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A personal impression of SAP Inside Track NL 2011


For me, it was the first #sitnl I attended. Mind you, I’d been to SIT Bonn (feb 2010) and SIT Brussels (sep 2010), but in my home country, I couldn’t make it the first two years (shame on me!). So to make up for my absence, and because it’s a great and fun event, I offered to help with the organisation, host a session, and I even agreed to play operator during the day. So what became of all that, and how did the event go?


We had a good team consisting of 6 people of 5 different companies (there is your community aka Dutch SAP Mafia), and while Twan van den Broek did by far most of the preparations (with assistance of his Ciber squad on Friday and Saturday), we all did play our part in it. During the wrap up at the end I was very happy to see Pim de Wit on stage to thank Twan for all the effort that he put into this third(!) SAP Inside Track NL. He even had to miss the championship game (soccer) of his son. Kudos to you Twan!

My own session on NetWeaver Gateway

Here I have some mixed feelings. I was/am still recovering from a cold, and my throat didn’t exactly behave the way I wanted. That already took me a lot of time (sleep) during the week before the event, and as a result I reverted to a plain TechEd recap presentation without any additional fun (aka demo). I also owe a big “Thank you” to Chris Whealy who kindly sent me the slides from his Expert Networking Session `Gateway for the uninformed’. So while it could certainly have been better, I think in the end the presentation went reasonably well, and I was for sure very glad to be able to finally contribute to an SAP Inside Track. In Bonn and Brussels I only came as a participant (leecher?). My feedback from this event: it’s even more fun if you contribute!

Playing operator

Well, to cut this one short: I didn’t. The guys who did the operating, Bernard Smits and Michael Hardenbol, didn’t mind at all to do it, they did a great job, and to be honest, I didn’t mind either ;-). So all I want to say is:

Thank you operators!

#sitnl in general

So, how was #sitnl in general? Well, it was a blast! One of the most important aspects of such an event is the networking, and I’m glad to say I managed to (re-)connect with a lot of people, ranging from former colleagues at customers till people I ‘only’ knew from Twitter.

Some sessions

In one word: excellent! I attended a good mix of TechEd recap and ‘off topic’ sessions and had a lot of fun!

  • DJ Adams’ session about the Alternative Dispatcher Layer was not new to me, but still a great topic. Here‘s the nugget with his framework. Speaking about contributing to the community!
  • Tobias Trapp told about his experience with the ABAP package concept from an ISV point of view, and how important it is to use it properly. I’m looking forward to the promised blog post about the subject (no pressure)!
  • Jan Penninkhof had a hilarious session about other alternative (sic!) ways to create a mobile app. Watch this video about the overratedness of frameworks to grasp the atmosphere. He also called out to the SAP execs about SUP licensing and did some live coding on stage! A guy who wants to live dangerously ;-). Be sure to catch the replay!
  • Twan van den Broek, otherwise very active as a photographer (apart from all the organizing) used some spare time(?) to host a good session about the convergence of BPM and PI aka Business Process Orchestration. To his own frustration he couldn’t connect to a 7.31 system for a live demo, but the movie shown certainly did make up for it. There were also some good questions from the audience. A very useful session IMO.
  • Martijn Linssen, not from the SAP community, but an enterprise integration architect who is very active on twitter and as a blogger, held a thought-provoking session about core integration issues. Just one quote:

Quote Martijn Linssen nr 2

  • Last but not least Matthias Steiner introduced us to the new java-PaaS from SAP, at the moment known as ‘project River’. It was a very interesting and also personal session, which I had attended at TechEd and liked very much. I’m glad he shared it with the Dutch SAP community too, one day after doing it remotely at SAP Inside Track Rio de Janeiro!


After all the parallel sessions (I heard some complaints about that btw, people found it (too) hard to choose!) it was time for Rui Nogueira to host the #sitnl demojam. Again he did a fantastic job, and we could enjoy 5 compelling demos. Official winner: DJ Adams, after a close finish with Gregor Wolf! I’ll leave it to someone else to cover this in detail but IMO there were 6 winners: the 5 entries, and the audience!


