I’ve just returned from Orlando for the SAPPHIRE 2013 event, mentally and physically exhausted, but what an unbelievable three days. My goal there was to discover this year’s hot topics and chat with SAP customers that are innovating (or planning to innovate) in those areas. I met with and had some great conversations with folks from companies that are already on their journeys with SAP HANA, mobile solutions, and the cloud. And often these customer stories were conveniently presented in the same place at the same time through a customer panel.
During the opening keynote with SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott, there was an amazing customer panel that sportscaster James Brown moderated, which highlighted the SAP journeys of Under Armour, the National Basketball Association, and the San Francisco 49ers. Each executive shared how the business is using SAP HANA to deliver better and smarter apparel, faster analytics for sports stats, and a richer fan experience, respectively. This panel got some flack from attendees for being too “sports-oriented”. However, the insights provided could easily be applied to any industry.
I attended another customer panel on Day 1 focused on SAP HANA that included four executives from the companies John Deere, Bayer MaterialScience, Mercedes AMG, and Eby-Brown. Each story was unique but again had a similar theme of “faster, stronger, better.” insiderPROFILES magazine recently highlighted Eby-Brown’s story on the cover of the Apr-May-Jun 2013 edition: insiderprofiles.wispubs.com/article.aspx.... Keep an eye out for future articles highlighting the other companies that participated in this panel.
Day 2 opened with a keynote presented by the other SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe. Lars Dalgaard was supposed to take the stage as well, but due to a death in the family, he was unable to attend the event this year. Instead, attendees got to watch a video with SuccessFactors customers Pepsico, Nespresso, and Timken sharing their stories of moving to the cloud. Later in the day, I was lucky enough to catch two more customer panel sessions focused on SAP HANA.
One of these panels highlighted companies that were running SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA. Executives from Medtronic, Synopsis, Adidas Group, and Marathon Oil participated. While the stories were all different – re-implementations, data migrations, and new roll outs – each had the common theme of amazing results. I had a chance to catch up with Medtronic’s Senior Director of IT, Steve Teichman before he took the stage. I worked with Steve years ago when insiderPROFILES published its very first customer profile of an early adopter of SAP HANA. Read about Medtronic’s experiences here: insiderprofiles.wispubs.com/article.aspx.... And don’t be surprised to see a follow-up story in an upcoming edition of the magazine.
The second HANA customer panel I caught that day highlighted VPs of Spirit Aerosystems and Unilever who provided advice for customers considering embarking on SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA journeys. Marc Bechet of Unilever says that the newly gained speed has allowed the company to finish its financial close days faster. And James Cocca of Spirit claims that reporting is now 7,000 times faster. insiderPROFILES will be highlighting Unilever’s story in its Jul-Aug-Sep 2013 edition so be sure to check back.
But quite possibly, out of the 20 or so customer-led sessions I attended, one of my favorites and most popular was Lockheed Martins’ HANA story. This session was presented in one of the microforum areas, which was clearly not big enough for the number of attendees who showed up. There were five or six rows of people crowded around the forum struggling to hear the story. Fortunately, I happened to find myself standing right next to Chris Church of Lockheed Martin (missiles) who I worked with years ago when the magazine published his insights regarding Lockheed’s SAP ERP upgrade: insiderprofiles.wispubs.com/article.aspx.... Chris gave me a first-hand account of some of the great things Lockheed is doing. So expect to see an update on Lockheed’s journey to adopt SAP HANA in an upcoming edition of the magazine.
Another SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG in the rearview mirror ... and I have the blisters on my feet to prove it. This year's event had a good blend of high-level big-impact news and tactical user-level information that should keep everyone in the ecosystem satisfied. At least for now. Here's a few notes.
On the big-bang news side of things, SAP made a few major announcements at SAPPHIRE NOW. They include:
Release of SAP Fiori, a collection of 25 apps that are focused on renewing the user experience for the most common business functions, such as workflow approvals, information lookups and self-service tasks. They're device-agnostic-- meaning they can be used on mobile devices and desktops using browsers that support HTML5. As CTO Vishal Sikka pointed out, Fiori means flower in Italian, and flowers are "the perfect blend of mathematics and design" in nature. (That imagery figured heavily in Sikka's portion of the keynote.)
Announcement that SAP HANA is "no longer a little girl" by Sikka. (Note to SAP communications: That "little girl" metaphor's getting a little...uncomfortable. Just sayin'.)
But in addition to the big-splash keynote news, there were demos galore on the show floor and SAP continues to do a great job of making its technology available to everyone interested, from customers to partners to analysts and media. (I think some folks in the ecosystem might be a bit spoiled by SAP's openness in this area -- not all companies do this).
And the ASUG sessions up on the South Concourse provided a plethora of customer experience presentations across a wide variety of topics. In addition to what I outlined here I caught sessions on super user programs, IT testing practices, experiences in the early adoption of SAP HANA, best practices in deploying RDS, and best practices in educating SAP user base, all led by real SAP customers who were very frank about their experiences.
And in addition to all of that, here's a few of my personal notes from the week:
SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard was not at the conference because his "superdad" passed away and he was back in Denmark with family sharing the LarsLuv where it was needed most this week. (I did like the video he provided that compared the "promises" he made on the SAPPHIRE NOW stage last year to the results today. Fact checking himself--nice touch.)
