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Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva

SAP TechEd Day Four Where My Blog Gets Crowdsourced

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t – the alarm did not go off and now I’m missing the free breakfast and am running late for the first session. Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. I grab an energy bar I was saving for the flight back home (there is no food served on the 5 hour flight – where are the human rights advocates when you need them?) and run out the door counting all the necessities on the way to the elevator: pad, phone, badge, water bottle.

The session is in the hall F and I have a short brain freeze in front of the sign ‘Halls E-P’. Err… Is F somewhere there or is this an SAP alphabet?

Someone must be reading my blogs – as we walk towards the show floor a staff member yells “smile, everyone, they’re taking pictures there and you’re not getting in if you’re not smiling!”. I’m finally wearing my Mentor shirt today (with number 600 and ‘ABAP4EVER’ on the back) and notice that more people check me out and some even smile. Oh well, if that’s what it takes.

There are no more hands-on sessions for me, so today is more relaxed and I mostly hang around the lounge area for the different networking sessions. I check the updates and am surprised to find out there is a new session scheduled for the TechEd feedback. Only few people show up, so we have a very nice, almost intimate conversation with the TechEd team and I use it to full extend to wine about the hands-on sessions.

In the afternoon I meet Jon Reed and Rich Heilman and even ask some questions in their sessions. And they say my questions are good, phew! The event is winding down, so it’s time to look back at my major TechEd achievements (other than walking up to the stage without falling flat on my face):

  • Hugged Marylin Pratt and Graham Robinson. Several times.
  • Crashed Michelle Crapo‘s expert networking session.
  • Accidentally walked into the frame of about 3 different interviews. So if you’re watching them and see someone in background munching on free candy with the delusional look on their face – yep, it’s me.
  • Got a free handwriting reading (compliments of ASUG) that confirmed my total awesomeness.
  • Was on SAP TechEd Live with Graham Robinson and (OMG!) Thomas Jung. AND we talked about ABAP. And I didn’t faint (I think).

At dinner I meet the “workflow crowd”: SAP Mentors Sue Keohan and Graham Robinson and the Top SCN Contributor Jocelyn Dart. And they come up with an idea to “crowdsource” my blog for the day. Since it’s my last day at TechEd, I say – sure, have at it and they each write their own segment below. This brings back memories of a famous and very funny cartoon from my childhood where the letter a boy was writing to his parents gets completed by someone else (I found it here on YouTube with English subtitles – it’s around 3:20 mark). It was pretty darn funny.

* * *

by Susan Keohan:

Meanwhile, in the Wonderful World of Workflow, Graham Robinson showed us how to email approval tasks to users with two clicks.  In spite of one or two hijacked slides, this presentation drew a huge crowd.  And Graham, with his usual charm, engaged the audience to the max.

Martin Maguth told us all about Agent Determination, which, if you know anything about workflow, is the key.  It’s great to get the right information, at the right time, but Martin showed us how to find the RIGHT AGENTS.  Martin continues to share his expertise with the community by giving webinars on such topics as ‘Cornerstones of Workflow’ and ‘Workflow Classics’ – which always draw a good crowd.  We hope we can count on Martin’s continued support of the America’s SAP User Group at forthcoming conferences.

At the tail end of the day, 5:45 – 6:45 to be exact, an intrepid crowd showed up for POP213 to hear about ‘Which Inbox, and When’ – presented by Sue Keohan and Jocelyn Dart.  These two daring workflow goddesses energized the crowd by linking various inbox technologies to dance moves.  The members of the audience were able to get up and get their blood flowing again, and much applause was shared as well as serious educational content. 

* * *

by Graham Robinson:

Apart from getting to help finish this blog from the Zebra Bar, my TechEd highlight was getting hugs from Jelena with the unpronounceable surname.

I don’t know what a SAP Mentor is – but I know one when I see one.

* * *

by Jocelyn Dart:

My day started with a late wake up and a crazy rush to get to the 4 hour hands-on session on Advanced BPM – a repeat session by Nicholas Holhauser.  No food no coffee on levels 2, 3, 4, or 5 – an energy bar would have been very welcome but it was not to be.  Poor Nicholas Holhauser – the first hands-on session had been full, many people had worked right the end and even on for another hour.  No such luck our session – someone in the tech team had apparently “changed something” overnight and there was a desperate rush to try and correct all the laptop images – which was only partially successful.  In the end although there were about 30 of us at the start, only 6 or so of us were able to make much headway on the exercises. I was one of the lucky ones but felt so sorry for poor Nicholas and all the work he had put into the session.  [A word to the Teched organizers –  NEXT TIME ALL HANDS ON SESSIONS IN THE CLOUD PLEASE!] 

Lunch was a wonderful Mexican inspired spread where I managed to meet up with Sarat Alturi who was one of the winning Demo Jam team, and was showing me his latest Fiori inspired homegrown app – impressive work done in a week that is bringing one of our Australian customers around to the wonderful world of HTML5 apps.

The afternoon was spent in last minute thoughts and ideas to jazz up our workflow session – when you get a session at 5:45pm the night of the Gala event, you need to pull out all the stops.  Sue and I were tweeting away merrily to drum up an audience.  A shout out to the poor folk with early morning sessions on Friday – I’ve done that at that other conferences and it’s not fun – so I hope everyone is especially kind the “morning after the night before”.

