SAP Inside Track NYC 2017: Event Overview

Thank you to everyone who registered for and attended SAP Inside Track 2017. The SAP Next-Gen spaces at 10 Hudson Yards was a great location and we had a really nice sized turnout. Not too big, not too small. We were able to use the space appropriately, even with some last minute restrictions because of an event with the Governor of New York taking place after SITNYC. We also had a chance to take in SAP’s ‘Immersive Video’ experience first hand. Usually reserved for SAP customers and visiting executives, SITNYC attendees were able to view the 4k 3-D experience specially designed for New York City.

We had a fantastic lineup of speakers covering topics all over the SAP ecosystem, as well as attendees that matched that broad coverage. It was really great to see folks from different backgrounds chatting about all different kinds of technology. With the perfect audience size, we were able to have some great pizza delivered from Joe’s, too!

A hearty thanks to the following folks for their assistance in making SITNYC 2017 a success:

  • John Astill for being the best co-coordinator around.
  • Ann Rosenberg for allowing us to use the SAP Leonardo Center
  • Sandra Moerch-Petersen for on-site logistics assistance
  • George Yu for arranging a trip for attendees to SAP’s ‘Immersive Video’ experience in the Executive Briefing Center
  • Jason Cao and the SAP Mentor program team for lunch and SCN support
  • All of the speakers
  • The community for rallying back to support Inside Track in the ‘Greatest City in the World’

Both John and myself look forward to planning SITNYC 2018 and are already thinking about kickstarting SAP Inside Track Newtown Square for Q1 2018. Stay tuned to our Twitter pages (@golasalle and @JohnA69) for announcements!

As for SITNYC 2017- here’s some shots of the space and presenters. Like them? Then make sure to register and come next year!!  Want to look at the session materials you missed, check them out on Github.

The ‘Makers Space’ setup for SITNYC!
Henrique Pinto holding court on SAP Data Hub
Christoph Rein educating attendees on Neural networks
Greg Misiorek closed the morning out with a discussion on Open Source Bitcoin vs Hyperledger Blockchains
Dhaval Desai talks about SAP Leonardo and the Digital Supply Chain
Caetano Almeida speaking about running MRP Live in S/4HANA
Asim Mian closes the day presenting about SAP running their business via Cloud and Mobile

SAP Inside Track NYC 2017: Before You Go

Thanks for registering for SAP Inside Track NYC! We look forward to seeing you on Monday at the SAP Leonardo Innovation Center. Here are some last-minute reminders before you go:

  • Kick-off will begin at 9am. Grab your coffee and buttered roll and join us as we review the day’s agenda and go over some ‘housekeeping’.
  • Your bag will be screened and put through an X-Ray machine by Hudson Yards building security.
  • Depending on crowd size, lunch may be provided or we will break in time for folks to grab and return for the afternoon sessions.
  • The SAP Leonardo Innovation Center is on the 48th Floor. We will be in the ‘Maker’ Space.
  • We’ve updated the agenda with a new session and added a tour of the Innovation Center during the lunch break. Check out the current agenda here.
  • You will get an automated reminder email from Eventbrite with your ticket info.

Address:
10 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001

We look forward to an exciting Inside Track event at a great space. See you on Monday!

Derek Loranca
John Astill

Agenda

SAP Inside Track 2017: Last Call

Last call for SAP Inside Track NYC registrations is happening now. Tickets are almost sold out and we’re expecting a great crowd for the return of SAP Inside Track to New York City! We’ve also added a session on Neural Networks to the agenda and made lunch ‘interactive’ by moving the SAP Leonardo Center tour and demo to happen during lunch.

Check out the new agenda below and click on the SCN Wiki for more details or head to Eventbrite to snag one of the last available tickets!

SAP Inside Track NYC 2017 Agenda Now Available

I’m pleased to announce a great lineup of sessions for SITNYC 2017! Ranging from Blockchain to MLS, HANA Big Data to SAP Leonardo; SITNYC has a great lineup of sessions on tap. We’ve got SAP Mentors, independent thinkers and SAP speakers ready to share their expertise with the SAP Community. All you need to do is register.
(Please note: registration will close Friday 11/3 at noon, in order to allow for building access to be processed.)

