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SAP TechEd – What a Blast!

As the sun sets on the SAP Teched conference in Barcelona I have finally managed to finish my blog post covering my experiences at the SAP TechEd conference in Las Vegas. Firstly, I had never been to the US lead alone Las Vegas so my eyes were wide open from the moment I arrived in LAX. Crazy airport however once I worked a few things out it all made sense. No jet lag fortunately and I was all set. I went for a quick swim in the Treasure Island pools and then experienced my first Las Vegas Frozen Margharita. Seriously so good. Just so happens to be my favourite cocktail and El Segundo near the Fashion Show mall did not disappoint. Amazing frozen margharitas – best I have had. On the Monday prior to the conference I slept in to acclimatise and then hit the shops – the Las Vegas premium outlets which was seriously amazing. Outdoor type of shopping space and really enjoyed it. On Monday night I went to the TechEd reception and met a number of SAP Community members in person and it was seriously great. A lot of my Twitter friends were there as well and it was great to talk to them over a beer or 3. 😊 What a night, very memorable one and was a great prelude to the conference itself.

Took a few snaps on the night. Was great talking to Vitaliy, Marius, Max, and of course Mike!

Photo: Vitaliy, Marius, Max, Mike and myself. Thanks Vitaliy for your long arms! 🙂 

Photo: Jerry and I meeting up at the pre-conference drinks

Was great to meet Jerry Janda – awesome bloke and love his writing!

Photo: Mixture of SAP Community members, SAP Developer Advocates and SAP Technology Ambassadors

Was up early the next morning, registered and then had the SAP Community Influencers Breakfast where I was presented my SAP Champions polos and got to meet SAP mentors and SAP Technology Ambassadors. The room was full of people I have admired from afar (twitter!)  so was amazing to see and talk to them in person.

Photo: ME! Receiving my SAP Champions tshirts

I was really honored and proud to receive my SAP Champions polos and had a really fun time during the conference with the other 4 SAP Champions that attended Las Vegas including Marssel Vilaça Fausto Motter Michelle Crapo Susan Keohan and of course spent some time with Katarina Fischer Craig Cmehil Jerry Janda and Mynyna Chau  and of course the wider SAP Community team. The SAP Community team (and the SAP Champions) really made me feel welcome and I thank them very much for that. Here is a nice blog that covered our story.

What Happens in Vegas…won’t stay in Vegas

OK, on to the keynote.

 

The KeyNotes

I did love watching Bjorn’s keynotes with the various themes over the years however I really liked Juergen’s keynote in Las Vegas and his Barcelona keynote (which I watched live in Melbourne) I thought was even better. The only critique was going over time however we will let that go as the content was great. In Las Vegas I liked the live crosses to the show flow to show the demos from the experts. This gave us a feel for the technology, showcased new functionality and also whet our appetites for visiting the show floor. This was a sneak peak into what the next few days would be like and I had to say I really liked it!

The announcements that were made during the keynote were pretty amazing with the focus on the Business Technology Platform. SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory was definitely one I was interested in and was great reading Rui’s blog post as well as listening to the SAP Coffee Corner episode around this topic as well. Both can be found here https://blogs.sap.com/2019/10/05/making-development-of-extensions-easier-sap-cloud-platform-extension-factory/. SAP Graph (https://graph.sap) was introduced although had some questions as to how different it was to api.sap.com but I knew that knowledge would come. From reading through the SAP TechEd material (there is so much of it!) SAP Graph enables developers to build extensions in minutes for SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise and is the single unified API layer. Here is a blog about it from Daniel Graversen. The other major announcement was the bundling of SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) with SAP SuccessFactors and S/4HANA Cloud.

From a Las Vegas point of view I really liked the following quotes from Juergen. I covered these at the recent SAP Tech Night in Melbourne and was happy that the audience received them well.

“We Want You to Have Maximum Business Impact”

“We want to provide the fastest way to turn data into business value… We want you to have the most impact on your business”

“We easily integrate multiple solutions in an end-to-end process and deliver a single user experience across the entire process for the end user,”

(Source: SAP)

From a Barcelona point of view it was great to see Bella Rae sharing her experience onstage with a great use case of trying to predict teenagers with depression symptoms. What a great idea and even better showcasing this on SAP Cloud Platform and utilising SAP Leonardo.

I was blown away by the machine learning discussions where Juergen talked about the goal of having 60 machine learning cases by 2021 only to announce that by the end of 2019 there would be close to 200 machine learning cases. Wow! This is really impressive. I liked the demo around the User behaviour mining – again crossing to the show floor to show an impressive demo.

