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This was my first time at Sapphire conference in Orlando and it simply blew me away with the tremendous amount of knowledge and learning it brings with it .SapphireNOW experience means a lot to me as a student as this event motivates me and helps me learn and grow like never before. You can read here about how I was invited to Sapphire.

Well it’s worth pausing to reflect on what a massive event this year’s Sapphire was and how it brought to me lasting value.

@SAP University Alliance Pre-conference

I was at Orlando one day prior to the main Sapphire event to attend a dedicated pre-conference program offered by University Alliance along with the professors and students from various countries. I loved the supercool SAP UA “Imagine with us” t-shirts that Colleen Raftery distributed to us students.

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Ann proudly introduced to us the SAP UA Membership models, the Idea Place community and all the offerings that span across the LEARN, APPLY & SHARE model of UA. I was thrilled to hear Ann talk about a fantastic way to boost learning with openSAP – the newly launched Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for development training in SAP HANA platform and how quickly it so very popular with the students around the globe. I hope to see Universities worldwide incorporate this innovative learning method which is so mobile, flexible and a smart way for students to get trained on latest powerful technologies like HANA.

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I was glad to meet and interact with Mads Soegaard of the Interaction Design Foundation who explained us about their website and educational materials, textbooks, videos, encyclopedias that are all accessible for free. IDF mission that knowledge should be free is simply great.

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We got to interact with Max, the “Around World Biker” and learnt how mile by mile, city by city, university by university Max will be promoting open access to quality educational materials about open access to quality educational materials. At every stop Max will share vision that education is the single most powerful way to lift people out of poverty and change lives. I support this noble mission to spread the word about “free knowledge” and I am excited to be a part of this adventure by tracking the journey virtually!

One of the best moments for me at Sapphire was to participate in the volunteer event Food for orphans where we packed food packets that help feed children in Sierra Leone in Africa. Two NBA legends joined us to show their support for the initiative. We all wore cool wrist bands with a very catchy line “Better Run World Starts With Me” printed on it. This was the best experience to get the chance to be part of a great initiative which impacted and benefited the world around me.

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Next up was the exclusive SAP UA Design Thinking Jam. Our facilitator took us through the entire design thinking phases and process of actually solving a user experience challenge. All participants were assigned to groups to actually carryout the design thinking process, by taking the user inputs and actually turning it into products that help solve the user experience challenge.

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@SAPPHIRE NOW EVENT

Day 1 was filled with inspiration and excitement. The show floor so huge got filled up with SAP professionals, customers and partners so very fast to attend the keynote by Bill McDermott. Bill’s keynote was very informative, I learnt how SAP is changing the way companies work for their customers. The panel discussion was engaging and the main focus of discussion was on how technology empowers the value chain for fans, teams and leagues.

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Days 2 & 3 were action packed days of keynotes, discussions. The keynotes and sessions made me realize how wide is SAP into so many industries and how it is touching many lives.

Michael Trovalli, VP Global Events at SAP spared some time for us students to take us on tour of the huge huge showfloor where he gave us insights into the idea behind arranging Sapphire events, described us the planning and how every thought went in to pull off this big event and to see that SAP customers and partners benefit and make the most of their time at the event.

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We also got a wonderful opportunity to interact with Mark Yolton, SVP of Digital, Social, and Communities at SAP. The SAP UA crew shared their experiences about attending the conference. Mark answered the queries we had and was keen on taking our suggestions and feedbacks.

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@ Final Thoughts

Well the glorious three day SAPPHIRE event was over so very fast but it was definitely a rewarding and learning experience. It got me to interact with various students, professors from around the world and also entire SAP UA crew, SAP professionals, few SAP parterns whom I would never have met before. Being at SapphireNow I was able to get the best exposure to SAP HANA. I must say SapphireNow has been an amazing experience for me so far!

I want to thank Ann Rosenberg, Crispian Tan, Rahul Sachdev and Chiranjeev Brahma for providing me this excellent platform to be exposed to the SAP ecosystem!

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