There are some really good sessions on tap. If you’ve been thinking about a day trip to the city, this would be the perfect opportunity. On top of some cool presentations, you’ll get the chance to spend the day in one of the coolest new development spaces in NYC: the SAP Leonardo Center. SAP’s Next-Gen Lab area, it is a really neat maker space and a great place to have an event like SAP Inside Track! I was able to get a sneak peek at the location while attending a SAP Analytics meeting at the adjacent Executive Briefing Center:

Innovators Wanted!

As you can see, it’s going to be a great day of community delivered learning and networking. Last ditch friendly reminder: Registration is still open, but will close Friday 11/3 at noon, in order to allow for building access to be processed. Questions? Easiest way is to ask myself or John Astill via Twitter. See you at Hudson Yards!

On the way to…Microsoft Ignite 2017

This episode of ‘On the way to…’ is once again brought to you by my house. I tried to get a picture of Charlie on my easy chair, but that didn’t work out. I ended up finishing this blog on my back deck, so you’ll have to settle for a picture from there instead.

Yes, you read that right. Microsoft Ignite/Microsoft Envision. For the first time in 8 years, I won’t be at SAP TechEd. I am totally bummed out that I won’t be with my fellow SAP Mentors for our 10th Anniversary celebration, as well as the ASUG Volunteers and other nerds; but sometimes corporate funding priorities and additional job responsibilities make for changes in the direction of the winds.

After the impact of Hurricane Irma, I was unsure if the I-Drive corridor would be back in business for 20,000 attendees. But emails from Microsoft say that OCCC is ready and they’re going on with the show. They are doing a non-perishable item collection, so I’m hoping that there’s a lot of donations made.

For the first time in a while, I am going into a major technical conference as a ‘new’ attendee. I’ve done as much due diligence as I can: watched Microsoft’s videos, read the MS Tech Community and combed through a bit of Twitter. Here’s some of the tidbits I’ve gathered:

  • We’re at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. This makes me happy as a long-time ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire attendee. I’ve got a full understanding of the lay of the land and am surprised to see that Microsoft is only using the South Hall and not both.  But they are using the West Hall, which ASUG Annual Conference doesn’t use.  With my Envision pass, I will also have access to  sessions at the Hilton.  Microsoft is also using the Hyatt Regency for session rooms and auditorium space.  (Sidebar: I remember when it was The Peabody.  I wonder where the ducks went?)  All of that means one thing: comfortable shoes are a requirement. Sneakers are likely my standard shoe by Wednesday afternoon!
  • 20,000 people are expected.  Another good parallel to ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire.  At least I’m used to handling big conference crowds.
  • The swag is on point and I should get to the expo floor early to grab some.
  • There are plenty of BI & Analytics sessions, but they are definitely spread out amongst the campus.  I’ve been spending a lot of my time trying to come up with a good travel plan.

We’re at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. This makes me happy as a long-time ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire attendee. I’ve got a full understanding of the lay of the land and am surprised to see that Microsoft is only using the South Hall and not both. But they are using the West Hall, which ASUG Annual Conference doesn’t use. With my Envision pass, I will also have access to sessions at the Hilton. Microsoft is also using the Hyatt Regency for session rooms and auditorium space. (Sidebar: I remember when it was The Peabody. I wonder where the ducks went?) All of that means one thing: comfortable shoes are a requirement. Sneakers are likely my standard shoe by Wednesday afternoon!
20,000 people are expected. Another good parallel to ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire. At least I’m used to handling big conference crowds.
The swag is on point and I should get to the expo floor early to grab some.
There are plenty of BI & Analytics sessions, but they are definitely spread out amongst the campus. I’ve been spending a lot of my time trying to come up with a good travel plan.