The session went really well with a respectable if not huge crowd, but worth a crowd twice the size because they got straight into the spirit of our crazy dance moves.  I was so touched that Christian Loos, Benny Notheis, Patrick Schmidt, Owen Pettiford, and Graham Robinson all came along to support us.  I’ve known Graham since his own days at SAP Australia (now long past), but all of the others I’ve worked with by email, twitter, and other channels over the last few years but this week was the first time I got to meet them in person. 

Meeting people #IRL (in real life) has been the greatest thrill of this TechEd and I have memories I shall cherish for years to come at how welcoming everyone has been – especially our wonderful SAP Mentors and especially especially Sue Keohan (my sister in workflow), Tammy Powlas, Marilyn Pratt, Gretchen Lindquist, Karin Tillotson, Marcia Walker among too many others to mention. Looking around TechEd there are just not enough women here, and DEFINITELY not enough coming up on stage. Which makes me value all the more those who step up to the podium.

This evening is being spent chilling out with Graham Robinson, Sue Keohan and the wonderful Jelena – who I met for the first time on stage at Demo Jam (the highlight of my trip). I hope everyone has had a memorable TechEd and I for one am planning to be back here next year!

* * *

As a side note – it was fascinating to watch Jocelyn work on her part, her face illuminated not just by the laptop screen but also by what looked like the light coming from within.

That’s it at the TechEd for me, folks. Tomorrow is the long day of flying back home, but somehow the road back always feels shorter (and for some strange reason it actually is – the flight back is 15 minutes shorter).

Have a great weekend and I hope to see you at the TechEd next year!

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      Author's profile photo Fred Verheul
      Fred Verheul

      Hi ABAP4EVER,

      Sad to see this is already your last blog post about SAP TechEd. Are you sure you can't make it to Amsterdam??

      Thanks a lot for blogging. Given the crazy schedule that SAPTechEd always brings with it, it's an even bigger accomplishment, and it's much appreciated.

      Cheers, Fred

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you, Fred! Ah, looks like you've been to a TechEd before. 🙂 I have to admit that initially I didn't plan to make it a daily blog and was very tired every evening, but all the support I got from the comments and feedback carried this through. So it trully was the joint effort.

      Author's profile photo Stephen Johannes
      Stephen Johannes

      It's been fun reading these blogs over the past few days.  Thanks again for sharing your experience and giving your point of view on attending Teched. 

      For those of us who have been on SCN for way too long, these blogs are great example of how to blog on SCN and spirit of what a blog on SCN should be.  It's nice change of pace away from the "marketing-blogs" that tend to flood SCN lately 🙂 .

      Take care,


      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you, Stephen! I hear you. In the US magazines all the promotional articles must be printed with the clear 'Advertising' header. I feel we need the same thing on SCN.

      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon

      Saw you on stage with GrahamRobo and T-Jung...but didn't get to hang out with you. BOO!!! Next year. 😉

      Author's profile photo Graham Robinson
      Graham Robinson

      Hi Chris - one of the reasons I didn't seek you out to play craps on Thursday night was I got to spend time with Jelena Perfiljeva 😀 Time well spent I assure you. Make sure you hang out with her at the next opportunity.

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      I like the crowd-sourcing idea and I enjoyed reading your blogs as well.

      I really liked Jocelyn Dart comment:

      Looking around TechEd there are just not enough women here, and DEFINITELY not enough coming up on stage. Which makes me value all the more those who step up to the podium.”

      Kudos to you for your great blogs and kudos to Jocelyn for saying this.


      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson

      So similar to my experience!  Minus the flight, the TechEd live, and not nearly did I get enough hugs from Marilyn - and I don't even think I got to hug @grahamrobbo once! Nor did I get nearly enough time with Susan Keohan - now I know why - you were hogging her to yourself!  OK so maybe our experiences weren't nearly as similar except for the morning-swearing-not-getting-enough-time-to-eat-or-do-everything aspects.

      Thanks for sharing, and kudos from me as well for bringing us the women-on-stage comment from Jocelyn Dart.  I was glad Vishal brought up Nayaki Nayyar, and it's a wonderful boost of fresh air to see Maggie Fox representing as well.   And yes we have work to do.  Happy to have the honor to keep doing it.



      Author's profile photo Eduardo Rezende
      Eduardo Rezende

      Great blog.

      The TechEd experience is amazing!

      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Jelena - you were so very gracious to let us crowdsource your blog... risky business I know!  It was wonderful to meet you and only wish I there was more time to spend with everyone.  Thanks Tammy and Marilyn for your comments on my comments (this is starting to feel circular) ... and I'll certainly be doing my part to encourage more women on the podium.  Speaking of which ...

      Jelena - we'd love to hear your voice up on the podium!!! Please think about it!

      I'm a big believer that the value of the SAP Community and SAP TechEd is far beyond how-to documents/presentations, and roadmap/new solution info.  It's the way the community encourages & challenges all of us in the why, why not, when, where, whether, and where-to-next in how we use technology to serve us all, and make a real difference to the millions, if not billions) of people who are impacted by our customers, our businesses, our organizations, and our passions.

      Can't wait for next year.

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you, Jocelyn! Hey, I already did the TechEd Live appearance - give me a break. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Hey Jelena - great to hear - but don't forget you've got a whole year to prepare a session on Why ABAP is better than HTML5... we need your Russian sense of humour to be more widely appreciated!

      Author's profile photo Vivek Singh Bhoj
      Vivek Singh Bhoj

      Another great blog Jelena

      Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