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Top 10 reasons I am looking forward to ASUG/ SAPPHIRE

If you saw my earlier post about planning your agenda for Orlando,  you might have supposed that I plan my week at ASUG 2013/ SAPPHIRE Now well in advance, and that would be a good guess. Between being a speaker, an ASUG volunteer, and an SAP Mentor, my week is crammed with back to back sessions, networking opportunities, and appointments, and being double booked is hard to avoid. Nevertheless, I must be ruthless and make the tough choices. If you have never been to this co-located conference event, or have not been since the two conferences were co-located,  I’ll share the top 10 reasons I am looking forward to the conferences and also mention some alternatives for your consideration.

10. Keynotes

I’ll confess that keynotes are not my very favorite activity, but you can get a good sense of the key themes of the week  and the planned direction from the executives of SAP and ASUG. Traditionally, ASUG does bring in an interesting guest keynote, and I am looking forward to hearing best-selling author Seth Godin.

9. SAPPHIRE Celebration Night

After I learned the name of this year’s headliner artist, I ordered Alan Jackson’s “34 Number Ones” CD, and listening to hits like Chasin’ that Neon Rainbow is definitely getting me in the spirit of this year’s celebration event. Besides that, what is not to like about a private concert with your SAP ecosystem colleagues? If you usually give it a miss, you might think about attending this year.

8. ASUG Volunteer activities

Volunteering at the ASUG Lounge gives me the opportunity to talk with conference attendees about the value of ASUG, and if there is downtime, chat with my fellow volunteers. If you have never visited the ASUG Lounge, look for the big ASUG sign and come on by, pick up some ASUG swag, meet the volunteers and staffers, and learn what ASUG has to offer to you. Whether you are an SAP customer, prospect, partner, or employee, ASUG has something for you.

The ASUG volunteers have an evening networking reception that is a great opportunity for us to reconnect with our colleagues, including our SAP Point of Contact volunteers. If you spot one of us in the convention center (unless we are running at a clip to get to a session!), feel free to ask about the experience and value of volunteering.

7. Presentations about SAP Security

I’ve been working in SAP security for quite a few years now, so it is the more unusual topic that catches my eye. Session 904, Let SAP HCM (ECC) Security Drive Data Access in BW, and session 3909, SAP HANA Security – What You Need to Know, are in my personal agenda. If you are new to SAP Security, a keyword search on “security” should turn up sessions on Portal security, data security, continuous transaction monitoring and more.

6. Presentations on SAP GRC 10.x

Migrating from SAP GRC 5.3 to 10.0 is my big project this year, and I am very much looking forward to several ASUG sessions on SAP GRC, including:


The Coca-Cola Company: Unlocking the Path to Advanced Workflow with GRC-AC


Securing GRC – Designing Effective Security within GRC Access Control


How Target Corporation Identified Access Risks & Integrated Processes Using SAP GRC AC to Ensure Long-Term Compliance During their SAP Implementation


SAP HANA Analytics Foundation for SAP GRC


GRC Innovations: A Preview of Access Control 10.1

Time permitting, I may visit the SAPPHIRE side for some presentations on GRC in SAP’s Mobile and Analytics theatre, too.

5. SAP Mentor activities

Meeting the new class of SAP Mentors and reconnecting with friends among the Mentors, Mentor alumni, and SAP’s Mentor wranglers is always a highlight for me. Keep your eye out for anyone wearing an SAP Mentor shirt, and don’t be shy.  Mentors do enjoy chatting with one another, as we live all over the world and don’t have the opportunity to get together very often, but we also enjoy meeting other conference attendees, too. Not sure what an SAP Mentor is? Read about the program here.

4.  Community Lounge sessions

I wrote about these sessions in my previous post, so I won’t belabor it, but I am definitely looking forward to reconnecting with both security and internal controls folks at our session.

3. The Security Roundtable and Influence Update

The Security Roundtable is something we do every few years:  an unstructured discussion of whatever is on the conference attendees’ minds, ASUG’s Security SIG volunteers and several speakers will take questions in a completely open forum. You ask, and we’ll do our best to answer. We have had great discussions at such sessions in the past. Whether you are new to security or a long-timer, you are welcome to join us. We also plan to discuss the next steps for the Security Influence Council.

2. Meeting with SAP solution managers and consultants

I’m planning on taking some questions from our GRC 10 migration project to Orlando. The conferences offer plenty of opportunities to meet with the solution experts. Check out the various campuses if you, too, are dealing with some challenges on a project, or just want to hear about leading edge solutions.

1. Networking/ Community Service Event

It’s a tie at the top. For me, the networking opportunities during ASUG/ SAPPHIRE  are the top benefit of attending. SAP solution management and consultants, SAP partners, process and technology experts – with all the networking opportunities in Orlando, you are bound to make great connections. If you have only attended TechEd in the past, you should give these conferences at try and see the broad mix of attendees. But I am especially excited about the community service event benefitting Food for Orphans. If you will be in Orlando on Monday, don’t miss out on this activity; learn about it and sign up here.

I hope I have convinced you that there is so much to do during the week in Orlando, it is a good idea to plan your personal agenda ahead of time so you get the full value of the conferences. See you soon in Orlando!

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  • Hello Gretchen,

    Excellent post, I wish some day I will be part of SAP Mentor, long way to go for me...... love to chat with Mentors.

    Thanks for sharing-

    Nishan Dev

  • Hi Gretchen

    You nailed it!  I haven't yet locked down my calendar but I already know where about 80% of my time will be - at ASUG sessions and the ASUG Lounge.

    See you there!

  • I'm not a country music fan but I really enjoy Bonnie Raitt's music.

    I think you covered everything in this post - *not to be missed*

    Like Sue, I expect to spend at least 80% of my time in the ASUG sessions...

    Great post and thank you for doing this, Gretchen.