if not impossible.

    I don’t know – you’re making my fuzzy brain think.  Still sick and I know it’s from the stupid plane!

    Michelle

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    1. Vijay Vijayasankar
      Not sure of consulting companies in general – but where I work, we do it on our own time. We do not ask for company time since it is mostly to satisfy the geeks in us.

      My big regret this year was that I could not get a demo jam entry in time. Maybe next year. But IBMers were in the team that won innojam.

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      1. Matt Harding Post author
        Good comments Michelle and Vijay. And I would support Vijay’s comments and add that unless you are voted into the final 6 in DemoJam, most consulting companies wouldn’t do much for you at all (unless you happen to be on the bench with no RFP’s or other training to be done).  Note – Last year I was employed at a utility and hence none of DemoJam was done during work hours.
        Vijay – Looking forward for your super HANA powered use-case that makes us see the true potential of HANA.  Everything to date (except for Smart Meter Analytics) is not really that impressive yet and I’d like to see some game changing use-cases presented which SAP struggle to do except for non-ERP scenarios.
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        1. Vijay Vijayasankar
          SAP and rest of us all are struggling for that one killer hana app. The real problem is that only a small percentage of real life use cases need real time processing. As I mentioned before in a blog, in most cases – even if systems can provide real time insight, the organization cannot make use of it. No wonder the killer app is elusive.
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          1. Michelle Crapo
            OK – so I really don’t know…. It’s been a while since I’ve consulted.  Just know the top answers in the forums are usually from consulting firms.  It’s just good advertising.

            Ahhhh… But taking the time for a Demo Jam project, now that would pull out some of your best consultants for a long time.  Lack of revenue.  Maybe not making the cut.  Yes, I agree with both of you now.  They probably don’t.

            Great thought Vijay!

            And it helps us all with some quick answers!

            Michelle

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  4. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
    Matt:

    I have to say I agree with your blog…I noticed that on DemoJam 2009 and then again this year (As I missed DemoJam 2010)…many SAP teams are competing, which for me leads to an disadvantage…I mean…if I want to go to Innojam…would I’m going to get access to HANA, Gateway or ByDesign? Is my company going to pay for the huge effort that demands a DemoJam submission? I don’t think so…

    I got nothing against the participants, for sure they did a great job and Marek totally deserved to win…but again…with my current access to SAP technologies…I could hardly compete with any of those new technologies…and the spirit of DemoJam should be or it was, build something awesome with the tools we provide for free and that are publicly available…

    I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a Marketing event, but I believe that SAP submission should be limited to 2 submissions, giving the chance to other people to compete with their innovative solutions…

    Greetings,
    Blag.

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks Blag. Sounds like a good idea to limit SAP submissions, but if it still comes down to them demo’ing the latest in Streamworks that they’ve been working on for months – then you’re going to lose unless you capture the audience with something thought provoking.  Also, I do feel that limiting SAP isn’t going to cut it either as if SAP are generally the ones putting in the most effort, then they deserve to be up there regardless of numbers.
      I know, I say one thing, then say another – but unfortunately I don’t feel there is a clear resolution to this problem and awareness is probably the most important aspect of this blog.
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    2. John Astill
      Hi Blag,

      You don’t need to use the latest SAP technologies. Last year I integrated (with PHP) an existing Augmented Reality browser with Plant Maintenance (BAPIs). Leveraging non SAP technologies against existing SAP products is also worthwhile.

      John

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      1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
        John:

        The let me rephrase…you have to use the latest technologies or be John Astill -:) Just kidding
        I remember I saw your presentation…very cool stuff by the way…and when I was talking about limiting the SAP entries, I wasn’t talking about you…real hackers should never be left out -;)
        It’s just that I have friends that had submit pretty nice projects that have been rejected so badly that it really got me in my bad mood…

        Greetings,
        Blag.

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  5. Christopher Solomon
    I have felt this way for a LONG time…and even voiced it at recent DemoJams.

    The FIRST DemoJam was, in my opinion, the best ever! It truly felt like the Wild West! Folks could participate and get up there to show off whatever they had developed. It was truly like a geek “show and tell”…..”Hey, look what I did!”. The crowd liked it or didn’t, but everyone had fun. There was whooping and hollering. It was a big ol’ time!

