SAPPHIRE NOW: Two Continents, One Event

Modern technology makes the two-continent trade show possible. (Photo: Christiane Stagge)

Business software for smartphones, in-memory databases, and cloud computing are the main topics at SAPPHIRE NOW 2010. Customers, partners, and other IT experts are currently coming together on two continents to get the latest on new SAP technologies, software, and updates. As a special highlight, all keynotes will feature simultaneous live transmission. Whether in Orlando or Frankfurt, none of those in attendance at today’s opening events had to miss anything due to the difference in time zones. This is made possible by a highly technical broadcast system that also enables attendees to experience every presenter on giant screens in high definition.

Snabe: Create synergies

Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe – checking in from Orlando and Frankfurt, respectively – held a joint press conference to kick off SAPPHIRE NOW.

The two CEOs offered a brief preview of SAP’s customer and product strategy – Tuesday’s scheduled topic – and also allotted time for some critical questions on subjects such as SAP Business ByDesign. For SAP, the future lies in mobile software: Fewer and fewer companies are outfitting their workstations with large desktop computers, opting instead for laptops and smartphones their employees can use while on the move. Particularly in sales and elsewhere out in the field, mobile devices are indispensable. SAP is thus looking to adjust even more to customer needs by focusing on mobile applications. The company’s purchase of Sybase, the world’s leading provider of mobile software solutions, reflects its aim to develop more software for iPhone, BlackBerry, and other popular devices. Looking back on the acquisition of Business Objects three years ago and how it complemented SAP’s product portfolio in business intelligence, Snabe described the Sybase purchase as another building block in the company’s overall strategy of creating synergies.

Read On: SAP Business ByDesign comming July 2010

Two continents, one voice: Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott (photo: Christiane Stagge)
Event attendees use breaks to talk business. (Photo: Christiane Stagge)
Event attendees use breaks to talk business. (Photo: Christiane Stagge)

Set for release in July 2010: SAP Business ByDesign

In-memory databases are known as a requirement for faster storage of large quantities of data, and are thus essential for on-demand software like SAP Business ByDesign. This solution, along with Feature Pack 2.5, is officially set for definite release into the European market in July 2010. Around 100 customers are already using SAP Business ByDesign; however, Jim Hagemann Snabe declined to indicate exactly how many new customers SAP anticipates for the solution starting this summer.

Both Snabe and his co-CEO, Bill McDermott, emphasized their company’s continued commitment to SAP NetWeaver. This technology platform enables partners to integrate the industry-specific applications they develop.

Automotive industry key in Germany

Michael Kleinemeier – SAP’s director of the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) – also spoke to the attendees in Frankfurt. He described the automotive industry and associated partners such as Salzgitter AG, Daimler, and DB Schenker as SAP’s most critical sales market in Germany, even in light of the economic downturn.

Straight from the billionaire’s mouth: Sir Richard Branson gives pointers on good corporate culture. (Photo: Christiane Stagge)
Straight from the billionaire’s mouth: Sir Richard Branson gives pointers on good corporate culture. (Photo: Christiane Stagge)

A very special guest speaker awaited the attendees at the close of the event’s first day: Sir Richard Branson. The founder of the Virgin Group explained why passion is absolutely key to success and, taking his own résumé as an example, why holding fast to goals in the face of adversity is worthwhile. Based on his own wealth of experience, Branson also offered some pointers on how companies can create a good working atmosphere. In his view, organizations that commit to protecting the environment and supporting other social causes instill a sense of pride in their employees and encourage them to identify with their employer.