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:

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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:

Worst

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.

Best

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.


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This was, with Dallas Marks.



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And this, with Matthias Steiner.


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And this, with Susan Keohan, Alan Rickayzen,

and Jocelyn Dart…even though I technically

wasn’t present for it.


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And this, with Frank Densborn, whom I’m

still determined to get on Twitter.

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And this, with Jeremy Masters,who insisted

on a selfie, naturally.



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And DEFINITELY THIS, with Jim Spath,

who wore tie-dye and is therefore my hero.

I could go onI met tons of people, many for the first time, and don’t even ask me how many more photos I havebut 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.

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14 Comments

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    1. Jelena Perfiljeva

      We didn’t stay for J.Lo last year (meh), but Coldplay would’ve been the whole another story. Why do the conferences always have good bands when I don’t attend? 😥

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  1. Stephen Johannes

    Too bad you didnt’ give Sue(the person looking at SAP CRM ) my contact information.  I would been happy to explain as person whose only active tie to the SAP ecosystem is book on SAP CRM.  I do enjoy providing advice considering the last time I touched an SAP product was six months ago 😛 .

    Take care,

    Stephen

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    1. Kelly Weaver Post author

      Ac-tu-a-lly, I did get a chance to meet Alan Rickayzen! And Jocelyn Dart came by (I’ve seen the photo evidence, and I’m even in the background), but I missed the whole thing while ringing people up.

      Work really gets in the way of the whole conference experience.

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        1. Jim Spath

          Work really gets in the way of the whole conference experience.


          I try to slot my day job tasks during teh keynotes.  Makes a world of difference.

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  2. Jim Spath

    “The Editor of my Editor is also my Editor”.  When a pro gets down in the mix with us amateurs, we admire you for your gumption and try not to jijiji your naiveté. (see, French words).

    I expect you’ll forgive me for turning the tables and sharing good/bad/ugly on your post itslef (in French, “herself“):

    ➕ Nice networking while you pushed paper (and digital stuff).

    ➖ You could have made it to the concert.  Cm’on, it was only 30 miles away from the booth!

    😈 By copying and pasting from some text processor (I can tell you know), you missed the whole jive experience; and the SCN probably stayed up the whole time.

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  3. Marcia Elaine Walker

    Whenever Kelly Weaver says, “Won’t somebody play this game with me?!”, the answer is OF COURSE. Be careful, however, if Susan Keohan asks this question and there is a box of “Cards Against Humanity” nearby.

    Worst:  I didn’t get to be there in person and hug the necks of all the awesome folks who stopped by the SAP Press booth.

    Best:  I got to be there VIRTUALLY, thanks to everyone’s Twitter streams, and have a nonstop supply of my VERY OWN coffee and muffins at the same time. 

    Worst:  Learning that Kelly Weaver had to BUY her own muffins. 

    Best:  Learning that kind people BROUGHT HER FOOD (as they should have done).

    I know that is more than one worst and best, but if Kelly can break the rules, then so can I.


    Except about things like m-dashes and grammar, of course.

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  4. Susan Keohan

    For me the best part of the conference was definitely seeing my cohorts from WWW (the Wonderful World of Workflow), ASUG Volunteers, and SAP Mentors – along with many others.  Being able to connect with community members is priceless.

    The worst part of the conference?  I think Jim Spath covered those areas well enough for me.

    And no, there are no stories.  Whatsoever.  But I’m honored that you think there could be.

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