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Author's profile photo Denys van Kempen


SAPPHIRE NOW 2021 is coming up. Edition number 32 and like last year, SAP’s annual business conference is slightly different from before

  • Online
  • Freely available to everyone!

If you have not registered yet, before you proceed: Register NOW – Don’t miss this opportunity!

Below some resources and references with some of the highlights from the previous years.

Updated: June 2, 2021



Visit the SAP News Center for the latest news coverage.

For the agenda and updates, visit the website

For the announcements, see

More Information

Perennial Highly Integrated R/2-R/3 Exchange

For those just joining, you might have imagined that because IBM picked blue and Microsoft azure, SAP selected sapphire. But no.


We need to go back to 32 years to 1989 when SAP organised its first user conference – a radically new event type at the time. Keep in mind that software user groups did not yet exist so the idea was to bring customers together, share information about what was being developed, and get insights about what customers wanted. What a concept!

The conference was named R2USER89, held in Lausanne, with almost 500 participants from 20+ countries, If it wasn’t for the generosity of Coal India Ltd, who had come up with the name SAPPHIRE, short for SAP’s Perennial Highly Integrated R/2-R/3 Exchange (used for an internal knowledge transfer project), we might have attended S4USER21 this year.

And so it happened that the first SAPPHIRE was held in 1991 at the legendary Scanticon Conference Center Hotel (now Princeton Marriott) in New Jersey, followed some weeks later by the European edition in Nice, France.

According to contemporary accounts, Hasso Plattner introduced SAP R/3 and there was some buzz about this new thing called the “Internet”.

Source: How SAPPHIRE was born? (2014)


Even the origins of the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group go back to the event. Although ASUG was founded in 1991, it was conceived some months before during a SAPPHIRE wine-and-dine – you know how these things go.

For some time, the ASUG Annual Conference was held together with SAPPHIRE but in 2010 they would join forces with the event rebranded as SAPPHIRE NOW. For the last 11 years, the location remained the same: Orange County Convention Center in Orlando (US).

Until the mid 2010s, there was also an EMEA edition, co-hosted often with SAP TechEd and for some time also one in Japan (first edition 1996).

In 2019, SAPPHIRE NOW attracted 30,000 guests from over 100 countries.

For some interesting historical accounts, see Tom Pfister‘s blog posts.



In 2020, SAPPHIRE NOW was hosted online and not onsite for the first time.

For an complete list of all the announcements, download the guide (PDF)

For news coverage and highlights, see

More stories on the SAP News Center (SAPPHIRE NOW topic)

Featured artist: Sting


2019 – Experience the Intelligent Enterprise

In 2019, SAPPHIRE NOW was celebrating its 30th birthday. Hot topics?

  • The $8 billion Qualtrics acquisition and the $1.6 trillion Experience Gap
  • SAP HANA Cloud Services and the 175 Exabytes Global Data Sphere
  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
  • SAP Data Intelligence
  • Lady Gaga

For the news coverage, see

Experience the Intelligent Enterprise: Hasso Plattner at SAPPHIRE NOW 2019 Highlights

At SAPPHIRE NOW, SAP and Apple announced that CORE ML, Apple’s on-device machine learning technology, will be available for the first time as part of the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS.


2018 – The Best-Run Business Make the World Run Better 

For the 2018 edition, the buzz was about the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP C/4HANA – the new CRM suite – and the customer experience.

Christian Klein presented “See How SAP Runs SAP and Discover SAP’s Strategy to Become an Intelligent Enterprise

Some news coverage and impressions

In this highlight video from his #SAPPHIRENOW keynote, SAP CEO Bill McDermott outlined the strategy to create intelligent enterprises that can fuel economies, lift societies, and sustain our environment. Bill announced SAP C/4HANA, a unified suite of cloud-based solutions to modernize #CRM and manage the complete customer experience.

During his keynote address at #SAPPHIRENOW, SAP co-founder Prof. Hasso Plattner illustrated SAP’s vision for the intelligent enterprise as a system of integrated, open applications that enable exceptional agility, speed and innovation.

Quote/unquote: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Another year, another SAPPHIRE, another speech. 

SAPPHIRE NOW with Justin Timberlake

We’re THREE weeks away from #SAPPHIRENOW with Justin Timberlake! Are you ready?! Sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services:

Gepostet von SAP am Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2018


2017 – Run Live. Run Simple. 

SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 was all about SAP Leonardo with machine learning, blockchain, IoT, and about the an expanding Google partnership.

News coverage and impressions

Announcing Muse!

Muse is coming to Orlando! Don’t miss this evening event at SAPPHIRE NOW, presented by SAP & Tata Consultancy Services

Gepostet von SAP am Dienstag, 14. Februar 2017


2016 – Live Business 

Hot topics for the SAPPHIRE 2016: Live Business, Empathy, the Spring Edition of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, and Apple partnership.

One of the highlights of SAPPHIRE NOW 2016 was COO Christian Klein showcasing the Digital Boardroom.


2015 – Run Simple

Quote/unquote: Arguably one of the most important enterprise software shows of the year, this year’s key theme was around “Run Simple.” “When businesses run simple you make life run simple. See businesses as intelligent seamless bodies – now that is beautiful, almost as beautiful as life itself,” SAP CEO, Bill McDermott, stated during his keynote.

Hot topics: S/4HANA, Internet-of-Things, SAP Digital, SAP Lumira, and the Business Network with Ariba, Fieldglass, and Concur (recent acquisition).


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