A glance at the key words tweeted during SAP Inside Track Silicon Valley (#SITsv) on September 12 at HanaHaus in Palo Alto proves – as if you had any doubt — that the Great Age of Digital Business is here, SAP is positioned at its convergence (jetting you to the Cloud with big thanks to HANA Cloud Platform), and SAP Inside Track is the place to be to find out about it. Bill McDermott himself may have summed up this theme weeks in advance when he said: “The digital economy is disrupting businesses, industries and entire value chains. The proof is everywhere, from how we use technology and data as consumers, to how cutting-edge businesses are reshaping the consumer marketplace.”
But an entirely different theme of underlying key words prove another equally compelling extrapolation: that the digital world is, in fact, profoundly human: It is “people.” It’s “fun,” it’s “playful,” it’s “magic” and “amazing” and “great” and full of “creativity” and maybe even “song” and – above all – full of “troublemakers.”
Up to 50 such troublemakers came in person to participate in seven hours packed with seven quality sessions by a wide-ranging variety of presenters yet all unified by the thread of digital business. In case you couldn’t make it in person, we have the full recording below, a Storify for the crib-notes, and a riot of over a thousand unique tweets tagged with #SITsv which have made over seven million impressions on nearly 350k twitter timelines — and counting. As if that wasn’t enough, in the aftermath, a couple dozen people were able to revel in the after-party with delicious authentic Norwegian food at the delightful Nordic Innovation House (and up to three people may in fact still be partying).
Why the Nordic theme, you ask? This is thanks to recent Norwegian expatriate, CTO of Neptune Software and SAP Mentor Njål Stabell. As you may know, SAP Inside Tracks are community-organized events, and Njål and Neptune not only conceived of this (the first Inside Track to grace Silicon Valley in years), but generously sponsored the event and kicked it up with premium content. We were also in great global company since there was not one – not two – but three Inside Tracks on September 12 — in Silicon Valley, Sheffield, and Wroclaw (and just on the heels of one in Mexico).
It was an honor to help organize this event together with Njål, along with – to our additional good fortune – the great and all-encompassing SAP Mentor magician Maria Farrales. In addition, we deeply thank many others for the support including Srini Tanikella at the ASUG helm, University Alliances intern Kenn Sugiyama at the AV controls, the SAP Silicon Valley team for helping get the word out, the HanaHaus folks for in-haus help, and all of the dedicated speakers and attendees including a great posse of students and the SAP community online and tweeting furiously.
If you can lift your eyes from the Twitter stream momentarily, please see below for the list of sessions, speakers, presentation materials, and links to the recordings for the day.
Thank you for being the SAP community and embodying the great digital-human convergence!
Mark Finnern – Playful @ Work
SAP Mentor Godfather and Alumni
Mark Finnern started off the day with a kick in the decidedly human and playful direction with his Playful@Work manifesto. He took us through how to successfully playfully engage your community with tons of references to the success of the SAP Mentor program as examples. And he even got us all to create a collective poem and participate in a gigantic rock-scissors-paper game. “Playfulness is amazing at bringing people together, creating trust, and defusing tense situations,” he says. “Learn how play can help you be more successful in life and work.”
Njål Stabell – Neptune Hybrid Apps running on HCP Mobile Services
CTO, Neptune Software
Our organizer and sponsor Njål was next up, and since I’m an SAP employee working on the HANA Cloud Platform product management team, I have to say it was a real treat to see his real-world experience with how his company uses the platform for success. He showed us how to help ABAPers onboard to newer technologies, and how with Neptune you can make any SAP ABAP solution Web- and mobile-ready. He demoed his live hybrid apps, changing screens in real-time with the Neptune Application Designer, and showing the app live on his mobile device.
Pankaj Kumar – Extending SAP and Writing Your Own Applications on SAP HANA Cloud Platform
HANA Cloud Platform Product Manager
We continued in the SAP HANA Cloud Platform theme next, with Pankaj Kumar showing us how fast and easy it is to get started with HCP. Pankaj gave us an overview of HCP, then set it up for another live demo connecting data via the Cloud Connector (“the secret sauce”) to your app using HCP’s Web-based IDE. The audience wanted to know how to get started, and were pointed to http://hcp.sap.com/ and the tons of other free resources to help get you started including OpenSAP courses and easy-to-use exercises.
Ray Wang – Disrupting Digital Business: The Post Sales, On Demand, Attention Economy Is Here
CEO, Constellation Research
After lunch, there was no chance at all for a post-lunch slump, because Ray Wang came to the stage and completely fired everyone up with his enthusiastic insights on how digital has not only disrupted how we do business (destroying 27 business models), but has indeed destroyed hundreds of businesses themselves. Enterprises are transitioning “from selling products to keeping brand promises,” and he included a peek into the future of what he called “mass personalization at scale” with prediction and intention-driven models that make many including Tammy Powlas just want to drink a whole lot of coffee. The presentation broke pens and fried minds.
Session Recording (first of four) | Presentation Materials
Padman Ramankutty – Omni-Channel, Supply Chain, and SAP
CEO, Intrigo Systems, Inc
Padman brought us some customer insights on the future of the supply chain, and also continued the theme of connecting the dots between the digital and the personal, saying that “the future of the supply chain is here — and it’s personal: It’s you and me.” With some impressive statistics on S4/HANA logistics, he talked about the world of real-time inventory management and how end-users benefit. He closed by treating us with with key takeaways from real-world experience including, once again, how digital is affecting the supply chain, the importance of having a single source of data for all sales channels, how infrastructure has changed in the last 20 years, how SAP has recognized this change with S4/HANA, and more.
Session Recording (at 1:06:20) | Presentation Materials
Aiaz Kazi – Platform Thinking: Building a Sustainable Business
Aiaz continued the afternoon by reiterating the platform theme we’d been reveling in for the day, sharing insights on how to monetize the platform and how community and commercialization can go hand-in-hand, once again underscoring the “everyone wins” digital-human convergence. Engaging the audience in a playful way in an echo back to Mark Finnern’s kickoff, he set off his key themes in song, which made perfect sense for The Boxer himself.
Session Recording (at 1:55:13) | Presentation Materials
Sam Yen – The Design Imperative for IT
Chief Design Officer & Managing Director of Silicon Valley Labs; SAP
We were very lucky to have Sam Yen as our closer, who was just back on the ground from Walldorf. “IT Help Wanted: CIOs Need Not Apply,” he began, addressing the “design imperative for our entire industry,” including design thinking and scaling design through UXaaS (User Experience as a Service) and BUILD on HCP. Execution is more about problem solving – whereas creativity is about problem finding, he said, adding: “before solving the problem, make sure it’s the right problem.” Check it out at the link below – you won’t ever regret listening to Sam Yen – or any of the others we were privileged to spend the day with on Saturday.