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This year’s SAP Forum Austria was hosted in Salzburg – the hometown of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. On May 13 and 14, more than 270 SAP customer and partner, SAP employees and students met in the Congress Center to attend highly informative panel discussions and breakout sessions, hear about real-world customer experiences and network with the SAP ecosystem.

The event was kicked off by a welcome speech from Klaus Sickinger, the managing director of SAP Austria. During his talk he put a strong emphasize on the importance of SAP’s core business, innovation and the simplification initiative that was launched in January by SAP’s Co-CEOs. In today’s world, everything becomes more complex and the mobile sector gains importance. Hence, new ways of interacting with workers and consumers are necessary to take away the complexity from the customers. This can be achieved by transferring businesses into the cloud.

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This was followed by the keynote speech led by Rolf Schumann regarding the real time business platform SAP HANA. In his speech he elaborated on the overall “hype” of the big data topic in today’s economy. Everyone speaks about it and works with it but that does not necessarily mean that it is always used in the right way. It is important to analyze the faster retrieved data accordingly and have a valuable outcome or use it for a completely new business model. One example for this is the virtual patient project to enable new and better ways to diagnose and treat cancer. SAP HANA is used to retrieve data from other patients and their DNA and method of treatment to make cross-comparisons and receive probabilities. This information can help and support doctors to find the best treatment for a patient.

Furthermore Hagleitner Hygiene International GmbH presented their business model and illustrated how they optimize their services by using real-time data and hence extend their business with a totally new offering. Hagleitner equips its hygiene products with sensors to receive information about the current stock and the estimated time they need to be refilled and serviced.

After the keynote four different business cases from SAP customer and partner were presented on stage. This ranged from the EWM implementation at Bechtle Logistik & Service GmbH and the usage of Smart Glasses in the warehouse to the future of retail presentation by Leder & Schuh who developed an avatar that improves the purchasing experience for the customer by matching the customer’s foot with 3-D prints of the available shoes for a perfect fit.

In the afternoon, several parallel break-out sessions were offered in order that every attendee could attend sessions around topics that are most relevant to them.

During the coffee and lunch breaks all attendees had the opportunity to meet and network with SAP partner in the exhibition area. This also included the mobile corner where everyone was able to test the smart glasses by themselves.

The first day was topped off with an evening event in the kavernen 1595 – a former beer and wine cellar in the old town of Salzburg.

The second day began with the European film premier of “The Human Face of Big Data” movie – a documentary showcasing real-life big data examples to illustrate were big data can be found in everyday life. The film by Rick Smolan recently won The Boston Film Festival’s “Best Cinematography Award”. The screening was followed by a panel discussion and several roundtable sessions around different business cases.

SAP University Alliances participated actively at the Forum. Four selected students from all over Austria (Innsbruck, Graz and Vienna) had the chance to attend the event and learn more about latest IT trends and get in contact with future employers. Furthermore UA had a booth in the exhibition area to inform customer and partner about the offerings and win them for future projects.

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On Wednesday, a dedicated track around the war for talent was held by SAP University Alliances to introduce the offerings to interested customer and partner by illustrating possible collaboration opportunities such as co-innovation projects or joint student events. In addition to that the Academy Cube and the SAP Austria Community – a recruiting platform for companies who are searching for young talents with IT and SAP skills were introduced.

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