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This story is inspired from a concept borrowed from the great Seth Godin. Most organisations spend their time marketing to the crowd, while smart organisations assemble a Tribe.




My first experience with SAP software began in 1989, when I was responsible for installing a 4.3B R/2 system on an MVS mainframe. Being the only SAP Customer outside Europe using CICS/IMS, I spent many hours reading through German comments in JCL desks and Assembler code to build my knowledge. It would be some years before I would come to rely on the sapr3-list  (hosted by Bryan Thorp) and Merlin (hosted by DJ Adams) mailing lists as a source of collective intelligence, albeit over a slow Internet dial up connection. Many years later on, the Service Market Place and then the SAP Community Network would become resources heavily used in my day to day work. You might say these knowledge stores were part of the personal network which I would rely on to enjoy my work as an SAP professional.



SAP R/2 Reference card (I still have a complete set!)



It would be twenty years after my fist SAP experience that I would decide to actively repay my debt to the SAP Community by writing a series of SCN weblogs and participating as a speaker at several local SAP events. As it turned out, my contributions were noticed by several SAP Community members including SAP Community Evangelist Mark Finnern who selected me as part of the 2009 SAP Mentor intake.



Joining the Tribe

Strangely, I had earned the official title of SAP Mentor by repaying a debt to the SAP Community which had nurtured me over the years. I would now enjoy the privileges of belonging to the new SAP Mentor Tribe but I would also have to deal with the negative attitude of colleagues who saw this new title as a distraction to the Status Quo of my day-job. Many of my subsequent Community contributions were met with snide remarks about doing my own job and not the job of SAP. One particular Manager took it upon himself to write a negative comment on an SDN Weblog which would elucidate the role of an SAP Mentor for me – to change perception and build culture.


To paraphrase Seth Godin, instead of watering down your message to please everyone, it is far more powerful to share your message with a motivated tribe in the midst of a movement. 



Forming my own Tribe

Fast forward to a discussion with fellow SAP Mentor Paul Hawking during the SAP Australia User Group Summitin August 2010. During a taxi ride to the Sydney airport, Paul had convinced me to bring much needed hands-on industry experience to fifth year ERP Masters University students at the Victoria University. This would be a great new challenge – a chance to build culture and change perception from the grass roots of the SAP Ecosystem. I devised a curriculum for the Introduction to SAP NetWeaver Administration elective which would come to be known as BCO6181.


SAP Mentors Paul Hawking and John Moy preparing to present.













The BCO6181 Curriculum

The curriculum was loosely based around the following initiatives:-

  • Understanding the rich History of SAP  (Company and Products)
  • SAP Sources of information (SCN, Service Marketplace, RKT, EGI, Help.SAP.com)
  • SAP Social Identity and the Ecosystem (LinkedIn, Twitter, SAUG, ASUG, SCN)
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.02 Trial Version (download and install on Laptop)
  • SAP Gateway 7.2 Trial Version (download and install on Laptop or AMS Cloud Instance)
  • SAP NetWeaver Administration exercises (daily, weekly and monthly Basis Administration)
  • Cloud computing (install SAP instance on Amazon Web Service)
  • Hands on experience with the SAP latest on-demand offerings
    • Business Objects on demand
    • Online Dashboards (Dashboard Centre)
    • Experience HANA Trial
    • Gateway Trial
    • Streamwork



The assessment of the subject would involve the following

  • Demonstration that students can start and stop the local MiniWAS installation and perform basic Administration tasks
  • Sharing written assignments with the rest of the Tribe using Streamwork
  • A front of the class live demonstration of a MiniWAS transaction in 6 minutes (unashamedly borrowed form SAP DemoJam)
  • For bonus points - the authoring of a collective SCN weblogs, some examples are listed below:-


BCO6181 Guest Presenters

In order to make the BCO6181 class as dynamic and useful as possible, I would invite several industry thought leaders as Guest presenters. After all, a Tribe is all about forming strong connections:-



The Special Visit from Ray Wang

The BCO6181 students were encouraged to research each guest by looking at Twitter feeds, SCN Weblogs and Linked in details. This way, they have an “ice breaker” to engage each presenter with intelligent discussion if given the opportunity. This research resulted in a student noticing that Ray Wang (SAP Industry Analyst) was in Australia attending a speaking event in Melbourne. I had the good fortune of connecting with Ray earlier at the SAP Influence Summit in 2009, so I sent him a simple Tweet on behalf of the class asking if he might consider presenting a small session to the BCO6181 students. To the delight of the entire class, Ray gracefully Tweeted back that he would love to join us, and showed up after a full day of presentations in Melbourne to enthrall the BCO6181 class of 2011.



Ray Wang arrived prepared after answering my Tweet!




Followers Influencing the Tribe

Every Tribe needs people who are willing to follow. The way to make people eager to follow the tribe - is to enroll a number of Micro-leaders willing to give encouragement and constructive advice. If you ever bump into me at an SAP event, you know I will swiftly tell you about BCO6181 and ask you for your words of encouragement on tape. The more motivated the contributor, the more deep rooted the impact message will have. The best words of encouragement came from the great Hasso Plattner at the Sapphire Now Global Communication event in Orlando in 2011. He agreed to be photographed with me and encouraged me to further explain the benefits in-memory computing to the BCO6181 students.




