I work in a company that publishes books on SAP, as opposed to a company that uses SAP, so conferences are always a win for me. Because my topic interests span the entire SAP landscape—from FI to ABAP to Basis to HANA—there’s bound to be something of note. For my first SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference, there were three things.
1. BusinessObjects. Don’t call it a comeback! BOBJ is easily my favorite SAP acquisition of all time, mainly because the BOBJ folks are so hardcore into their tools (I’m thinking especially of the EV Technologies and DS Layer crowd here: Eric Vallo, Greg Myers, James Oswald, Dallas Marks…the list goes on.) I’ll let them speak to the latest news, since they know their stuff better than I do—Dallas Mark’s blog is particularly worth a read. In any case, though, despite the fact that anyone who works in book publishing hates product renaming (ask me how I felt about “SAP Gateway” losing NetWeaver approximately five minutes after we printed a book on it), I’m psyched about the BOBJ emphasis. And I’ll continue to violate SAP’s naming rules by calling it BOBJ, if it’s all right with you.
2. Solution Manager. Sure, it doesn’t have “HANA” in the name, so it doesn’t necessarily get a lot of attention in keynotes—but, from my seat at the conference, people were pretty jazzed about the new release. (And I’m not just saying that because Marc Oliver Schaefer works in SolMan product management and fed us for the entire week.) (But he did.)
3. Attendees new to SAP. My last main takeaway from this year’s SAPPHIRE was simply the number of people there who aren’t even using SAP yet. Maybe my perspective on this is skewed because I work the booth, and books are appealing to the new-to-SAP crowd. Nonetheless, I was really surprised to hear from all these folks. My personal favorite exchange was recorded for posterity in this tweet:
Woman Named Sue, wherever you are, I hope you’re reading this. And that SAP CRM makes your job easier.
So those were my takeaways…but the blog title promised more, so I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a Weaver family game called “Best and Worst.” The rules are simple: You say the best part of your day and the worst part of your day. And you ALWAYS start with the worst. The timeframe is flexible: It can be a day, but it can also be a weekend, or a vacation…or a conference. So here we go:
Not getting to attend Coldplay. I can’t say I celebrate their entire collection, but c’mon…who didn’t rock out to “Yellow” a little 10 years ago? (15 years ago? Gah.)
Let’s not dwell on the worst, though, because the best outweighed it by far.
I LEARNED SO MUCH!
Just kidding. You’re new to this game, so let me tell you: That’s kind of a lame best. I mean, I’m not saying I DIDN’T. The BusinessObjects brand is king again. People really like Fiori. SAP IBP is the latest and greatest thing in the SCM space. Lots of people want more information about Hybris. SolMan 7.2 is a big deal. “Digital transformation” is the new buzzword. More people than ever are running HANA. Fine. I learned all those things. And that’s why SAP PRESS pays for me to go to conferences. But…that wasn’t my best.
This was, with Dallas Marks.
And this, with Matthias Steiner.
and Jocelyn Dart…even though I technically
wasn’t present for it.
And this, with Frank Densborn, whom I’m
still determined to get on Twitter.
And this, with Jeremy Masters,who insisted
on a selfie, naturally.
And DEFINITELY THIS, with Jim Spath,
who wore tie-dye and is therefore my hero.
I could go on—I met tons of people, many for the first time, and don’t even ask me how many more photos I have—but I’ve already cheated: You’re only supposed to have one best. It was my first SAPPHIRE, okay?! Give a girl a break.
P.S. I’m genuinely interested in what other people’s conference bests and worsts were. WON’T SOMEONE PLAY THIS GAME WITH ME?!
You can follow me on Twitter at @kellygweaver, where I have been known to wax philosophical on French words, things that look like magnets but aren’t magnets, coffee, and the nature of the human condition. Wait, I mean cats.