    Then things changed it seemed. The next go around, it seemed infiltrated by vendors trying to “demo” their wares under the guise of “we’re just good ol’ developers like you”. It was really kinda sickening. That’s when I felt a change….there was a “disturbance in the Force”. (haha)

    Then the rules changed a bit….”no product demos”….but they didn’t change that much. Independent competitors (consultants or customers) seemed less involved and more “spots” were filled with SAP employees. A lingering 1-2 vendors got in, but folks were on to them by then.

    Last year was more of the same…even more SAP employees…but somehow, an “outsider” Australian team managed to get in there and pull the rug out from everyone else with a mind blowingly cool demo….know who they were, Matt? *grin*

    And then, we jump to this year…I was not there in Vegas this go around, but I did notice that it was almost all SAP employees up there. It could have easily been changed to “SAP wants to show us all something”-Jam. =)

    At least I can say,”I was there when the Aussies took it all and kept the spirit of DemoJam alive….if but for a fleeting moment more”.

    Thanks, Matt!

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks for the support Chris. I’ve also been on about this for a couple of years now – and the most important piece for me is to just call this out so that it is at least considered for next year’s selection criteria.
      Fingers crossed…
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  6. Greg Chase
    Holding contests to showcase a place or technologies is nothing new in the industry.  And its wide open what we allow people to bring.  We say our technology is awesome and we simply seek people who can show off their ability and the ability of the technology.

    Its not surprising to see the newest sexy features and technologies used, particularly if their potential hasn’t been stretched. In 2010, I recall an HTML5 based application did very well.  Granted  thats not being marketed by SAP, but its still an attention grabbing approach by a DemoJam team.  So why not use HANA.  We say its awesome.  Why not try to calculate the “Ultimate Question pertaining to Life the Universe and Everything.”  Oh! There’s my idea for next year!

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Well you’ve only got 6 minutes and not 10 million years to do the calculation but it would be cool for sure.
      And I’ve got no problems with using SAP Products to demo innovation, but if the demo team was demo’ing the HANA product as their innovation, then that would be breaking the rules in my mind.
      In reality (as the above is a more deliberate over stating of my concern), my main concern is large teams building something over months and demo’ing it which makes it impossible for most to compete.
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  7. Vijay Vijayasankar
    innojam should get rid of most of the problems of demojam.

    You only have 30 hours to hack. And there is some theme for everyone to aim for – like gamification this year, which gives a semblance of apples to apples comparison while judging.

    on flip side, that is not enough time to build something of the type and quality that we generally see in demojam. But I do think innojam is the way to go if this is a developer competition.

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  8. John Astill
    I am an SAP employee and also a Demo Jam addict. I have submitted entries for work I have done outside my day job for the last 3 years. Last year I was soundly beaten by a fantastic team from Australia.

    When the Demo Jam teams are listed and have SAP next to them, there is nothing to distinguish the home project geeks from the product teams. This definitely makes the number of SAP entrants look skewed. And believe me, not all of us have access to all the cool new technologies.

    Last year Craig threw down the gauntlet and asked for more non SAP only submissions. In response to that I talked with partners about creating submissions together. However due to job changes etc this did not come to fruition for me.

    I agree it would be nice to see more non SAP teams up on stage and that is why Craig challenged the community. I wonder how many from the community responded with submissions?

    As for “Do I know you” our InnoJam entry, we are working right now to build this and make it available in a more integrated format.

    Las Vegas this year had 3 competition winners on stage. We had 2 Innojam Winners and a Gamification Winner among the finalists.

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      1. Matt Harding Post author
        Maybe we need to start a DemoJam Addicts Anonymous club.  In Australia, @wombling and @tonkapome formed an alliance to come together and ended up taking it out (though this did have a helicopter!).  Being able to connect with others could be a very interesting approach…(though logistically hard when it comes to the video).
        FYI – You’re one of the reasons I dont want to limit SAP entries, as it’s a commitment thing; and I like your phrase, the “home project geeks” which sums up who I believe should be entering.
        Also good to hear the “Do I know you” app is progressing!
        And when it comes to it – the two Streamwork entries were my concern overall that inspired this blog.
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  9. Jonathan Wilson
    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for taking the time to blog about this issue.  I had a number of similar conversations both during and after the event, and unfortunately I don’t think there is a simple answer that could be implemented with a rule change (although I do support limiting the number of SAP entries – there is already plenty of scope for SAP people to show off their technology).