A small discussion about BCO6181 and in-memory with Hasso Plattner




Some of the many micro-leaders I have on tape expressing words of encouragement and motivation to the BCO6181 students include:-



Imagination and Knowledge

Albert Einstein once said something about imagination being more important than knowledge. I try to teach what might be – if the students imagine it to be possible. Imagine getting a positive comment on an SCN weblog, imagine having a coffee with the CIO of a company you would like to work for, imagine getting advice from Ray Wang on Twitter, Imagine showing your MiniWAS during an interview, and imagine doing a pre-sales job demonstrating SAP Gateway to a Senior SAP Architect….All these things are possible for BCO6181 students with imagination.



Something to believe in

In closing, you will be pleased to know that I have helped to secure paid positions for three of the BCO6181 students from my 2011 class. Nasir Gondal picked up a 12 week contract at Spotless to roll out the SAPGui for Australian and New Zealand users of the successful Springboard project. Nasir has also volunteered to be my trusty Lab Assistant for the BCO6181 class of 2012 – an extremely valuable micro-leader for the BCO6181 Tribe. Kiran Ramineedi and Chinmay Bhatt have both completed a 3 month cadetship at Acclimation where they are learning the craft of SAP pre-sales. Kiran participated in the EHP5 upgrade at the RACV and was a contributor during the go-live weekend. Most recently, Chinmay and Kiran have earned certifications as SAP Solution Consultants and are both studying for certification as a SAP Support Consultants.








Kiran and Chinmay preparing for a SAP Gateway pre-sales gig at Spotless








One last thing

If you got anything out of this weblog, I hope you will do something for me - tell someone else about it and ask them to leave a comment on the BCO6181 Facebook site. Maybe you will inspire the next Tribe leader - spread the word!






SAP Solution Manager 7.1 chat.

Most SDN readers familiar with my weblogs would come expect a whole lot of Solution Manager content. In this SDN offering, I have managed to bring together Solution Manager knowledge across 14,000 kilometres - from Brazil and Australia. In order to balance out the discussion, I have managed to invite a SolWoman to the SolMan discussion.


Roundtable Biographies:

Raquel Cunha is an SAP Solution Manager Senior Independent Consultant at GEMINI in Brazil. With over 6 years experience in Solution Manager, Raquel has written some impressive articles for the Solution Manager Expert magazine.


Tony de Thomasis is a NetWeaver technician from Australia with a keen eye for exploiting value from Solution Manager.








Podcast Highlights:



Comments / Content 


Introductions: Raquel and Tony

Background with Solution Manager 7.1

SAUG Hands on session


Raquel talks about

  • Charm
  • Test Management
  • Quality Gate Management


Tony talks about


SAP TechEd talk

Solution Manager 7.1 Pre-Conference Event


Planning your Solution Manager 7.1 deployment




























 Did you miss the the Solution Manager GA date?

Solution Manager 7.1 Ramp-Up

During the SAPPHIRE Now 2011 event, there were so many exciting announcements, more than I ever remember at a single SAP event ever. The big announcement which largely went unnoticed was the official ramp up of Solution manager Version 7.1. This particular release was nearly 3 years in the making and has been crafted to fulfil the many demands of customers. I should know, during my time at AusPost I was involved in the Solution Manager influence council.


My wishlist.

My suggestions for improvement during my time in the influence council were largely centred around the following opportunities:-

  • The User Interface: Too much switching between WebDynpro, SAP Gui and Internet explorer. Especially for the Service desk and ChaRM, this switching between Work Centres and SAPGui made it feel like several products under the hood.
  • The CCMS style alerting and monitoring looks tired and is quite outdated. We saw glimpses of what might be possible with the introduction of End User Experience Monitoring, but we wanted more
  • Integration with other SAP offerings. The integration of a slick Business Objects 4 interface for the visualisation of metrics, and an updated CRM offering were inevitable ingredients required for a Solution Manager makeover.
  • Run the Landscape like a factory. Instead of having several different processes and repetition to do similar things across the landscape, many customers looked to Solution Manager for common alerting , monitoring and solution documentation processes across the entire landscape of SAP and non-SAP products. A more open Solution Manager interface where other partners can cleanly integrate their products was required.
  • An improvement in Change Control processes. This would require a simplification of the ChaRM process in the form of ChaRM Lite, more flexibility to automatically retro fit changes across Development systems, and the ability to automatically detect and prevent change downgrade across conflicting objects.


SAUG Influence works.

I can gladly report that many of my wishes will be realised once the Solution Manager 7.1 goes into unrestricted shipment in August 2011. Constructive feedback though the SAUG Influence Councils really pays dividends. Right now, there are over 30 customers participating in the Solution Manager 7.1 Wave 1 ramp up program since May 16th, with another 130 customers joining the Wave 2 ramp up program on June 15th.



Interview with the Solution Manager movers and shakers.


As you can tell from the attached YouTube video, I had a lot of fun with Marc Thier and Matthias Melich. They are both good sports who are always keen to listen to customer feedback. During SAPPHIRE Now 2011, SAP demonstrated how seriously it regards product feedback from customers, industry analysts and SAP Mentors.


More to come

In closing, we have been busy configuring Solution Manager 7.1 in the Acclimation office for several months now, and this can only lead to one thing - another series of Solution Manager SDN Weblogs showing the slick new 7.1 features.

You can also expect a ton of information at the upcoming SAP TechEd event in Las Vegas.


Useful Links

Some other useful Solution manager Links include:-

The Classic Uwe Hommel sexy UI video

Official Solution Manager 7.1 dates

Value Centre for Solution Manager 7.1

Getting ready for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 (Dr. Matthias Melich)

Solution Manager Customer Quotes

Changes and New Features in SAP Solution Manager 7.1

Solution Manager 7.1 SAP Online Knowledge Product (OKP)


Last month I had the privilege of attending the Sapphire Now 2011 event in Orlando, Florida. Even after enduring 23 hours in the air, rushing for three connecting flights, 10,000 miles of distance and one lost suit case – I still managed to thoroughly enjoy the event.

