SAP TechEd 2016 recently occurred from September 19 – 23 and I had the pleasure of attending the event’s 20th anniversary in Las Vegas. As mentioned in my previous blog post, SAP TechEd is known for being extremely informative and all-around educational. This year in particular did not disappoint!
Main highlights throughout the conference included: learning about the new products that are available for SAP users; learning how to technically install and configure these products; attending programming sessions that explored how to program and work with the products offered; attending basis and security classes for configuration and set up; and experts available at all times to help answer any questions or address any issues.
SAP TechEd has truly ignited interest in the next generation of SAP users and developers, basis and security experts. I see that an application that was once considered by some a 'dinosaur' has now come back to life with the new HANA S4, cloud emphasis and cloud solutions. It was refreshing and invigorating to see so many roles come together in this setting, and as a result the diversity of attendees was notable.
Below is a breakdown of the different participants who I was able to learn from and network with:
- Programmers & developers: their specialty was not only in ABAP but also FIORI, ECLIPSE and other languages.
- Basis attendees: they had experience installing the new products or were there to learn how to install.
- Security admins: they were there to learn how to keep companies secure internally and externally.
- Functional business attendees: they were there to see the new functionality to report back to their companies or clients on the latest options to advance day-to-day business intelligence.
Because I was able to attend many sessions on SAP Security, SAP HANA Security and Identity Management, I walked away from the conference with some key takeaways that our customers and other TechEd attendees can certainly relate to and benefit from.
- Cloud Applications Continue to Advance. It was clear through the conference and sessions that SAP is really pushing for development around cloud applications. Some products are even being merged or reconstructed to work as an overall solution to encompass many types of environments. SAP has now taken a multi-faceted environment, which most companies are comprised of, and has written solutions to integrate them.
- GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) Will Be Pared Down. This used to be a separate module but is migrating to be an integral part of a multi system solution to reach all areas of IT software, not just SAP. The SAP software will include access to Microsoft Active Directory and most other applications used by IT to identify a user.
- HANA S4 is Becoming the Focus for Most of SAP Applications. Not only will this remain a focus for SAP applications moving forward, but HANA S4 will also become a focal point to innovate to innovate data warehousing and business intelligence processes as we know them today.
- Putting Customers & Partners First. SAP is the fourth largest software vendor in the world, preceded by Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. SAP is becoming a progressive company that responds quickly to the needs of its users by evolving significantly each year – a core strength and differentiation compared to other players. They are demonstrating this effort in the following ways:
- Proactively listening to their customers with appropriate feedback loops
- Maintaining awareness of cyber security breaches while putting software in place to help companies monitor internal and external threats
- Utilizing the cloud for a majority of their applications
- User Experience Needs to Be Refined. The new solutions that they have introduced need to be easier to install and configure. The solutions look amazing, but the time and effort needed to figure out the installation can use some improvement. They do offer support, but it is still a somewhat tedious experience. Watch out for improvements in SAP user experience to hopefully evolve come 2017.
- Identity Management is Increasingly in Demand. MSPs have begun to notice how identity management is an offering that more customers are insisting upon. Instead of maintaining an Active Directory account, an email account, a database account and an SAP account for one user separately for each system, SAP has managed to create an application that will access all of these in one place and create, change or remove a user from them all in one simple area. The three benefits are:
- Ease of use: the interface is extremely clear to navigate
- Uncomplicated configuration
- The screens and apps are now in the 21st century with their look and feel
Now that I’m back, I’m eager to share all that I’ve learned with my teams at TriCore so that we can provide the best SAP support to our current and future customers alike. Is there something I missed? Reach out to continue the conversation on all things SAP.
More SAP Resources from TriCore: