DSAG Jahreskongress 2018 just came to an end. This time Microsoft did not have a booth there, but it was still a very busy event for me. In the following paragraphs I want to take a look at the last three days from a SAP & Microsoft point of view.
It started with a very good keynote by Dr. Marcus Lenck where he talked about “Business without boards and the system of the future“, different data models in different systems and the challenges that come with it.
He talked about the benefits of cloud solutions, but also the challenges that come with hybrid landscapes. He mentioned that one cloud platform is probably not enough and showed results from a survey from DSAG customers that showed that both SAP Cloud Platform and Azure are the most prominent cloud platforms for the digital transformation.
— Gregor Wolf (@wolf_gregor) October 16, 2018
That’s actually exactly what I see with customers right now: it is not about SAP Cloud Platform or Azure, but really how to leverage both cloud platforms best!
Several points of his presentation are captured in this post from DSAG here: https://www.dsag.de/pressemitteilungen/sap-users-call-standardized-data-models-and-extensive-integration-capabilities
After Dr. Lencks keynote Bernd Leukert came on-stage and introduced a lot of new topics, but also picked up on the statements from Dr. Lenck. He closed his keynote with an outlook to the Open Data Initiave and how customer and partners can benefit from this openness across different cloud platforms.
After the keynote I was able to talk to several partners: Alegri, Allgeier, Arvato, All for One, Theobald, CBS Consulting, Alegri, Datavard, … are only a few partners that I visited and we discussed opportunities and joint activities to bring SAP and Microsoft offerings to our customers.
Obviously I also had lots of meeting with colleagues from SAP: lots of discussions around the SAP Cloud Platform, the new ABAP Environemnt, the SAP Data Hub, S/4HANA, … and how customer can leverage these products on-top or together with other Microsoft technologies even better.
I also enjoyed Thomas Saueressigs presentation around how SAP runs the enterprise. It’s always great to hear Thomas talk and learn for example that 19.000 developers at SAP are using Slack and also 26.000 users are already using Teams and benefit from the integration with Office 365.
Day #2 continued for me with more keynotes and a prep session with Thomas Grassl and some interesting lectures. Alegri had a very good partner session where they talked about their Alegri Automation Framework for Azure which enables customers to manage their very own SAP systems on Azure and provide a sophisticated start / stop framework to optimize cloud operation.
Theobald on the other hand talked about leveraging Microsoft SharePoint for SAP processes. In a nice live demo Khoder Elzein showed how to create purchase orders in the SAP directly from SharePoint.
I also had some very good discussion about the upcoming DSAG Technologietage 2019 next year — hopefully you will see some nice content and hands-on sessions…
In the evening we had a great party where I was able to meet with quite a few customers and partners.
On day #3 we started in the morning with a panel discussion about the Digital Platform. Together with Jochen Ziegler, Frank Kertscher, Dr. Michael Fuchs, Rolf Schumann, Matthias Paletta and Jean-Claude Flury we talked about the benefits a digital plaltform and cloud can bring. Rolf talked about the SAP Cloud Platform, SAPs Multi-Cloud Strategy and the flexibility all of this brings to customers. We talked about the SAP Web IDE, the SAP API Business Hub, the Microsoft “counterpart”, the Microsoft Graph, the SAP Cloud Appliance Library and lots of other features available in SAP Leonardo or Microsoft Azure. While all these “fancy” new functions are great — and it is even better how easy anyone can use them without any big investments or deep knowledge — for me the simple fact, that I can spin-up my very own SAP NetWeaver or HANA system from scratch within 1h or so and then do customization without impacting anyone in a negative way is something that can help anyone! Just remember how complicated it was a few years ago to get the latest NetWeaver System. Now you can really innovate by failing fast and early!
Right after this panel discussion I had a joint session with Thomas Grassl on how to integrate Microsoft Office 365 services in SAP Fiori. We not only talk about the architecture and possibilities, showed a live demo, but also pointed interested participants to the tutorials that we have created: App Space Microsoft Tutorial Mission
Feedback was really good! After the session we had several customers waiting and talking about their ideas, asking for guidance and partners that could help in their implementations. You can find the slides that we showed here: https://de.slideshare.net/thomasgr/integration-von-sap-cloud-platform-und-microsoft-azure
I closed my presence at DSAG in Leipzig with two very interesting customer discussions around the ABAP SDK for Azure. It seems like quite a few customers are very interested in leveraging Azure Event Hub, Active Directory and ML in their scenarios. If you have not yet heard about the ABAP SDK for Azure, take a look at the tutorial here.
Finally, if all of this got you excited and you are also attending SAP TechEd Barcelona, I would like to encourage you to reach out to us. At TechEd Microsoft will have a booth with lots of in-booth sessions and we also participate in the App Center / Developer Garage where we will showcase several integration scenarios and also help participants in the SAP Fiori & Office 365 integration.