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SAPTechEd – Thursday

Phew!  Last night was #failfaire, and #totalwin with the bathtub, and Thursday AM, I am up and at’em, lugging my laptop and a 7 pound book and sundry goodies to the convention center (or ‘centre’ for some of you).  I had another ‘expert’ networking session and was blessed that Owen Pettiford and Patrick Schmidt showed up.  The session is called ‘Workflow and BPM Open Forum’ and I was a little amazed that close to half the audience wanted to learn about Business Process Management – and not SAP Workflow.

Oh well, there’s no accounting for the tastes of some people.

No really, I’d be all over BPM if I had a case (and the money) to use it in real life.  But I’m only me, I can only do so much. So I stayed focused on the Workflow peeps, and then of course we ran out of time, so again, we traipsed over to the beanbag chairs in the Community Lounge. Hopefully some folks got some good information.  I do know at one point Christopher Solomon asked me a question, and I had almost implemented the exact same thing!  Small world. 

I also found out that ‘the book’ will make an excellent mousepad on the slippery lounge tables. 

Later that day, I attended a session by another of my favorite people, Graham Robinson.  His session (which was so popular he had to repeat it) was POP108 – Workflow Approval – Anywhere.  Graham did some neat work behind the scenes to show us how he delivers email on any device which allows the end-user to approve or reject.  It’s email based, and many people understand pretty darn well how email works. There isn’t much training involved there. 

If you wanted to see a sample of email for approval out of his system (2-cliks) send email to  I did, and I got a few messages back for my approval.  Here’s one:

Then I went to find my friend Martin Maguth, who was presenting on Session POP214 – Agent determination in SAP Workflow.  There’s a reason why this session is so important.  We all know SAP WF is all about getting the right information to the right people at the right time.  If you forget how to find the right people, you’ve botched your job.  Martin has been a great ASUG supporter, and I am reasonably sure you can look forward learning from him again next spring.  As a matter of fact, you can ‘meet’ him here.

There was a little down time between Martin’s session and <gasp> Session POP213 (which was at 5:45, ahem!) so Jocelyn Dart and I made tracks for the espresso cafe and had a little gelato to keep us fired up for ‘our’ session.  I even saw Tamara Powlas‘s favorite flavor, mint chocolate chip, so I sent her a virtual scoop via Twitter.

Finally, the tired, hungry, and weary trailed into our room.  If those folks thought they were going to catch a few ZZZ’s before the concert, they were mistaken!  Jocelyn and I (all sugared up) were ready to get this group moving.  Jocelyn’s idea was to liken each inbox which allows you to process workflow tasks to a specific dance move.  The Usain Bolt, the Macarena, etc.  This little trick helped people show what tools they were using, as well as inspiring a bit of fun.  I was not amazed that everyone stayed until the bitter end of the session – Jocelyn is that great a speaker.  If you missed the session, or you are suffering from inbox confusion, we shall see what we can do to get some material posted here.  It was all inspired, by the way, by Jocelyn’s excellent blog…

I believe it was at this point that I realized I was dead tired, and not likely concert material.  A few like-minded folks agreed that quiet dinner sounded good.

I met up with Graham and Jocelyn, and then later Jelena Perfiljeva.  After dinner, Jelena was going to try to escape our clutches and go back to her room, but Graham can be fiercely persuasive (in his own way) and talked her into letting us ALL blog – and under her name, no less.  Heee heee heee.  The resulting Crowdsourced blog is available for your reading pleasure.  I am proud to admit that Jelena did not censor us. At all.    

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Of course things got a little silly after that.  Many people were returning from the concert and were definitely… spirited is the word I want.  There were plenty of people to play with at the Zebra Bar, and even Superman (AKA Clint Vosloo) was there.  No, that’s not Lois Lane, that’s our own Gretchen Lindquist.  

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At some point, common sense prevailed – I had a noon flight out the next morning and had plenty of things to sort, so sadly, I slipped away from the crowd.  It’s only the beginning of #PTWS (Post TechEd Withdrawal Syndrome) – which will be listed in the next PDR.  Mostly, I find that if you are suffering from #PTWS, the cure is to blog about it, go into some discussion forums and answer some questions, review the material you got on that swifty bottle opener key chain thing, and start planning for next year.  So here I go!

Thanks for keeping up with me.  And if you’re going to another TechEd (like, next week?) I pass the baton to YOU.

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  • Sue, you are always entertaining and an absolute joy to work with.  A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our POP213 session and I definitely have to start playing with the Unified Inbox on Gateway (think UWL but OData based and with a BPM HTML5 inbox look and feel and capabilities). 

    Sue – One of these days we’ll convert you to the BPM way of thinking – but for now I’m just glad you can see the UWL light at the end of the tunnel.

    More rumours heard at TechEd re BPM engines in ABAP… but my advice is always to ignore the rumours until someone shows you the code!!! (Maybe I’ve been at SAP too long but…)

    Most of all thanks for getting me a speaker gig! I had a blast and am already dealing with my PTWS in the most appropriate way, i.e. starting to plan for next year. 🙂

    • Jocelyn, no conversions are necessary – just time and $ and willingness on the part of my day job.  And yes, I do believe you should start planning for next year; I have a feeling you could cover some more topics very well 😉

    • Jocelyn, all the “thank you”s have to go back to you and Susan for making POP213 a delightful and entertaining evening session that way anything else but dreary and dragging… Hats off and thumbs up!

      I even scrounged one of the little giveaways – although it was a PINK flashing light necklace! We have to talk about how you can really help building up my rep! 😉

  • Susan, thanks for the shout-out and an opportunity to supplement my last day blog (I would not dare to censor it). It was great meeting you and all the others. It’ll take me a while to sort through the bottle opener USB drive (how Vegas appropriate! 🙂 ) – I have a huge backlog of stuff waiting for me at the office.

    • Hi Jelena, it was great to meet you too IRL.  Thanks for letting me hit your keyboard a little.
      We should make this an annual thing?  Crowdsourcing the last blog of TechEd?