Experiences at SAPPHIRE NOW 2013
The first and foremost of any learning is building a curiosity to learn. Curiosity can make learning a pleasure rather than an activity. For curiosity to imbibe, a student should have exposure to inspirational people, revolutionary ideas, and an aura of innovation. I was fortunate enough to have all these under one roof called SAPPHIRE NOW !
People say “A picture is worth a thousand Words”, I believe “A number is worth a Thousand Pictures” ! … If an event uses 12,000 sq. ft. of projection screens, 5.2 miles of Fiber Optic cable, 27000 feet of trussing and 12.5 miles of carpet it’s got to be big ! …. And if an event serves 19,000 fruits, 15,250 lbs. of meat, and 25000 gallons of coffee, it is definitely grand ! Combine them both and you have SAPPHIRE NOW !!! But SAPPHIRE NOW is not just a big event, it features key note from SAP Executives & Industry experts, presentations, forums, sessions, hands-on demonstrations, exhibit halls and one on one expert discussions.
Every company has enough reasons to call their product revolutionary, breakthrough, or disruptive ! Its very rare to see consumers of a product vouch for a product ! Consumers who not just vouch, but proclaim with certainty that this is what they “always wanted”, something that was thought to be practically impossible just yesterday ! Among the various interesting conversations that I had at SAPPHIRE NOW, one conversation stands out. Using current technology it takes 48 hours to sequence a human genome ( the genetic makeup of a person). By using the “power” of latest SAP innovations, one can complete this sequencing in less than a minute ! Think of all new possibilities that arise now. Now multiple this possibility across 25 industry segments, and 232,000 customers. That is the revolution that we are about to witness, and this revolution is called SAP HANA.
The first thing that you notice at SAPPHIRE NOW, is that it’s a customer run event, more than 240 SAP customers help run the event for SAP. That’s unheard for any other company. The arena which is more than a million sq feet, is split into Campuses. Each of these Campus have multiple events, that happen in parallel. If you walk into a SAPPHIRE NOW with a topic of your interest, chances are that you will find it at some place. If you are stepping into the arena, with an open mind, chances are that, you will find every topic interesting !
One of the most interesting ideas that I came across was “Microforum”, wherein you get to interact rather than listen to Industry experts. None of the event at SAPPHIRE NOW, is more valuable than the keynote, wherein you get to listen to the SAP executives, and Global leaders pledge their future vision for the current technology. Here’s the catch, those “visions” are actually what you will see at the following years at SAPPHIRE NOW…. So, it’s actually sneak peak into the future !
Let me introduce you to SAP University Alliances (SAP UA). SAP University Alliances, takes the current offerings from SAP, to university classrooms, thus ensuring a constant pipeline of skilled workforce. This is critical for a firm like SAP which has passed decades, attracting talent – generation after generation. So SAP UA is the first point of contact for any student into the SAP World !
At the SAP UA pre-conference event, which had participants from more than 15 countries we had a peek into the new SAP UA model of “learn, share and apply”. The discussions provided insights into the journey so far and the future goals for SAP UA. Pre-conference was however, not just about discussions… from Design thinking sessions, which helps to see the underlying problem that a customer faces and provide what the customer “needs” rather than what he “wants”, to Food for Orphan initiative, wherein 300,000 lakh meal was packed for needy orphans around the world ! and Share the Knowledge tour, where biker max was all geared up for a four year tour around the globe to promote open access to quality education material for millions ! SAP UA added the much needed “Human” factor to the otherwise “technology” event.
Lastly, SAPPHIRE NOW is a lot of fun ! The Celebration night brought together Grammy winners to end the event on a high note !
So, now the final question – how did I end up at SAPPHIRE NOW ? My journey began at Bangalore, India. I participated in SAP Techniversity, which is the biggest educational conference for students in India. As winners of “Demo Jam” my team along with the first runner up (total 8 members) were invited from India and sponsored by SAP University Alliances to be part of SAPPHIRE NOW. Here, I must thank SAP University Alliance for making all this experience possible !!!
Its said, that one should remain a student throughout his life . SAPPHIRE NOW might just be the chapter for every student to experience !!!