Going to SAP Sapphire Now as an outsider for the first time 


I am sure someone will correct me immediately that it’s the big ASUG show too 😉

For a few years now , I have been away from the SAP field in general . That is weird in itself , given SAP dominated every part of my job from the time I left business school till I left SAP Labs . I have kept in touch with several friends from SAP land ( and Bill McDermott did assure me few weeks ago that I will always be family to SAP – thanks Bill) , but I have lost track of SAP products and technologies . Although sapphire is a mega sales event , for me – this trip is mostly for education . Well,that and some networking at the Hilton bar 

There are three things I remember most fondly about the time at SAP Labs . 

1. Putting a free trial of BW and BO on HANA on AWS . https://blogs.saphana.com/2013/09/24/announcing-sap-bw-on-hana-trial-offering-on-sap-hana-marketplace/

2. On my last day in office , Debugging “simple finance” along with Hasso and realizing we are probably the only available people at that point in building 1 who knew how to work with SAP FI 😉 

3. Inviting IBM to let Watson and HANA play together https://blogs.saphana.com/2014/01/09/hello-ibm-how-about-we-let-watson-and-sap-hana-play-together/

I am sure there were many more good things , just that I can’t see to remember at the moment. There were a bunch of severe disappointments too , but I will write those off as valuable learnings 

While engineers and researchers at sap and ibm both thought bringing together these two technologies together will be awesome , for the most part nothing much happened in terms of actual integration . I left SAP and went to MongoDB , and later returned to IBM. By that time Watson had become a real business and my team was involved in selling and delivering it . 

In my second term at IBM, the focus has been away from enterprise applications and more on big data , cognitive , IOT etc . Other than occasional conversations with my friends leading our SAP practice , I had no idea of how HANA and S4Hana and HCP and all have progressed . And then lo and behold – there I see the announcement that SAP and IBM are partnering Hana and Watson . https://www.ibm.com/blogs/insights-on-business/sap-consulting/launch-of-digital-transformation-cognitive-solutions/

As excited as I am about my wish finally coming true , the most gratifying thing for me was that this was spearheaded on the technical side by my buddy ( some might say protege) Gagan Reen. Gagan was the first to jump in when I had the crazy idea to POC HANA for a Teched 5 years ago https://andvijaysays.com/2011/08/08/sap-hana-we-did-it-in-4-days-and-lived-to-tell-the-tale/ . He is still just as passionate about SAP technologies as he was when I first met him. 

Seeing him and others that I mentor grow into well respected leaders beats every other career accomplishment I might have had . Now it is even more gratifying to see these leaders paying it forward and groom another set of leaders . 

Special thanks to Mike Prosceno and Stacey Fish (absolutely the best in the business ) for getting me to sapphire again this year. I can’t wait to catch up . It’s been a while since I caught up with SAP mentors , bloggers and analysts. All I can hope is that the Hilton bar has enough beer stocked 😉

And for the first time ever , I plan to visit every vendor booth at sapphire . 

Here are the things I want to learn this time on priority 

1. Details of the new Apple partnership beyond the PR message that came out

2. What is new with HCP ? 

3. Details of cognitive solutions on S4Hana beyond what I know today 

This is going to be a blast !

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. what do you mean by cognitive solutions? context inclusion, semantic software?

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    1. If you look at the link on ibm.com written by Gagan , you will see examples

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  2. Hello Vijay , As always your blogs are fun to read along with good information on whats happening in industry. Seems like 2016 is the year for SAP to accelerate S4HANA adpotion with its installed base Please check this link from Bloomberg .
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-20/sap-sees-2016-sales-on-track-after-sluggish-start-to-the-year

    As Bill said you belong to SAP family ,Have a nice trip to orlando .

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