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Author's profile photo KeerthiVivek Muniappan

A scintillating SAPPHIRE – The Path – The Place – The Experience

     We come across instances in life where a simple stroke of innovation can spark a fire of creativity. This fire can lead us to unbound horizons of success. One such spark happened with me. What started off as a short tinkering by a bunch of Techno-Business students went on to create history. Of course, to write a new history we need a book. This book was provided by SAP through University Alliances. They gave us not only a platform to succeed, but also tickets to a whole new experience in the Land of Opportunities – USA in form of SAPPHIRE NOW, Orlando.

     Our team started to Orlando with tons of excitement and enthusiasm.Yes, the trip was entirely sponsored by the University Alliances. It was an amazing experience to travel to a foreign land in search of life-changing experiences. Everything right from our travel to our accommodation was taken care by SAP UA. We reached Orlando on a curiously buzzing Sunday evening. We rested but the excitement of attending such a landmark event of SAP was still to sink in.

     The morning of Monday proved to be a breathtaking experience. The air was filled with knowledge, fun, innovation, excitement and of course SAP at the Peabody Hotel. We reached the venue a little late and we thanked our stars that we hadn’t missed the keynote. Ann Rosenberg, the Head of University Alliances took us through an enlightening journey about what University Alliances has planned for the ecosystem in the near and far future. Professionals delivered exciting sessions on their new innovations like “Database of Dreams”, a session on SAP Business ByDesign and a  lot more redefining products. We were introduced to “Knowledge wants to be free initiative” and we voluntarily participated in “Food for Orphans” program. These two initiatives proved a point that “SAP is not only into path-breaking innovations, but also into giving back to the society.

     The post-lunch session introduced us to a scintillating “Design Thinking Jam”. This was an altogether new experience for me and my team as in we were exposed to solving a real life problem with limited time but with amazing minds. I personally still feel that “Design Thinking Jam” has improved my vital dimension of thinking, analysis and problem solving. We were made to work in teams with great minds from a diverse background and location. We were taught how to take a holistic and innovative approach in solving problems by making use of all the resources in hand. This was a very good initiative by SAP University Alliances to expose us(students) to this amazing problem solving approach


     Tuesday was the beginning of the three day extravaganza – SAPPHIRE NOW. We were ready for the ultimate and exciting mix of knowledge and fun. Orange County Convention Center was the stage for this scintillating event. The University alliances team made it very smooth for us by providing all essentials. They gave us T-Shirts which made us proudly portray to the world that we were there because of our talent and SAP University Alliances’s platform. The keynote session was delivered by Bill McDermott, Co-CEO of SAP AG and Bob Calderoni, CEO of  Ariba Inc. The showfloor was then open. Everyone at SAPPHIRE were giving an insight about what their company has done by using SAP’s products. The prime focus was/is SAP HANA. Here I have to tell about SAP HANA; SAP HANA is a High-performance Analytic Appliance which provides a package to access and analyze data faster by virtue of in-memory computing. SAP HANA is SAP’s positive paradigm shift and it has already sparked a technology revolution. This revolution has made businesses evolve into efficient ones and smartly use the huge information available to constantly improve. We were able to get an insight into the innovations being carried out by SAP partners. It was a unique learning opportunity for us to interact with geniuses from various prestigious SAP partners.

     The second day was no lesser in excitement than the first day. The University Alliances team made us attend yet another enlightening keynote session by Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEO of SAP AG. The day was filled with the same excitement as that of the first and it provided us a unique opportunity to knowmore about SAP Partners and their work. We interacted with prestigious personalities like Ann Rosenberg, Global Head, SAP Universoty Alliances, Mr.Manik Narayan Saha, CIO-APJ, SAP Asia Pte. Ltd., Tom Traubitz, Director-Product Strategy of Sybase Inc. and Anish Shah, Senior Director, SAP. It was a wonderful experience to learn valuable insights about path-breaking SAP innovations and strategies. We also had the biggest privilege of explaining about out product, that made us win SAP BizTech and made us visit, to various SAP Partners and prestigious personalities.

     The final day of SAPPHIRE NOW-2013 had a huge degree of anticipation and excitement associated with it. People(including us) were very excited and waiting eagerly to attend the keynote session on SAP HANA delivered by Prof.Dr.H.C.Hasso Plattner, Chairman if the SAP Supervisory board and Dr.Vishal Sikka, Head of Technology & Innovation, Member of Executive Board, SAP AG. We got to hear about HANA and it prowess from the Grandfather and Father of HANA 🙂 . It was a moment to cherish and will go down as one of the most defining moment of my life to see two legends speak about an amazing product – HANA. The third day was actually lucky for me because it made me win an iPod Nano 🙂 .

/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/947108_10151693931859529_1680459021_n_228477.jpgFrom left (Me, Ravi, Karthik and Manas)

     After the buzz of the showroom was over, we were given tickets to the celebration night by the University Alliances. The party was amazing and awesome. It stood best to the phrase – “Work hard and party harder”. The were performances from eminent personalities including Grammy Award winning singers. After the party we explored the urban Orlando and its night life and enjoyed to the core. The place was filled with good people and happy thoughts. The experience of exploring a new town was worth every single second of it. We returned to the hotel and the next we prepared for our journey back to India.

     At this point I would like to stress on one thing – SAP does really makes dreams come true. In our case it was made real by SAP University Alliances. It gave me a unique opportunity to gain vital edge as a student by providing me an opportunity to attend SAPPHIRE – the event that HAS EVERYTHING and also my dream internship in SAP Labs. Thanks to SAP University Alliances that I am enjoying my work in SAP Labs after having a breathtaking learning experience in SAPPHIRE NOW. This has enabled my holistic improvement and instilled fresh thoughts in my mind; thoughts that I would definitely come up with a unique innovation and make the world RUN LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

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