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I’m on my way to TechEd 2013. As the yearly technical conference for all things SAP, it promises to offer an overwhelming amount of information, compressed into 5 days.  In order to benefit, one needs to have a focus, a topic, a theme to pursue through the myriad of tracks, workshops, lectures, et al.

My focus this year is the Technology of Information Management. And isn’t that a mouthful? I suppose I should explain why it sounds like I’m from the Department of Redundancy.

I’m a technology consultant for SAP. In SAPanese, I’m a Basis Consultant. For the last 16 years or so, I’ve been going around to customers installing the technical components they need to implement the functionality they want to improve the operation of their business. At first, I was occupied with just completing the successful installation of the software. Then I became interested in the overall technical architecture of SAP landscapes. All the bits and pieces
surrounding R/3, then ECC, BW, etc.

Lately, I’ve started to focus on the information architecture of a customer’s business requirements. SAP has embraced TOGAF as an architecture methodology.
We’ve extended it to become the SAP EAF architecture methodology. TOGAF defines 4 domains; Business, Data, Application and Technology. I primarily work in the Technology domain, but I find myself venturing into the other areas. But why? Why would a Basis consultant need to learn more about the non-technical areas of Information technology?

In a word: speed.

Speed of information acquisition, speed of change management, speed of decision making, speed of the increase of data to manipulate. When I first started in IT, speed was defined by how fast we could ship a tape or other removable media to a remote location. Big Data was defined by how many floppy disks you needed to contain a complete copy of the data. Now I have customers that want to analyze millions of data points in Real Time. They want to manipulate terabytes of data without regard to physical location, in Real Time. And SAP has the technology to fulfill those requirements. I’m thinking about the implications of the volume and speed that SAP’s offerings allow our customers to make business decisions now. About the structures, the tools, the methodologies needed to support that speed without introducing new risks and vulnerabilities. I’m thinking about the architectural frameworks needed to be developed, new levels of robustness to withstand the stresses of Big Data moving in Real Time.

Specifically, I’m thinking about three things; Master Data Governance, Change Management and RTDP.  MDG extends MDM by giving our customers predefined master data models related to ECC. Used in conjunction with MDM, it offers the ability to extend the customer’s ability to manage increasing volumes of corporate Master Data at greater speeds. ITIL is another industry methodology that gives procedures, processes and methodologies for managing IT operations. SAP’s Solution Manager is currently the only certified product for 15 Services within ITIL. Solution Manager offers the tools and functionality to manage operations and greater volumes of change at the speed the business requires. SAP’s RTDP is the set of technologies and products that enable our customers to
make business decisions based on Real Time access to analytics, reporting and data processing. And since I’m a techie at heart, I’m going to indulge in a 2 hour lecture on the internals of HANA.

So there you have it; the Technology of Information Management. I’ve structured my schedule at TechEd around those three topics, MDG, Change Management and RTDP. As I attend the daily sessions, I’ll be adding new posts to this blog giving you my impressions and opinions (which are entirely my own).
I’m interested in receiving your feedback and your thoughts about these topics.

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