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Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva

SAPPHIRE/ASUG The Day of Pleasant Surprises


Before we start on Day 2 of SAPPHIRE I have a quick public service announcement (should’ve done it yesterday). Ahem.


Put your precious phones on vibrate and mute the sound on your laptops. Seriously – it’s extremely annoying (and also rude) to hear constant bings, beeps, ding-dongs and even obnoxious ring tones while trying to learn something. Special shout-out to the weird whistling noises and extremely loud camera shutter sounds. Have some respect and keep it down!

Gosh. Glad we got this out of the way.

Today I bailed out of the Keynote 3 out of 4 (will watch the recording later to feed my inner Beavis) and casually waltzed in at 11 am for the session BT1423 ’SAP Data Archiving and Image Archiving 101’ led by Karin  Tillotson. Most of the session was about the tools that are already available to the SAP customers without mentioning of HANA, Cloud, IoT and, oh, Mobility (did I forget anything?). What a breathe of fresh air! I’ve dealt with some “light” archiving before but found the session to be quite enlightening. Wish it was a bit longer since there were actually several co-presenters. I needed to plug in some questions but instead generously yielded time to other participants. Gracious Mentor mission accomplished!

The presentation should be available on the ASUG web site (I have yet to get to it – don’t even get me started on the ASUG website). If you’re in any way interested in archiving SAP data I highly recommend taking a look.

During the break I notice many ladies in the restroom using 3-4 paper towels to dry their hands. I’m not a tree-hugger by any means, but this Ted Talk was almost life-changing for me and I can attest that just one paper towel dries your hands perfectly well with the “shake-fold-dry” technique. Let’s save some trees, folks!

I had extremely low expectations for the next session RM2389 ‘Road Map: SAP S/4HANA – the Next-Generation Business Suite’ and loaded up on coffee in advance but Rudolf Hois actually did great job presenting and keeping the flow, so overall it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Hopefully the slides for this session will also be available online (or maybe Rudolf would kindly post them on SCN). I thought that the presentation was more clear than other SAP content on the subject. Rudolf wisely took a cue from Futurama’s Dr.Zoidberg and escaped quickly after the session ended. Woop, woop, woop, woop! But I got his business card, hehe. 🙂

After lunch (food is in the Top 5 worst things at SAPPHIRE right behind the constant badge-scanning) I reluctantly joined session PO460 ‘Learn How Johnson and Johnson Redesigned Its Global SAP Enterprise Portal Component’ by Aravinda Boyapati. We don’t use Portal currently and personally I don’t like it, so what am I even doing here? But events like SAPPHIRE are somewhat like “all you can eat” buffet at a restaurant – a good occasion to try some new food without any commitment. And even though there is no chance we could implement anything close to what J&J did (really awesome, well done), it got me thinking how we can improve our own, much simpler, applications. Sparkling creativity and innovation (bleh, can’t believe I used that word!) is exactly what great sessions are about.

For BT458 session on Fiori I arrive 5 minutes late (got delayed talking to a vendor) to find ‘Session full’ sign. I bet there are at least 10 empty chairs in that room, sigh… Oh well. So I schlep half a mile back to the showroom floor in search of a potential “cutest swag of the day” candidate. Hmm, this is clearly no TechEd – anything other than pens is guarded like Fort Knox. So instead I’d like to present the ‘Most Fun Booth’ award to Infosys for their car ride simulator. And I didn’t even get a pen from these guys, so rest assured this is a totally unbiased nomination.


You’re welcome, Infosys.

The last event of the day is Mentor wrap-up meeting where I once again get a chance to dispense some hugs and say good byes (we’re leaving on Thursday afternoon). The event was graced by the presence of dashing John Appleby himself (who wisely replaced Mentor t-shirt with a suit), so I get a chance to shake hands with the fellow HANA top contributor.

Tomorrow is a big day – we get to see Hasso ‘Papa Bear’ Plattner in the flash. There are also rumors that he might be signing his new book. Please make mine “To an ASUG member who does know something about HANA”. Maybe just a tiny bit less than John Appleby. 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      Enjoyable recap, thank you, Jelena

      Here is the link to the ASUG Archiving slides: 1423 SAP Software Data Archiving and Image Arch... | ASUG

      I asked SAP about posting the roadmap slides - they won't post them on but instead go to

      I met Rudi Hois too - very knowledgable, candid and helpful.


      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, Tammy! This web site was also shared at the end of the presentation, but I just got a chance to go there and for S/4HANA found just one file and it's definitely not the one from SAPPHIRE (link). Would've been much nicer of SAP to give the attendees the actual link instead of "go fish" directions...

      Author's profile photo Marilyn Pratt
      Marilyn Pratt

      I'm not sure what the bear will be flashing but seeing bare bear is always entertaining and often thought stimulating. A good counterbalance to some content lite experiences. See you there.

      Author's profile photo Steffi Warnecke
      Steffi Warnecke

      "There are also rumors that he might be signing his new book."

      At first my brain read that as "singing his new book". 😀

      I love your recaps, Jelena! 😎

      Author's profile photo Matt Fraser
      Matt Fraser

      Singing his new book would have been much more interesting, though, no matter how interesting his actual presentation was. And yes, I'm not sure where Jelena's finding the time to write these recaps; I feel busy all the time. I decided to skip a bit of planned activities for an hour just to get a break and recharge.

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      Matt, the extra time is mostly compliments of too firm mattress and too loud AC at Hampton Inn. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Matt Fraser
      Matt Fraser

      In fact, he was giving the book away for free to all and sundry after his keynote. They even had people in the hallways handing it out like flyers. Suddenly the free copy I got... Tuesday? It's all a blur now... feels devalued, lol.

      I will say, though, I rather enjoyed most of his keynote.

      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath

      Matt - you have a "first edition" - treasure it. : )

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva
      Blog Post Author

      I felt the same way - whaaaat, now everyone has it for free? Moreover, when signing the books they were not even giving you back the same copy. But more on that later. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Jim Spath
      Jim Spath

      Nice work, J.

      As for "extremely loud camera shutter sounds", I plead guilty to not muting. In my defense, I reference John Le Carre (the specific novel escapes me, but is about a Russian bag man trapped by British spies) where he says the person being photographed doesn't hear the focal plane.

      Carry on. And nice to meet you in person finally.

      Author's profile photo John Appleby
      John Appleby

      Jelena the pleasure was all mine, you were on my bucket list for SAPPHIRE 🙂

      Fellow HANA top contributor indeed! I love your no-BS approach.