My Mentor shirt has proud statement ‘ABAP 4ever’ written on the back (see Exhibit A on the left). Other Mentors usually have their Twitter handle there, but, as you know, Steffi Warnecke and I have a Twitter-avoidance pact, so I had to improvise. Suddenly this year my back has been getting tons of attention (I guess it indicates that ABAPers are becoming rare birds even at TechEd), as well as suggestions to replace this statement with ‘ABAP 4ever(ish)’ or even ‘ABAP 2025 and who knows what’s next’. But fortunately, most of the attention the shirt is getting is rather positive.
First session of the day INT111 ‘SAP Best Practice Integration with SAP Process Orchestration and Others’ was presented by fellow Mentor Daniel Graversen. I’m not quite qualified to judge the content, but I liked the presentation overall.
After the session I ran into an old friend and it turned out we both picked DEV102 ‘SAP HANA Cloud Platform: A Guided Tour’ for the next hour. Normally I prefer the customer sessions, but this one was presented by the Mentor alumni Matthias Steiner, which changes everything. I thought it was a good overview, although still not buying the whole cloud thing. It’ll surely be another fad. 🙂
Quick survey – if you are looking for the room Toscana 3608 and see this sign, which way would you go? (And think quickly because the session has already started.)
If you turn left you are probably a programmer. 🙂 Absolutely love these mind-blowing signs here.
Next session UX126 ‘UX Directly Impacts A Bottom Line: Intel’s Strategy…’ by Bala suresh from Intel was one of the best at the conference (slides are now available here, thanks to Mr.Suresh!). Calculating business value and ROI of UX initiatives (or pretty much any IT projects) is kind of a big deal. The session brought up many other good points as well, I very much recommend checking out the presentation slides. Extra brownie points go to Mr. Suresh for using very diverse images in his presentation:
I’ve already noticed the day before that attendance at many sessions was very light. Not sure what’s the deal here. It seemed there were more attendees this year than in 2013 but several sessions had barely 15 people show up. Did everyone else just come to TechEd to lounge in the bean bag chairs while staring at their phones and laptops? Could’ve done that at home…
The last session TEC221 ‘Store 360: Real-Time Visibility and Forecast Across All Products and Stores’ I picked assuming that LuLu Group had something to do with Lululemon brand that got in hot waters back in 2013 when their founder made some controversial comments that lead to his resignation. But apparently it was a completely different Lulu. Anyways, I thought it was just OK. The sessions that go like “we have this dot on the map that we can click and wow, look, a chart!” are just not cutting it these days, I feel.
In the afternoon the event was winding down. Sadly, I did not win the Xbox, two Apple watches, Parrot drone and not even a gift card. Sigh…
Before we go into the “lessons learned” I’d like to share a simple Lumira visualization with you (and if anyone knows how to make that darn thing to show the legend in larger font, please let me know):
So what did we (I) learn from this event?
- We need more and better customer / practitioner sessions. Sure, it’s great to know about the road maps, strategies and what’s coming our way, but how about bringing home something we could use the next day, not the next year (or next decade) as well? Next week I will check out ABAP push channels that Paul Hardy talked about.
- We need better / simpler communication channels between SAP and customers. This already was a subject of The Blog, but this year I saw with my own eyes the actual willingness by the SAP folks to get the feedback from the customers about their products. In several sessions someone from SAP was present and suggested to reach to them with any thoughts and suggestions. (They forgot to leave any contact information though.) The Mentor group is supposed, in part, to serve as an “interface” between the SAP and customers, but there are only that many of us and some areas are clearly underrepresented.
- SAP should not just talk the talk but also walk the walk. Talking about the customer service in the keynote? Then tells us what you are doing to fix your own customer service. Pitching the UI tools? Start using them on your own websites first.
- More stuffed animals! I cannot stress this enough. 🙂
That’s all, folks, I’m heading home tomorrow and passing the baton to the TechEd Barcelona attendees. Not sure how they could possibly have as much fun as we did in Vegas, but hopefully it will be close.