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Author's profile photo Anita Riegel

Running Pace with Oliver Bussmann at SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando

/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1_138106.jpgEileen Butler is the newest addition to the SAP Runs SAP team. In her first blog she shares her experiences of shadowing Oliver Bussmann during SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando. I had fun reading it, I hope you do too. Anita

Running Pace with Oliver Bussmann at SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando

For those of you who are not runners, you may be wondering what this headline means. “Running pace” is how long it takes to run a mile. At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, I had the opportunity to run a few miles on the show floor with SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann.

In preparation for the event, Oliver gave me two tasks:

1.)    Memorize the floor plan.

2.)    Bring running shoes.

He wasn’t kidding. We moved quickly at SAPPHIRE NOW, without time to look at a map of the show floor. Think I’m exaggerating? Then check out how I spent my Monday morning with Oliver on May 14 — the first day of SAPPHIRE NOW:

  • 5:00 a.m. morning run
  • Breakfast meeting with customer to share insights about how SAP Global IT is driving innovation internally in the areas of mobile, SAP HANA, cloud, analytics, and database and technology
  • SAPPHIRE NOW kickoff with the SAP Runs SAP demo team
  • Theatre presentation to more than 350 attendees covering how SAP is aligning our corporate strategy with key innovations
  • Panel discussion with a similar-sized crowd about how consumer technology is influencing enterprise mobility
  • Walking and tweeting to his 5,000 followers along the way

Logistically, it was a wide space to cover with no time buffers in between — and that was just before 11:00 a.m.  So, you can imagine the pace. We finished this particular day with more customer meetings, press and analyst interviews, and an impressive roundtable about how customers are developing mobile strategies for their enterprises.

Video: Oliver Bussmann talks about SAP Runs SAP at SAPPHIRE NOW

What’s remarkable about Oliver’s approach toward customer interaction is that he truly understands the customer. After all, he’s a customer himself.  He speaks from real-life experience because of the SAP Runs SAP program. Oliver’s Global IT organization often test-drives SAP solutions and has served as the first customer for innovations such as SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA. Oliver’s hands-on knowledge of SAP solutions resonated in the roundtable discussion and one-on-one customer meetings. With the head nodding and smiles, you could feel each customer’s sentiment: “You speak my language, you feel my pain, you are giving me solid advice, and SAP has a solution.”

It was exciting to observe the natural, honest exchange between Oliver and the customers.  They spoke about real challenges, and Oliver offered advice based on SAP’s proven strategies using SAP.  For example, he told customers how SAP is already realizing benefits with SAP HANA and SAP’s innovations in the areas of consumer-driven mobility, advanced analytics, and cloud.

Oliver was quick to offer customers the opportunity to have follow-up discussions with himself and his team of experts, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Orlando. The expertise of the SAP Runs SAP team is astounding. Their dedication to demonstrating to customers what SAP is doing internally made me feel privileged to be a part of SAP. Read the following blogs to learn how SAP Global IT is bringing innovation to life inside our company. We are running like never before.–a-big-step-for-our-business-analysts

Oliver and his team want to understand exactly what challenges customers are facing and how we can enable their success. That’s what drives our CIO and SAP Global IT to run hard, long, and fast.

Looking back, I’d guess that Oliver’s running pace at SAPPHIRE NOW was the equivalent to a four minute mile in the runner’s word. Next time, I will go for efficiency over aesthetics and wear my sneakers, so I can improve my running pace with Oliver Bussmann. Because when it comes to covering SAP Runs SAP at SAPPHIRE NOW, you can’t afford to run slow.

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