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Things to avoid at Sapphire/ASUG

I originally wanted to post this in the [ Coffee Corner ] but only discussions, no blogs, so here it sits.

Others publish, and I have as well, treatises on what to do and what to see at the big annual SAP conference; instead I’m throwing out some least common denominator points that I   would be just as happy to avoid in the precious few dates available to go face-to-face against the maddening crowd of peers.

In no order other than random –


I’m writing this on SCN.  It’s still on Jive.  Parts are eroding into the grey goo of other subdomains.  I’m losing count of how many hops some of my attempted network connections to the SAP backside are occurring.  It used to be that you used which took you too a 3 digit number of a backend service market place dot sap dot ag dot de something.  Now it’s a side turn into the and an obligatory perp walk in front of some identity dot sap dot com and then back around to search or it it find dot sap dot com, ending up somewhere in Tulsa Oklahoma. On demand, hana, and whatever else makes the experience what it is.  After more than a couple “site migrations” and upgrades, the jade factor says, no gain is worth the pain of broken links, bad formats, and lack of continuity.  Rick churn I remain.


Yup, computers do stuff digitally.  Got it.  Digital transformation has been going on for decades.  I may have blinders on, but I don’t see how pushing a term is going to make it easier. For companies in new industries, great, it’s a land grab.  For companies in “old” business, and for most of the world, this is not a revolution.  This is an increment.

internet of

Things, stuff, devices, smart this smart that.  Fine.  Radio Shack and Popular Mechanics were all over this in the 1950s through the end of the millennia. Only the protocols were weaker, in some senses, then, than now. It was all crossbar switches and wire wrapping. Fast forward to everything’s wired virtually like the glass cockpit of a boeing dreamliner. Bah humbug. Some “use cases” (pardon me, examples) make sense, and no doubt there’s some killer func yet to be discovered or invented.  For every 100 or 1000 that try, 99 or 999 will fail.

It’s like the gold rush just got called, and every tin horn galoot has jumped on a horse and headed out to the internet of.  Only those with darn good luck, a killer market plan, and the time to work their claim are going to succeed.  The rest are going to be walking back to town carrying their saddles.


It’s on the net.  More code will run out there somewhere.  Fine.  We’ll move things around, we’ll write some shiny new interfaces.  And the same processes will continue to connect.  What I don’t need to hear is the tone of superiority from some cloud pusher saying if we don’t get on their bus the competition will eat our lunch, we’ll all turn into buggy whip makers, and the world will consider us losers.  It’s an ongoing transformation.

What cheese me the most is the overloading of the terms. On premise, off premise, whatever.  It’s code, running somewhere.  Patch it and move on.

big data

Here’s another big deal.  I’m sown with encompassing larger and larger volumes of data, with new ways of slicing, dicing, and manipulating said data. But what’s new about data growth?  What’s new about technology that can address larger address spaces?  It grows.  Up to a limit.


OK, this one will push more buttons than other topics, I’d guess.  It’s wonderful, it’s stupendous, its, um, well, I don’t know.  I’ve had minimal exposure, partly on purpose, and partly the price tag.  That’s all I can say about that other than I can look forward to a time when that product isn’t such a millstone around conversations with SAP folks.  Last year’s conference was about my limit; this year promises to push me closer to the edge.

the bus

Lots of people hate the Mears shuttle.  I don’t despise it, but I sure wish there was some healthy competition.  I looked into Uber and found their vanilla service is prohibited at the airport.  Not just restricted to certain areas, like waiting passenger cars, but strictly forbidden.  I heard about some ways around it, just need to see if I’m up for a lot of work to save a bit of money.

user experience

Have I flamed about this before?  If so, apologies, if not, well, I’m overdue.  Making software easier to use has been on the plate for every programmer since at least Grace Hopper.  Only know they’re called developers, and according to some circles, they are the king makers.  Maybe, in the sense that good code can make a successful company, and bad code, the opposite.  But good code doesn’t always translate to money making (see, open source), and a good interface isn’t necessarily the end of the road.

the woz

My jury is still out on this one, having the surviving Apple founder speak.  I’ve followed him on and off over the years, and admire a lot of what he’s done.  I’m sure he will give an excellent talk.  But what does that have to do with getting modern enterprise systems running better and faster?  Nothing I can see.  If you don’t believe me, read this from the man himself:

Welcome to

It’s from somewhere before Y2K.


Loud bars and lousy tippers.  I’ve grown fond of Denny’s across from the convention center.  Hopefully this year they’ve repaired that outdoor outlet that makes blogging possible.  Thanks for listening, and see you at the hub.

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        • Another thing to avoid - the hotel shops which are overpriced

          I would go across the street to Dunkin Donuts for a better (and cheaper) cup of coffee. 

          I found an IHOP across the street too last year when everyone was at the concert 🙂

          Blast from the past...good ole' Rich Chern...

    • Reminds me of a comment from a GC (global communications) blogger friend a few years back, "there are education sessions going on?"

  • Finally someone called this out.

    I'm curious what's the next invention of the SAP marketing department. Two years back it was "Run Simple". Obviously it never happened and was too easy to mock, so quickly got swept under the carpet. Then it was "Digital Transformation". From what to where? SAP didn't know it's been already happening for years? So, what's next, "more cowbell"? (Please don't let it be something about "Innovation"!)

    Anyway... Hopefully there will still be ice cream and wine in the afternoon, so have some fun, Jim. Looking forward to your blogs and the dustbin pictures. 🙂

    • Oh come on! It's as obvious as the nose on your face......get ready for ......drum roll please!............Simple Digital Innovation !!!! Who's with me!?!?!? 😛

        • We might as well start a poll here. 🙂 I suspect it won't be any of the keywords already on rotation. The trend seems to be to pick a word that in general means something good but really has nothing to do with what SAP is doing. Might as well be something completely random (from the same committee that is in charge of the SAP product renaming). So I give you ... [sound of a lotto drum] ... Fluffy Progress!

          Then everyone will have to work extra hard to work in those keywords into their KPI blogs on SCN:

          Do you like Fluffy (tm) bunnies? Do you want to increase your profits?

          Recent research indicates that "money" is the number one concern for both CEOs and consumers. It is closely followed (ranking at #19567) by fluffiness.

          SAP delivers state of the art enterprise grade IoT Cloud Big Data In-memory solutions for the customers like you. I have no clue what those solutions actually do, but my boss is telling me you need to buy them because, hey, we like money too (see above)! So you better hurry up and buy our products before your competition does because goodness knows what they might do with that stuff (I seriously have no clue).

          In conclusion, if you don't buy our product then you are against Progress (tm)! And competition will eat your lunch. Read more here fluffyprogress/

    • Wait, wine in the afternoon? How did I miss that? Or was the year I was there the year they decided to skip it for once? Just like that was the year Jim decided not to go. 😥


      • Last year several vendors were pouring wine on the showfloor. From a reputable source I've heard there was also some cart with the pretzels and beer. Certainly one needs a drink after surviving a day at SAPPHIRE. 🙂

    • I assume a lot will be made about how we all now need to ditch our Android devices and buy iPhones and iPads. Er, I mean, how there's a brilliant new iOS-only, HCP-only, development environment for mobile apps. So I guess:

      The Best Run Businesses run Apple in the Cloud.