Let’s start with the raw statistics to kick things off:-

  • Over 15,000 attendees in Orlando, Florida;
  • Over 45,000 virtual attendees over 3 days;
  • SAPPHIRENOW hashtag mentioned over 7,800 times during the event;
  • Over 1200 customer meetings;
  • Over 50 SAP Mentors in attendance;
  • 1,400 sessions in four days;
  • Many old favourites played by Sting on the last day of the event;
  • Opening keynote from Gabriel Byrne (he took on Arnie in End of Days);
  • Musical accompaniment by Max Weinberg 7 (I remember when Max was touring with the Boss and E Street band in the seventies);
  • Over 600 demonstrations;
  • Over 50 mobile apps on display at the Mobility Campus
  • Over 50 Partner booths on the event floor

The main themes 

The main themes covered during the event can be summarized into the following categories:-

  1. In Memory and HANA
  2. SAP Cloud Strategy
  3. SAP Mobility
  4. Other SAP announcements

In Memory and HANA.

SAP was first formed by Hasso Plattner and his four colleagues in 1972. Some twenty years later, SAP took bold steps and innovated by announcing the three tier client server landscape. Fast forward another twenty years, and in his advisory capacity, Hasso Plattner predicted the next industry Inflection point - the In-Memory data management program underpinned by the SAP High-Performance Analytic Appliance (SAP HANA).


 Hasso Plattner wasted no time telling me about the next Inflection Point. Great photo Abesh.


During Vishal's keynote, we watched 11 customer testimonials explaining how HANA has gone beyond handling large volumes rapidly, and is now moving to empower end users by addressing each unique scenario. Vishal explained how SAP HANA is now integrated into every SAP product, and customers will experience the power of HANA in a flood of breakthrough analytics and new applications including:-

  • Strategic workforce planning (out now);
  • Sales and operations planning (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas);
  • Cash and liquidity management (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas);
  • Trade promo management (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid);
  • Smart meter analysis (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid);
  • Customer performance management (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid);
  • Merchandising management (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid);
  • Energy management for utilities (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid);
  • Profitability engine (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid); and
  • Customer-specific pricing (out by SAP TechEd Las Vegas Madrid).

During the event, we were learned of the 40 ramp-up customers on HANA V1.0 including Hilti, Caterpillar, Colgate, Lenovo and Nestle. During the Hasso Plattner keynote, a full auditorium was told about the 5 productive Business One customers running HANA on a Mac Mini with 4 cpu cores. He then spoke about how well the HANA appliance on the stage which stood no higher than his knee, containing 2tb memory and 80 cpu cores would scale. He then finished off by throwing to a live video link from a containment pod in Santa Clara which housed the biggest single HANA node boasting 1,000 cpu cores, 16tb memory and 64tb Solid State disks. Hasso then finished off by answering 13 customer questions to further explain some HANA technical talking points including redundancy, scalability and backups.

On the event floor, the following 6 SAP certified HANA appliances were on display for customers to interact with at the In-Memory test drive booth:-

  • Mac Mini;
  • HP Proliant DL580 G7;
  • Dell PowerEdge R910;
  • Fujitsu Primergy RX600 s5;
  • IBM x3850 X5;
  • Cisco UCS c260 M2

As the entire SAP Product Portfolio is now based on HANA, you can expect several exciting HANA announcements during SAP TechEd Las Vegas including new HANA applications, enticing HANA pricing models and developer access to the HANA AppCloud.


The following video was made at the In-Memory test drive booth


SAP Cloud Strategy

With the recent certification of HP, there are now over 10 SAP-certified global cloud service providers including IBM, Fujitsu and NEC. During a session with Gunther Schmaltzhaf, he explained how Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been tested and benchmarked as a hardware layer in deployments and how SAP is moving from Cloud Certification to Cloud Optimisation. For those still looking to be convinced that SAP is ready to run in the Cloud, you will find that the latest 7.20 SAP Kernel and SAPOSCOL are now Cloud aware. A quick scan of the following SAP Notes are a good starting point for your first Cloud based SAP instance.

Gunther also went on to talk about how SAP Adaptive computing is now embracing the SAP Landscape Management processes which will eventually provide capabilities to move running SAP instances in and out of Private clouds, and allow for rapid and automatic SAP landscape cloning.


The following video was made with Gunther Schmaltzhaf

SAP Mobility

There were several presentations demonstrating the power of the Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP) and its associated technology and applications in the high-visibility sectors of mobility – cell phones and tablets. I watched SAP demonstrate their customizable mobile ‘app accelerators‘ in the areas of expense management, time entry and system alerts, but the most impressive apps were demonstrated by Partners. Over the three days, I got a chance to test drive several Partner SUP apps in the areas of:-

  • retail execution; 
  • general worker productivity;  
  • field service; and  
  • analytics.

You can expect SAP to unveil over 30 more apps at SAP TechEd Las Vegas for iOS and Windows Mobile devices including apps in the areas of:-

  • sourcing;
  • human capital management;
  • sales and service;
  • cross-topics;
  • vertical industry-specific apps; and
  • financials.

We were told about the much improved SUP 2.0 Software Development Kit (SDK) for enhanced native application development, but it doesn't stop here. During SAP TechEd Las Vegas, we can expect the release of SUP 2.1 heralding improved support for the HTML5 container and a more sophisticated Web style set of development tools.

