Yesterday, SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference attendees heard about the importance of customer experience. Today, they learned about the importance of an intelligent experience.

Hasso Plattner greeted attendees on day two with good news. “We have more than 50,000 customers with SAP HANA licenses,” he said. When SAP HANA was introduced in 2010, the development of data in the world was only 2,000 exabytes. “Now,” he said, “we have 40,000, and by 2025, I predict much more than 175,000. SAP HANA is the foundation of the intelligent enterprise.”

Before bringing Gerrit Kazmaier, SVP, SAP analytics and databases, and data management on stage with him to announce the new developments with SAP HANA, Hasso urged, “SAP HANA is too good to keep locked up in just SAP enterprise applications. The speed of innovation has to increase, and the only way forward is in the cloud.”

Looking Forward, Intelligently

Kazmaier announced the new SAP HANA Cloud Services as the single source of truth for all data, of any size and shape, available to people, algorithms, and data-driven applications with online assets. “The SAP HANA Cloud Services are about bringing the brilliance of HANA to any data,” Kazmaier said. With this move, SAP is refocusing by bringing the SAP HANA database to the cloud for all data management.

The new intelligent solutions of products, services, and initiatives includes SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, which unites heterogeneous data in one solution. It also includes a new partnership between SAP and OpenText to extend SAP Cloud Platform with unstructured content for the intelligent enterprise. Immediate plans are to provide for enterprise-scale document management as a service on SAP Cloud Platform with future integration into SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other intelligent enterprise applications to follow.

Why the shift to cloud? “SAP HANA Cloud Services are on the cloud because we move much faster in the cloud than anywhere else. So, future development of SAP is taking place in the cloud first, and then what we learn, we will bring back to on-prem,” Hasso said.   

More Than Just Keynotes

SAPPHIRE NOW is known to deliver exciting news on new product developments and road maps for existing solutions. But the ASUG Annual Conference is where attendees can really take a deep dive on lessons learned, best practices, and strategic planning for current and future projects. Where SAPPHIRE NOW presents the glitz and glamour of what can be, ASUG offers the practical solutions to make it possible.

Over the last two days, more than 8,500 attendees have participated in an ASUG education session, either in the Education Zone on the second and third and floors of the South Concourse or at the ASUG Hub on the show floor.

Adam Page, ASUG’s market research analyst, led a session to “Develop Your Cloud Strategy with Insights from ASUG Research.” Attendees were engaged and asked great questions ranging from the impact on various levels of service (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) to the viability of SAP’s infrastructure as a means to increase connectivity and reduce integration challenges for the applications sitting on top of it. “It’s clear the data is helping people better plan for the next step in their journey and planning how to communicate with their own executive teams for support,” Page said.

Drawing in the Crowds

The most popular ASUG session so far has been an “Overview of SAP Leonardo,” led by David Judge, VP intelligent enterprise solutions, SAP. In this session, attendees got a high-level introduction to SAP Leonardo technologies, including machine learning, blockchain, data intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Things, and analytics.

“We heard from the attendees last year that road maps are nice, but for newer technologies they first need a solid introduction for proper context to frame the conversation,” said Danny Pancratz, director, product development, ASUG. So, we specifically recruited overview sessions for SAP Leonardo technologies and SAP Data Hub to help customers understand the product strategy and use cases before diving into the details of a road map or hearing how other customers have adopted the solutions.”

Both sessions (SAP Data Hub and SAP Leonardo) were well received and among our most popular sessions this week. Other popular sessions included two from SAP customers—integrating IBP and implementing S/4HANA Central Finance—and one roundtable on a “Day in the Life of an Enterprise Architect.”

Get It On Your Schedule

If you haven’t attended any ASUG sessions yet, don’t miss out on some of the more popular ones on Thursday, May 9, including “Converting What You Have Today to SAP S/4HANA,” “A Customer's Journey Implementing SAP S/4HANA on AWS,” or “Data Quality and Master Data Strategy for the Journey to SAP S/4HANA.”

There are more than 150 sessions available on day three. You may learn something you didn’t even know, you didn’t know. ASUG Member Tim attended the “Applying Machine Learning and Analytics to Build an SAP S/4HANA Business Case,” and said he was surprised to learn that some of the machine learning and analytics capabilities can be applied to their current SAP ECC system.

“You don’t need to be on SAP S/4HANA to go ahead and start looking at the analytics solutions that SAP has. Another key point that I wrote down is that we really need to start looking at it now. With a company of our size, we’re going to go on a long journey and we need to begin the process now and see if we can incorporate that into our environment today in preparation for when we finally do move to SAP S/4HANA.”

Quote of the Day: “If you want SAP to do better, you have to talk to that McDermott person.” -Hasso Plattner

Did you miss this year' SAPPHRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference? You can catch up on the experience and connections from day one, or hear from our day three presenters about how the future of technology is human.