SAP TechEd 2013 in Amsterdam: A personal review

It’s been some days now since I’m back from TechEd 2013 in Amsterdam and I wanted to share some impressions with you.

First of all, Amsterdam is still a brilliant city, and a great host to such an important conference. Second, SAP was right splitting TechEd again from the less technical oriented Sapphire. It meant less people, more fun games to play on gems like C64 and Amiga 500 and – most importantly – less marketing. Not that it really matters, but the key note was less emotionally involving than it used to be – because the technical sessions to follow were really interesting and well packed, especially hands on sessions. As always SAP TechEd conferences are the place to meet the product managers of all these important products SAP has in its portfolio, to get answers to specific questions and to get first hand informal information about future releases.

For a quick glance on what subjects were important I fed all subjects of this year´s TechEd sessions in a word cloud generator. This is the result:

SAP TechEd 2013 Word Cloud

So, where did SAP fare in terms of my last post and my evocative questions? To some of them, I have a personal view, others need to be answered by other people.

Are those individual solutions forming something bigger when put together? Yes, SAP is trying hard to flock its sheep, but there many flocks. There is a flock called ”Cloud”, one called ”HANA”, one called ”Mobile” and the ”NetWeaver” flock. As with real animals shepherds have their hands full. When asking ”How does your new product A integrate with product B?” I repeatedly got the answer: ”We don’t know what the guys in the group responsible for product B do.”

Which innovations and products will see their first sunrise? Which will have their last sunset? Is that mobile portfolio sustainable? SAP Fiori and the underlying HTML5 multi-platform responsive web design SAP UI5 technology for one got a massive push – which is a good thing – and should lead SAP out of their mobile strategy twists called SMP. One single 1h session given by SAP covering Syclo explicitly, compared to 7 sessions (including hands on sessions) covering SAP Mobile Platform in general.

How strongly are the newly acquired products integrated yet? Integration of the new products and people into SAP is an ongoing struggle, also culture wise. Just let me say we still saw business cards with e-mail addresses not ending in sap.com. Why not print them new cards for a start?

Will I attend TechEd 2014? Absolutely.

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