(By Sanjay Jelaji)
So, the excitement from Day 1 of the SAP SAPPHIRE NOW conference seems to have died down. Everybody seems to be getting into the rhythm of making sure that they get the most out of the conference. Vendors (like us) are hustling to make connections and sharing what they have to offer. Customers are busy absorbing all of the new information that SAP and their partners have to share. We had a great day yesterday connecting with both old and new faces and having the opportunity to share all the exciting things that are happening with SCM Connections. Hasso Plattner is speaking this morning and should be his usual boisterous self as he exults in the community that he has helped to create.
And us? This year we decided to get a booth for the conference. For those of you that are not familiar with the process and what it involves, let me simplify it for you: It is a big deal. It establishes us as a company that is serious about what it is doing and that we value our customers and partners. It also highlights the fact that we are growing up and moving in the right direction. We also have a much bigger contingent this year as we expand into new areas and partnerships.
– Sean Mawhorter has a speaking session today on Forecast Consumption that should attract a lot of attention.
– Greg Wandelt joined our forces from SAP and was able to chat with several of his connections.
– Wade Smith is slowly turning into a salesman of sorts. Despite all the whining, he seems to be having a great time.
– Chris Raftery is doing a great job in keeping up with all the social media activities that need to occur for such an event.
– Jerry Sanderson is fielding questions and getting conversations started with customers who stop by our booth.
We continue to feel the buzz around IBP and also getting to hear how companies are beginning to use it in many different ways. Given the strong integration between S&OP, Demand, Supply and Inventory, that is coupled with the financial piece, this opens up several possibilities for customers. There is still a lot of interest in the APO side of things as it is not going away anytime soon and companies continue to look into it, especially as SAP seems to have a much clearer message on the transition path.
The conference theme is around keeping it SIMPLE and SEAMLESS and I think customers will look forward to seeing both in newer versions of products and the associated usability.