At the Tuesday Keynote Address, I was struck by the ease of innovation that SAP is providing our customers. While the majority of the speech was making product announcements or giving details about the depth and breadth of SAP’s offerings across the Cloud and On-Premise spaces (impressive all, as usual); the demo at the end was most telling for me.

Doing a short role play exercise; the two presenters (one “Developer” and one Business user – “The Guy with the Tie”) created a mobile front end to an Insurance adjuster application, deployed it to the company store and installed it onto an iPad. Now, of course, there were a lot of parts that were
prepared before hand. The API services were already exposed, the infrastructure was already in place, etc., so they were confident their live demo would go
smoothly and successfully.

But the interesting thing was; they didn’t type any code. They didn’t have any pre-canned modules that they prepared ahead of time. Usually in these demos, there are sections where the presenter has to talk about something the developer needs to do in the real world to replicate the actual results. But in this case, they were able to point, click and drag their way through a live demo.

Why is that important? Because this can be repeated at customer sites almost verbatim. Once the basic plumbing is in place, all of these custom front end applications can be produced as fast as the business (The Guys with Ties) can imagine them. There was no “secret sauce” that they had to use to make the demo work. In a real world version of this scenario, the Guy With the Tie could put in a request with IT (or even attempt it themselves) and successfully create and deploy a new mobile app as fast as the Change Management process will allow.

Couple that with the new capabilities of integrating HANA with Hadoop that I saw in the first breakout session I attended (SAP HANA Big Data Overview and Roadmap) and it became obvious to me that we’re entering a new era of business process manipulation and enhancement through the host of cloud based tools that SAP is offering to our customers.

The next question I’m pondering as I attend more sessions is; As a Technical Architect, what do I need to know and provide to the Guys with Ties at my customers so they’ll be successful with these new capabilities?

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