My Experience with SAP
It all started a year back, when the ImpressIT prelims were going on. ImpressIT is a proof of concept contest held every year by SAP at SAP labs. ImpressIT 2013 was special as it was also associated with the Government of Karnataka. “To make the world a better place” was the theme for ImpressIT 2013. The preliminary round included the selection of top 40 ideas given by students all over the state of Karnataka. The results were out in September 2013, and we were glad to be selected among the top 40 out of 248 ideas pouring in from all over Karnataka. This definitely meant a lot of upcoming challenges and we readily accepted them as the excitement and thrill of being in an all-Karnataka contest overpowered our fears. My team consisted of Indhu K, Nitin Mali, Saurabh Hindlekar and I. After the preliminary rounds we were assigned mentors who not only helped us build on our idea, but also motivated us all throughout the competition. We greatly thank our mentor, Mr. Shankar V.
The first round was held at SAP labs, October 2013, where we were to present our idea or prototype. Our idea-“Smart Dustbin” made it through the top 10. It was a jubilant moment for all four of us! Next being the finale had us all set to work for the best and another month just swept by. The finals were held at NIMHANS Auditorium. We had a great experience even though we did not make it to the top three. All top 10 teams were awarded Amazon Kindles and the winners bagged an iPad each. Next came the SAP Utility of tomorrow contest. This is a contest held by SAP on a worldwide level. We improved our idea and entered the contest. Our idea made it through the top 60 entries.
Next was the Lumira viz Jam, held at SAP labs on December 8th 2013. Prior to this we had absolutely no clue about this outstanding visualization software. The day started with about 30 students from our college getting into the bus at 7.30. The initial hours included a demo session on SAP Lumira. We were all marvelled at the remarkable visualizations it could make and with so much ease. Next was a hands on session on the software. The first part of it involved choosing a topic and preparing a data set related to it. The data sets could be taken from:
The links offer a huge and diverse collection of data sets. We chose to work on “The impact of rising sea levels” as it involved a lot of different places, numbers, and also made us aware of how important it is for us to understand the impacts of rise in sea levels. We explored the software as the hours ticked by, but there was so much more to it. The SAP volunteers guided us at every stage of the SAP Lumira viz Jam, and we finally had a presentation in front of the judges. The judges were very impressed and had us into the top 10. All top ten teams received SAP bags and Data Geek t-shirts! There were many goodies as well as apple iPods offered to students in a rapid fire round. The rapid fire round made the viz Jam much more interesting. The top ten had another round of presentation where we were declared the second runners up. “Second runners up”, we shouted in chorus as we ran to the stage to get our prize! It felt amazing, holding my first set of cash prize.
We were also allowed to visit the SAP TechEd- the premier technical education conference for IT architects, administrators, and developers. It involved speeches from inspiring personalities like Sourav Ganguly and Mr. Vishal Sikka. Later we (the winners) were also invited for an exclusive lunch with the SAP Lumira team and Executive Vice President Mr. Michael Reh, another golden opportunity for us. It was there we learned that there is so much more to Lumira than what we explored during the Lumira viz Jam. We were also asked for our inputs to the Lumira software and it was nice to know that the team would actually consider them in the future releases of the software.
It was at the SAP Lumira viz Jam that were introduced to the SAP Lumira University Challenge. The Challenge was at a nation-wide level offering enormous prizes. Since we had to submit individual entries I created another data set on varieties of cheese. The visualizations included various attributes like popularity, cost, use in popular dishes, aging of cheese etc. It had been about a month after the submission when I got a call from SAP saying I had secured the first place. I was extremely delighted to hear that. Our college had bagged the first two positions in the Lumira University challenge, 2nd position being taken away by Nikhil N Jannu. The winners were invited to SAP labs to present in front of Executive Vice President Mr. Michael Reh. It was then we discovered the real potentials of the software, for example it can load up to several million rows of data, barely taking a minute! We were awarded certificates and our goodies. I was overwhelmed to get a Mac Book pro from the SAP Lumira team. Second prize winner was awarded a Samsung Galaxy S5 and 3rd was given an iPad mini.
I am really thankful to SAP for giving me so many opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills.