By Dave Hannon, Senior Features Editor
SAP executives Sanjay Poonen and Steve Lucas chose to let the technology do a lot of the talking in their respective keynotes here at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center in Las Vegas and attendee feedback suggests they made the right choice.
Poonen, President and Corporate Officer of Global Solutions at SAP, set a pretty high bar in his morning keynote by titling it "How to Transform Your Enterprise with Mobile, Big Data, and Analytic Technologies." But he deftly tied all of those topics together in his keynote, not only with his words, but with the demos he chose to highlight on stage.
Poonen started by highlighting some mobility trends, saying enterprise apps are the fast-growing category in the Apple iStore, but pointing out that skills and expertise in mobile app development were in scant supply. He emphasized that SAP is working to encourage mobile developers to work on the SAP platforms by making it as easy as possible for them to access it. His review of SAP's mobile offerings showed those efforts are bearing fruit.
As an example of a company that's using mobility to transform its business, Poonen pointed to Standard Bank of South Africa, which is using mobility to bring banking services to the unbanked in South Africa. (To read the full story, see the article in insiderPROFILES here.)
Poonen highlighted some very interesting mobile apps during his keynote, including ones in the fashion, interior design, and the medical fields, not the usual SAP customer industries. The technology gained in the Right Hemisphere acquisition was also featured in the keynote. (SAP is working with the City of Boston??) There was also a sneak peek of SAP Mobile Dashboard technology that will be officially unveiled at the upcoming SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Madrid.
Other demos showed a profitability analysis dashboard and SAP EPM Unwired as well as an example of Afaria on the Amazon cloud.
The transition to big data and reporting was seamless as Poonen discussed how the Internet of Things will bring more value (and more data) to users in the near future.
Poonen closed with what I thought was an extremely appropriate image to demonstrate what happens when you combine innovation and mobility -- South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, whose innovative blades let him become perhaps more mobile than any of us! Great image and message to take away from the keynote.
The afternoon keynote from Steve Lucas came with Lucas' always energetic style. The EVP and general manager of SAP talked Big Data ("It's INSANE how much data is out there") and emphasized companies need to find the "new signals" and continued to use technology demos to drive his points home. Velocity, volume and variety are what make big data a challenge for companies today but companies that harness all the available data will be the clear winners. "If you think you know everything about your business, you're in a bad place," he said. Lucas used SAP Visual Intelligence technology to emphasize how data can be leveraged for business value.
Of course Lucas also emphasized that data has to be processed quickly. "If your objective is to fail, use slow data," he said, an effective SAP HANA pitch. Lucas closed by mentioning the Data Geek visualization contest at sap.com/datageek
The two keynotes meshed well and were of value to attendees at all three of these co-located events, not an easy task.
I'll be posting more updates from the conference here on the Insider Learning Network and Tweeting from @Daveatwispubs.
For more coverage of the Reporting & Analytics, Managing Your SAP Projects and Mobility 2012 events, read this blog post from senior writer Ken Murphy.