We had the opportunity to attend SAPtd (aka TechEd / dCode) conference in Las Vegas this week. The event had similar attendance to least year, a vastly expanded (and improved) conference space, compared to a year before - though no SapphireNow style level (which is the best conference floor I have seen in the last 12 months).


So take a peek:



No chance to watch - read below (keep in mind this is not from an overall SAP announcement perspective, but for the audience, SAP developers). 
  • Fiori BUILD - SAP customers have been challenged by suboptimal user interfaces for the longest time. Fiori addresses this, as it turns out the price tag was not really the issue for customers, even now that Fiori is free, way too many SAP users are still working with not so great user interfaces. To make the work of designers more easy, the new Fiori BUILD tool makes it easier for a designer to even take screen layouts out to users and collect feedback on the mochup's usability. We will not see the majority of SAPtd attendees become UI designers, but they may as well use a tool to create applications with a better user interfaces.
  • HCP and VORA - We saw live usage of tax and translation services in HCP, and the usage of VORA, unfortunately not with any code (relevant for the audience).
  • Cloud for Analytics - SAP brings together all BI, GRC and newer assets into one product family. Core pillars are for now the Cloud for Planning product and the Digital Boardroom (built with the latter). More to come. 

    Analyst Tidbits

    • S4/HANA - The biggest news overall for me came in a briefing  meeting where SAP clarified the 'digital core' - more importantly how much substantial functionality will be available in November with 1511 release of S/4HANA release (first on premises, then in the cloud a few weeks later). It is substantial beyond the early S4/HANA scope of Finance. If it all materializes, SAP is showing greater speed in creating S4/HANA than I would have anticipated, so certainly the biggest surprise of the conference, good new for SAP customers. 
    • Co-Innovation - SAP is innovating internally and contributing back to the product, I had the chance to meet with CIO Helen Arnold, building a employee-sourced enabled ticketing system on top of HP is not every CIO's slice of bread, so good to see how HCP enables innovation. 
    • SAP Digital - Makes progress, but probably needs to be even more aggressive. A year ago SAP pointed to a marketplace for developers, that has not been yet implemented, not sure whose charter that is - but it vital for developer success.


    A good SAPtd for SAP, where more of the technical details were in the single sessions than the keynotes. The key product for SAPtd is HCP, and it would have been good to see and and learn more of HCP. It was good to see that Leukert lead with the product, but the real direct value impact from new capabilities came from the new Fiori BUILD capabilities. The message for customers is pretty clear, use HCP, new innovations are coming with micro services, VORA, but it is still early. Cloud for Analyics is a fresh start, Cloud for Planning is a robust planning tool and the new Digital Boardroom is in a maturity state where it makes sense for aggressive enterprises to take an honest look at the product.  
    On the concern side SAP needs to cater more to the audience of the event. SAPtd is the key event to move the technical experts, and to show them how to excite their enterprise and how to make money in the next 12 months (are many attendees are freelancers or small entrepreneurs) is pivotal. So SAP should not make the mistake to show and announce product progress no matter what the next event is. To a certain point SAP is victim of its own success, as in the past it was Sapphire for the What? and then SAP TechEd for the How?. Now product release cycles are so fast that SAP is looking for the next event... but it will be key for SAP not to forget who the audience is at SAPtd. The Tuesday keynote was more like a Sapphire than a TechEd / dCode keynote. Anybody doubting, compare 2014 (see here) and 2015 Tuesday keynotes, 2014 was the standard to beat and SAP fell short here.
    Nonetheless attendees were forgiving and just went to the sessions (after all they are used to Sapphires) to learn more details, but the opportunity to move 5000+ developers as a group was missed. For me the major takeaway was how far S4/HANA seems to have come, more to check in the next weeks. 
    More on overall SAP strategy and products:


    • Event Preview - SAP TechEd 2015 - watch / read here
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Good Progress sprinkled with innovative ideas and challenging the status quo - read here
    • News Analysis - WorkForce Software Announces Global Reseller Agreement with SAP - read here
    • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Day #1 Keynote Top 3 Takeaways - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP SuccessFactors introduces Next Generation of HCM software - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP delivers next release of SAP HANA - SPS 10 - Ready for BigData and IoT - read here
    • Event Report - SAP Sapphire - Top 3 Positives and Concerns - read here
    • First Take - Bernd Leukert and Steve Singh Day #2 Keynote - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP and IBM join forces ... read here
    • First Take - SAP Sapphire Bill McDermott Day #1 Keynote - read here
    • In Depth - S/4HANA qualities as presented by Plattner - play for play - read here
    • First Take - SAP Cloud for Planning - the next spreadsheet killer is off to a good start - read here
    • Progress Report - SAP HCM makes progress and consolidates - a lot of moving parts - read here
    • First Take - SAP launches S/4HANA - The good, the challenge and the concern - read here


    • First Take - SAP's IoT strategy becomes clearer - read here
    • SAP appoints a CTO - some musings - read here
    • Event Report - SAP's SAPtd - (Finally) more talk on PaaS, good progress and aligning with IBM and Oracle - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP and IBM partner for cloud success - good news - read here
    • Market Move - SAP strikes again - this time it is Concur and the spend into spend management - read here
    • Event Report - SAP SuccessFactors picks up speed - but there remains work to be done - read here
    • First Take - SAP SuccessFactors SuccessConnect - Top 3 Takeaways Day 1 Keynote - read here.
    • Event Report - Sapphire - SAP finds its (unique) path to cloud - read here
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP becomes more about applications - again - read here
    • Market Move - SAP acquires Fieldglass - off to the contingent workforce - early move or reaction? Read here.
    • SAP's startup program keep rolling – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired KXEN? Getting serious about Analytics – read here.
    • SAP steamlines organization further – the Danes are leaving – read here.
    • Reading between the lines… SAP Q2 Earnings – cloudy with potential structural changes – read here.
    • SAP wants to be a technology company, really – read here
    • Why SAP acquired hybris software – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about the cloud – organizationally – read here.
    • Taking stock – what SAP answered and it didn’t answer this Sapphire [2013] – read here.
    • Act III & Final Day – A tale of two conference – Sapphire & SuiteWorld13 – read here.
    • The middle day – 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • A tale of 2 keynotes and press releases – Sapphire & SuiteWorld – read here.
    • What I would like SAP to address this Sapphire – read here.
    • Why 3rd party maintenance is key to SAP’s and Oracle’s success – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired Camillion – read here.
    • Why SAP acquired SmartOps – read here.
    • Next in your mall – SAP and Oracle? Read here.


    And more about SAP technology:
    • News Analysis - SAP Unveils New Cloud Platform Services and In-Memory Innovation on Hadoop to Accelerate Digital Transformation – A key milestone for SAP read here
    • HANA Cloud Platform - Revisited - Improvements ahead and turning into a real PaaS - read here
    • News Analysis - SAP commits to CloudFoundry and OpenSource - key steps - but what is the direction? - Read here.
    • News Analysis - SAP moves Ariba Spend Visibility to HANA - Interesting first step in a long journey - read here
    • Launch Report - When BW 7.4 meets HANA it is like 2 + 2 = 5 - but is 5 enough - read here
    • Event Report - BI 2014 and HANA 2014 takeaways - it is all about HANA and Lumira - but is that enough? Read here.
    • News Analysis – SAP slices and dices into more Cloud, and of course more HANA – read here.
    • SAP gets serious about open source and courts developers – about time – read here.
    • My top 3 takeaways from the SAP TechEd keynote – read here.
    • SAP discovers elasticity for HANA – kind of – read here.
    • Can HANA Cloud be elastic? Tough – read here.
    • SAP’s Cloud plans get more cloudy – read here.
    • HANA Enterprise Cloud helps SAP discover the cloud (benefits) – read here.

    Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here