    Instead, I believe the key to resolving this is to let the audience decide.  Obviously to do this, there needs to be a great deal more disclosure.  The kinds of information that I believe need to be shared before the demo starts are:

    – How many people contributed to the demo and who they work for
    – How much effort was spent building the demo
    – When work started
    – Whether any contributions (e.g. working time) were made by third parties
    – Whether any non-public technology or IP was used

    Personally, I would be much more likely to vote for a good demo that was dreamt up by a couple of guys from Australia using publically available technology, than I would be for a great demo that was put together by a team of researchers as part of their day job.

    Cheers,
    Jon

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks Jon – An interesting idea for sure though as a developer – I imagine most of us would understate how much effort we put into things but big differences could easily be seen. Also, on the night, it’s probably too late to give people information to absorb as it’s really the impressiveness of the show which wins on the night IMO.
      Regardless, I look forward to see what happens with DemoJam next year, and I figure I might just enter again anyway (if I can come up with a good enough idea) and just try rock the boat again.  Besides, we need to try keep the trophy in Australian hands as long as possible.
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  10. Matthias Steiner
    Hi Matt,

    as you know, we talked about this and I share most of your concerns – in fact I raised to Chip’s attention that in Madrid we’ll have the vast majority of DemoJam slots from SAP.

    Especially irt “Open Innovation” I’d love to see more submissions and actual contenders from outside. Hopefully the upcoming replatformin of SCN to Jive + CodeExchange + InnoJams will cross-pollinate each other and we’ll see more community stuff 🙂

    Hey, we may even think about an Atlantis submission 😉

    I’m happy that you got that blog out and raise attention, I think as last year’s winner your entitled to watch that the spirit of the event is not going downhill and away from it’s roots.

    It’s always a great show and fun to watch – it’s an essential part of my own personal SAP TechEd experience and I’d not want to miss out on it.

    Despite that Kudos for stepping up, telling it as you say it. We should give credits where due, praise the good stuff, but also point out improvements where needed.

    It’s been a blast to share that much time with you this year in LV! Looking forward to our cont. journey 🙂

    Cheers,
    Matthias

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks for the added feedback Matthias, and maybe the Atlantis angle may be an interesting way to eat our own dog food and in parallel show something amazing to everyone to show why we work that way.
      And definitely looking forward to our paths physically crossing again (hopefully more frequently than just once a year)!
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  11. Marilyn Pratt
    I’ve watched this event (show) over (and over) the past few years (since 2005) and observed a correlation between the human beings on stage and the empathetic energy of …..the audience.  With mild amusement I recall the grumblings of Shai Agassi behind the scenes that those “pesky ABAPers” were again the popular darlings and stole the show from any NW or J2EE or Java types (embedded to market the then “new” platform?).  Some of us love “underdogs” or “dark horses” or the community-minded types or the ones with “the beer”.  My heart was broken the year the ESME guys and gals failed to capture the cup/crown but they sure had popular support and admiration on 3 continents.  And who could forget getting our WI hands on? Or certain ozzie ozzie folks. And truthfully, if Chris Paine and co. had made it to the mainstage from innojam this year they too would have felt “the love” which Marek generated and really obviously earned.  So remember community plays a big role in this event and almost begrudging kudos to Ian for having ’em rolling in the aisles, and ROFL (self included in spite of myself) . Shows a show.  If not purely innovation, nor marketing, guess we can say: it’s theater….Now innojam…that’s a different play entirely.  More of that please.
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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Thanks Marilyn. Innojam is definitely a good potential future platform for DemoJam, though possibly after another couple of restructures of that format in order to make it work for DemoJam but I support the idea. 
      I think it’s also mandatory for a Chris Paine, Graham or Mark Finnern “type” to be in each team for the presentation factor at Innojam as that would translate well to DemoJam.
      And I don’t know what you are talking about in terms of empathetic community advantage – Al and I really struggled to get the crowd behind us last year 😉
      Lastly Ian was really funny albeit influencing the audience in regards to some groups which I thought was a little unfair to those groups…
      And yes – good theater, but really, I want to be inspired at DemoJam to see new game changing ideas and not just new products (though building on top of a new product is fine by me).
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  12. Paul Hawking
    Firstly well done Marek but I have indicated my concersn to Marek.  Last yera the SAP Australian User Group held the first DemoJam in Australia.  I was on the panel to select the finalists.  I was concerned when I was comparing a submission from a vendor which was in the market to a solution being created on the spot.  There certainly no level playing field.

