SAPPHIRE is always a huge show and it is impossible to get around the whole thing in less than three days. However, Jon and I have a posse of colleagues who do the work we cannot get to and who help us better understand what's going on.
As is now something of a tradition, we shot a wrap conversation with another attendee an hour before they closed the event. This time it was Graham Robinson who came over from Australia for the show.
Robbo is one of the smartest people I know in the SAP developer community, always willing to help and builder of seriously cool stuff. He is also unofficial MC at Mastering SAP Australia, an independently operated show for SAP developers. It was he who encouraged me to go to Sydney in 2012 and subsequently Melbourne in 2013, where I was privileged to deliver the opening keynote.
If Robbo says something, you can take it that he knows his stuff and is speaking with the dual ambition of ensuring that customers get the best deal without hurting SAP.
In this shoot, he agreed with me that there were missed opportunities but he also said that he got great value from seeing some of the new things that are under development. Like myself, he sees a need for simplifying everything and so while we can always pick on one or two things, the fact is that SAP has a long list of items that need attention.
If that sounds negative then that would be a fundamental misinterpretation of our assessment. SAP management and Bill McDermott as CEO deserve credit for biting the bullet on a longstanding set of difficulties.
The next test comes at Decode (aka TechEd) in the fall. Let's see what happens then.
Endnote - apologies for some sound issues at the beginning of this recording. We had UHF conflicts we could not overcome.