After demojam and the wrap up by Twan (and Pim) it was time for the highlight of the day, which was already eagerly anticipated by many: the #sitnl dinner, prepared by the now famous Mrs Penninkhof. And it was indeed delicious! As proved by this (example) tweet:

Tribute to MrsPenninkhof

Was that all?

Well almost, if it wasn’t for a most enthusiastic supporter and attendant from India who watched the whole day. Thank you Kumud Singh for your enthusiasm and online presence! There were of course more people online but she really stood out.

Wrap up

With that I would like to finish this blog post which is getting too long already: again we’ve seen what’s possible if enough passionate people gather to discuss SAP-related stuff. This tweet of Darren Hague expresses it perfectly:

Darren Hague about #sitnl

A big thank you to all participants, and I hope to see you all next year!

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    • Hi Tammy,

      Funny you should say that. I noticed you getting online at 2PM CET (or around that time) and said to someone else in the audience: look, she overslept.
      It was very good to see you online (once again!). Thank you for your interest in all things SAP and community. And you'll be able to watch some replays!

      Cheers, Fred

  • Wow, very cool Fred! That's some really quick blogging you did on your other free day this weekend 🙂
    Great impression/recap and i like the way you re-use the #sitNL tweets in this blog.

    For me it was the third time I attended #sitNL and it's getting better every year. It's really becoming an international event with participants coming from the UK, Belgium and Germany and the lovely Indian food from Mrs Penninkhof!

    Looking forward to the next SAP Inside Track i am gonna visit. Brussels or Bonn?


    • Hi Leo,

      I just listened to the Technology Innovation podcast episode 7, and now I'm eagerly anticipating your blog about the DemoJam (which I didn't cover in detail) and your own cool entry!
      Agree on the ever more international character of the event. Really cool!
      I'm looking forward to meeting you again, whether it's Brussels, Bonn or somewhere else!

      Cheers, Fred

  • Hi,
    I was one of the online attendees, but I could only attend a part of it because of the time difference, so I hope the recordings will be available. I think the content was really great, the agenda had very interesting sessions. I only had a hard time trying to see the screens as they were not shared as we use to do in the Brazilian SITs.
    Thorsten's off-topic session was particularly interesting - unfortunately I could not taste or smell the drink 🙂


    • Hi Raquel,

      It was very good to see you online, it made for 2 consecutive days of SIT for you, right? Thanks for the suggestion of screen-sharing. We'll certainly take that with us towards next years event.
      As for Thorstens session, I missed that one too, and I'm afraid the replay will not help with the taste/smell. Let's try to make him repeat it at the next SIT-event!

      Cheers, Fred

  • It was my first time attending a sit and I really loved it. Thank you to everybody for the warm welcome in the comunnity and the inspiring talks and discussions. I will for sure come again.
      • Yes, I noticed that too from the online channel (was in the other session at the time). You certainly seem to 'understand' the community spirit! So I'm very glad you came along with Renald, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better next time.

        Cheers, Fred

  • Hello,
    The amazing aspect was no sooner a concern was raised than it was solved. For online participants (like me) slides were not visible. No sooner was it reported than Mentor Webcast(the online moderator) uploaded the slides. Great! I loved it. Now, on Dec. 3, I would physically attend SIT India.
    Fred Verhuel, also liked your enthusiasm during the event.


    • Hi Kumud,

      It was really great to have you online, and I wish you the very best next Saturday. I'll try to chime in online and watch. Good luck!

      Cheers, Fred

  • It was indeed a fantastic event, organised well, attended by great people, and great food & social aspects too. All of the talks I attended were interesting and inspiring, and as for the Demo Jam, I think I only 'won' because Gregor's hair muffled everyone's cheers for him when he was headbanging! All the Demo Jam contestants were fab and I was humbled to be amongst them.

    Kudos to all!

    • Well...really nothing to add here ;-).
      Thanks for coming to the Netherlands and being with us! Your #ADL session was a hit (also according to the Technology Innovation podcast) and rightly so.

