Oct 20 2010

SAP TechEd Day 1

Categories: 2010 SAP TechEd Dave Rathbun @ 12:05 am

It’s a bit weird. I can fly all the way across the globe to attend a BusinessObjects conference in Australia and not feel as bad as a two hour time difference in Las Vegas. Not sure how to explain that, but there it is.

SAP TechEd Opening Keynote

The keynote this morning was from one of the top technical folks at SAP: Vishal Sikka. There were three main points he talked about: HANA, the in-memory engine that will soon drive application code and not just analytics, mobility, driven by the Sybase acquisition, and cloud computing. All of these are interesting, but there were not a lot of big take-aways from a BusinessObjects perspective. It’s not that the tools were not present. The talk included a number of interesting demonstrations that included dashboards and Explorer content. The talk was (at least to me) aimed at a broader SAP-style of audience. Vishal also talked quite a bit about the NetWeaver platform. Again, interesting stuff but not as important to BusinessObjects customers. If you want more in-depth coverage of Vishal’s keynote I have included a link at the end of this post.

Day In Review

Unfortunately for anyone looking for additional “scoops” from TechEd, I then spent the next few hours talking to various contacts, both inside and outside of SAP. After lunch I went back up to my room to rework my demonstrations for my talk this evening. And take a nap. (See above note about time zones.)

Semantic Layer Design For Non-ERP Data

My session was from 5:45 to 6:45 and I really was not sure how many folks would show up, given the late time slot. The room held 170 people and it was more than half full (by my estimate) so I considered that a good crowd. I introduced myself and told folks what I would cover (relational universe design) and would not cover (cubes) to make sure everyone was in the right place. Nobody left, so I considered that a positive step. I also asked how many folks knew about BOB, and less than 10% of the room raised their hands. It was like the old days again! :lol:

My talk was designed to share some of the power and flexibility offered by the current semantic layer. I suggested to folks in the room that since they were all running SAP, I could almost guarantee that they also had other databases within their enterprise, and BusinessObjects provided all the tools the needed to access that information. From there I jumped into my presentation, which was about one and a half days of the standard Designer training course condensed down to a single hour. :shock: I covered aliases, contexts, fan traps, chasm traps, and aggregate awareness. Yes, all in one hour.

At the end, I still had time for a few questions, and the first question I got was related to building a universe on top of cubes! :lol: I guess it goes with the territory.

I felt like the session went well. I even got the audience to sing the “super hero theme song” every time I saved the universe, so that was fun. :)

As a footnote, I had complained about the wireless earlier. This came out in the daily email summary:

We know it’s tempting, but please do not use devices like MIFI’s, personal access points, hubs, switches, etc. while at SAP TechEd. On Tuesday, the network team found multiple personal devices that were jamming the airwaves for SAP TechEd attendees, demos, and sessions. We are supporting over 2,000 concurrent devices on the network and can only provide the best possible service if everyone refrains from adding other devices to the airwaves. Thanks for your cooperation.

Liked the subject line for the paragraph. :)

Evening Activities

Tonight is the Demo Jam, and I am sure other folks will write about it in some detail. Folks get six minutes to go through a demonstration of a product or idea that they have, and the top demos (measured by applause) get the prize. Beer is served, so I assume there is an advantage to going on stage later in the evening…

I had a brief visit with some of the folks from the Mastering BusinessObjects conference while at Demo Jam. Early rumor is that the conference will be back in Sydney again this year (it was there two years ago) but I’m not sure that’s absolutely confirmed. I just wanted to report the rumor. :)

I did not stay long as (again, see first note in this post) I decided I needed some rest. And since the wireless was so bad this morning (I could not stay connected at all) I wanted to write up this first day post before it faded. Since I am done with my talk, I hope to spend more time visiting folks and seeing some sessions. By the end of the week I hope to be able to share some opinions and facts about how well BusinessObjects content is covered here, and what I think about the often repeated rumors that SBOUC and TechEd may be merging at some point.

If you’re planning for next year, TechEd is going to be in September.

Related Links

2 Responses to “SAP TechEd Day 1”

  1. Comment by Nick

    Sounds like a brutal presentation! Hard to believe less than 10% had heard of Bob…

  2. Comment by Dallas Marks

    Combining SAP TechEd and SBOUC should at least be explored, as it is difficult for many of us to obtain budget approval for two conferences in the same month. I guess “Attention Hackers” is a bit less direct than “Attention Oracle Employees”? ;)

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