Really liked the following quote from Juergen at Barcelona:

“We want you to become an experience company, so your customers become fans, your products become obsessions, your employees become ambassadors, and your brand becomes something like a religion,” – really powerful stuff.

There were so many more announcements across both Las Vegas and Barcelonas key notes and I include a link below. Definitely worth checking out!

https://news.sap.com/2019/10/sap-teched-barcelona-keynote-juergen-mueller/?source=social-global-voicestorm-Twitter&campaigncode=CRM-YA19-SSO-GETSOC1

 

Community Talks

With the keynote out of the way I went straight to a SAP CodeJam session to Create an Intelligent Enterprise Application – seriously cool. After that I sat down with Jerry Janda (photo above) and had a great chat about the SAP Community. I then attended a workshop on Troubleshooting Security Issues in SAP Cloud Platform which was good and cemented my knowledge especially on the Cloud Foundry side.

OK, now had to rush to see Michelle Crapo session on How to Keep Your Edge: Meet SAP Community (check blog post). I had earlier in the day checked out Susan Keohan session “SAP Community: Why Stay Together” and you can also check out the blog post here.

Oh – nearly forgot it was time for my SAP Community sessions! 🙂

My Community Talks

It was about to get REAL!!! 2 sessions back to back, the first my story – From SAP Community Obscurity to Developer Hero. This slide pretty much sums up my session.

A couple of other quotes from my pack include the following:

“The feeling of happiness when you can assist others. Increased self-worth, sense of purpose and satisfaction.”

“On a personal level, you feel good when you help others and it actually makes you a better person!”

The second session covered Landscape Solution Options for SAP Cloud Platform in the Real World. In this session I covered normal run of the mill landscapes that are typically architected – based on SAP ERP tiered landscapes. I also highlighted the need to look a little deeper at the strategy to make sure the right components were included. I used a catch phrase of THINK BEYOND!!

Look out for further blog posts covering the sessions I presented.

I then finished the evening hanging out with the cool SAP Community folk and SAP Developer Advocates over a few beverages. Very nice!

Thanks again to Mynyna Chau for making the SAP Community talks so easy.

Other Great Sessions

On the Wednesday I had an early start and watched my mate Mike Doyle presenting on SAP Cloud Platform Workflows. He got a big energetic crowd for that time in the morning and he did really well! After this did a quick coffee run and then went off to hear a SAP Community Talk about Six Years of Projects on SAP Cloud Platform: Lessons Learned (CT100). This was really good and alot of the lessons I too had come across.

Photo: Mike presenting SAP Cloud Platform Workflows! By the end of the session I am sure he had around 70 attendees which was really great!

After that I had a crack at some developer missions on the SAP Portal in Cloud Foundry and then went to one of the best sessions of the conference – Lessons Learned Deploying SAP Fiori UX at Scale for 1,300 Apps Globally (UX212) by Sascha Wenninger.  Got a heap of learnings out of this even though I am not directly involved at the moment in massive S/4HANA transformation programs. Learnings right across the spectrum from UX, Security, Performance and much more. Thanks!

In the afternoon I attended an “Unconference” meetup session, took in the SAP Cloud Platform roadmap session and then checked out Fausto Motter Community talk on Beyond the Code: How to Implement a Machine Learning Intelligent Strategy (CT133). Really glad to I attended this session and Fausto is seriously knowledgeable in this space especially conveying his learnings.

I finished off Wednesday with an API management session. I had previously attended an OpenSAP course on API Management but this went to another level, really interesting. I still need to digest some of the material covered but was really insightful! Also, on openSAP, I got to meet some of the crew which was nice! Had some really good discussions and provided some feedback on how great the courses have been for me. Thankyou openSAP!

What a day, not only did I attend some seriously good sessions but also met some really great individuals including DJ Adams (again – I had met DJ on Monday night!) Mark Wright Ornulf Kittelsen (whom I basically bumped into after asking for assistance with the Portal tutorials) – amazing meeting him like this!! Aviad Rivlin Murali Shanmugham Maximilian Streifeneder (photo above) and of course Scott Dillon.

Photo: Working diligently on the Developer tutorials in the Developer Garage at SAP TechEd Las Vegas and helping me through it was DJ Adams and Kati!

Photo: Aviad Rivlin and myself talking all things SAP Fiori Central Launchpad

Meeting and discussing the new Central Fiori Launchpad was a highlight of my trip. I had conversed with Aviad a number of times but it was great to meet and discuss all things SAP Portal. Aviad also provided me with some cool stickers to share with the Aussies!