Now, there are some questions that I don’t think I’ll be able to answer until my boots are on the ground:

  • What is the ‘actual’ dress code?  I am thinking by the speakers and topics on the Envision schedule, that their dress code will be more business casual and there won’t be much deviation. I’ll get the feel for that on Monday,  but will ‘dress up’ a bit more than usual on Monday.  The Ignite side seems a bit more casual, so I’ll just have to wait and see!
  • How does everyone interact?  Is it more like ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire or SAP TechED?  More techies that business users?  Equal mix?  More suits than sneakers?  I’m pretty good at figuring out these vibes and am looking forward to the challenge.
  • Sessions?  How are they run? How do the speakers interact with the attendees?  To be honest, I’m really interested to see the Microsoft format to compare to SAP.
  • Overall vibe. You can tell the difference between SAP TechEd and ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire.  There’s something innate in the air surrounding each event and if you’ve been to both, you know what I’m talking about.  I’m really interested in seeing what kind of vibe my ‘spider senses’ can hone in on.

What will be a new feeling is going to a major technical event without knowing a single person. My Microsoft BI contact? Nope. A good friend who is a Microsoft Account Executive? Can’t make it. The only person I have a meeting with is my corporate Account Executive. Which will be nice, since I’ve never met him before. But other than that, I have zero plans and no drinking buddies. Staci says that I’m always making friends, so I’ve got that going for me! But honestly, I may just lay low, take in the landscape and go where the winds take me. Or a car. I will have a rental, so I may just visit Disney Springs for some early Christmas shopping one night or drop in on my family.

I’ll be keeping an eye on all the SAP Mentors 10th Anniversary excitement, as well as trying to check out whatever ‘Big Data’ announcement SAP will be making from TechEd. If you see or hear anything from Las Vegas that you’d like to share, tweet me. I’m looking forward to posting a new kind of trip report in a few weeks, too. If you’re going to Orlando or Las Vegas, safe travels. See you in Orlando next week (and hopefully next June for ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire 2018)!

(This blog also posted on SCN and will do the same for the post-conference blog.)

BI + Analytics Conference 2017: Picks from my agenda

Thanks for listening to the July 13th webcast ‘Meet Customer Speakers for BI + A Conference’ with myself and Jennifer Cofer! To get the session picks started, I’m going to start with some blatant self promotion with Jennifer and my sessions.

I will be adding picks from the webcast to this post several times before the conference starts and will announce the updates on Twitter. Feel free to subscribe to be automatically updated, too. See you at BI + Analytics 2017 in Nashville!

Day 1: Monday, August 7

  • 2:45pm: Pushing Web Intelligence to the Limit: Real World Implementation (Jeff Young, University of Utah Healthcare)
  • 3:40pm: Creating a COE the Efficient and Effective Way (Me)

Day 2: Tuesday, August 8

AM

  • 11:20am: Usable Tips for Making Your Web Intelligence Reports Sing (Bret Holmes, University of Washington)
  • 12:15pm: Beautiful & Usable Analytics for Better User Experiences (Eric Vallo, EV Technologies)

OR

  • 11:20am: SAP Predictive Analytics for the Analytics Power User (Debraj Roy, SAP; Dallas Marks & Greg Myers, EV Technologies) [2 Session Hands-on]

PM:

  • 2:10pm: Providing IoT Analytics with SAP BusinessObjects (Charles Reeves, Graphic Packaging International)
  • 3:30pm: DIY-BI: Data Analytics & Dashboarding with SAP Lumira at Mead Johnson Nutrition (Jai Prakash, Mead Johnson Nutrition)

Day 3: Wednesday, August 9

AM:

  • 10:45am: What’s Happening at the City of Mesa? Creating Interactive Dashboards in Web Intelligence (Jared Hansen & Melissa Jones, City of Mesa, AZ)
  • 11:40am: How to Become a Visualization Guru: Tips & Tricks on SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Charts (Jennifer Cofer, Providence Health & Pascal Gualin, SAP)
  • BONUS 11:40am SESSION: Increasing Adoption & Engagement with Lumira & Design Studio SDK (Mike Howles, International Paper)

