Back home again in Texas, I’ve had a few days to digest my SAP TechEd Las Vegas experience and think about what I really bring back to the office and my day job. So what was worth the time and money spent, and to whom do I owe my thanks?
1. 1. DemoJam
There is nothing like the experience of standing on the DemoJam stage along with so many of my SAP Mentor friends and looking out over the sea of faces of thousands of eager attendees.
Thanks to @Martin Gillet for sharing this photo! I was one of the people completely blown away by the middle-schoolers’ DemoJam presentation of their tool for investigating food sourcing. I also very much enjoyed the winning presentation, Store Trek, but those kids were amazing with their poise and presence onstage. I am confident we have not seen the last of them. Congrats to their coach @John Astill!
2. 2. Security Influence Council Update – ASUG Members Making the Difference
I was pleased to see so many people interested in hearing about the work that our ASUG Security Influence Council teaming with SAP solution management has done to improve the usability of several SAP solutions. It is rewarding to be able to announce that SAP is delivering enhancements and fixes to customer pain points, and I look forward to seeing some of those in attendance at that session getting involved as our Council moves into the next phase, addressing issues with security functionality in the SAP portal solution. Any ASUG installation members interested in joining us should contact influence@ASUG.com .
3. 3. Sessions on Solution Manager 7.1
The Application Lifecycle Management education track offered some excellent sessions on Solution Manager. If maximizing your investment in SolMan and getting more benefits from it is on your radar, those were sessions to attend. I especially enjoyed learning about functionality that was enhanced with SolMan 7.1 SP5. There was also a hands-on session in the security track that utilized SolMan 7.1, Cross-System Security Validation. As I am in the midst of doing a self-audit of our entire SAP landscape, I definitely plan to use this tool in that effort.
4. 4. The Role of Empathy in Design Thinking
I was fortunate to be able to attend the Design Thinking evening workshop again this year, which featured guest speaker Seung Chan Lim, who goes by the nickname Slim. The empathy exercises were quite thought provoking, and the session gave us the opportunity to connect with other TechEd attendees whom we would not have otherwise met in a very meaningful way. If you missed that session, or if you were there and want to learn more, I encourage you to visit Slim’s web site http://realizingempathy.com/ Thank you to @Marilyn Pratt and team for bringing Slim to us.
5. 5. Other learning across the spectrum of SAP solutions, including BusinessObjects and SAP HANA
The lectures and hands-on sessions offered such a variety of opportunities for learning, the biggest challenge is working out the scheduling conflicts. I was very glad to be able to attend Timo Stelzer’s session on Sustainable IT; I am looking forward to sharing my learnings with my management back at the office. I especially enjoyed the customer presentation on Mobile Analytics Security at AstraZeneca UK. We are just starting our BusinessObjects deployment, so I hope to be able to leverage some of their tips.
As for the session I attended on security with SAP HANA, I was first taken aback by the speaker’s opening statement,” this will be a very high level presentation,” given that the title of session promised “all you need to know.” However, the more I listened, the more I came to realize that she was right: once I heard that data access logging, password definition policy, and integration with SAP GRC for rules and provisioning were all still just “on the roadmap,” to be delivered at some yet unknown future release, it was indeed all I needed to know, at least for the time being. I look forward to hearing about more robust security and compliance functionality in SAP HANA next year.
6. 6. Expert Networking Sessions
I had the pleasure of facilitating two Expert Networking sessions; the first was a getting-to-know you session for anyone working in SAP security but especially for the first time TechEd attendee, and the second was a topical discussion that was a follow up. I plan a separate blog on that session, as we discussed in depth what was *not* covered at SAP TechEd 2012 and what we would like to see next year. Stay tuned for that post in the coming days.
7. 7. Other Networking
SAP TechEd is a great place to build your personal network, and this year was no exception for me. I had a great time reconnecting with my friends and the TechEd speakers support staff at the speaker reception, with friends old and new among my SAP Mentors colleagues, and I especially enjoyed my experience of hosting an SAP TechEd Online panel discussion on Intellectual Renewal at SAP. I want to extend, once again, my thanks to my guests, TK “Ranga” Rengarajan and Philipp Skogstad, and also thanks to Brian Bernard and the entire TechEd Online team.
Be sure to check out the recorded sessions that you missed, including keynotes and DemoJam, at http://www.sapvirtualevents.com/teched/sessions.aspx?year=2012&NavId=4
My highlight blog on TechEd would not be complete without mentioning the Clubhouse and the great networking there, including the SAP Mentor wrap-up sessions and the drumming circle. Thanks to @Mark Finnern , @Matt Harding, @Marilyn Pratt, and everyone else who had a hand in those memorable experiences.
For those who were not with us, I hope I have convinced you to consider joining us next year. For those attending TechEd in Madrid, Bangalore, and Shanghai, I hope you too have a great TechEd experience again this year.