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What a week! I can’t believe SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando has come to a close.  (I just got back from the Celebration Night featuring Alan Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, and Martina McBride … and in just a couple of short hours my alarm goes off to get me on a plane in time to get back to work and home in the Silicon Valley).

Day 3 Delivers!

It seems we’ve been planning and prepping for this week since late-2012, and then it was here all-too-quickly.  Now, the past few days have been a whirlwind of information, collaboration and inspiration … and today was no exception. Just when our energy started to wane, we were inspired by major messages and announcements from SAP, our partners, and our customers. 

Keynote: Hasso Plattner and Vishal Sikka

As has become an annual tradition, the final keynote is reserved for Hasso Plattner and Vishal Sikka to talk about technology, the future, and how SAP is changing the way we all live, work, and play. Their keynote is even more timely this year because, as you are probably aware, SAP made a big announcement last week with the launch of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Customers, partners and the media at large were very interested in learning more about this new solution, the progress of SAP HANA after two years, and our overall vision for the future. Needless to say, they did not disappoint!

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I wanted to experience the virtual platform for today’s keynotes (and, frankly, I needed to re-charge some energy to make it to the end of this marathon week), so I watched from my hotel room.  The virtual event platform on SAP.com is called “the best seat in the house” for good reason.  I watched high-def real-time streaming audio and video (on both my laptop and my iPad simultaneously), and it was fantastic.  No wonder ~80,000 people are expected to watch SAPPHIRE NOW virtually this year, in addition to the 20,000 in-person at the Orlando event center! Here’s a glimpse of my experience in pictures as I enjoyed the keynotes over a big breakfast:

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Hasso spent a lot of time to dispel, point-by-point, SAP HANA Myths that others have propagated.  He did a super job tackling these misunderstandings head-on, and in clearing-up misperceptions, in clear examples with unshakeable facts. Even I understood most of what he explained, and I’m far from a techie. Bottom line, it seems HANA has no limitations, will form the foundation of all of SAP and will re-shape global business for decades to come, and it’s a very bright future indeed.

Hasso also had two of his university PhD students do demos of massive datasets processing queries in sub-seconds, and he brought over a dozen students on stage to share in the glow of their contributions to developing HANA and to the future of SAP and global business. 

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Vishal Sikka covered a lot of ground.  He introduced Sam Yen who talked about SAP Fiore (“flowers”) which is a collection of beautiful SAP apps (yes, it’s true!).  Also, a collaboration between SAP and Google to deliver both an improved user experience and system performance optimization with beauty and simplicity. 

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We also heard from executives at customers Colgate-Palmolive and John Deere and eBay who are innovating on top of SAP HANA… and we heard about exciting collaborations with partners such as Intel, Adobe, HP, and others who are working with SAP HANA to deliver extraordinary holistic solutions from the chips, to the hardware platform, to business software.  The accelerating momentum was obvious!

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Announcements and News Releases

We made another 4 announcements through news releases today… to bring the SAPPHIRE NOW total announcements to 13… yes, it’s been a busy week.  Here’s the SAP Newsroom where you can access all of the recent news releases and announcements.

Show Floor was Packed and Active… Again

The show floor, where SAP and partners exhibited their products, solutions, and services was very busy again. Here’s a glimpse:

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Highlight from Today: University Alliances

I had the chance to spend an hour with about 20 or 30 students and professors from around the world who are part of the SAP University Alliances program.  (This is led by SAP Mentor Ann Rosenberg.)  They earned the opportunity to attend SAPPHIRE NOW in various ways, including winning a Techniversity development challenge (a lot like Demo Jam) at SAP TechEd in Bangalore, India last year.

Other students and profs were from various cities in Germany, and we were joined by Notre Dame as the newest member of the program.  They shared their experience at the conference, working with SAP, and in some cases their first impressions of the U.S.  Be sure to check-out the “Database of Dreams” project they developed!

Truism: SAP Events Are Inspiring and Energizing!

Events are big and professional at SAP… we always push ourselves to improve them and ensure they are informative, valuable, entertaining, innovative. As you might imagine, they takes months and months of prep. It’s exhausting to get here, and then it’s exhausting while we are here, optimizing every minute with our customers, partners, and colleagues. 

They are also invigorating! I get re-charged every time I attend a SAPPHIRE NOW or SAP TechEd event, from the positive, enthusiastic energy and interactions with our ecosystem. If you haven’t been to an SAP event recently, please join us! It’ll be a great experience you will likely treasure and remember for years to come. Next up: SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, (somewhere in Europe – stay tuned!), Bangalore, and Beijing.

Sports & Entertainment — Our 25th Industry Focus — is Gonna Be Fun!

If you read my previous recap, you know that SAP added the sports and entertainment industry as our 25th industry.  These lend themselves to really cool displays, and the related exhibits at SAPPHIRE NOW did not disappoint.  They were visually engaging and interactive.  Here’s a photo overview:

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Catch Video Recaps and Complete Replays On-Demand

This is My Daily Summary Number 3 of 3…

Did you catch my blog wrap-up of SAPPHIRE NOW Day 1 … and my blog wrap-up of SAPPHIRE NOW Day 2?  Please take a couple of minutes to get the full story (from my perspective) of SAPPHIRE NOW 2013.

Other People’s Great Better Blogs and Insights

In most cases, other people had better insights and observations than I did.  Check these out!

Recap blogs

Other SAPPHIRE-related blogs

Final Thoughts

It was an amazing event and a jam-packed week.  Kudos to all of our SAP and partner and customer colleagues who worked so hard to make it a success.

If you didn’t make it to SAPPHIRE NOW this year, we hope to see you next year.  In the meantime, we hope you will join us at SAP TechEd later in 2013. 

Thanks for following along with my summary. 

Check out the full array of SAPPHIRE NOW replays at: http://events.sap.com/sapphirenow/en/home

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