Oh boy, the breakfast on the third floor was a bloodbath this morning. I arrived 15 minutes before the 8 am session to find almost empty plates and hoards of hungry TechEd attendees. The conference staff was yelling that there was food on the fourth floor. But people were on the third floor and sessions were on the third floor, so running around with plates of food didn’t seem appealing to most people. I pondered if someone could’ve used the data from the attendees’ agenda builder and fed that to the Sands expo center supply chain system maybe that would have helped to place the food where people would be? If only some kind of technology existed to facilitate that sort of innovation…
First session of the day TEC102 (A Comprehensive Introduction to SAP HANA) was terribly popular, people were lining up against the wall just to listen in. All things considered, speaker did pretty good job balancing between the introductory level and comprehensiveness. And while one would think such sessions should hardly be needed these days (SAP has been talking everyone’s ears off about HANA this and HANA that), I suspect that SAP might have shot themselves in the foot by adding HANA to every product. For example, one of the first follow-up questions was “what’s the difference between HANA and S/4HANA?” It might seem obvious to some readers here but, as the presenter noted earlier, there is such product as HANA Vora that really has nothing to do with HANA, ha-ha-ha.
For some reason this reminded me of a famous Lenin’s quote “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country”. While the idea of electrification was not bad per se, this quote was so over-used by Soviet propaganda and worn out over time that when I was in school adding “…and electrification of the whole country” everywhere became a running joke. For example, I barely remember anything from German class other than “Plusquamperfekt is Partizip II plus electrification of the whole country”. I wonder if this could be a good time to stop with “HANAfication” before it turns into a joke.
Later in the morning I stopped by TEC220 (McInnis’ Journey to SAP S/4HANA), which was a good, well-prepared session. But it was a bit disappointing to find that it was about a “greenfield” implementation at a new company, so there was nothing about migration of legacy stuff that would’ve been of particular practical interest.
I ditched UX127 session in favor of a guided tour for SAP Mentors to the Innovation Center Network and Machine Learning booths. We did not have such tours last year, as I recall, and, surprisingly, I quite liked it. Since these were the official SAP booths and they didn’t offer any cute stuffed animals I likely would’ve never stopped by otherwise. But we had some interesting conversations and demos with the team there (unfortunately didn’t capture their names). Very much appreciated.
After that I made an attempt to join some networking sessions but, just like yesterday, it was so difficult to hear that I had to retreat. My own session at 4.30 pm went smoothly though because there was no other sessions running nearby and I didn’t have to out-yell other speakers like on some oriental bazaar. Also only few people showed up, which made for a more intimate conversation. Phew.
Whoever scheduled the session TEC104 (ABAP Road Map) to start on the 5th floor 15 minutes before the Networking Dinner clearly didn’t want anyone to attend it. The whole floor was like a ghost town but the session turned out to be quite well attended, considering the timing. I bravely sat through about 20 minutes before dozing off and at this point the allure of free wining and dining became irresistible.
Wednesday night at TechEd is the best because in addition to free dinner it means The Fiori Jam band and Demo Jam. This year Demo Jam was in the same basement as the whole event, which I thought was a bad idea due to acoustics. But, on a bright side, we didn’t have to leave after drinks, so I was able to just continue lively secret conversations with some SAP folks. I can’t share the details here but Oliver Kohl bravely committed to posting a blog soon and now it’s official. Stay tuned.
I’m traveling home tomorrow afternoon, so the last blog will have to wait for another day. For now I’m leaving you again with some random event pictures.
Found Chris Kernaghan on the 3rd floor. Who else could possibly rock such twitter handle? 🙂 We missed you, Chris!
Matt Fraser interviews Andy Cobbold from SAP (see interview recording here: Next Generation Support: What is already available and what’s next? | SAP TechEd Online</title></head><b… ).
Fancy arrangement on the snack table.
Today’s dessert. (Food was really fantastic, by the way.)
SAP Mentor tour at the SAP Innovation Center Network booth.
Networking dinner and The Fiori Jam Band performance. Susan Keohan (center) invites unsuspecting attendees for a dance. Matt Fraser (on the right) urgently pretends to be busy.