    The Innojam is what is should be what is all about. I have already raised this in otehr meetings.

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  13. Marek Kowalkiewicz
    First, Matt – excellent post, and I truly agree with you. I already had similar discussions with some mentors in Berlin last year, and I was really unhappy to see that the majority of LV demojam participants were SAP ones (and I did share my concern with the organisers, who BTW are aware of it).

    Also – thank you for the good words about Innoboard. It’s been an extremely exciting ride, and I am so happy so many people are so supportive of the project.

    Now, I obviously didn’t have enough time on stage to give the background of the project, and I should probably write a post about it soon, but how about I briefly add a couple of points to the excellent discussion here.

    Innoboard team: we are small. In fact we are two intern students (Liam and Mark, who just recently got his first contract with SAP) and a senior developer (Dan). Plus a couple of people (including me) who – among many other tasks in other projects – try to shape the project direction etc. We are nowhere near the size of any product team, and we are not part of any product team (including StreamWork, we’re just good friends, but not even the same part of the organization). No other SAP team supported the project more than by giving access to (publicly available) API documentation and occasionally answering to a question or two we had.

    Innoboard is a bit of a rebel project. And everyone who’s seen it gets an immediate impression that it’s not really close to any other SAP offering (although we do build on top of Gravity and we embed our whiteboards in StreamWork). Many times I was wondering whether SAP is the right company to innovate in that particular space, but thankfully SAP Research is very open to such exploratory ideas.

    We had a year to polish that, and it’s just like with any other submission. I started working on the idea of the then Holodeck the day after the DemoJam in Berlin. And there’s a new idea brewing up somewhere in the back of my mind (I hope). Whether this means a DemoJam submission next year, I don’t know, but this is something I just cannot stop doing – thinking about radically new things on top of SAP. 🙂

    But to the point: I think you are raising a very important issue. And I did discuss it with you, I also discussed it with Paul (who commented here as well), and many others: DemoJam is currently not a level playing field. These are the current rules. And as a newcomer to DemoJams (my first one was only two years ago), I had no idea about the hack-on-stage past. And there will be even more people who come to DemoJam without knowing the original idea. So I think the ongoing discussions are really important, and I hope they will result in shaping the future events.

    But I believe we do have an event that is a level playing field. And this is InnoJam. I think InnoJam is an amazing idea, and I feel that it is creating the spirit of rapid innovation that DemoJam used to have (again, I am a newcomer, so I might be wrong). I just lvoe the excitement of InnoJam teams, and I am under a deep impression of how quickly can great ideas come to life! So, is InnoJam the new DemoJam??? I sure believe so.

    I would never submit a product-ready idea to DemoJam. I think it defeats the purpose of the event. And yes, I did see a DemoJam where an “idea”, that became a product just a few weeks later, won (this one had a truly large team behind it). And no, I didn’t like that DemoJam.
    But I believe we, the broad SAP community, should have a place to show totally radical innovation that could have taken more than 30 hours, or even a couple of weeks, to complete. If it is not DemoJam, then how can we get the community excited about the potential of new technologies in the SAP space? And especially with the radical things, they simply have to take more time to get developed, there’s no shortcut there!

    This year, I submitted two DemoJam entries. The other one was developed by a team of three university students and one SAP researcher (that is me). The demo, Globemaster, has been accepted for DemoJam Bangalore. And this one was a pure voluntary activity for each of us. With Globemaster I am hoping to show the SAP community something radical, exciting, something they haven’t seen – or maybe even thought of –  before. Because this, to me, is what DemoJam is about.

