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Former Member
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Thanks to the SAP University Alliances Program, I had been given the chance to attend the Austrian SAP Forum 2013, which took place on the 14th and 15th of May in the picturesque Austrian village Zell am See. Being the largest event for SAP customers in Austria, for me as a student this has been a valuable chance to experience both existing applications of SAP products in Austria’s enterprises, as well as getting an outlook on exciting novel products and appliances. The diversified agenda comprised four parallel breakout sessions featuring talks on a variety of interesting topics, a broad range of meet-the-expert sessions, where personal meetings with SAP experts could be arranged, and funny and insightful hands-on Design Thinking workshops.

I was especially happy that my current two favorite topics, the SAP Mobile Platform and SAP HANA, had been given a lot of focus. I was particularly amazed by a talk of Jürgen Sander (of the company Systema) on the capabilities of SAP HANA for real-time production control and ad-hoc analyses, which impressively demonstrated the strength of SAP HANA on real-time data mining of large data volumes, which opens up fascinating novel appliances (not only) to manufacturing industries.

Furthermore, a nice showcase setup in the tent also allowed to literally "get in touch" with SAP HANA:

As you can see from the photo, the huge touch-screen allowed to interactively explore Manhattan’s energy consumption patterns over different times of the year, giving interesting insights on energy consumption peaks (depicted by red bubbles on the map). Almost unbelievably, each change of time results in a live query against the underlying SAP HANA database in the cloud, which means hundreds of millions of data points are analyzed and aggregated in real-time! As a user, you just get the impression that the result just gets immediately displayed on the screen.

But to be honest, this was not my only hands-on experience of the day, as participating in a Design Thinking workshop also meant "hands on the Post-Its" and lively discussions with your team members.

This workshop created many "a-ha effects" how quickly you can collaboratively come to novel ideas and solutions in a creative and unconventional manner by a special technique involving switching to your customer’s perspective and identifying his or her needs and feelings. 

However, the event still had not reached its peak yet... This definitely was reserved for the cool evening event – literally! The SAP Community was again reaching new heights, notably 2450 meters, by traveling to the famous Kitzsteinhorn.

Visitors were faced with a mysterious but fiery welcome indicating an exciting evening –

culinary pleasures, finest cocktails, a great entertainment program comprising a fiery dance show outside as well as the possibility to ride a snow groomer. 

After an exciting evening bringing the first day to a close, the second day of the SAP Forum 2013 started with an impressive demonstration of an SAP Mobile application for Swarovski. More possibilities of what can be achieved by employing SAP’s Mobile Framework had been presented in a later section in the very amusing and entertaining SAP App Challenge, in which several app developers fought for the audience’s applause to win the challenge by creatively presenting their app.

Summarizing, the SAP Forum 2013 has been a great opportunity for socializing, discussing with experts and getting to know the latest trends and developments. I therefore wish to thank the SAP University Alliances Program and especially Mag. Silvia Rathgeb for the wonderful chance to participate in this event!

My final conclusion: The SAP Forum 2013 really was

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