I’m a 46 year old virgin. I know, that’s hard to believe, even when you know me. But honestly, despite being with SAP for more than 15 years I have never been to SAPPHIRE before. I’m a SAPPHIRE virgin.

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I don’t know about you, but I am about as excited as can be to go. I’ve heard so much about the buzz, watched the last years’ videos of sleek keynote speeches of Bill (see above), or Hasso, or former Co-CEO Jim Snabe, or Vishal Sikka, or of some actor that looked vaguely familiar. And all looked nicely groomed, and well-choreographed, and rehearsed a gazillion times. It never failed to make a huge impression on me, even as I watched the recorded, redacted, revisioned version of the event. This time, I’ll be able to take in all that jazz in person, on site, and get a feel for why our customers are among the most loyal customers in the industry. Is it SAP’s world class service, our products, or, gasp, the vision? Who will bet against me predicting without any use of predictive analytics software that CEO Bill McDermott will be talking about running simple on Tuesday? Will we be hearing about The Great Simplifier, SAP HANA? And will everyone have questions about S/4HANA, and where the company is going with that? How will the business network, the collective of acquisitions of Ariba for procurement, Fieldglass for temp labor and services, and Concur for travel and expense management, come together to enhance business value for customers? Will Steve Singh reveal the networks’ roadmap? I can barely contain my curiosity (I’m a millennial at heart, just sayin’. And yes, he probably will during his Wednesday keynote).

The Americas’ SAP users’ group, ASUG, actually prepared a preconference on the Ariba procurement network, why and how to connect to it, and where its roadmap is leading (geek alert: I have seen the roadmap and it is exciting, well, if you happen to get as excited about efficiency in procurement processes as I do. Meet me there. Let’s chat about connecting your enterprise to the network in just five weeks, using another great simplifier, one of our tried and true SAP rapid-deployment solutions). Check out the ASUG pre-conferences on mobile and UX, too.

This time, though, not only will I get to breathe the buzz, I’m even supposed to get on stage as well. No, not for the keynote, we shall leave that for the days I’ll be a C-level executive of my own startup powered by SAP HANA (err, chuckle, right…). But a stage nonetheless: Join me on Thursday at noon to learn about wrapping Fiori apps with security for use on mobile devices, and distributing wrapped Fiori apps using the Mobile Place, with SAP Mobile Secure, cloud edition (full disclosure, the event number is BT1718, on Thursday at noon in S331A, and yes, there is an RDS for this as well, the SAP Mobile Secure rapid-deployment solution. I know this, because it’s mine). And speaking of Fiori, the name of SAP’s new and renewed user experience, recalls a song by Gloria Estefan (not Jennifer), “Ayer encontré la flor que tú me diste | Imagen del amor que me ofresciste” (you’ll get the gist of it without Google translate), as if SAP was giving back with a bouquet of delightful, desirable Fiori apps some of the love we received from our customers (and even from end users, despite our olde SAPGUI). Will you join in the refrain “Let’s get cloud” with me at Jennifer Lopez’ concert on Thursday night?

Now, how about yourself? Are you a SAPPHIRE newbie, too, or a seasoned Orlando veteran? Share your trade show secrets with me: What are your musts? How do you actually pronounce “SAPPHIRE” properly? Is it “zap-fire” which I hear from some of my veteran German colleagues (freely associating the snap of a zippo and its flame), or rather akin to the eternal sparkle of precious diamonds, “ßa-fy-ah”?  Tell me [I left some space for your reply below, so please feel free to respond]. 

I am really pumped up to meet you all in Orlando.  


CU there, Andreas

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