      Cheers, Fred

  • Fred: good insights into the event, from start to finish. Some questions: how was the wi-fi (always a concern at big events, rarely one at small venues); was the turnout more or less than expected, and did you get to meet everyone you wanted to? Finally, it sounds like the "catering" was a couple orders of magnitude above the typical repasts (kudos to @mrspenninkhof )-yay!
    Oh, and where are the videos? 🙂


    • From my perspective the Wi-Fi was great at first. I had a good connection through most of the event. In the end I saw some hickups at demos but nothing major. It was certainly better than last year so kudos to our network guys. I don't have numbers on the final turnout but I think it's around 90% of the 75 initial subscribers. So around 70. Twan can probably give more accurate numbers. The catering was indeed great. @mrspenninkhof did a marvelous job. She even skipped sleep the night before so she was probably dead tired on the inside. It never showed though. I even brought home some of the things she cooked 🙂
      • Not much to add here (thx Roel 😉 ). Wifi was fine for me too, number of participants was ideal for this venue, and the dinner... Well, you'll just have to come back to Europe I'd say!

        Cheers, Fred

  • Hi Fred,

    Thanks for writing this blog!

    In my opinion the SAP Inside Tracks are a showcase of how communities should work. A lot of people from various companies/countries coming together to share their common passion: SAP technology. I think someone tweeted that the fact that SAP is supporting these locally organised events is the reason that they will survive. I wholeheartedly agree with that!

    For me it was the third SitNL and it really is getting better every year. It's also getting bigger which is why we might not be able to hold it in the CIBER office next year. We'll see.

    Thanks to all presenters, demoers and attendees! It was great to have had you all! See you at the next SAP Inside Track!

    Cheers, Roel

    • Hi Roel,

      You're welcome (I happened to have some spare time, doesn't happen too often these days).
      I respectfully disagree with you though on SAP having to support these events for them to survive. That is, I think they will survive even without SAP supporting them. We had of course a number of participants from SAP itself (and that's the kind of support I'll welcome any time), but from a financial/organisational POV this was really a community event, not supported by SAP NL or SAP AG in any way. And for me that's how it should be! That's also why I like the informal Ciber venue/cellar so much, and I very much hope we can stay here next year, instead of having to go to the bigger, more formal offices of SAP NL for instance.

      Couldn't agree more with you on all the other points of course! 😉 Thanks for commenting!

      Cheers, Fred

      • Hi Fred,

        Think you misunderstood my post, sorry for the lack of clarity. What I meant was: the fact that SAP is supporting the community (in the many ways that they do) will be the reason they (SAP) will survive. So my point was about SAP's survival 🙂

        Cheers, Roel

        • Oops, should have paid more attention to what you said (as usual). Thanks for clarifying it for dumb me! And of course I agree totally with you on that!

          Cheers, Fred

  • Hey Fred,

    Thanks for the nice write-up. It has become a very nice representation on the topics and ambiance at the event.

    Just like many others, I have also noticed that the Inside Track NL is getting better by the year. I love the fact that the insiders are getting to know eachother better every time, but that new insiders are so easily taken along as well. Very very nice chemistry between a bunch of really great people!

    I am surprised that neither SAP Netherlands nor VNSG have showed up though. Even if the visit was just extremely brief, I think it would have meant quite a lot in terms of recognition, but I also think both of them have a lot to gain it.


    P.S.: I am very lucky indeed, that Mrs. Penninkhof is indeed Mr. Penninkhof's wife. And I can tell you that that's not only for the excellent food 🙂

    • Hi Jan,

      Yes, you (and many other commenters) are absolutely right about the excellent 'inclusive' atmosphere. We definitely need to keep that spirit. As for SAP NL and the VNSG, it is a community event and as such they are of course welcome, but recognition? I honestly don't think we need more recognition. 75 Participants on a Saturday tells me enough.

      Btw, say hi to Mrs. Penninkhof! 😉

      Cheers, Fred