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With all that hype about Tech Ed, the fourth International Association for SAP Partners e.V. (IA4SP) conference almost went unnoticed. Of just marginal interest to techies, the IA4SP is a major draw for partners. So off I went to Walldorf to visit the event and to write a quick review of the conference for www.sap.info.

I almost never made it. A cold had been nagging me for a week already and didn’t want to go away. Bouts of fever and a constant sore throat seemed to want to thwart my intentions. But I was determined to join the SAP partners.

So I went easy on my voice the day before the conference so that I would be ready to network and conduct good interviews the next day. After all, this conference was like Las Vegas – it was all about cold, hard facts: business and benefits.

The first catastrophe came when my laptop crashed during the first keynote. First the Internet, then Word. The screen went black, rebooting was impossible. Typing simultaneously was definitely out of the question. So I reverted to pen and paper. I dashed off to SAP during the lunch break – surely it must be possible to get my laptop up and running again quickly somehow?! The colleague in IT Support grinned, he was a nice guy. He said I could either stay there and wait until he found the error – or I could leave the laptop there and pick it up again on Monday.

I made it just in time to the first presentation after lunch. Fascinating, what was said about mobile solutions. Back at home that evening, I turned on my private PC full of optimism to summarize all I had learned about the new business areas arising out of mobility, SAP HANA, and cloud computing. My contacts at the conference were going to send me further details and photos of the event the next day.

But an even worse catastrophe was looming. The next morning, my mailbox was full – on the laptop in IT Support that was just being cured of its burnout. I couldn’t receive any mails at my private address either, nor could I publish the article. All the detailed presentations and great photos of the event were on my BlackBerry, but I couldn’t access it.

“The world has sped up enormously …” Christian Wieland had said at the conference. He’s right, my world has sped up too. Still: Even though IT has become much more consumable, and even though a lot of things are easier to implement nowadays, in the end it all comes down to people. To people with sense, and to people who are dedicated to their cause – such as communicating about partners. http://en.sap.info/bright-prospects-for-partners/82011

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