Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Moya Watson

#SITsv and the Great Digital-Human Convergence



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.”

Session Recording | Presentation Materials

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.

Session Recording | Presentation Materials

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 and the tons of other free resources to help get you started including OpenSAP courses and easy-to-use exercises.

Session Recording | Presentation Materials

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.

Session Recording (at 2:26:08)

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Matt Fraser
      Matt Fraser

      Thanks, Moya, for this well-written recap, and the links to the materials and recordings. Who needs notes, when we have this? Truly, it was a great day, and all the speakers had many insights to impart, all while keeping it fun and engaging.

      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Matt I'm glad to hear this! It was a great honor to get to meet you in person and chat a bit.  Huge thanks for all you do up in Seattle and let's meet more often 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Wow Moya really thorough recap. Thanks for sharing the slides and recordings. I updated my Learn How To Play From Our Kids post with the link too!

      If you are in the Bay Area join us at the Come Out And Play Festival this week!

      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Mark!  I loved the focus on the kids, which was also echoed by the very engaged audience on Saturday.  Such a treat to have you kick off SITsv!

      Author's profile photo Raphael Pacheco
      Raphael Pacheco

      This event was very good indeed! I'm glad to have participated until the end 😀

      Thanks Moya for sharing the recordings.

      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      And likewise! we were very glad you participated! WINNER for staying on till the very end! Hope it helped you get a sense for what it was like to be here.  Looking forward to more events with you online or in person.

      Author's profile photo Raphael Pacheco
      Raphael Pacheco

      I learned a lot from all of you 😀

      I hope next year can go on Teched in Las Vegas 😀


      Raphael Pacheco.

      Author's profile photo Nigel James
      Nigel James

      Gosh aren't I a little behind the times.

      Thanks for writing this up Moya - I will definitley be watching those videos now that I have found them.


      Author's profile photo Moya Watson
      Moya Watson
      Blog Post Author

      Well you're here now Nigel!  only the best can say that 🙂   Really great to "see" you at TechEd and thanks for all your great work and success with InnoJam!