After all the great InnoJams blogs from Julien Vayssiere, Myles Fenlon and Ronald Konijnenburg the winning team of SAP InnoJam Netherlands 2013 cannot stay behind and share the details of their solution. So here is our story and my experiences of winning the famous InnoJam t-shirt.
This was my second InnoJam with Design Thinking. The first year I participated InnoJam in 2011 there was no Design Thinking involved. We started straight a way with coding back then. Too be honest that’s what I like most as a hardcore developer, so when I participated in the InnoJam at TechEd Madrid with Design Thinking I was quite skeptical. Why is there so much time spend on Design Thinking, we can do that in 1 hour and then start coding 😉
But after two InnoJams I really see the benefits of Design Thinking. It really helped our team to build a solution (or part of solution in only 30 hours) which would be beneficial to the user.
A slight change from the previous InnoJams was that this time we could not choose the business case which you preferred most and decide with what friends you would make a team. Because of time-constraints we were divided into teams by Design Thinking coach Alexander Gräbe. I have to mention Alexander, because he really did a great job. I still remember Alexander from SAP TechEd in Madrid where he was in my InnoJam team as a participant and student from the University of Mannheim and look at him now presenting the Design Thinking Concept together with Hester Hilbrecht. Well done!
Alexander explaining Storytelling
So Alexander put me in Team 1. So who else was in my team this InnoJam:
- Astrid Schippers – P-Direkt
- Duncan Barre – Student of Hogeschool van Amsterdam
- Ben Meijs – Ctac
- Leon Vink – Achmea
- Huub Louman – Belastingdienst
- Prashant Jiddimani – Cognizant
- Huseyin Utlu – SAP Nederland
- Leo van Hengel – Ciber
Even HANA skills were available because who is not following the Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA by Thomas Jung these days!
Glória Matos da Costa was assigned as our design coach to help and support us during the Design Thinking processes like Interviewing, storytelling, creating personas and a prototype. Thanks for your help Glória!
Design Thinking materials and Team Enterprise preparing the interviews
Every team got a different challenge from AkzoNobel and as team 1 we got the following challenge assigned:
“Redesign the working environment of the board members in the context of the insight on the goings of AkzoNobel”
A very broad definition, but after the first interviews we got a better understanding of the case and we could start working on storytelling, creating personas and a designing a prototype.
Our team name Enterprise came from our first interview where Hans Rietbergen Enterprise Architect of AkzoNobel told us how he imagined an ultimate cockpit with dashboards with alerts similar like Captain Kirk had on Starship Enterprise 🙂
At 16:00 on the first day all teams had to present their prototype.
Team Enterprise presenting our Prototype
After all presentations by the other teams we got an introduction to all Technologies available at InnoJam Tech Fire:
- SAP HANA Cloud Platform (my personal favourite and what an energetic presentation by Matthias Vach)
- SAP NetWeaver Gateway
- SAP HANA
- Sybase Unwired Platform
So finally time to start coding but not with an empty stomach offcourse 🙂 The InnoJam participants were fortunate to enjoy another great Asian dinner cooked by Haseenah Penninkhof. Haseenah is famous in the Dutch SAP Community as she already cooked twice for the SAP Inside Track Netherlands participants.
Our Technical Solution
After dinner the teams were ready to take their seat in their team rooms to start designing and developing their solution.
When Matthias Vach entered our room to ask if we would like to use the SAP HANA Cloud Platform I immediately pulled him into the room and drew my idea with the SAP HANA Cloud Connector on the whiteboard. Matthias told me that it might not be necessary to use the Cloud Connector because we were using a SAP HANA Demo System hosted by Amazon so we would have no trouble to access the OData services and easily consume it with SAPUI5.
So off we were as a team. Designing cool UI’s with Photoshop, build and model views with HANA based on the tables provided by AkzoNobel, create OData Services with the XS Engine and develop SAPUI5 screens in Eclipse.
The next day we noticed there was a problem with the connection between HANA and the HANA Cloud Platform and discovered that port 8000 used by HANA XS Engine to serve the OData services could not be accessed from the HANA Cloud Platform. Only standard internet ports like 80 and 443 are open to connect with HttpDestination. Fortunately my computer at home was running and I could connect to it with TeamViewer. On my Home PC I have a VMWare running with SUSE Linux and the SAP Cloud Connector. Don’t ask me why…. I just have a lot of Demo systems running at home 😉
It was real easy to setup this workaround with the SAP Cloud Connector. A secure tunnel to my home computer is allowed from the SAP HANA Cloud platform because the SAP Cloud Connector is already running and configured with my own SAP HANA Cloud account. From the machine running the Cloud Connector I could access the XS Services without problems. The picture below shows how we could show a working demo on our iPad.
SAP Cloud Connector in action
With all connection problems solved on a Saturday morning we still had lots of tasks to complete before the deadline of 15:00. Model and create more HANA views, make them accessible with XS Engine, create cool icons and graphics for our entry screens which featured a nice worldmap where the user could click on the alert for more detailed info (see screenshots below). For the charts we used VIZ Charts from the SAPUI5 Controls library. The SAPUI5 SDK provides excellent examples with source code which we could use and with a little help from Jan Penninkhof I could set the binding correctly because the example chart I used was based on a JSONModel not an ODataModel. After 30 hours you sometimes cannot see clearly anymore 😉
Another challenge while building and developing a solution is to keep working together as a team. You tend to focus on your own developments and make that work but at the end you have to combine all separate developments (Visuals, HANA, Services, Cloud) into one product and have a presentable solutions at 15:00 on Saturday. To keep us all focused on the end result Huub Louman did a great job as our Project Manager. Every hour or at least every 2 hours he made sure we got together and sit down for a moment and discuss our progress and what we where able to create in the coming hours and what we had to drop.
Our Final Presentation
For the final presentation at 15:00 on a Saturday Ben took the stage and presented our solution on the iPad. I was only just sitting there as a backup in case my computer at would break down. In that case I could run the solution locally from my laptop, but fortunately everything worked out great and we could show our application on the iPad.
Here are some screenshots from our presentation:
At 16:00 after a short break the jury decided that our solution was the winning one from this InnoJam!
Winning InnoJam Netherlands 2013 and getting the famous T-Shirt. How cool is that 🙂
Very proud team Enterprise
To conclude my blog I want to thank SAP Netherlands and VNSG for hosting the event. Special thanks go to Julien Vayssiere and his team, all SAP experts, Design Thinking Coaches, Mientje Paais from the VNSG for all the photos featuring in the blog and excellent organization, Jan Penninkhof who was Master of Ceremonies, his wife Haseenah for cooking dinner and last but least my own InnoJam team. Thanks guys!
More photos of the event can be found over here.
See you all next year!