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 !


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

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