SAPPHIRE 2018 — Looking Back
My first SAPPHIRE just came to a close. It was a fantastic event with lots of great announcements and a lot of amazing and encouraging customer and partner meetings (on a side note it is funny to see that after more than 12 years I have never been to a SAPPHIRE – I was always more a TechEd guy – and in my first year at Microsoft I am in Orlando)
Let me start with Bills first keynote where he talked about C/4HANA and the Intelligent Suite where also non-SAP Application can be integrated — remember the Coginitve Demo that we had developed with BridigingIT to showase at out Booth? That it exactly an example how SAP and Microsoft Services can work together to bring customers the best of both Worlds! Combining the SAP Translation Hub running on the SAP Cloud Platform with Bing Translation Services; extending a SAP Fiori Application with Azure Cognitive Services, using Bing Speech or the Face API. That’s where customer can benefit from combining SAPs business processes with other Azure PaaS Services.
Bill closed the Keynote with his Top 10:
On the second day Hasso picked up the topic about the intelligence enterprise and highlighted the SAP Cloud Platform as the central place where C/4HANA, S/4HANA, Ariba, Fieldglass, SuccessFactors and more are coming together.
Björn then talked about the SAP Cloud Platform in more detail and also announced that you can now leverage Microsoft Azure to run SAP Cloud Platform for your Cloud Foundry based services! We are starting with Europe and will extend to other regions soon!
See also the great blog from Matthias Steiner https://blogs.sap.com/2018/06/06/how-sap-cloud-platform-powers-the-intelligence-enterprise/
On the last day we heard a lot customer stories, among them Costco. Jess Lyons talked about how SAP helps him and the company to run their business better. Interestingly enough Cosctco is another great example on the relationship between SAP & Microsoft. Costco is also a customer from Microsoft and during our joint announcement last year Jim Rutherford had stated how both SAP and Microsoft can help Costco with their cloud strategy: “SAP and Microsoft are key partners with Costco, and this alliance will help drive our cloud strategy and digital business forward”
These were just some of the big announcements from SAP. Microsoft also had some really impressive things to say: first of all, our HANA Large Instances (HLI) single nodes are now available with up to 24 TB of memory. For customers that need these kind of single node systems, they can now do this on Azure.
If you do not want to use HLI we have announced virtual machines that will be available with up to 12 TB of memory. As of today, you can already start up and shutdown quickly sap HANA Certified VMs with up to 4 TB of memory. Now we are planning to give you this Minute-based flexibility with up to 12 TB of RAM.
We know that not every organization requires such big VMs. So we also added several smaller HANA certified VMs to our list. Check out the updated SAP HANA certified IaaS Platfrom list.
Starting from 192 GB up to 4 TB you are ready to go within minutes! For the even bigger workload you can use the HANA Large Instances (S-Series).
Although not yet part of the SAP Cloud Platform we also have released the ABAP SDK for Azure on GitHub. Leveraging the abapGit toolset you can quickly install it and then consume and leverage Azure services. Check out the Git repository and give it a try: https://github.com/Microsoft/ABAP-SDK-for-Azure
This was only one of the demos and scenarios that we showcased in our booth.
Traffic during all three days was crazy and together with our partners accenture, BNW, Cognizant, Capgemini, Cloud4C, DXC, FIT, HCL, MSRCosmos, TATA, Wharefedale Technologies and Wipro we showed PowerBI integrations, SAP Digital Boardroom on a beautiful 85″ Surface Hub, SCM scenarios, how Microsoft IT runs and optimizes our SAP landscape in Azure and of course the native blend of SAP Cloud Platform and Azure services in the Fiori cognitive leave app by BridgingIT.
We also ran a lot of dedicated sessions in our booth: Showcasing the HoloLens, how to secure mission critical financial data in Azure, how to optimize SAP NetWeaver landscapes on Azure, how to benefit from Azure in HANA environment, how to deploy using the new SUSE templates, what’s new with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Azure, SAP Data insights with Power BI and much, much more
I had the honor to talk about Single Sign On between SAP NetWeaver, SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA and Azure Active Directory.
I also introduced the Azure Bot framework, showed how easy it is to get started and then highlighted what you can do with all that, by showing a really impressive demo developed by the partner Theobald.
The demo does not only show how you can leverage Microsoft Flow to connect to a SAP system, but also how you can lookup properties like customer numbers or product information in the SAP system while interacting with the bot.
One personal highlight on the last day was the session by SAPs CIO Thomas Saueressig and Mike Taylor, GM of Enterprise Applications at Microsoft. Thomas talked about how SAP is leveraging the modern workplace with tools like Microsoft Teams and how SAP making a strategic decision to move business critical SAP systems on Microsoft Azure.
He then used a HoloLens to interact with the avatar of a remote colleague and book a trip. It was a perfect blend of Microsoft Hardware, Services like Concur, Ariba, SAP Cloud Platform and Service from Microsoft Azure. A beautiful example on what you can do if you take all available services and combine them to something special.
Mike then talked about our own experience running SAP on Azure. How we migrated the lanscape, what we did to optimize and leverage Cloud concepts and also about our Design Labs Approach leveraging Azure functionalities.
Sapphire 2018 ended with a nice concert by Justin Timberlake.
That’s it. This summary got much longer, than intended, but there was really a lot of stuff. I will dedicate a few more other blogs on specific other topics. So stay tuned!