Anyone new to SAP may be overwhelmed by the acronyms that can be thrown about like common language. Given our Waterloo site just became an official SAP Lab at the beginning of this year, we have been privileged with organizing SAP’s first DKOM for Ontario. However, one might ask what’s a DKOM?
DKOM stands for “Development Kick-Off Meeting”. It is a time where approximately 22,000 SAP developers from around the globe get-together either virtually or at their nearest SAP Lab location to understand SAP’s strategy and find out how the products they build help the company achieve its goals.
Here’s why it’s cool that SAP Waterloo Labs is hosting Ontario's first DKOM this year:
- We have developers from the majority of database engines that power SAP’s new Real-Time Data Platform (RTDP). In fact, we are home to the RTDP Chief Architect who is responsible for driving architecture and new functionality for SAP HANA and other RTDP technologies and products.
- Our Canadian sales team is primarily located in Toronto so we have great access to understanding our Canadian customer needs and how they are implementing our products. We also happen to be home to a local smartphone company known as BlackBerry that is also rumored to be stopping by.
- You may be surprised to learn that development teams seldom have time to collaborate with other teams because (surprise) they are heads-down developing towards a release deadline. I have already blogged a bit about interesting development projects our Emerging Technologies team has been up to this year (for example here). Our team is one of the many interesting teams working on cool SAP innovations in Ontario. I look forward to learning about other product areas that will be represented at Waterloo's DKOM like SAP’s Real-Time Data Platform (RTDP) and SAP’s Business Warehouse (BW).
- What better place to host our Design Thinking and Scrum breakout sessions than in our awesome WatHaus, an area designed for doing just those activities in real-life.
- The majority of Waterloo developers came from the mobile arm iAnywhere Solutions of acquired company Sybase. Being acquired by SAP means that we now have new customers and different back ends (like SAP Business Suite) to mobilize. For example, we are having an exciting breakout session on how SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere is being used on oil rigs to provide local, self-contained collaborative applications that do not require consolidated backend server connections (pretty handy when your physical work location is moving in the middle of an ocean but you still have employees that need access to local backend SAP Business Suite functionality to perform onboard maintenance work orders).
Why should you care about an internal kickoff meeting for SAP developers? Aren't you at all curious about how your software gets created? These developers are the faces behind the software that powers 79% of Global Fortune 500 companies. They are responsible for developing the next generation of software to help the world run better and improve people's lives. As our CTO Vishal Sikka has blogged, “…the farther one is from the product, its end users, and the commercial aspects of a product, the worse the situation is”. DKOM is one vehicle we use every year to close these gaps and make our software better.
The great development capacity we have as a global company is truly amazing and awe inspiring. I look forward to exchanging ideas and collaborating with some of SAP's great minds in a little less than two weeks. I am sure this year will be Ontario’s best DKOM ever!