In summary, SUP 2.0 provides a consistent platform for developing apps across the following key mobile platforms:-

  • iOS;
  • BlackBerry;
  • Windows Mobile; and
  • Android.


Other announcements

At any other event, the following announcements would have enjoyed top billing:-

  • BI4 - The best BOBJ version ever;
  • NetWeaver 7.3 generally available
  • Gateway V2.0 Secure non disruptive mobile enablement for the Business Suite.
  • GRC V10 - You can now run Access control totally on the ABAP stack
  • Solution Manager 7.1 ramp-up program several years in the making


Closing comments

In summary, this year's Sapphire Now was most memorable for me because so many SAP experts made themselves available to spend time with customers. I got to spend one-on-one time with:-

  • SAP Innovators like Hasso, Vishal and Ike;
  • Customers from all over the world. The ASUG influence on the SAPPHIRE NOW event makes it a balanced event;
  • Industry analysts who echo the unvarnished opinions which drive SAP to reach higher;
  • SAP Mentors who represent the collective voice of the SAP Ecosystem; and
  • Partner booths staffed by real experts from the field.


The following video was made at the IBM Partner booth


My task now is to share all this newfound knowledge with the Australian SAP community.





Are you ready to innovate?


This story has its roots in the 2010 SAP TechEd Event in Las Vegas. As you would know from my pervious Article in the Inside SAP Magazine – On the Road to SAP rockstar status, we took up Kaj van de Loo’s offer to run an SAP Innovation Weekend in Australia. Our dream to create excitement and foster Australian innovation in the SAP ecosystem has now become a reality.


What is InnoJam? :-

Based on the interest and success from SAP TechEd 2010, the Innovation Weekend concept has now been grown into a scalable program known as SAP InnoJam.

SAP InnoJam is a community event where IT managers, Business Process experts, and Software Developers gain up to 30 hours hands-on experience with some of the latest and most sophisticated innovative technologies from the SAP labs including HANA, Gateway, Cloud based offerings and of course Business Intelligence. Collaborating in teams, ideas will be taken from concept to working prototypes using real technologies in real time. 

Completed prototypes will be presented and rated against other teams. If your prototype is hailed as the most innovative, you have a chance to win a spot at the upcoming SAP TechEd DemoJam!

The InnoJam program was trialled successfully during the recent Developer Kick Off Meeting (DKOM) in Waldorf, Bangalore, Shanghai and Palo Alto in March. Some of the exciting outcomes can be viewed on the InnoJam YouTube Channel


Details of what happens at SAP InnoJam

  1. Tech Fire: SAP Technology experts present      their specific SAP products, technologies, and tools.
  2. Biz Fire: Business experts present real      business cases. Participants select the business case or scenarios that      they want to work on.
  3. Innovation Slam: The fun begins! Design,      Build and Test.
         Participants collaborate within their team to create the solution for      their selected business case using any of the presented technologies.      Several Technology experts will be available onsite to assist the teams.
  4. Innovation Fire: Participants present their      solution within a 6-minute timeslot.
  5. Jury Time: Members of the Jury vote and      announce the winning team.



SAP InnoJam event is a great way to:

  • Submit a real life business requirement to a      team of experts
  • Stay up-to-date on SAP technology strategy,      solutions, and developments
  • Get hands-on experience with SAP technologies
  • Network with other customers, partners, and      SAP's own development experts
  • Be part of the winning team and get the      opportunity to compete at DemoJam



Reserve you place and the Australian InnoJam:-


If you would like to participate in the inaugural Australian SAP InnoJam, make sure you book early to guarantee your place in this exciting event. The Australian InnoJam will be held as part of the SAUG Summit on July 30 and 31, 2011 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling  Harbour.


This year we will be joined by Kaj Van de Loo - SVP for Technology StrategyMatt Harding – participant in the Las Vegas InnoJam 2010 event, Alisdair Templeton – winner SAP DemoJam Las Vegas 2010 and several other passionate SAP Practitioners.

Who is attending?

Since the Australian SAP InnoJam will be run at the University of Technology in Sydney, I will work to secure participation for one or two of the The wisest mind has something yet to learn students from the Victoria University of Technology. This will inject a new perspective to the event and provide a great opportunity for an upcoming SAP thought leader.


You can also expect strong participation from the Australian SAP Mentors.


Call for business cases

The strength and success of the Australian SAP InnoJam event will ultimately be determined by the quality of business cases submitted. To kick things off, Alisdair Templeton and Matt Harding will be sharing their vision for usingSemantic SAP, or our entry in "Win lunch with Gigi". to improve SAP data consumption.


Please add as many useful business cases to the Semantic SAP, or our entry in "Win lunch with Gigi". as possible; and let’s show the rest of the world how innovative the Australian SAP ecosystem can be.


I would love to see some innovative business cases from the retail, banking, utilities, mining and postal sectors...




Other information:-

SAUG Summit Registrations

Official InnoJam site

InnoJam YouTube channel

InnoJam Facebook page

InnoJam Wiki Page

Australian SAP InnoJam Business Cases

Semantic SAP, or our entry in "Win lunch with Gigi".

The wisest mind has something yet to learn




























Join SAP CTO and InnoJammer Kaj van de Loo in Sydney...




This year I have been fortunate enough to be selected to attend SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando USA. You may ask why an Australian SAP practitioner would consider flying around 10,000 miles over a 27 hour stretch across the Pacific Ocean to attend this event?

Quite simply, networking with customers and participating in forums and educational sessions helps me to build a global perspective and understand the SAP technology vision. This perspective will help my customers innovate with SAP, and driving business improvements and hopefully long-term profitability.


The SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 message


The message from SAPPHIRE NOW 2010 of On Premise, On Demand and On Device will be supplemented this year by many of the exciting announcements made during the Run Better Tour and Virtualization Week events. No doubt, Analytics and Social media will feature heavily – but for me the growth area I am most excited about is the improved SAP Orchestration capabilities required to manage SAP systems in virtualized and cloud environments.


The main problem SAP customers are experiencing is the prohibitive costs and time taken to provision the servers required to fulfil business requirements. We are all looking forward to the SAP Landscape Management Software solving the common problems of:-


-          Reduced testing cycles caused by the reluctance to clone Production instances;

-          Inability to evaluate new functionality such as GRC 10 or BI4.0 because it is too expensive to provision a new Sandpit server; and

-          Over-allocation of CPU and Memory to the Production systems and no spare capacity to run a one-off training course in a test system.


With the recent certification of HP, there are now over 10 SAP-certified global cloud service providers including IBM, Fujitsu and NEC. Make no mistake here; SAP is counting on Cloud infrastructure to drive agility, flexibility and optimisation at the right cost – allowing customers to focus on core business processes. 


Something for everyone:-

Whether you’re looking for other customer experiences to help you avoid common pitfalls, or advice on how to use SAP Technology to gain a competitive advantage, SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 has something for you.


For the Chief Finance Officer interested in the stabilisation of the current landscape and the reduction of operational costs, you can listen to best practice tips and real-life experiences focused on:-

-          Optimising your current SAP landscape;

-          Deploying the latest SAP Technical maintenance without disruption; and

-          Utilising Application Lifecycle Management techniques to reduce cost.


For the Chief Technology Officer interested in deploying new SAP functionality or renewing an existing SAP landscape, you can listen to the latest SAP Technology offerings focused on:-

-          accelerating upgrades and new SAP Landscape deployments;

-          maximising the benefits of strategic SAP Landscape modernisation;

-          improving SAP integration techniques; and

-          integrating a Business Analytics layer into an existing SAP landscape.          


For the Chief Innovation Officer interested in the latest SAP offerings and roadmaps, you can listen to visionary keynotes from industry thought leaders:-

-          How to introduce mobility into your SAP landscape;

-          Understanding SAP In-Memory and On-Demand offerings;

-          How is SAP integrating with non SAP applications?;

-          How is SAP preparing for integration of Social media as a rich data source?; and

-          What are the latest tools and techniques for self service orchestration in an On-Demand environment?


Still time to register

There’s still time to register and join me at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida from May 15-18, 2011. This year the ASUG celebrates its 20th Anniversary at this year’s ASUG Annual Conference – run in parallel with SAPHHIRE NOW.


My top 10 tips to make the most of your SAPPHIRE NOW experience

Here are the steps to follow to help you make the most out of your SAPPHIRE now experience

  1. Use the personal Agenda Builder tool to customize your experience by selecting wisely from over 600 sessions
  2. Consider one of the eight Pre-Conference Seminars. My favourite selection for great value and personality is Ingo Hilgefort’s Business Objects BI 4.0 Tools in a Single Day.
  3. Last year, over 50,000 customers, partners and employees attended SAPPHIRE NOW 2010 on-site and online. Many of the sessions can still be enjoyed online.
  4. Check out the Twitter stream for what others are saying about the event.
  5. Join me on Wednesday night to see the multi talented Sting in action.
  6. Introduce yourself to an SAP Mentor to witness SAP Community engagement and an unusual human touch in SAP enterprise software. You will recognise us from our blue SAP Rugby jerseys and our honest approach built on several years of experience in the SAP industry.
  7. Listen intently to the Visionary keynote speakers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I am looking forward to Hasso outdoing his two iPad presentation from SAPPHINE NOW 2010.
  8. Participate in one of the 50 demonstrations in the Mobility Campus
  9. Share experiences with other customers during one of the 56 tracks offered as part of the 2011 ASUG Annual Conference.
  10. Spend time learning about SAP Partner Solutions from the exhibitor’s booths. I know from personal experience how much effort goes into preparing for an exhibitor booth. You might be pleasantly surprised with the amount of technical knowledge on show at the booths.


Get answers to your questions.

Any Australian customers looking for assistance getting access to best SAP knowledge at the conference should establish contact with me before the event. As part of the SAP Mentor and SAP Blogger programs, I might just be able to broker that personal connection which makes a difference to your company, improves your competitiveness – and helps to improve the Australian SAP ecosystem.



Other information:-

SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 Registrations:



SAPPHIRE NOW 2010 past session:-



SAPPHIRE NOW YouTube channel:-



SAPPHIRE NOW Face Book page:-



SAPPHIRE NOW Twitter stream:-



SAP Virtualization and Cloud week event:-



SAP Run Better Tour event:-


Every year, the SAUG works tirelessly to put together events that appeal to a large audience. This year, with over 20 sessions over 2 days the SAUG Plenary is a great way to learn from other customers. There is still time to sign up for a chance to exchange ideas with over 200 delegates representing more than 90 Queensland companies.

Two worthwhile customer focus sessions I am looking forward to include:-

  1. Andrew Moffa from Woolworths talks about how he is using SAP Solution Manager for centralised support and system management; and
  2. Suzanne Wakeford from BlueScope Steel talks about recent implementations and future configuration plans within SAP Solution Manager.

Andrew and Suzanne are definitely the next generation of thought leaders for how to use SAP Solution Manager to extract tangible cost savings for their respective companies.


