Choices, Choices: Building Your Sustainability Agenda at SAPPHIRE NOW

For many SAP employees, the month or so before the annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference in May means endless planning meetings, lots of pre-work, strategizing, and long days (and nights). In fact, it’s easy to get SAPPHIRED-out before you even start (note to my boss: not that I have anything but unbridled SAPPHIRE NOW enthusiasm, but I hear some have this problem…).

But, little by little, excitement about the event begins to take over from the tedium of planning. You eagerly await the announcement of the concert performer — Sting! Nice! you hear a voice in your head saying. And then the online agenda builder opens up and you can begin to see what sessions will be happening and it all becomes a lot more interesting.

Today I finally found a few spare minutes to sit down and review the SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG offerings around the topic of sustainability, which happens to be my area of professional (and personal) focus. A quick search on keyword “sustainability” in the agenda builder turned up several pages of session listings this year. That’s pretty amazing!

A few years ago many in IT had no interest in sustainability as a business topic. But sustainability has obviously come of age and customers want to know how to integrate it into their businesses to increase efficiencies in order to both “do good” and save big bucks (check out SAP’s recent announcement that its sustainability efforts saved the company EUR 170 million between 2008 and now as a great example).

So which sustainability sessions am I most looking forward to? Personally, I get energized by the sessions that include customers and that talk about real-world impact. As an SAP employee working in sustainability, it’s encouraging to know that what I’m doing is actually making the world run better (see how I cleverly worked the “Run Better” campaign in there? That gives me extra brownie points with the marketing folks). SAPPHIRE NOW lets me connect with real customers that have made significant improvements to their “triple bottom line” through SAP solutions. And that’s pretty cool.

But you probably want concrete recommendations. Ok, sure. I can do that. I’ll post a follow-up blog in a day or two with some can’t miss sustainability sessions. But don’t wait for me: head over to the SAPPHIRE NOW online agenda builder and check it out for yourself!