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Author's profile photo Matthias Steiner

Boarding Call for Technology and Innovation to SAPPHIRE NOW from Madrid! this first of a series of pre-SAPPHIRE NOW blog posts, I face the challenge to talk about two very sensitive topics: innovation and myself.

Why “sensitive“?

Well, the first term – innovation – seems to have suffered from overuse lately, and probably finds itself sitting right there on the black list next to its good buddies: game changer, non-disruptive change and what ever else you got. But more on that later on…  before we dig deeper (the stage is set!) I do would like to quickly touch upon the second topic first.

Talking about – oneself – is always a challenge, especially in front of a public and yet unknown audience. But here’s my approach: Not only do I consider it good manners to introduce myself before starting to talk to all of you, then it’s not completely irrelevant for the success of my mission either. Because frankly speaking without you knowing who I am and where I am coming from, chances are significantly lower that you will feel comfortable with approaching me on the campus floor, which is the only reason I’m going there in the first place. As such, please allow me to introduce myself briefly before we get to talk about the other topic in more detail!


My name is Matthias Steiner and I work for SAP Custom Development in Germany. Within the last 10 years I was able to execute on numerous custom development projects on behalf of our clients. Given the unique role of our organization as  an internal unit, yet working with  customers on a daily basis, it allows us to see the bigger picture and makes us aware of the challenges out there. In fact, a fundamental part of my role in the last couple of years has been to tackle some of  these challenges and the standard question that comes with emerging technologies and applied innovation: “How does it all affect me/my company and what I/we do?“ Let’s make that question our guiding spirit as we approach Madrid and prepare ourselves for SAPPHIRE NOW.

Yet, before we do that – maybe one word about the Social Ambassadors and our mission? (Not sure if everybody knows about that initiative yet.)

Social Ambassadors for SAPPHIRE NOW

OK – I’ll admit it upfront: I am excited to be part of the team for this year’s event and I’m really looking forward to capturing your voice and the atmosphere at the location! In a nutshell, this is what it is all about: the Social Ambassadors are to become the eyes and ears of those who cannot attend the event in person. As such, we will be sort of dedicated ‘socially active’ reporters who will roam the floor and tweet/blog/discuss (including via LinkedIn) throughout the event. Here’s the onsite team (with many more working in the back-office!) :


With that out of the way, we can now go focus on the road ahead – Madrid! Being a techie (by heart) I have to admit that it will be my first time to attend SAPPHIRE NOW, yet given the unique situation that the event will be co-located with SAP TechEd this year, it probably will be a first-of-a-kind experience for all of us! I’ll definitely try to  take a good bite from both cakes and be all over the place! (Not sure about the dress code I’ll feature for that mission but we’ll see!)

Whatever event you’ll go for (or both), here’s the entry page to let you see both session catalogs. If you’re still undecided which one would be the better suited for you – here’s a page that may be helpful: “Choose your experience!”

Well, as far as I know the Technology Innovation Campus won’t be far off the SAP TechEd campus anyway, so no matter your decision there’s a chance our paths will cross if you should be interested in innovation and technology (and who isn’t?)


Now as I said earlier, with all the “innovation here”, “innovation there” the term is better handled with caution and it even seems appropriate to set the expectations right from the beginning. For me, I take it as one of my obligations to try to take it down a level and tell it like it is:

“Innovation is a change in the thought process for doing something,
or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries.”

McKeown, Max (2008). The Truth About Innovation

It’s more a state of mind than a particular moment of time when it all magically happens. It’s an ongoing process. Consequently, even though the geek in me tends to get all excited about the amazing possibilities coming with the new dimensions, I would not want to give reasons to think I’d joining in the marketing hype and praise. In fact, in order to stay true to the social aspect of the role that I’ve been trusted with, I’m looking to provide balanced coverage about what’s really going on in regards to technology innovation at and around SAP. And what better way could there be to achieve that than to let your voice be heard? As such if you have a valid cause and constructive feedback – let’s talk about it!

With this mindset I have started to collect links to blogs and resources on the Web from both within and outside of SAP. Of course, having earned a reputation of being both “top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem” and being “hands-on experts of an SAP product or service,” the Not authorized to view the specified document 7840 were among the first outside sources I reached out to in order to get an idea about what the ecosystem thinks. If you are like me and would want to do some preliminary reading to get up to speed before going to Spain in November, then maybe you’re interested to take a look at some of my personal favorites as well as content from SAP Community Network.

Technology Innovation Campus

Let’s finish our overview session with a a closer look on the topics and technologies we’ll (most-likely) hear about at the Technology Innovation Campus (taken from SAPPHIRE NOW Campuses Overview.)

Test-Drive Areas:

Discussion Tables:

  • In-Memory Computing
  • Mobility
  • Cloud Computing
  • SAP NetWeaver
  • Data Management
  • SAP Labs and SAP Research
  • Technology Overview
  • Technology Deployment
  • Business Process Management and Integration
  • Application Lifecycle Management
  • Custom Development
  • Security and Identity Management

Yes, that’s indeed a broad variety of topics… from a wide spectrum of technologies.  (Guess what drove me to better prepare myself?)  The topic names however should all sound rather familiar to most of you by now. If you should have any preferences – please let me know!

Hope to see you around for the next episode, for now I zip out with this SAPPHIRE NOW EXPERIENCE video…

[Note: This blog post was originally posted on the Events Newsroom page. Yet, given that the content may also be interesting for the fine folks here at SCN (of who many may not check the event blog frequently) I opted for a cross-post. Hope that this is in your interest!]

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      from the Social Ambassadors, especially for those of us who cannot be in Madrid.

      Have fun!