Two worthwhile partner focus sessions I am looking forward to include:-

  1. Glenn Cadman from Oxygen talks about how to use Oracle compression to save disk space and improve response time; and
  2. Bala Kalimuthu from Revolution IT talks about how to use repeatable tests to ensure a smooth project go-live. 

I have worked closely with both Glenn and Bala, and I rate them both as highly dedicated consultants.


As a bonus, you can take a look at my Top 10 SAP Priorities keynote session, and challenge me if you feel I have missed out on your favourite priority.


There is still time to reserve your spot for this week.




Not a member yet?

Why not join some of the most successful companies in Australia and become a member of the SAUG. Collaborate with over 2,500 other members of your local SAP community and help maximise your investment in NetWeaver.

This weblog begins in a Cab on the way to the Sydney airport following the three day SAP Australia User Group (SAUG) Summit  at Darling Harbour last August. Earlier that afternoon, I shared the stage with fellow Mentor Paul Hawking for the Blogging keynote where we spoke about industry trends and the shortage of trained consultants in Australia.


As we chatted in the Cab, Paul told me how much potential SAP talent comes though the Victoria University each semester. He told me how so many students whom he Lectures at the University look forward to the SAP electives. In particular we spoke at length about the practical skills picked up by the students who complete the 21 units contained in theSAP EDUCATION HOT TOPIC: Are You Looking to Become SAP Certified and Not Sure Which Exam to Take?  Try C_TERP10_60.... By the time the Cab pulled in at the airport, I had agreed to run a NetWeaver Administration course for the Masters students at the Victoria University in 2011.  


Fast forward to last Wednesday, when I conducted the first of 10 lessons to a classroom of around 30. During the 15 minutes of introductions at the beginning of the lesson, I was pleasantly surprised with the variety and depth of IT skills in the room. Over the next 3 months, I will share my knowledge and industry experience to help prepare the students for a rewarding career using SAP Technology. The outline of course BCO6181 - Introduction to SAP NetWeaver Administration is as follows:-


  • SAP History (Company and Products)
  • SAP Sources of information (SCN, Service Marketplace, RKT, EGI, Help.SAP.com)
  • SAP Social Identity and the Ecosystem (LinkedIn, Twitter, SAUG, ASUG, SCN)
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.02 Trial Version (download and install on VM Player instance)
  • SAP NetWeaver Administration exercises (daily, weekly and monthly Basis Administration)



















The BCO6181 Class


Please look out for the upcoming SDN Weblogs I will ask the students to submit over the coming weeks. Some encouraging words are sure to cause a ripple, and several ripples may form a wave. During the last lesson of the semester in June, I will invite several industry contacts to meet the students. Please contact me if you are interested in meeting up with some future SCN thought leaders in the making, or if you would like more information about SAP Program at the Victoria University.


To borrow and improve a pearl of wisdom from George Bernard Shaw:

"Those who can, do. Those who really can, teach. Those who can teach, will inspire the next generation to think."

Last week I had to good fortune to attend the SAP Run Better Tour (RBT) in NYC. Apart from being dazzled by the fanfare that traditionally accompanies any SAP announcement, my best learning  occurred  in the corridors, blogger deep-dive,  and break-out sessions where I spent valuable time learning from SAP Technicians,  customers and fellow bloggers.

The following four main themes underpinned the SAP RBT:-

  1. Big data in Real Time
  2. Insight with confidence across Business and Social Data
  3. Instant powerful BI in your hands
  4. The Best Fit, Right Size, Right now

For this weblog I will focus on the first RBT theme and explain my take on how, as one of the existing 15,000 SAP Business Warehouse (BW) customers, you might prepare yourself for the possibility of joining the in-memory journey. 

Which version of BW should I aim for?

For those customers still on BW version 3.5 (and older) you don't need to be told that you have been out of standard support since March last year. All customers should be aiming for the strategic BW7.01 release. Whatever version of BW you settle for, make sure you opt for Unicode conversion as part of the upgrade.  You will find it increasingly difficult to remain on the long term BW roadmap unless you opt for a Unicode instance.  

For those who are interested in extracting the most value out of investments in BW technology,  you may wish to purse the following features which are delivered as part of the recently released BW7.3

  • Semantic object support to facilitate the creation Cubes directly on the Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA);
  • Tight integration with BI4, Terradata, Nearline Storage, Archived objects and Solution Manager;
  • New graphical modelling toolset;
  • ABAP WebDynpro rewrite of the Integrated Planning engine;
  • Out of the box performance improvements (20%-40% improvement on DSO loading); and
  • Several administration improvements including the Database usage monitor, and improved Administration Cockpit.

Which version of BWA should I aim for?

For those who have already made the investment in BWA technology, you need to be on BWA7.0. The next version, BWA7.2 is required for BW7.3. If you are in the process of deploying the BWA, you should jump directly to BWA7.2 regardless of  your BW version. The BWA7.2 will run in full BWA7.2 mode if you pair it with a BW7.3 system and quite happily run in BWA7.0 mode if you pair it with a BW7.01 system.

Those who are interested in extracting the most value out of investments in BW technology, will be pleased with the following benefits when you pair a BW7.3 system with BWA7.2

  • BW space savings gained from loading InfoCube indexes on the BWA directly from the BW DSO;
  • Master data storage on the BWA for snappy F4 help and hierarchy support;
  • Improved BWA analytic indexes; and
  • The BWA calculation engine to speed up performance and take load off the BW7.3 system


What about my BW J2EE stack?

