This morning I find myself humming I would walk 500 miles as I march from the hotel room to the conference center. It actually doesn’t seem too bad today since I get to enjoy a glimpse of sunlight and some nice architectural details as I walk past the Bouchon bakery, then past “some dude in red” portrait, through the gallery along the Pool Garden, into the elevator, corridor, corridor, corridor, Hugo Boss shop, stinky casino (why do people still smoke?), fancy pants restaurants and then finally conference center.
The former continental breakfast is now called simply ‘coffee and pastries’, although I’m quite pleased to report that there was also fruit, yogurt and cereal available.
There is “500 more” walking to the Hall D and then all the way back to the Ballroom where Ben Leukert is about to have a ball, err, deliver the second and last keynote.
On every chair there is a piece of paper with some kind of an advertisement. Not sure who comes up with these brilliant marketing ideas, but in the year of 2015 at a conference that has “Tech” in the name I can’t imagine the least effective method to deliver your marketing message than a piece of paper on a chair. Also glossy paper on the carpet (where all those ads end up eventually) in a crowded room is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Something to think about.
The keynote starts with the same message as the SAPPHIRE keynote – customers are important (unless they are SAP customers, ahem). Mr. Leukert might be the least entertaining among the SAP executives, but for once I’m glad that his speech is cohesive and doesn’t remind of ‘the girl you wish you hadn’t started conversation with at the party’ SNL character (“Connected economy has digital core. Because – yes! Run simple with SAP.”)
For some reason in the middle of the keynote I remembered about last Christmas when my 6 year old kid was visibly disappointed that the coveted Xbox was not under the tree. It was not because he was naughty or Santa couldn’t afford it, but because his parents decided that playing Minecraft on the PC, iPad and an Android device should be more than sufficient. There were, of course, other toys (including the Minecraft themed products). But there was no Xbox and nothing could make up for it.
I felt there was no Xbox in the keynotes either. There was just no “wow” factor worthy of an annual technical conference. An environment where developers can drag and drop controls onto a screen? Wow, I’ve already used one in the 90s (it was called MS Visual Studio). Dashboards where you can drill-down? Yawn, we’ve seen those already. Something “now also available in the cloud”? Well, there was some major cheering coming from the first rows where, I assume, some SAP employees were located, but the rest of the room went “crickets”. We can use two sensors connected to HANA Cloud or whatever to measure whether a bottle of wine is cold or not? I got two hands that can do that too.
Understandably, it might not be possible to deliver something revolutionary every single year. But then just don’t make the keynote sound as if you did. Also, if I may add, keep it short. Actually here is what I think a perfect keynote would sound like: “Hey, we have that new S/4HANA thing. Bt if you don’t want to buy it yet, we’re cool with you running our old stuff too. Now please look under your seats for the keys to the new Ford Mustang. Peace out! [Mic drop]!”. I think that would be the most awesome keynote ever.
After the keynote I found myself in need of urgent cafeination and made way to the ASUG booth. After all, they were inviting everyone for the Coffee with capital C:
But apparently ASUG membership alone does not buy a cup of coffee these days and one first had to schlep over to the booth and talk to someone there to get a coffee coupon. Ugh… Not cool, ASUG.
First session I got to attend today was TEC219 ‘SAP Architecture Support for Enterprise Architects’. I haven’t realized it’s essentially the same session I’ve already seen at SAPPHIRE, but nevertheless I thought Martin Mysyk did a good job with it. There was also some interesting post-session conversation.
The session was to inform the Enterprise Architects about all the different tools available to help with their design solutions. But it would be awesome if we would not even need such session. At SAPPHIRE I tried to get this message to the speaker from SAP, but somehow it didn’t get through, so here is my visualization:
Around lunch time we had some secret Mentor meetings that I can’t discuss here, but just mentioning the fact, so that people don’t think that Mentors just go to TechEd to party. 🙂
On the way to the afternoon sessions I find a poster of Chris Paine. Good to see him at TechEd at least in spirit. 🙂
Session ITM226 ‘Using ChaRM, CSOL, and Retrofit to Support a Dual Project and Production’ was slightly disappointing because as far as ChaRM is concerned I felt Michelle Crapo‘s blog had better information. But the part about the dual project and production support (that I was most interested in) was kind of glossed over.
Content of the next session INT101 ‘What is new in SAP Process Orchestration’ was a bit over my head, but I liked the way it was presented and there was a short demo as well (always a plus). If you’re interested in the subject, you might want to take a look at the slides.
So far I barely had a chance to stop by the showfloor, so no swag reports yet. Big day tomorrow – long awaited Paul Hardy‘s session is coming up. Finally some ABAP talk!