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An interesting combination, right?

This year we had the distinct pleasure to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG 2013 annual conference in Orlando. The stage was set for an amazing event, and we were not disappointed.

The first keynote began with co-CEO Bill McDermott, who invited some of our customers up on stage with him in a Sportscenter format with NFL commentator James Brown leading the discussion.  The focus was on how SAP is becoming a consumer company lead by our Mobile & Cloud applications in collaboration
with our On Premise Analytics and Core Products.

Here are some of Bill’s keynote highlights:

Day 2’s keynote featured co-CEO Jim Hagemann-Snabe, who provided us with an amazing speech showcasing how rules of survival in nature parallel what is happening in business today.

Jim said, “ To ensure long term survival, we can accelerate innovation in quantum leaps so that companies can adapt to new conditions and outpace the competition.”  He also had McLaren’s executive chairman Ronald Dennis on stage with him to showcase how the McLaren group are using HANA to analyze, simulate, and predict future races.

Here are some of Jim's keynote highlights:

Finally, day 3 concluded with Hasso Plattner and Vishal Sikka.  Hasso took the opportunity to debunk many myths about SAP HANA, as well as providing an opportunity for one of the Hasso Plattner Institute students to demo an application he created.   Vishal spoke about how SAP is investing in imagination and user experience, and announced SAP Fiori, a group of 25 applications that are easy to use and are used by most companies regularly.  A demo was provided of this by the global head of design and user experience, Sam Yen.  It was great to see a renewed focus and revitalization that a Product like Fiori delivers for our tried and true core SAP business applications.

Check out the SAP Fiori Demo Video – Who needs a transaction code!

The SAPPHIRE NOW show floor was immense.  I had a pedometer on for the three days we were there, and tracked over 29 miles of walking! 

As an ASUG (America’s SAP User Group) point of contact, we spent a good amount of time speaking with customers in their lounge.  It was refreshing to have extremely positive feedback about SAP Support.  Customers told us how they have enjoyed a better experience, quicker response times, and
overall satisfaction with support.  Quite a nice thing to hear!

The Support and Services area at SAPPHIRE NOW was set up like a mission control center.  Oh wait!  The Mission Control Center was
there!  Enterprise Support offerings, MaxAttention lounge, Mission Control Center, Solution Manager demos, and a slew of customers were on premise in this area.  Customers were truly interested in the approach that SAP support is taking, and made a point to sit down and gain some more education on these
topics with the SAP experts on site.

Pictures below taken from Services and Support area. 

From Top: Dr. Heike Laube explains benefits of Enterprise Support Academy to customer;  Customers attending live demo session on Solution Manager; View of AGS center;  Mission Control

I had a unique opportunity while there to showcase the SAP Primary Support social media program, and made a short video that is posted out on the SAPPHIRENOW YouTube space.

Here are some more photos from the event.  Thanks to my co-conspirator christopher.vozella for making this a truly entertaining and unique experience!

Where's Voz?

Kristen and Chris hamming it up!

Video interview at ASUG News Studio with 3 SAP Mentors, simon.to2, greg.myers3, and julien.delvat and SAP's marco.dorn from the Customer Engagement Initiative team:

What's on the horizon?  Don't forget about the September event!

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