I have recently returned from the InnoJam event at SAP TechEd Madrid. This is a 30 hour non stop team event where the objective is to design and build a working prototype to a business case using the SAP Technologies on offer. This time the business cases all had to be based around “Sustainability” so thinking about Carbon Footprints and being more environmentally friendly but also in corporate terms looking at how a business can be sustainable by reducing costs or streamlining processes etc. The technologies on offer were: SAP HANA, Business ByDesign, Sybase Unwired, SAP Netweaver Gateway, Duet Enterprise and Project River. Experts gave us a six minute presentation on each of the technologies, how they work and what they do then it was on to the business cases.
The next step was “BizFire” Business Cases were pitched by various participants and can be viewed here: Business Cases We were asked what technologies we thought we would use and also what skills we would be looking for in our team. There were a lot of great ideas and it really opened up some interesting discussion in the networking session.
Once all the cases had been pitched we left the room and began to network and speak to various other participants in a kind of “speed dating” exercise. The purpose of this is so the Team Leaders can discuss their ideas and hopefully attract some useful talent but also so that the other participants can decide who they want to work with for the next 25 hours! A list of teams can be seen here: Teams
So, the teams were formed and everyone had an idea of where they wanted to go with their solutions. Over the next few hours each team began brainstorming these ideas and the walls soon filled up with flip chart paper. The various Subject Matter Experts were recruited to help out the teams and give their views as to what was possible and what was not. By about 5pm on the Sunday afternoon most teams had got their Functional Specifications drawn up and had a vision of what the end solution was going to look like. Then the fun part started, the teams divided up the various pieces of development and coding work that needed to be done and people coded well in to the night. The business process people among us kept an eye on this work, making sure work was not duplicated and that everyone was working towards the same goal.
We were kept well fed and watered throughout the evening but by about 4am Monday morning most people had decided to call it a day and gone for some sleep. Rui Nogueira (one of the key event organisers) actually slept at the venue! Those cushions did look comfortable though Rui!
Most of the teams met back at the venue before 8am for breakfast and much coffee to help with the day ahead. Development work was assessed, tweaked, tested and improved throughout the day. The business process people started to pull together scripts for the presentations and put together slides and work out how to best demonstrate the solutions in the strict 6 minute timeframe allowed per team.
By lunch time most of the teams had finished the bulk of the coding although some teams left it to the very last minute! By 4pm on Monday afternoon Rui called everyone back in to the presentation room for their 6 minutes of fame in front of a distinguished panel of judges and the other contestants The standard of presentations was very good but, as with all live events the risk factor of the demonstration not working was on everyone’s minds and there were a few jittery moments for some teams!
Once the demonstrations were over we all went out for a well earned beer while the judges deliberated over the winner, on offer was a slot at DemoJam for the winning team. Well done to Gregor Wolf and his team for their excellent presentation of “Carbon Time n Travel” an efficient and easy to use mobile time, travel and expense tracking resulting in carbon impact reporting for employees and managers. Second place went to Team E.T.H.I.C.S who used SAP Business ByDesign to create a company initiative allowing employees to score points for making “green” choices and recording them on a mobile device. Third place was “Eco Pilot” A clever voice activated app which analysed the efficiency of your car driving using SAP HANA. Watch the winning team at Demo Jam here: Demo Jam Madrid
By 7pm Monday night the event was over. This was my first InnoJam and I will definitely return, I feel like I’ve made some good friends and had the chance to get hands on with some of the latest SAP Technology. I would recommend this event to anyone interested in SAP whether you are a Business Process Expert, Project Manager or a Techie. Although the event is largely built around Coding and Development there is a real need for business process experts to help steer the work and also people with presentation skills.
Many thanks to Rui, Karin and the whole team for putting on such a great event, I will definitely return!
Pictures of the event can be seen here.