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For all of us at SAP, it’s our favorite time of year again: The annual SAPPHIRENOW Orlando conference, held May 14-16 this year. If you’ve been to the show before, you know it is so jam-packed with SAP executives, thought leaders, technology exhibits and test
drives that it’s not easy to pick and choose what’s most relevant for you. That’s why I put together an agenda that, in my mind, represents “Three Perfect Days at SAPPHIRE” for customer service professionals (with a tip of the hat to the feature in United Airline’s Hemispheres in-flight magazine).

Here is how I would recommend anyone in the customer service function (or IT professionals who support the customer service function) to spend three days at SAPPHIRENOW. I have highlighted sessions and demonstrations that are the must-see’s for people looking to transform their customer service capabilities in their organization. 

Day 1

8:30-10:00: Keynote Address: Co-CEO Bill McDermott

Our Co-CEO Bill McDermott’s keynote address is a must-attend event. He is an inspirational speaker, and his presentation on SAP’s latest innovations will fire you up for the three-day event.

  

10-10:30: Coffee Break

Take a coffee break and gear up for a busy day ahead.

10:30-11:30: Customer Presentation: CEMEX on Competitive Differentiation (ASUG session at S310G)

How can a cement company possibly differentiate itself? Find out at the CEMEX presentation, where this building materials leader describes how it sets itself apart from the competition through customer experience. Expect lots of lessons learned, as CEMEX has won the Gold award from 1to1 Media and Gartner for its exceptional customer experience.

  

12:00-1:00: Lunch

One of the highlights of attending SAPPHIRENOW is to meet new people and reconnect with old friends, so be sure to take time to relax with a bite to eat for lunch.

1:00-2:00: Service Demonstrations (Run Better campus, pod RB127)

Whether you work in the contact center, field service or social media, demonstrations are a great way to see what’s available to boost your company’s customer service levels. I recommend checking out four service demos that will be shown
at the “Ensure Service Excellence at Every Opportunity” demo pod in the “Run Better” campus:  BCM, an IP-based
communication platform for contact centers; SAP CRM for service and contact centers, our field service mobile app and our partner solutions.

2:00-3:00: Show Floor Tour

This would be a good time to explore the overall show floor. Proceeding from the Run Better campus, which showcase SAP solutions from a functional and industry perspective, I recommend going to the Cloud Campus, where we highlight all our
on-demand and cloud apps, including those from SuccesFactor. Next, visit the Mobility Campus, to see all things mobile, including apps and platforms, and then the Analytics Campus, where we highlight our analytics platform, tools and apps. Finish up at the Database and Technology Campus, which takes more of a technology focus, showcasing HANA, the Sybase relational database and applications, Web and  integration platforms and tools.

  

3:00-3:40: SAP Presentation: Mobile Apps (Mobile campus)

Mobility is top of mind for nearly every business in every industry today. SAP will detail its new apps and upgrades at the “Mobile Apps from SAP: Vision and Road Map” presentation.

4:30-6:00: ASUG Perspective

Before you leave for the day, hear from the executive board of ASUG about their vision and the ongoing partnership between ASUG & SAP.

Day 2

8:30-10:00: Keynote Address: Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe

Jim Hagemann Snabe, our Co-CEO, will present our plan for the cloud and introduce new innovations. As you’re probably aware, SAP have recently acquired SuccessFactors, a maker of cloud-based employee management software, and along with the former CEO of that company, Lars Dalgaard, Jim will detail what’s in store from the new Cloud division.

10:30-11:30: Demonstration: Social Media Solution (Cloud campus, pod CL508)

Social media is a must-have channel to incorporate in the customer service strategy, so be sure to test-drive our social solution. The solution lets social media team interact with and answer questions on social media channels such as Facebook
and Twitter.  Through integration with partner solutions, it also provides customer sentiment analysis (via NetBase), as well as knowledge management (via MindTouch). There aren’t too many other solutions available that are as multi-functional and scalable as ours.

11:30-12:30: Lunch

Grab some lunch and meet a new friend in the SAP family.

  

12:30-1:30: Customer Presentation: Bentley Systems on Upgrading to SAP CRM 7.0 (ASUG session at S310G)

For anyone thinking about upgrading to SAP CRM 7.0, don’t miss hearing how Bentley Systems has benefited from the enhanced usability of this new version after lunch. The software company will also share its project approach and lessons learned.

3:00 – 3:00 Free time

Time to grab some refreshing snack and catch up on emails.

  

3:00-3:45: Microforum: The GrowingRole of Social Media Data Throughout the Enterprise (Run Better campus, RB130)

With social media all the rage, you should try to get as much real-life advice as you can on how to use data from this channel. At this microforum on social media analytics, you can learn and discuss with other attendees at a roundtable discussion led by an expert. 

4:00-4:45: Microforum: Shed the Calls, Not the Service: Enabling Excellence in Customer Care (Run Better campus, RB130)

At this microforum, you can learn about how to use value engineering to benchmark your customer service organization.

5:00-5:45: Customer Presentation: Delighting Your Customers on Social Media (Cloud campus)

Hear how leading smartphone vendor HTC is using an SAP on-demand social media solution to engage with customers on Facebook and Twitter.

Day 3

8:00-10:30: Keynote Address: SAP CTO Vishal Sikka and co-founder Hasso Plattner

Start your 3rd morning hearing about SAP latest research from our chief technology officer, Vishal Sikka, and SAP co-founder, Hasso Plattner, who will discuss what’s in store for the future and how organizations will benefit from these new technologies.

11:00-12:00: Meet Our Customer Pavilion

If you are new to SAP or are considering an SAP solution in a new area, make a short visit to the “Meet Our Customer” pavilion where you will be able to speak with other SAP customers who have done it.

12:00-1:00: Lunch

Relax with friends new and old at a lunch break.

1:00-2:00: Demonstrations: Partner Exhibits

Don’t leave SAPPHIRENOW without spending a couple of hours at our partner exhibits. Must-see’s include eGain’s knowledge management and Web collaboration tools, ClickSoftware’s state-of-the-art scheduling optimization and NetBase’s Net
Sentiment Scoring.

2:00-2:45: Microforum: Increase Customer Service Productivity (Run Better campus, table RB130)

Increasing productivity of customer service is always at the top-of-mind for many executives.  Attend this roundtable discussion
to learn and share with your peers key strategy and techniques on how tackle this challenge.

3:00-3:45: Microforum: Maximize Your Customer Profitability (Analytics campus, table BA322)

How can you leverage customer information to your advantage? This roundtable discussion, titled, “Maximize Your Customer Profitability” is a great place to share your ideas and benefit from others’ experience.

  

4:00-5:00: Panel Discussion: 360-Degree Customer Experience: Redefining Traditional CRM (Run Better campus)

Customer experience is top of mind for most executives today. At this panel discussion, three SAP customers — First Energy, Kiewit Corp. and L’Oreal — will share how they are improving the customer experience and gaining a competitive edge.

9:00: Entertainment: Van Halen

Finish your SAPPHIRENOW experience with some hard rock-and-roll from Van Halen, one of the top bands from the 1980s. Relive your high school memories or start some new ones at the Van Halen concert. This famous band promises to provide an energetic ending to your “three perfect days at SAPPHIRENOW”.

Note that some of these scheduled sessions may be changed after the publication of this blog.  I will update this post as they are changed.  But to be sure, confirm their schedule on your arrival at SAPPHIRENOW. 

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