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 !!!


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 .


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.


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 .

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 .


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)

2. Open sourcing part of SAPUI5 as openUI5 by Michael Reh


3. Announcement of River by Jake Klein


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 .


Pls checkout the replay here

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.


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 !


Check the replay here

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 .


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 !


Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

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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