It's no surprise that SAP has been backing away from further J2EE developments on the BW platform. The winding down of the BEx, the replacement of BICS with the BO client and the rewrite of the Integrated Planning module in ABAP WebDynpro should be fairly obvious signs. SAP will however continue to support existing BW dual-stack customers by offering the following options:-

  • Support for a BW dual-stack upgrade from BW7.01 to BW7.3; and
  • The J2EE Splitter to extract the J2EE from your dual-stack BW system to a stand-alone J2EE instance. This process (still in Pilot phase) will offer both the J2EE Schema removal or MCOD possibilities.

How do I get onto the In Memory roadmap?

In its first iteration, HANA1.0 is aimed at the Operational and Agile Data Marts. This makes HANA1.0 a good match for highly volatile data which changes frequently or historical data which can be supplemented with external data and modelled on the fly. The first HANA1.0 customers who attended the RBT (including Christian Ritter from Hilti and Alan Capes from Canadian National Railways) spoke about the successful acceleration of Business suite and CRM based scenarios.



Jon, Christian and Tony at the RBT NYC.

How to get HANA 1.0 into the BW landscape.

Customers can opt for a side by side HANA1.0 deployment for the BW landscape provided they are on BW7.3 and BWA7.2. The BWA will evolve into HANA1.0, in fact, HANA1.0 is able to be run in BWA mode. This means there will be no additional license required when running the HANA1.0 appliance in BWA mode. Existing BWA customers who purchased BWA hardware late in 2010, may be able to reuse this hardware as part of the move into HANA1.0. Customers with older BWA hardware may be able to redeploy it as part of a BOE (or similar) landscape update. Please check this closely with your BWA hardware provider.

The benefits of deploying HANA1.0 in an existing BW landscape include a large performance boost courtesy of the improved compression and processing power of the In-memory Computing Engine, as well as the capability to build customer specific acceleration scenarios taking data from multiple sources.


What's next on the HANA roadmap?

In its next iteration, HANA1.5 will be aimed at Architected Data Marts , this is great news for the BW roadmap. Subsequent releases of BW 7.3 will begin to unlock HANA1.5 specific capabilities such as online Data Store activation in real time. Another strategic improvement slated for BW 7.3, is the database support for Terradata and Sybase ASE, so customers can now shop around for the best database to suit their needs.

The most exciting prospect of HANA1.5 is the ability to move the BW data out of the existing database and run it directly from the Appliance. With the compression rates offered, increased performance and reduced database licensing costs, this makes HANA1.5 quite an interesting value proposition. The downside of moving the BW database, is the disruption required to execute this process. I understand the process is similar to that currently followed when performing a Unicode conversion.

Which HANA Vendor should I choose?

Do you go with the vendors with the long BWA history, or the new guys on the block with the long history of network switching and Wan acceleration? The differentiators will be in the form of what extra pre-sales, installation and support services the vendor can offer - and of course the price.

The sizing process for HANA1.5 will also be an interesting prospect. I heard talk of an Extra Small HANA built on a rack mounted server. It won't be too long before the price of a 64 core rack mounted server with 2-4tb of RAM becomes a viable proposition.

Still to come.

I would have liked to spend more time discussing high availability, back-ups, how to architect HANA  Development and Test servers, cloud based HANA, HANA virtualisation and of course HANA alerting and monitoring using Solution Manager. But there are only so many hours in a day.



The BW roadmap from EIM300 - SAP TechEd 2010

In Episode 3 of the Aussie SAP Mentor talk - Chatter down under, we welcome a couple of new SAP Mentors to the chat. Listen to our talk about all the latest things in the SAP industry from an Australian perspective. With a strong focus on all thing SAP Community, listen to some Australian guys having fun in the SAP Community.


We set out to talk for 30 minutes and ended up with over 90 minutes of good discussion. Please find attached podcast 1 of 3 which covers talk about Mobility, Gateway, Infrastructure, River and MII.


Over the next 2 weeks I will release podcast Part 2 which covers how to have fun with SAP Technology and keep your skills current. Look out for podcast Part 3 which will cover how to benefit from the SAP Community. I also have a gag reel of outtakes which may also make it into Part 3.


Apologies from Aussie Mentor #6 Paul Hawking who missed the podcast circus.





The "Aussie SAP Mentors" are:


Link to current podcast


Podcast Notes



Comments / Content


Introduction and welcome


Matt Highlights


Robbo Higlights


Abesh Highlights


Nigel Highlights


TdT Highlights


Matt’s Growth Areas



Nigel’s Growth Areas

“River” OnDemand [remove], Atom Feeds, Gateway


Robbo’s Growth Areas

Mobility, Gateway


Abesh’s Growth Areas

Google App-Inventor, MII, Thingworx


TdT’s Growth Areas

On-Shoring, Provisioning, Disk, Compliance, nZDT



The view from Abesh's camera in Perth.


 Perth Lights

Here's the much anticipated second installment in the "Behind the Scenes SAP DemoJam 2010" series. Another chance to spend some time with some friends who made my SAP TechEd 2010 a successful event.  

-          Alisdair Templeton (winner SAP DemoJam Las Vegas 2010)

-          Matt Harding (winner SAP DemoJam Las Vegas 2010, SAP Mentor)

-          Graham Robinson (SAP Mentor)



In this three part PodCast series, we will reveal all the "behind the scenes" secrets of preparing a successful SAP DemoJam entry. We discuss all things which motivate and influence us, and the positive effects of seeking success. I hope this PodCast series will motivate you to seek your own success.