PM

  • 1:30pm: Driving User Adoption of Self-Serve BI+Analytics (Jim Cull, Zurich Insurance)
  • 2:25pm: Healthcare BI Management & Related EHR Upgrades: How Beaumont Health Prevails through the Highs and Lows (Jeffrey Morrison, Beaumont Health)

MacBook Pro 13 w/Touch Bar: First Impressions

Noticeable things coming from using a MacBook Air 11:

  • Keep hitting the ESC key, as that’s where my pinky would normally sit.
  • I need to get used to the MUCH larger trackpad.  Definitely had to change typing position of my wrists.
  • Add getting used to Force Touch to the list.  Still trying to get used to moving things around without engaging Force Touch.
  • Add getting used to Force Touch to the list.  Still trying to get used to moving things around without engaging Force Touch.
  • Bigger screen makes a LOT of difference with seeing things a lot more clearly!
  • It’s taking me a bit more time to deal with the ‘butterfly’ keyboard than the standard MBA/silver MBP keyboard.
    • Definitely something that needs time to get used to, especially the reach between the palm rest and keys and the key travel times.
      • One month later: still getting used to it.  I don’t think it’s as easy for touch typists, in my opinion.  But I am getting used to it.  Hopefully I’ll be ready by ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire 2017.  I am definitely going to need to be on my ‘A’ game, typing-wise.

New things with the MacBook Pro that are leaving an impression:

  • All USB-C  ports requires dongles… and it’s just as annoying as you would think.
    • One month in and I have had to buy:
      • USB-C Cable ($10)
      • USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapters (3) ($30)
      • USB-C to Micro USB Adapter (2) ($7)
      • USB-C to HDMI Adapter ($15)
      • USB-C to VGA Adapter ($15)
    • Luckily I already had a USB-C  hub, so that’s money staying in my pocket. But I need to have it to use my CAT-5 network adapter or pay $20 for a USB-C version.
  • The 8 GB RAM/256 GB SSD is very snappy coming from 4 GB/128 GB SSD in the MBA 11.
  • Retina screen is definitely a nice upgrade from the MBA 11!
    • Still need to figure out the resolution vs text size settings to find the most comfortable viewing size.
    • I keep swapping back from full-size to zoomed-in since I’m trying trying to balance resolution and app sizes with comfortable text sizing.  Although to be fair, this only really seems to be an issue when I’m tired.  Maybe I’m just getting old!!

Touch Bar Impressions:

  • Where there is app support, it’s a ‘nice to have’.  Microsoft Office has really jumped out in front, especially Outlook.  OneNote is a bit lacking in Touch Bar support, though.
  • Still playing with the default setup.  I like the application specific icons (when available), but wish I could have a few more options in the ‘default’ expandable bar.
  • I really wish that instead of the Touch Bar, Apple would’ve gone with a Touch Screen.  I’ve used the one on the Dell XPS 13 and really appreciated the touch screen for my workflow, as opposed to the Touch Bar.

Portability Notes:

  • I really got used to the super-light MBA 11, but the MBP is only slightly taller and thicker than the MBA 11 when closed.  At the end of the day, I don’t mind the slightly heftier MBP 13 (3.48 lbs vs 2.38 lbs on the MNBA 11) to gain the screen real estate.
  • ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire is on the docket for May and will look to see how it compares to the MBA 11 in a real-world, ‘carry it around all day’ scenario.

Price thoughts:

  • I am still trying to decide on the cost-benefit ratio, to be honest. If I wasn’t already big into the Apple ecosystem, I was strongly considering the Dell XPS 13.  Comparing  Apple Refurb to Dell Outlet prices, the XPS 13 was a much better deal.
  • If you’re locked into a particular ecosystem, that’s one thing.  But if you’re a free agent and self-sufficient in not downloading random stuff or clicking squishy links in your email; Windows 10 and the Dell XPS 13 may have a better cost/benefit ratio for web-surfing and office documents.  You’ll need to weigh your personal preferences in applications and workflow versus cost and specifications.

Final conclusion to be submitted after May’s conference travels.