A few months ago a tweet caught my eye from Rich Heilman (@RichHeilman) advertising this event. After following the link to the event wiki, I was pleased to find a free…I repeat, free event at SAP America with a good lineup of interesting and cutting edge topics to be covered within three tracks over a single day. The sign up process to attend was very straightforward with Rich acting as point person for information and feedback.
The event itself was extremely organized with only a skeleton crew team covering logistics, sound, social media and presenting sessions at the same time! I was thoroughly impressed with the organization of the event with such a small crew and the variety of techno / functional / Bobj attendees to interact with. Overall, the sessions I attended contained excellent content and the presenters seemed to enjoy themselves in what felt like an “unplugged” version of TechEd or Sapphire. That doesn’t just go for John Appleby’s live BW on HANA migration but all of the sessions did a great job of breaking away from the monotony that most big conferences fall into from the presenters and their content.
I would highly recommend attending Inside Track 2013 and beyond!
The following are my big takeaways from the event,
1. HANA is actively becoming a platform to absorb and process content beyond regular SAP applications. It’s becoming very clear that SAP is not just “talking the talk” when it comes to pushing HANA to become a platform for IT to blend SAP and non-SAP technology and push resources to find creative ways to take advantage of it.
2. HANA DXC makes perfect sense for SAP shops that aren’t looking to completely re-invent the wheel for ETL processes but rather leverage the inherent performance advantages of HANA initially with time tested extractors that customers are already familiar with. No need for SLT and low source system technical requirements were also great to hear for DXC usage. The presentation did an excellent job of weighing pro’s and con’s of all the current HANA data load techniques which I haven’t seen compared in any other presentation thus far.
3. SAP Business Objects Remote Support Component was a major eye opener for me. A lack of solid, dashboard driven analysis tools has been a major sore spot for Bobj administration when it comes to classically trained Basis folks in my opinion, so this was a major breath of fresh air. I’m very much looking forward to getting this implemented and benefitting from Wily based metrics with standard SAP Earlywatch Alerts for my Business Objects landscapes.
4. Everything SAP HANA at the event was very candid and motivating on what SAP has coming down the line for this product. The XS application engine was an interesting topic and I’m looking forward to seeing what customers will do with it. A common thread throughout the HANA sessions was the explanation of moving logic into the HANA DB to take advantage of in-memory and the inherent challenges SAP faces “retro-fitting” Netweaver applications to take advantage of the technology. All of the comments helped paint the picture of the state of HANA and what it stands to deliver in the next 12 months.