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What an exciting time to be part of the LOB within SAP that focuses on enabling people to use our software – SAP Education!  Whether in a keynote or an ASUG session, SapphireNOW elevated the people enablement agenda more than ever before.   In years past, SapphireNOW had a strong focus on technology, and 2012 was no exception.  The difference this year?  The END USER was acclaimed as a key benefactor of our technological advances!

The banter began with Burberry’s CEO suggesting “Social is the new language”.  With 70% of the workforce being under the age of 30, Burberry is empowering their employees and customers through social media. 

SAP Co-CEO, Jim Hagemann Snabe, then offered a vivid history lesson looking back to our origins in 1972 and casting a vision for SAP’s future to 2052.  He portrayed SAP as experiencing a “paradigm shift in technology”.  In my opinion, this shift is a definite catalyst for a new learning paradigm fostered by social technologies.  And the man leading SAP’s cloud strategy, Lars Dalgaard, supported my theory when he boldly announced that “Social is the backbone to everything.”

Beyond the keynote theater, however, the focus on people enablement continued in full force.  Never before have I seen so many sessions focused on end users with the key topic areas being user sustainment, power user programs and user performance monitoring.

Extending the “social” conversation was author Karie Willyerd, CLO of SuccessFactors.  During her breakfast keynote, Karie offered tremendous insights on the shifting workforce toward a Millennial-majority by 2020 as 10K baby boomers retire every day.  She further noted that social media is mandatory for the Millennials – though one third of companies ban social media in the workplace, 56% of Millennials surveyed would not join a company where social media is banned.   Clearly we are in a social revolution!

Now in my tenth year at SAP Education, it is invigorating to see how SAP Education is moving from relevant to essential as we journey into this new learning paradigm.  I know we will be working hard to ensure that every end user can run SAP better than ever before!

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