Dear MDG community,
After being back from this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, I’d like to share some of my impressions and related information with you. First of all, I have to say there was an unprecedented interest in master data and related topics during the event. Being on this topic for a little while by now, I have to say that it is truly rewarding to see how more and more people understand the real relevance of the topic to their business success.
SAPPHIRE started off with Bill’s keynote in which Christian Klein explained how domain model alignment and master data integration will help to support Intelligent Enterprises with end-to-end processes across SAP’s solution portfolio and beyond.
Right after that keynote, I presented the SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) product roadmap. The American SAP User Group (ASUG) had provided SAP with a list of products for which they wanted to see roadmaps being presented at the event. SAP MDG was on the list, so I was happy to share our plans with the audience. The large double-room wouldn’t sit all the participants who wanted to attend. A considerable number of attendees were standing at the back and in the aisles during the session. Many questions and discussions were triggered during the session and even 30 minutes after it had ended, several attendees were still discussing the topic with me outside the session room.
At SAPPHIRE, I also had the opportunity to present two demo scenarios in the demo theaters on the show floor. The first session was about master data quality management in MDG.I demonstrated a full cycle – starting from the Fiori Launchpad, then using the Overview pages to gain an overview of the current master data quality situation. Then I drilled down into the time series by rule to select the right evaluation results to focus on. Using the Analytical List Pages, I showed various ways to first slice-and-dice and then to correct the data. At the end, I showed the rule repository and explained how this is the foundation for the analysis shown before. (For an introduction to data quality management with SAP MDG, you can watch a brand-new 3-minute-video and see this blog post.)
After SAPPHIRE, I actually learned that this demo session was rated one of the TOP 10 demo sessions of the complete SAPPHIRE. I have to say that I am little bit proud of this fact. Big thank you to my colleagues who helped me create the demo story line and the flow.
The second demo session was on the usage of external data to improve master data quality. I showed how SAP S/4HANA Cloud for data enrichment as well as the address validation microservice on SAP Cloud Platform can help here. The scenario was to create a new customer in SAP MDG from Dun & Bradstreet data that was directly floating into the user interface through the mentioned enrichment service, by copying high quality data from D&B instead of manually entering it in potentially low quality. And then the same customer master was enhanced by an additional ship-to address, which was not known in D&B. Using the address validation microservice, this address was validated against a directory of real-world addresses at the point of entry – again ensuring perfect quality of the data. I showed this demo using change requests in SAP MDG of course and demonstrated the out-of-the-box integration.
We also saw an impressive stream of customers, prospects and partners at the demo booth on the show floor, where our pre-sales staff was totally busy addressing questions around SAP MDG, showing demos and explaining the capabilities in detail. This pod, focusing on several solutions with SAP’s Enterprise Information Management portfolio, was one of the pods with highest traffic of the whole show floor. And SAP MDG and master data were the topics of very high interest on this pod.
I spent most of the three days at SAPPHIRE in meetings with customers and prospects. We had scheduled several meetings in advance, and we were ad-hoc trying to squeeze more of them into these packed days. There were great discussions, often on broader strategies of the customers (like SAP S/4HANA implementations or business transformations) and how SAP can help them to address the master data challenges in these initiatives. The ask was unfortunately higher than my availability, and I had to turn down a few ad-hoc requests and hence couldn’t even meet all customers who would have wanted to. Sorry, if you were amongst that group. Unfortunately SAPPHIRE is only for three days.
Master data is obviously one of THE topics today. This is no wonder, as our customers are currently focusing on very strategic moves. This could be a digital transformation – which is impossible if you don’t have harmonized, high quality master data. Or it could be a renovation of their business along a move towards SAP S/4HANA – which better should start on clean master data. Or it is the increasing consumption of cloud applications – which demands for master data synchronization across the complete landscape. Big data, IOT, mobilization of the workforce, business network integration,… you name it. All this needs master data in perfect quality and treated as a corporate asset. SAP is here to help you in these journeys and SAP MDG is at the heart and center of it.
I am really looking forward to executing along our product roadmap as the Chief Product Owner of SAP MDG, together with our development team and based on ever rising input from our customers and customer groups, bringing master data management to the next level.
P.S.: In case you haven’t seen that yet. The key note on the third day of SAPPHIRE provided all of us on an additional perspective on how to “make the world run better and improve people’s lives“. Sandra Bullock, Karlie Kloss and others provided their inspiring view to it.