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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Marek – You guys need to be centre stage/headlining at TechEd IMO – the quality of the work you do (even if it’s not officially a product) is amazing. When Alex presented at Mastering Technologies, my first comment was do you need someone in the team who works from Hobart!
      For reference, it’s a shame that SAP don’t push Streamworks much more…I guess it’s because Sales can’t make any money out of it, that no one funds that part of the business.
      But seriously, isn’t this where the SAP Research tours come into it as well. You may not work on a product, but the amount of visibility that SAP Research get at the Technology Tour or SAUG Summit is pretty big.  eg. A big part of my trip to the Utility conference was to visit the living research labs there (part of SAP Research).
      That said, I realise the geek in you gets way more pleasure out of presenting to peers at TechEd DemoJam than presenting to suits but I definitely can’t compete with you if you do.
      In terms of InnoJam – I think there should definitely be some spots in DemoJam continued to be there for InnoJam entries, but the format typically doesn’t really show innovation, but more  something being built out of new products (not genuine innovation in my mind).  That said, the gamification concept this year did add some innovation so it was pretty close this year.
      So how about this approach – 2 categories of DemoJam with 2 separate winners.  eg. 3 entries of amazing ideas from SAP and partners, plus 4 entries of amazing<30 hour style ideas fighting against 2 InnoJam entries.
      One DemoJam year was like that (but the big ideas couldn’t win) but I think that would be great entertainment and appease the masses (maybe just a little bit at least).
      Really looking forward to what your next idea might just be that you alluded to.
      Cheers,
      Matt
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      1. Marek Kowalkiewicz
        So true.
        StreamWork – I don’t know the internal funding details, but the team is amazing, and whenever I work with them, I see the entrepreneural spirit that I would love every team to have. They just get things done. And I do hope StreamWork continues to gain users and popularity. But we’re slightly getting off topic here, so I’ll stop. 🙂
        I like the idea of DemoJam categories. It would make it easy to qualify projects as perhaps “an after-hours project” and a “I did it as part of my job” one (or “amateurs” and “professionals” in the sport sense – both being great, but the first ones not doing it as their full time job).
        As per the next idea – we’re still polishing it, so I won’t reveal details, but let’s say it involves an IKEA table, an exercise ball, and an SAP on demand solution, plus a few other things (software and hardware). 🙂
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  14. Uwe Fetzer
    I don’t know how to change the rules for DemoJam to have a “fair” competition.
    Maybe we need a third “Back to the roots”-Jam beside InnoJam and DemoJam. We may call it HomebrewJam where all the “home project geeks” can build all the nice things they are interested in, like the cool projects we can find on SAP Code Exchange.
    Rules: no rules, except you have to use free available software/services (ie. ABAP Developer edition, scripting languages, ES Workplace calls, Demo Gateway services, …).
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    1. Matt Harding Post author
      Brilliant Uwe, because while the “Back to the Roots” Jam is probably more going back to the format of Hacker Night (which I sadly miss these days); for me at least, I think you hit the nail on the head with that rule in terms of what I think is missing.  Potential benefits of this idea is that it gets SAP to expose more tools for free on SCN (if they want us to demo it at DemoJam) and levels the entire playing field so any number of SAP people can enter – i.e. If SAP people are not allowed to use their latest systems to build on top of with new embedded features we cannot access ourselves.
      So I propose with all the discussion on this blog that DemoJam has 2 sets of entries – (Grass roots/HomebrewJam) DemoJam which consists of 2 entries from InnoJam and 4 entries that fall into the above category submitted prior; and ProductJam which is SAP and their partners showing off their innovative products to wow us with what will soon hopefully be possible.
      Only issue with this is I know how much time is spent preparing each DemoJam entry on the Tuesday in Vegas so this may not be logistically feasible but that’s just a technicality 😉
      Maybe at least a start point for idea place.
      Cheers,
      Matt
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    2. Michelle Crapo
      Time!  We seem to have issues with time.   Maybe we start the HomebrewJam a couple of days prior to your teched.  Then the presentations could happen at the teched.  The technology would have to be available.  Only have it available the day of the DemoJam so no one could start early.

      I don’t know?  I know I was too exhausted to do much of anything by Friday.  Another late evening, and I probably wouldn’t be able to walk the next day.

      We could have it two days prior to Teched so it wouldn’t conflict with Innojam – which I love too! 

      The other Jams that Matt talked about could be run at the same time.  ProductJam.    I would hate to take the technical people out of InnoJam.  That was tried when we did Innovation Weekend and Demojam.  We ended up with limited Techies to build the ideas.   Not fun.

      I don’t know.  I love the idea.  But the logistics would have to be thought through.  Keeping in mind that some of us, older people, have to sleep at some point.

      But great idea!

      Michelle

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