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My takeaways from SAP TechEd 2015- Part 1: Education

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If you were not able to join us at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, you really missed out on a lot of learning and networking. In this Part 1 post, I will share highlights of the education sessions I was able to squeeze into my week in Las Vegas. Part 2 will cover the other learning. networking, and activities that added so much value.

As a member of ASUG’s Design Team for TechEd, along with Tammy Powlas, Kristen Dennis, Kevin Comegys and Peter McNulty, I was pleased with the variety of content that ASUG members were able to bring to TechEd, and I made a point of attending several ASUG sessions.  At TEC122, Building the Business Case for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, speaker Al Ling from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) emphasized how the proof of concept was key to getting the executive buy in for their project, plus it gave them first-hand experience with the migration.

Another ASUG session I attended was SEC206 Deploying SAP FIORI to meet the Needs of your Current Security Model.  The organization where I work has not yet deployed any Fiori apps, so I was very curious to see how Boston University took their first steps with it. Speaker Tom Grundig explained their use case and how authentication,  single sign on, and automated provisioning using GRC Access Control fit into their process.

Besides the ASUG customer presentations, I was able to fit two of the SAP Road Map presentations into my week, and I found both of them very educational. Both speakers made it clear that the planned innovations are just that, plans, and plans can change, but even so, it is helpful to see where SAP anticipates taking solutions. In session 805 the Security Road Map, speaker Michael Friedrich discussed SAP’s newest security product, SAP Enterprise Threat Detection, and he explained the features including analytical tools for improving your system configuration, as well as its planned innovations. In session 807, Road Map for Access Control, speaker Sarma Adithe laid out the planned platform and usability improvements, as well as SAP’s longer term vision for rule-based access automation and event-driven identity lifecycle management. It was pretty cool stuff.

I also attended several lecture sessions given by SAP presenters. At SEC104 SAP NetWeaver New and Enhanced Security Features, speaker Juergen Adolph discussed Unified Connectivity (UCON) and what’s new in NetWeaver AS ABAP security with NW 7.40. I was familiar with UNCON but still enjoyed his presentation on it, and I also enjoyed hearing about the security features including a new user interface for role management and mass maintenance for auth objects in roles. At SEC200 Security in SAP HANA Scenarios, speaker Richard Bremer covered a wide range of different SAP HANA scenarios, and the key takeaway for me was that SAP HANA can be used in many different scenarios, and the scenario architecture is going to determine the security approach. He also emphasized the importance of taking advantage of  Early Watch monitoring and regular implementation of any applicable vulnerability corrections.

I was only able to make time for one hands-on lab, SEC160 Access Control 10.1 lab, but it was a good one. We are not yet on 10.1, so I was eager to see the new features, including the Simplified Request screen,  and get my hands on some of the functionality that my organization is still in process of implementing in our ongoing GRC exploitation project.

I hope that this sampling of sessions convinced those of you who did not attend that you really should plan to attend next year, or even attend in Barcelona if possible.

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