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My first time at SAPPHIRE NOW + ASUG Annual Conference was certainly one to remember. From staircase to staircase, the conference stretched out across the Orange County Convention Center like a technological fairground. Everywhere I turned, someone was waiting to tell me about the latest and greatest innovations: SAP Leonardo, SAP C/4HANA, the Intelligent Enterprise, and more.

Overwhelming? A little. Exhilarating? Most definitely.

We came down to SAPPHIRE with five brand new books in tow—and two of them sold out shockingly quickly. What does one do in that situation? Ship copies of those guides to extending SAP S/4HANA and IBP to customers straight from the warehouse. Nothing like a well-functioning supply chain, am I right? With so many customers from so many different places, I’m happy to say that our books went everywhere from Canada to Australia to South Korea. And while we came to the conference to sell, we ultimately left on Friday with much more than receipts.

Each reader we talked with had their own unique story behind their book choice. I can honestly say that in the middle of a fourteen-hour day on my feet, these one-on-one conversations were a welcome gift. We talked about everything from data migrations to Disneyland, and traded insider information on where attendees were heading after the work-day was done. (If anything surprised me over the course of this conference, it was the amount of partying that goes down when you bring SAP users together.)

When we weren’t chatting with readers, we were visiting with authors. Don Loden stopped by to chat about the sessions he’d been both visiting and speaking at. Dwayne DeSylvia and Jonathan Yagos swung by to discuss their upcoming book on SAP Build. These friendly and enlightening conversations further fired up our excitement for contributing to this community. I personally learned a lot about SAP, and we received some great ideas for our next books. Stay tuned!

With keynotes from Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Morgan, and Bill McDermott himself, this year’s SAPPHIRE was anything but ordinary. This conference let me experience the SAP community in a way I never expected, and while my hair isn’t going to be thanking me for its time in the Florida air any time soon, getting to know authors and readers alike on such a huge scale was something I’ll never forget.

A few weeks ago, my colleague Sean remarked on the nostalgia surrounding this year’s SAPPHIRE. Next year, I hope to be feeling the same sense of nostalgia for my own return to this exciting event. I hope to see you there!

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