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12 May ASUG / SAPPHIRE NOW 2015 in Review

(By Claudio Gonzalez)

Wow….what a week it was for all of us at SCM Connections at ASUG/Sapphire.  Early on, the theme from SAP was ‘Run Simple’, and you could see this recurring theme throughout all the presentations. From a user experience, the new user interface, Fiori, was demonstrated in all sorts of way, and it was delightful.  The drill down capabilities of Fiori are incredible, giving you the ability to start at super macro level and then taking it down to the genome level – literally! A demo was given on how HANA/Fiori worked together to study cancer research that took data down to the genome level, very impressive.  Hasso Plattner introduced us to S/4 HANA which is basically a new set of Business Suite that runs on HANA.  According to Hasso, it’s the biggest innovation since R/3, so that’s saying a lot.

I have attended the SCM Insider event for almost 10 years now, in North America, Europe and Asia and I thought they were decent sized events, but they don’t come close to the sheer size of Sapphire. I believe the total attendee count for this year was close to 17,000 people, which is mighty impressive. Since this number includes all areas of SAP, not just SCM, it makes it challenging to find and be found. Yet, we were able to do just that, as we were always busy in our booth with current clients, potential clients and swag hunters stopping by.

From an SCM Connections perspective, I don’t think last week could have gone any better. Not only did we have a chance to meet and show potential clients our IBP S&OP solution, but the feedback we got was extremely positive. One potential client even said, “My company would be crazy not to bring you guys to do this!” Now that’s some great feedback!  We delivered four presentations on the ASUG side of the conference, all with very active engagement and tons of questions. Being able to co-deliver presentations with our clients does wonders to our credibility.

On another nice surprise, we have been noticed as the SCM ‘specialized’ company by some of the biggest firms in the industry, so much so that they have approached us to supply the SCM expertise on their projects. Yet another clue that we are doing things right and we are adding value where it counts. We will, of course, choose our new partners carefully and integrate only on implementations where it makes sense.

The week ended in true SAP fashion with an exciting concert from none other than Jennifer Lopez (JLo). The arena was packed, and SCM Connections started with the best nosebleed seats in the house.  But we didn’t settle there; because we are always moving forward and always looking for the next best opportunity, before the concert was over, we were on the front row (see picture). It is almost fitting in a way; as we continue to grow, we’re reminded that it doesn’t matter how big we get, as JLo so eloquently puts it, we will always be “Jenny from the block.”