Incredible India – a short trip report to SAP Teched Bangalore


I landed in India at the city of Kochi – popularly known as the queen of Arabian Sea . And about an hour later , I delivered the Inaugural address for the international conference organized by the School of Management and Communications Studies . To my pleasant surprise , I was given a very warm traditional welcome by a group of beautiful ladies – who I later found out were top scoring business school students too . Beauty and Brains !!!

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My special thanks to the faculty , students and fellow speakers – it was an excellent experience for me , and such an honor . The theme was “building customer trust” – something that is very close to my heart .

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I had crowd sourced the keynote – and several friends gave me wonderful ideas on what this audience would like to hear. Judging by their reaction – I think the keynote was well received , and I am firmly convinced that crowd sourcing is the way to go for my future keynotes too.

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The quality of service and food in Indian hotels and restaurants never ceases to amaze me . Like last time , this time too I stayed at the Taj Vivanta at Whitefield. Exceptional experience – they have definitely acquired my loyalty and I look forward to next time . The photo below is what I got for breakfast – Masala Dosa and Bonda . And the state of India today is well represented by the fruit preserves kept on the table for folks who like a western breakfast . There is something for everyone here . Plenty of Japanese and Chinese options too .

The highlight of the keynote was Vishal Sikka’s keynote – as always .
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I have always been a fan of Vishal’s speeches – and if I could change anything about it, I have two suggestions

1. Vishal should wear a SAP mentors jersey to keynote stage . This year, we got Michael Reh to wear a mentor jersey to his part of the key note – next year , I am counting on Vishal doing that too :)

2. Try to cut down the length of time for the keynote to 60 minutes – or maybe 90 minutes at most . This is quite hard given the awesome content – but maybe more than one keynote at the event is the answer .

All parts of the SAP portfolio were well represented in the keynote – proving SAP is both a platform company AND an applications company .

Hopefully the keynote from Bernd Leukert puts to bed the recurring questions on blogs whether SAP has moved away from apps business .

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If I were to pick the three highlights from the keynote for me – they were
1. Announcement of SAP Ganges by Abdul Razack (his first keynote I think)
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2. Open sourcing part of SAPUI5 as openUI5 by Michael Reh

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3. Announcement of River by Jake Klein

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All 3 are important first steps in their respective domains – and I am sure those teams are going to execute out of their skins to get all three to live up to their promise .

For all of us who worked hard to make BW on Hana trial a big success (1000 sign ups , 40000 hours used in about 2 months ) – Michael and Vishal gave us a big shout out . Thanks guys :)

After his keynote , I got to interview Vishal on SAP teched live TV .

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Pls checkout the replay here

http://events.sap.com/teched/en/mobile/session/8854

The highlight for me in this interview was Vishal clearly articulating that BW on Hana is NOT something that is on a death bed . On the contrary, he explicitly called out SAP’s continuing investment in adding innovative capabilities to BW on Hana . We even have a brand new release coming out in few days – BW 7.40 . The BW on Hana pod never had anything less than three deep crowds – which makes me a very happy camper.

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Special thanks to the people who made it happen – Ingo , Rohit, Marcus and CAL team, Dan Kearnan , Bill R and marketing team, Praksh D, Daniel R and solution management team, Lothar H, Thomas Z, Klaus N , Stefan Sigg and all others from dev and product teams , and everyone else who came together to make this happen. I am incredibly proud to be a member of this amazing team.

I also got to host a panel on the future of innovation in India . There is work to be done – but the panelists were upbeat on India’s ability to be an innovation powerhouse . Thanks Abesh , Kumud (also wish you a very long and happy married life) and Amit !

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Check the replay here

http://events.sap.com/teched/en/mobile/session/8854

And then there was Failfare – learning how to fail fast and fail responsibly – my dear friend Marilyn Pratt’s brain child .

Marilyn couldn’t make it to the event due to a personal emergency , but Jeanne Carboni did a fantastic job to back her up .

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I traded my speaking slot with a better speaker – my buddy Yariv Zur (we have a running contest on who is the bigger expert at failing) . Kumud and Jhansi were the other panelists and both were very good . I enjoyed listening to their experiences . Lucky did the emcee job to perfection .

A huge shout out to Neel , Ravi, Rakesh, Joe, Gian , Abhijeet, Gansu and other colleagues who made Ganges a reality . In the one year that I worked at SAP , there is only one project I liked as much as the BW on Hana trial that we did – that was Ganges . It is not every day that amazing technology gets used to fundamentally improve the life of common man – in this case, the mom and pop retail shops in India . You guys made the impossible possible . I am happy to have had a chance to be a cheerleader for you . Rock on guys !

Goes without saying – a big part of the enjoyment of being at teched is hanging out with SAP mentors . It was a blast – thanks folks . Let’s keep those conversations going . Special shout out to Tammy Powlas for staying up late and attending our sessions remotely .

Last but not least – HUGE thanks to Chip Rodgers , Margaret Laffan, Jason Lax , Maggie Fox, Mark Finnern, Andy Dey and other colleagues who made my first teched in India so memorable . I will be back !

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6 thoughts on “Incredible India – a short trip report to SAP Teched Bangalore

  1. Excellent blog and recap Vijay! You’re always welcome at SAP TechEds (and D-Codes!). Thanks for your active support and engagement at TechEd Bangalore — and great job on your interview of Vishal. It’s really a classic with some great interaction and “quotables”. See you next time!

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