Las Vegas is so much more fun than Orlando — as far as SAP conferences go. (Disney is awesome of course)
Want to meet for a beer to talk through an idea? Walk 50 feet and have 300 bars and restaurants to go to. Need to take a breather from the presentations? Go find your room at take a nap, it’s 5 minutes away. It’s centrally located, has cheap flights, loads of entertainment, great facilities (with cell phone reception), and just … more fun.
This year, instead of a full pass and a booth, I set my focus on using the week to think big, develop, learn from people, and just meet a few passionate thinkers to collaborate with. With that expectation firmly set in my mind, I had a tremendous week.
First, this was an awesome surprise to see Paul Modderman as a hero right at the front of the show. It’s so great to see Paul recognized for this, and also see his new book come out: SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori: The Psychology of UX Design. Go buy it. Now!
Last year at Tech Ed, Björn Goerke, CTO at SAP, gave a pretty impressive entrance:
This year, he took the future concept a little further and after a pretty impressive video, did the entire keynote in Star Trek character:
Other characters got into the action as well announcing a few new things (mentioned below). I couldn’t tell exactly who each person really was, as their costumes were really well done!
SAP CloudPlatform will run on Google Cloud Platform — that’s awesome. (Anyone know pricing!?)
SAP Data Hub — some pretty cool orchestration capabilities which were demonstrated via FitBit, Spark, etc. I’ll have to dig into this more to see what’s ready for the masses.
And a nice pic — demonstrating this wildly different architecture than most customers have today (I sure like seeing Fiori on top).
Also — Github integration with abap + git. Oh continuous integration — becoming a reality!?
More containerization with Kubernetes, and a few other things.
There was also a demo on Mendix integration, which is not very appealing for me. (all of these code auto-generation concepts seem to destroy any possibility of a great UX).
My biggest takeaway is the incredible emphasis on SAP Cloud Platform and next generation development tools. Talking to developers about this all week, most are a bit apprehensive of the journey ahead to not only continue developing ABAP, HANA, and Fiori, but now also a dozen other new skills they now must develop. Developers like to code and learn of course, but there is a lot to digest.
After the conference of course — I had some amazing sushi with the Apple and SAP Mobile teams (those guys are a lot of fun!) at Yellowtail in the Bellagio.
Peter Spielvogel and the UX Fiori and Screen Personas team also had a nice presentation, and hosted a very filling dinner at Fogo De Chão. It was great to catch up Sam Yen, some of our great customers, and rest of the UX team!
One other random note — anyone who takes the aisle seat on an airplane flying in or out of Las Vegas is nuts. Some of the most beautiful views in the world are here:
Regarding my other notes, I got to catch up for a bit with my friend SAP Mentor James Wood, who always has brilliant ideas. I managed to build some new machine learning code into our iOS app MeTime.AI (machine learning timesheet entry).
Last note — that taco party at Gilley’s is really lame. I think they should rent out a show at Blue Man Group or Cirque De Soleil .
In any case, I can’t wait to come back next year!
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