 Link to the current PodCast

 Podcast Notes


Comments / Content


The Los Angeles to Las Vegas road trip


Alisdair’s hole in one Omen


The Innovation Garage


Acclimation in-house Fridays


Alisdair’s first Weblog


The Original DemoJam video


The Code Exchange


Comments in the code


Effort involved in a DemoJam submission


DemoJam tips for newbies


Mastering SAP Technologies Australia DemoJam


























Matt and Alisdair performing

This year, I attended my fifth consecutive SAP TechEd event. I am continually drawn to this event for the opportunity to collaborate with industry specialists and to load up on innovative ideas and industry trends. It's not only the things you learn from experts - but also the people you meet and the connections you make which makes this event so special to many SAP practitioners.


For me, the best thing about spending time with the SAP Community is having the opportunity to share ideas and learn from other like minded people. These ideas and thinking contribute to making my own work better, which, of course, helps me advance.  Some would argue that you're as successful as the company you keep, and I can say from experience that there is a connection between our friends and who we are.


Here's your chance to spend some time with some friends who made my SAP TechEd 2010 a successful event.  

-          Alisdair Templeton (winner SAP DemoJam Las Vegas 2010)

-          Matt Harding (winner SAP DemoJam Las Vegas 2010, SAP Mentor)

-          Graham Robinson (SAP Mentor)









In this three part PodCast series, we will reveal all the "behind the scenes" secrets of preparing a successful SAP DemoJam entry. We discuss all things which motivate and influence us, and the positive effects of seeking success. I hope this PodCast series will motivate you to seek your own success.


Link to the current PodCast


Podcast Notes:-


Comments / Content


Introduction and welcome


Drivers for the SAP DemoJam 2010 entry


What influences are we subject to?


Gateway talk


More influences


My meeting with Kaj


The Craig Cmehil effect


The BO on demand last minute entry





















Kaj van de Loo, Craig Cmehil, Matt Harding, Alisdair Templeton, Oliver Bussmann

In Episode 2 of the Aussie SAP Mentor talk - Chatter down under, we talk about all the latest things in the SAP industry from an Australian perspective. With a strong focus on all thing SAP Community, listen to some Australian guys having fun in the SAP Community.


A few details are listed below; highlights include talk about SAP TechEd 2010, Aussie Innovation Week 2011, Aussie SAP DemoJam 2011 and Atlantis.


The "Aussie SAP Mentors" are:

Graham Robinson
Matt Harding
Paul Hawking  (absent this round)
Tony de Thomasis







Link to the current podcast.


Podcast Notes. 





Comments / Content




Introduction and welcome






TechEd 2010 talk






Robbo Rockstar






Innovation weekend Las Vegas








Innovation week Australia 2011






Aussie SAP DemoJam 2011








REST talk






Where is Leo?







Atlantis Utopian Society






Matt's favourite band








Thanks to the listeners


























Aussie dawg

In this episode of the Aussie SAP Mentor talk - Chatter down under, we talk about all the latest things in the SAP industry from an Australian perspective. With a strong focus on all thing SAP Community, listen to four Australian guys having fun in the SAP Community.


A few details are listed below; highlights include talk about SAP TechEd 2010, Innovation Weekend 2010, SAP DemoJam 2010 and Mastering SAP Technologies 2011.


The "Aussie SAP Mentors" are:

Graham Robinson

Matt Harding

Paul Hawking

Tony de Thomasis



Link to the current podcast.


Podcast Notes. 



Comments / Content


Introduction and welcome


Matt Harding Introduction


Paul Hawking Introduction


Tech Talk Graham Robinson


Innovation weekend 2010


SAP DemoJam 2010


Enterprise Geeks theme


Tech Talk Paul Hawking


The right tools for the job


Sybase talk


Buying SAP weblog - Paul Hawking

Buying SAP (part 2)


BPMN SAP Weblog - Matt Harding

The specified item was not found.


Invest in you SAP Weblog - Graham Robinson

How much do you invest in You?


Mastering SAP Technologies 2011 - Sydney



Closing comments



In this episode of The SolBrothers, we talk about all the latest things in the Application Lifecycle Management space. We juggle Friday night in the USA with a Saturday morning in Australia.


A few details are listed below; highlights include talk about the famous food critic, excitement about Charm, SAP TechEd 2010 and SAP DemoJam.

The "Sol Bros" are:

Phil Avelar

Jim Spath

Jon Reed

Tony de Thomasis


Links to previous SolBros Episodes

Link to Episode 1 

Link to Episode 2 

Link to Episode 3 


Link to the current podcast


Podcast Notes.

 Comments / Content
Introductions and previous weblog comments
Landscape Verification
Landscape Verification 1.0 for SAP Solution Manager - General Availability
Jim's incredible journey into SolMan training - VLC E2E 100
Monday Link
Tuesday Link
Wednesday Link
Thursday Link
Panaya and Winshuttle
Panaya Link
Winshuttle Link
Ray Wang Link 
Solution Manager change management and and Blueprinting 
ChaRM Link
Ajay Slideshare Link
SolMan Link 
SAP TechEd
John and Tony will be in Las Vegas, Jim in Berlin and Phil is still on the fence
SAP TechEd Link
Innovation Weekend
Innovation Weekend Link
JumpStart Sessions
SAP Teched JumpStart Sessions Link 
SAP DemoJam
The Innovation Garage
Welcome New SAP Mentors Fall 2010
SAP TechEd Berlin and SCNotties
SCNotties Link 
Expert Lounge sessions not to be missed
Career Success Networking session Link
Certification Networking session Link
Career Strategies in the Outsourcing age session Link 
Keep your data-centre humming Link
Lifehouse Concert
Lifehouse Concert Link
Wrap up and closing remarks
Outtro - SAP Mentor 66 theme, Matt Harding. 





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