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SAPPHIRE NOW Already Has People Talking

by Dave Hannon

May 16, 2011

By Dave Hannon

@Daveatwispubs

SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference kicked off this morning with a keynote, a panel discussion, and a major product release that had people talking.

Irish actor Gabriel Byrne kicked off the keynote with a surprisingly powerful presentation on how technology will be leveraged in years to come. I say “surprisingly” because I wouldn’t expect Gabriel Byrne to speak so well on some pretty heady topics like in-memory computing. He provided a bit more what you’d expect from an actor – dramatic inspiration – toward the end when he said: “Turn your what-ifs into why nots” and closing with “here’s to all our futures and all the possible futures we are going to create together.” (Interesting SAP selected an Irishman to speak, given the historic visit taking place in Dublin this week as well.)

The panel discussion that followed the keynote on “Business in the Future” was very thought-provoking, with a great discussion about what technology areas will thrive in the coming years and the value of education in the new economy, and the impact of H1B visas on the U.S. economy. Trust me, it was far more intriguing than I have described it here and well worth watching for the passion of the speakers. (The keynote, coincidentally, took place at 9 a.m., just as the space shuttle Endeavor was taking off a bit down the road in Florida for its final mission.)

Read more about the “epic” keynote here in Laura Casasanto’s blog (almost) live from Orlando (Tweeting from @ProjectExpert)

Perhaps the biggest product-related news of the day was the release of SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise Performance Management 10.0, which offers new shared user interfaces which produce a seamless experience across many applications. The new version also allows for delivery to mobile devices and platforms to provide visibility into how organizations are performing, analyze different scenarios, update plans and collaborate with colleagues.

SAP also announced an expansion of its relationship with PC maker Dell, including a deal under which SAP applications will be available for deployment via Dell's cloud platform, the VIS Next Generation Datacenter Platform. According to a press release, the University of Kentucky is testing a proof-of-concept. "The initial tests have shown some impressive results,” said Vince Kellen, CIO at University of Kentucky. “Over the short and long term we expect to take advantage of the scale, openness and flexibility that Dell's cloud solutions will provide."

The two companies also announced Dell's PowerEdge R910 platform has been certified for SAP HANA, allowing users to conduct analytics, p erformance management and operations in a single system. “Through this, an organization can quickly identify and analyze trends and patterns to improve planning, forecasting and price optimization,” the company said in a statement.

And SAPinsider had a busy day showing off its new iPad/iPhone app at the Wellesley Information Services booth. If you don't have it yet, click the link above and download it today for free!

Be sure to check back here on the Insider Learning Network for updates.

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