Amazing to meet Scott Dillon as I really love the SAP Cloud Platform in the Garage series. I was thankful to talk and meet Scott at a more suitable time as normally I am conversing with him at 1am Melbourne time! 🙂

Photo: Scott Dillon and I chatting about all things SAP Cloud Platform in the Developer Garage

Finished Wednesday off by downing some local pizza with the Aussie contingent and with a local sing along at the Harrah’s Piano bar – a must visit.

Thursday

Started amazingly with a run around Las Vegas with none other than DJ Adams around 6am in the morning local time. We regularly share our runs on Twitter so for 2 guys from opposite ends of the earth (Manchester, England and Melbourne, Australia!) to come together and go for a run in Las Vegas was fantastic. What a start to the day! Magic weather and the locals were really polite. 

Photo: My run with DJ in Las Vegas! Thanks DJ!!! Weird that it is shown in Aussie time??? 

Quick brekky and straight into the UX202 session –  A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How SAP IT Drives Simplicity Using SAP Fiori. This was a seriously great session and astounding that there are 230 backend connections in place to make this all happen! 92,000 users get the benefit of this on a daily basis. I was fortunate to attend this session and discuss this with SAP Technology Ambassador Jocelyn Dart who showed me the apps LIVE on her mobile device!! Awesome! Talk about drinking your own champagne!

AMAZEBALLS!!! Well done SAP!

Photo: UX202 – SAP’s Fiori Launchpad

After this I went back to the SAP Developer Garage to finish off the Portal mission. Next up was the Unconference meetup with Craig Cmehil – this was an open forum to discuss all things SAP Community. As it turned out Craig was outnumbered by SAP Champions…. 🙂 this was our cunning plan!! (queue evil laughter here please Editor!).

All up a great session and Craig was brilliant, really listened to our feedback and improvement ideas.

Photo: SAP Champions meet up with Craig, awesome times! 

After this I attended some other sessions and had some lunch prior to our SAP Champions meeting. There was so much going on, I did have to remember to eat lunch :-). Our SAP Champions meeting was great, so many ideas and really great discussions with Craig and Kati. Awesome!

Spent the rest of the afternoon on the Show Floor given this was the last day and also polished off some Teched conference popcorn. Cool! Also checked the SAP AR showcase – pretty amazing.

Photo: ME! checking out Augmented Reality

Now on to the SAP TechEd Party!!!! This was held at the Brooklyn Bowl 3545 S.Las Vegas Boulevard where the John Gaar band played. Really cool music and the fact that you could bowl at the same time was super cool x 100000. Awesome! I do like to dance so managed to get on the dance floor a couple of times during the set to strut my stuff! 🙂  Even though the show floor was closed I had some early morning Hands-On sessions planned (8am!) for the Friday morning so I thought I better head home……although a quick dance at the Tao nightclub beckoned :-). What! C’mon – I really love to dance and seriously amazing nightclub to have close by.

Photo: Celebration night at Brooklyn Bowl – really great night

My Last Day

After 4 hours sleep (:-)) smashed some breakfast and attended the first of my Hands-on sessions (8am!) for the day – CAA382 Set Up and Use SAP Cloud Platform Transport Management. Really interested in learning more about how to transport objects through subaccounts as this is an activity I perform on a regular basis. Enjoyed the session alot. After this I downed some coffee and went and joined session – CAA368 – Workflow Automation and Robotic Process Automation – How They Fit Together. This was a really cool session of using RPA to create a Purchase Order that went through the workflow process. Seriously cool. Great way to end the conference.

It was pretty quiet the last day – the hands-on sessions were both full so there were alot of people around but with the show floor closed everything else was a little more subdued. I didn’t mind this!

So with this went for some last minute shopping at the Fashion Show Mall and caught a shuttle to Las Vegas airport for my long trip back to Oz! Wow – my adventure was coming to an end.

Last Words

Really excited for next year’s SAP TechEd conference being in Austin, Texas – would be great to see another state of the US as I had a great time in Nevada! What a great opportunity to learn new things, meet up with fellow SAP Community members, SAP Champions, Customers and like minded individuals.

Major highlights for me:

  • Experiencing an actual SAP TechEd keynote. I’ve watched from afar but being there was amazing and I thought Juergen did a fantastic job!
  • Speaking and having 2 SAP Community Talks – this has been a major highlight for me and really enjoyed it.
  • Meeting the other 4 SAP Champions that attended as well as the SAP Community team.
  • Attending SAP Community talks – really raw experiences from passionate SAP Community members was amazing.
  • Attending sessions across User Experience, Security, Digital Transformation and hearing from real people on real projects and real experiences.

So much more and cannot wait to next year.

What were your experiences? Did you enjoy the keynotes? What were your highlights? Feel free to comment below – would love to hear from you and….

Thanks for reading!!!!

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