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First, let me start with this: please read carefully these excellent lines about why the future of finance has already arrived and what to expect at SAPPHIRENOW from a Financial Management perspective.

Now, let's go into the your plans for SAPPHIRENOW if you (or your customers) want to experience days full of finance transformation experience.

First of all you'd want to learn - off course - about Cloud Financials, and how to streamline finance processes and become a real-time business. Peter Nikoletatus, Executive Director and CIO at LaTrobe University will take you on a journey of their successful finance transformation. Peter's Theater Presentation is on Tuesday May 5 at 11.30 - 11.50 in Theater 4.

Talking about Customer Experience with simplefinance : learn how Swiss Re is leveraging real-time finance processes as part of their ongoing technology rejuvenation initiative and leverage the solution in finance for planning, prediction, and analytics. Their Director for the Finance Transformation Program, Thomas Wright, will excite you with fresh ideas and how a huge organization is modernizing their technology to embrace the real-time world. This Theater Presentation is on Wednesday May 6 at 3.00 - 3.20 at Theater 3.

A sophisticated panel discussion is expected to cover innovation topics with #simplefinance customers on Thursday May 7 at 9.00 - 9.30 in Theater 5. Swiss Re as well as Ascend Performance Materials LLC and one other VIP customer to be announced soon will be challenged by Mr. Thack Brown (General Manager Finance Solutions at SAP) to articulate why SAP Simple Finance is the way to go if you want to differentiate from the competition.

There are more than 10 Theater Presentations if you are interested in Cloud FInancials covering the combined Financial Management Solutions portfolio including Ariba and Concur.

For sample agendas go here:

SAP Simple Finance Solutions

Finance Solutions in the business network (Ariba)

Finance Solutions in the business network (Concur)

or refer to the sample agendas in Neil's blog post that are put into perspective of your focus areas.

There is going to be a Simple Finance Welcome Cocktail Reception for SAP customers where you will have the possibility to network with your peers in the industry or meet SAP Executives and discuss your roadmap and alignment with SAP's roadmap for Simple Finance. This event is by invitation only and need an R.S.V.P. - please check with your Account Executive or send a note to Henner Schliebs in case you have not received an invite yet.

At Café Tu Tu Tango on I-Drive you will enjoy an unique experience that integrates local artists works and features eclectic and delicious tastes from around the world as well as some fruity cocktails. This get together is sponsored by our world-class partners Accenture and Column5 and will be on Wednesday May 6 at 6.30 - 8.00.

Another opportunity is to meet thought leaders in the Customer Connect Center, which is a customer-to-customer or customer-to-prospect networking area on the show floor in which SAP’s best reference customers host 1:1 and 1:few reference meetings. Meetings are typically one-hour, across-the-table discussions where customers share their experiences and answer questions from other customers and prospective customers who have similar SAP solution interests. The Customer Connect Center offers a great networking environment for customers to build peer relationships that last beyond the SAPPHIRE NOW experience. All Customer Connect Center meetings are pre-scheduled and qualified before SAPPHIRE NOW begins, so reach out to your Account Executive if you are interested.

If you are heavily engaged with SAP already chances are high your executives are invited to the SAP Select event that runs in parallel to SAPPHIRENOW. Finance aficionados can join in on a discussion that SAP's global Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Luka Mucic, is going to lead with other thought leaders in finance. Topic is going to be the modern finance organization. This event is showcasing the most important areas for executives and is hosted in the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes from May 5-7. The finance session is on Tuesday May 5 at 3.30 - 4.15 at North Concourse, Level II, N210 at the Conference Center.

If you are new to SAP chances are high that you are invited to the "Blue Ribbon" program that features some special education around the SAP Solution Portfolio - including SAP Simple Finance.

Please make sure you will let SAP's customers speak for our disrupting Financial Management Soutions, stating the fact that Simple Finance is going to change the way finance is doing business forever.

Off course you can meet all Finance Experts latest at the Concert on Thursday May 7, as we number geeks love Jennifer Lopez ....

In the coming days and weeks keep an eye out on this channel for many more updates from my SAP colleagues who will be blogging about a number of special networking activities and specific sessions we'll have for Finance Professionals and their IT counterparts.  I look forward to seeing you all in Orlando.