Nathan Sharp, Blogject Manager
SAPPHIRE 2010, or SAPPHIRE NOW as it is has been re-titled, kicked-off in Orlando on Monday, May 17th.
SAPPHIRE is the North American annual conference from SAP, which co-exists with the conference of the independent user group, ASUG. It’s a mix of keynote speeches, seminars from customer, sales presentations and a vast expanse of booths from SAP and other vendors. And there are 10,000+ people walking around, usually talking excitedly into their cell-phones.
The conference opened this morning with an unnecessarily-elaborate satellite link-up with a parallel event in Frankfurt involving 3 presenters, including an ex-CNN anchor.
The theme of the morning was sustainability, although quite how SAP helps achieve this was not very obvious.
Beamed in from Germany was a live interview with Sir Richard Branson. There was a lot of free advertising for the Virgin companies, but not a lot of meat for the conference attendees. Certainly it would have nice to know if Virgin even used SAP.
Next up was a polished speech on the environment from Al Gore, who at least seemed to know something about his audience.
Towards the end of the day, the keynote speeches included a tedious and long-winded promotion of ASUG.
Fortunately, things ended on a very high note for Day 1. Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell gave a truly inspiring and engaging speech focusing on
leadership sprinkled with a surprising amount of humor.