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Fall Conference Recap

by William Newman

November 18, 2010

William Newman EPMThe Insider fall conference season is behind us now and the results are in.  Unofficially the conferences saw on average a 10-12% uptick in attendance from 2009 programs - signifying an increase in spend as well as interest.  Of particular note in my conversation with Rizal Ahmed, Sr. Vice President at Wellsey Information Services (the company behind the curtain at SAP Insider), was the increase in spend assigned to in-flight projects.  "SAP customers are seeking education in areas where they can put their training budget against current projects."  Which is good to know given that there are many in-flight programs that are being rekindled thought for dead (or at least in coma status) from 2009 and early 2010.

The two shows which I attended and spoke – Projects / Reporting 2010 (Orlando) and GRC / Financials / Reporting 2010 (Barcelona) – had a different “vibe” and different approach as one might imagine.  The differences I saw in Barcelona from the Orlando events included:

  • Different kind of attendance than at Orlando.  More relaxed and focused on blend of vacation and networking.
  • Networking volume was down, but the depth and personal level of networking was very high.  I have several conversations to follow-up on next week.
  • In terms of sessions, while numbers were low the people in the sessions were very engaged.  ; More open discussions than lecture presentation (always good)

Clearly there was more interest in new emerging solutions in the Reporting and Financials areas, and a focus more on current projects in the Projects conference, which is what one might imagine.  I believe next year Projects attendees will have a renewed interest in how to position new initiatives (such as creating business cases, using value engineering techniques, etc.) as new project budgets are slowly released.

William Newman EPM2The solution labs for both Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) were very well-attended.  I am hopeful that the SAP Sustainability Executive Advisory Council (SEAS) will have a stronger presence in the GRC 2011 conference slated for Las Vegas next March based on the emergence of new process scenarios and the solutions supporting these scenarios.

All the best to everyone involved for a peaceful and happy holiday season!

PS: Sarah, you don't need to send me another t-shirt.  This was fun, hopefully others will also post their experiences.

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