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Are you ready for #SAPTechEd 2013? Make your agenda and check it twice

In the busyness of our lives full of project deadlines and other commitments, it is easy for TechEd to sneak up on the unwary attendee, so here is a reminder: Yes, it is time to start planning your week at SAP TechEd, especially if you are attending in Las Vegas.  Surely you do not want that sinking feeling of reading an SCN blog post after the fact and realizing that you missed a great opportunity for education or networking, not because you were not available but because you were unaware.

Therefore, if you have not already done so, I encourage everyone, and I do mean everyone, to check out the agenda and do several searches. As I am attending in Las Vegas, some of my plans are specific to TechEd US, but others are available at the other locations as well. And if you were one of the early bird “plan ahead” types like me, I strongly encourage you to re-check your agenda, as the schedule can change without any warning, and you may find some unplanned scheduling conflicts in your agenda, as I did. If you thought that you had your agenda done, don’t be so sure. Check again. You’ll be glad you did.

By now, everyone who plans to participate in hands-on sessions is probably already registered, and many for Las Vegas are already full, but don’t forget that you can queue up and wait for open seats even if you are not registered. I am very much looking forward to session SIS260 on RFC security, as that has been a pain point at my organization for some time. I was also looking forward to a hands-on session on Predictive Analysis that I am registered for. I never did get my algorithms to work, so I had to abandon my effort in the Data Geek Challenge, but I was intrigued enough to want to learn more.  In my experience, attending a variety of sessions including solutions you are already familiar with and solutions that are new to you can make for a richer learning experience. TechEd is time to stretch yourself, without the commitment of a week-long course. Sample something new, and maybe you will want to go back for more in a full SAP Education course.

Be sure to include some Expert Networking sessions in your personal agenda for the week. They can be found by searching for Networking sessions under Session Type.

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SAP Mentors, TechEd speakers, Demo Jam finalists, and more are happy to make time in our week to facilitate these sessions, and I find them to be great places to make new connections and reconnect with colleagues from past TechEds. I hope to see lots of security and SAP GRC implementers/ practitioners at my own sessions, EXP9946 on Wednesday and EXP9947 on Thursday. Last year’s open discussion about GRC 10 projects was so lively, I plan to repeat it this year. Come and share your experiences in migrating to GRC 10, or hear from others who have.

Let’s not overlook the evening events; forget the gaming, the casinos will always be there. Last year’s Demo Jam US finalists included a team of middle school students who brought down the house, so I am eager to see how this year’s slate of finalists compares.  The TechEd jam band was great fun last year, so stay tuned for announcements. It is a participatory activity, so plan to jump in and join the fun! In fact, the Clubhouse is a great place to hang out between sessions, relax over a coffee and recharge your devices. I encourage everyone to check it out.

Last but not least, be sure to include some ASUG education sessions in your agenda, to get the real scoop from those who have been there, done that,  and have the lessons learned to share. You will find them in the Agenda when you search on  ASUG Customer and ASUG Influence under Source types.  SAP Mentors and ASUG volunteers can be found sharing their expertise at these sessions, including but not limited to Tammy Powlas , Graham Robinson, Joyce Butler, and Sascha Wenninger

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I have not mentioned the keynotes, but I am super excited about this year’s guest keynote speaker, Nate Silver. I have been reading his book, The Signal and the Noise, and I can’t wait to hear his observations on finding the signal in the midst of the noise of big data. It has been suggested that this year will be the Best. TechEd. Ever, so don’t miss out.

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