I am nearing the end of my first day at SAPPHIRE as a new Mentor.  I was awestruck by the size of the showroom floor and the technology that supported it. You could literally stand anywhere on the showroom floor and see and hear Bill McDermott (@BillRMcDermott) keynote about some of the great accomplishments that SAP has made.  The talk about integration with Facebook and Google and the journey we took with Concur clearly amplified the cutting edge technology on the roadmap for SAP.

I also had the opportunity to sit in a fellow mentors session Brandon Toombs (@brandontoombs) talking about the comparisons between On premise SAP HCM via HR Renewal vs. SuccessFactors Employee Central.  He started the session by asking the audience which platform they were on.  In the booked session of hundreds of people only three indicated that they were currently using SuccessFactors Employee Central.  He then used that as an opportunity to share a very funny top 5 list about how you know that you have been on SAP too long (including a dog named Infotype).  It was interesting to see how the progression to the cloud with the advent of HR Renewal is slower than expected.

As a mentor I also had the opportunity to meet with SAP Executives and Analytics Leaders in a small moderated session for an informal Q&A about the current landscape and future roadmap of all things analytics, HANA and Fiori.  The opportunity to network with these key folks and ask direct questions and receive direct answers from those ‘in the know’ was an invaluable experience.

The afternoon keynote was funny and engaging and as I wind down with a little dinner and play catch-up with my emails I think of all of the interactions that I had throughout the day with colleagues, customers, other SAP Mentors (@sapmentors) and many new people that I had the pleasure to meet.  It was a good day, a long day, but a good day.

Wearing the official blue SAP mentor shirt takes some adjusting to and not just for the David Letterman style air conditioning at the conference center – but also because it opens a door for new interactions.  Even if someone is unfamiliar with the official mentor program they recognize the shirt as a familial member of the SAP family and engage you.  I have been using it as an opportunity to communicate about the program and network with more folks than I used to be able to in my formal business suit. 

If you are at the show, please feel free to say hi and tell me about your experience at SAPPHIRE. 

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