At least, that’s what we were told at the start of the #SAPinsider 2022 conference in Las Vegas last week.
And frankly, why would anyone want to keep this jewel of an event a secret anyway? For any SAP customer, it should be on their “to do” list of activities at some point in the year, either in the sweltering heat of summertime in the Mojave Desert, or perhaps later in the year in the Autumn (okay, Fall for my US colleagues) in a somewhat colder Vienna. But whichever event you choose, one thing is sure which I have mentioned before, regardless of the weather outside the content and conversations at SAPinsider will prove to be hot!
And so it was in Las Vegas, July 18-21, where attendees enjoyed a return to this event after an absence of over two years. So, what were the takeaways from this event, and did it meet expectations after such a long absence?
Here’s my three-point review:
It’s good to be back!
Not a technology statement, and more a commentary on the event in general, but there was a palpable feeling of relief and a genuine buzz around the Bellagio conference centre, with many attendees expressing to me and my #SAP colleagues just how nice it was to be back and speaking with other people in a face-to-face environment again. We’d obviously all missed each-other, and the opportunity to network and learn. And I believe that most attending took the opportunity to do just that; network, listen and learn as much as they could over the three (or four if attending the preconference) days of the event. If all events carried such a buzz, then attendance rates would surely soar!
Discussions all the way from Strategy through to Process
The highlight topics were big and bold; Sustainability; RISE; Supply Chain and the Cloud, and from the main stage to breakout rooms attendees were offered a plethora of content that focused on the best ways to achieve this, while building in agility, responsiveness and resilience, something I’ve written about before. And of course strategically this is needed, to build capabilities to protect and enable organizations to survive and even thrive when the next global crisis occurs. But what was interesting is how quickly conversations turned to more practical matters, with organizations wanting to manage cash flow, deliver projects for more accurate budgets and forecasts or improve data management among other things. These are topics more akin to a “usual” SAPinsider topic, and it was quite refreshing to hear that the audience not only appreciated the strategic imperatives that they all face, but that they also want to handle matters in the here-and-now, addressing immediate concerns relating to efficiencies or optimization of their current business processes. Does this indicate that business is back to normal? Probably not yet, but maybe it’s a sign that it’s healing, and wanting to grow, by addressing the immediate concerns, while also planning for the future.
I wasn’t necessarily surprised by this point, given I’d heard similar comments at another live event that I had attended just a few short months ago in London, but it was interesting to hear the fact that People really do matter at this technology conference. Whether its investing in the right calibre of people, building educational programs to develop and hone skills, stimulating collaboration and teamwork or handling the cultural impact of software change in a better and more considerate way, all seen to hold opportunities for improvement. And of course there is also the rise of specialist roles and new skillsets, for data analysts or citizen developers, bringing opportunities for People as well as the organizations they work for, to differentiate themselves and their organizations in new and more agile ways. The People factor needs consideration and nurturing, and quite rightly too as people are such an important element in any business system. Thank you for the reminder #SAPinsider!
And what of SAP BTP?
Of course, I would be remis if I didn’t mention my own reason for attending the SAPinsider 2022 event in Las Vegas, to help support attendee questions concerning SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) at the SAP exhibit on the show floor. I am pleased to say that SAP BTP was a popular topic of conversation, and it was great to hear so many customers interested in learning more about this cloud platform. And even better still, you may recall from my last blog a call to action for SAP customers to leave peer reviews about their experience with SAP software. I am pleased to say that SAP BTP received many reviews during our time at the event, and along with our other SAP solution areas I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all our super customers who took the time to leave a review. And for those who may have missed the opportunity, don’t worry, you still have chance to leave a review – simply submit a product review for SAP BTP or another SAP solution by visiting our SAP Product Review page.
Heading to Vienna? Look us Up!
Before I turn attention to the next SAPinsider event, due to be held in Vienna later this year, I cannot let this opportunity pass to say thank you to the SAPinsider team and all of the Partner Sponsors, for putting on a great show in Las Vegas. And of course to the many SAP customers who attended the event. It was great to see you all! Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to see you all again, and perhaps later this year as we head to Vienna, for what is sure to be another blockbuster event.