SAP is continuing to stick its toe in the B2C water, which will be interesting to watch in the future. Right now, it still feels like.. a toe in the water.
At the risk of sounding like a blue kool-aid addict, I really like the keynote progression at the event. Bill McDermott's sports-related keynote on Tuesday got things off to a fun start. Jim Hagemann Snabe's more product and strategy focused keynote on Wednesday gives the roadmap junkies what they're looking for. And Hasso Plattner's professorial presentation on Thursday transitioned to Vishal Sikka's always engaging talk has a really nice "flow" to it.
The annual press event Wednesday night at the Harley-Davidson factory had a great "vibe" to it as well, although the length of the bus ride out there did have more than a few of us paranoid press types wondering if we had got on the wrong bus and were heading to a bingo weekend in Boca or something.
Dark data is the new old buzzword. If you've been around a while, it's not new to you.
Twitter continues to grow in the ecosystem. If I'm going to continue to live tweet keynotes, I'm going to have to run my iPhone on HANA.
A couple years ago, the question in mobility was if the iPad was going to be an effective tool for business. Yeah, we have our answer now.
The Ariba crew gets the most “road warrior” points. Last week Ariba LIVE in DC. This week SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando. Next week, Ariba LIVE in Berlin. These folks understand to grow a network you gotta rack up some frequent flyer miles, that’s for sure.
How do YOU prep for SAPPHIRENOW? Haircut? Mani? Drycleaning? Maybe you're putting final touches on your presentation. (And if you were giving a session on SAP Visual Intelligence, um... that's a lot of cut-and-paste.)
MY homework includes reading everyone's SAPPHIRE "watch list". Yes, there are questions of cloud, HANA, pricing, BI and HR roadmaps (and look out for payroll, says Jeremy Masters). SAPexperts asked questions around mobility, and we had a really entertaining conversation, as always, with Jon Reed. (Roadmap, shmoadmap, says Jon. He wants to talk integration.)
But, time's up! Now I just want to know which sportstars will be joining Bill McDermott on Day 1. And for those of us back in the office, we can still follow the action. (Jon Reed shared some great Twitter tips, and Scott Wallask says just follow Tammy Powlas - good advice).
SAPinsider and Insider Learning Network together are doing our part. We're live streaming the three SAP executive keynotes, plus a handful of 20-30 minute sessions: Steve Lucas on database solutions; a BI panel with Jason Rose hosting e-Bay and others; and Sherryanne Myer on HR Renewal, among others.
Here is the lineup, times, and links. Sit back for a keynote or session, and follow @sapinsider and @iln4sap for reminders, too...
Customers, Fans, and a Better-Run World -- Find out more by Bill McDermott, Co-CEO SAP Networked Innovation: How Business Networks Are Driving the Next Wave of Productivity and Insights by Bob Calderoni, CEO, Ariba, Inc., and Member of Global Managing Board, SAP AG
In This video blog we look at five steps that helps you automate many of the tasks of moving SAP BW to HANA, including sizing, pre-checks, cleanup, ETL automated checks and HANA migration options. By Dr. Berg
Many organizations that are currently using SAP BW and BI on relational databases are struggeling with the first steps in planning and executing their BW to HANA migration efforts.
In this video blog we look at what is new in the 2nd edition of the SAP HANA book from SAP Press, and also dives into the new automated programs that can assist you in your migration project with practical advice and examples.
5 key steps on How to Execute your BW to SAP HANA Move
(select high resolution if you are using a big-screen and turn on sound).
Meanwhile, I am preparing a demo with 420+ million rows with 3 dashboards, WebI, Analysis, Crystal Report and more that I will be sharing on this blog later this week after Sapphire.. Stay tuned :-)
Latin America continues to show why they lead the world in electronic invoicing. Below I cover the basics of the Chile eInvoice. Chile was one of the first movers in electronic invoicing and they have one of the more complex environments. The model is unique but does take into account some similar processes from other Latin America countries. As you look for solutions in the market place, be sure you understand Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile which lead the world in eInvoicing adoption and usage.
The Chilean electronic invoicing model combines elements of the batch-oriented folio scheme used in the legacy Mexican CFD model along with the real-time communication as found in Brazil and Argentina. The process begins in two steps - first a delivery document (the “Gia Despacho” or “bill of lading”) is generated and registered with the government as the initial transport event, and then the other fiscal documents (like invoice or credit/debit notes) are generated and registered with reference to that event as follow-on activities occur later in the process.
Currently, there are 12 types of electronic fiscal documents, referred to collectively as “Documentos Tributarios Electrónicos” or DTE. Each document type has its own series of government issued folio numbers, which are consumed by the company in sequence as each DTE is produced. The fiscal data required for each document is packaged in a DTE specific XML format, and then signed and registered with the government in real time via web services exposed by the Chilean tax authority.
Additionally, at the end of each month, a set of up to four compliance reports are uploaded to the government web site, either manually or through automated web service. These reports summarize the DTE transactions produced during the month and specifically account for each folio used or destroyed as well. Folios can be skipped or voided through automated web service and any paper DTE’s issued in contingency must appear on these reports as well.
Customers registered for outbound DTE must be able to receive it inbound also. This involves providing a XML response back via email to the email address registered by the supplier on the SII website. There are currently no requirements for inbound fiscal compliance validation, though the XML structure fully supports it.