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After eight incredible busy weeks (kudos to the team!) and an inspiring and busy event week at SAPPHIRENOW behind us, I would like to take a “minute” to summarize the valuable content and insights provided and the great experience that I have made again this year.

As per figures, this year’s SAPPHIRENOW in Orlando was the best ever yet. More than 20,000 participants showed up in person and a few 125,000 more joined online to understand that Simplification is the new standard, SAP is ready for it.


“Simplify Everything. Do Anything” was the slogan of this terrific event where attendees had the chance to join a full bunch of keynotes, presentations, panel discussions, interviews, demo session and much more to gain insights around the hottest topics like


  • The Cloud in 2020
  • The Networked Economy
  • The Next-Generation Business
  • The Future of Work
  • The Future of Customer Engagement
  • The Flexibility of Startups


I personally could not be more proud to have been allowed to host the “Cloud in 2020” Forum this year with a lot of high class speakers and content. All sessions did not just deliver on our customer’s and partner’s expectations but topped them.

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Together we all contributed to paint a 2020 picture of the cloud and a direction for our forum participants and guests.


Out of the 20 content-rich sessions of our forum, I would like to cherry-pick 3 of them which have been my personal highlights:


Keynote:  Improve business outcomes by moving to the cloud


Joe Weinmann, author of the book “Cloudonomics” and a new one called “Digital Disciplines”, which will be out later this year, opened the forum with his keynote. Joe shared his POV with us about hybrid cloud scenarios and the strategic importance of the cloud and related technologies.


He drilled down on major strategies he found, companies should care about to improve their business outcomes and answered the following questions:

  • Is IT plumbing or strategic?
  • Are Cloud-based strategies random or repeatable?
  • What will 2020 bring for the cloud?


Interested in more? Watch the full keynote here.

Panel Discussion: Build the business platform of the future


Another highlight was the really thoughtful discussion between Mary Kosita (from our customer Timken), Robert Arbogast (Director, for Organizational Advancement at Timken), Ray Wang (Principal Analyst and Founder of Constellation Reasearch) who led the discussion and me. We intensively discussed about:

  • collaboration between IT and the business
  • cloud as a strategic platform with different deployment scenarios
  • reduction of resources and time-to-value
  • cloud as an adjuster between people and technology


In the end we all agreed – Cloud is enabling Simplification & Innovation.

Interested in more? Watch the full discussion here.


Interview: Capitalize on Millennials and the new normal


There is a rising generation out there that will change enterprises’ corporate cultures, their working patterns and will blow a fresh wind through organizations.

We call them Millennials.


For this interview we could win Amira Polack and Ben Christensen, 2 true digital Natives who shared with us how they live, think, study and work in a highly dynamic, interconnected world.


In this interview I could tease out

  • Their trust in the cloud and why how they blow productivity through the roof
  • How they use cloud as a natural extension of their mind
  • What they think about limitations and the cloud to break them
  • Their association with the things/technologies/people that continually inspire while they interact with them
  • What they expect from their employers and future workplaces


Interested in more? Watch the full Q&A session here.



All other recorded sessions and presentations of the Cloud in 2020 forum and of SAPPHIRENOW in general are available here.

Let’s Run simple and come back to Orlando next year with overwhelming proof that when SAP sets itself to a bold vision, we deliver.


If you want to stay informed about the latest news until next year, follow me on twitter @SDenecken.



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