SAP TechEd is the biggest networking and knowledge-sharing event in the SAP world. We ask Thomas Iseler, Datavard Inc. Managing Director, to tell us more about TechEd hot topics and share his insights from conversations at the booth.
Thomas, last week you went with your team to Las Vegas for SAP TechEd. Could you share your impressions from the event?
First of all, TechEd is a lot smaller than, let’s say, SAPPHIRE, so you don’t get quite as lost in the whole event – although there are still 6K people there. Yet niche vendors like Datavard have a better chance of getting noticed. It’s also more technology oriented, so when we talk about what we do with SAP and around SAP, people easily understand it. For example, when we mention that we have SLO tools, everyone knows what that is, and it’s easier for us to explain our solutions.
What kind of solutions were people most interested in?
Everyone is talking about S/4HANA – that’s certainly a topic that is top of mind, and one that most vendors present about at their booths. The most commonly asked question was “what do you do for S/4HANA?” People want to get as educated as possible, so at our Datavard booth we talked a lot about all the groundwork that we do before a migration project, such as a detailed systems analysis that shows what needs to be adjusted, or archiving and housekeeping data to reduce the database size, and consequently reduce the costs. And some of conversations were also about how we can assist with the migration itself with our Datavard HANA migration tools and consulting expertise and experience. People were especially interested in how we manage the transition in near zero downtime, so that was also a hot topic.
Would you say that those who attended the event already have a migration plan in place?
I think the majority of the people are getting ready to manage a migration project next year or the year after, so I’m expecting two big migration waves in 2019 and 2020. Some of the people have their licenses already, but they haven’t figured out yet how they are going to take their big ECC system and move it. At the booth we had plenty of good conversations about how to manage and support those migration projects.
So, I take the atmosphere at the booth was good?
I must say I’m lucky to have a great team! They are very positive colleagues. Everyone works together so well, and although we all live in different places the communication is just perfect and it was visible also at the booth, so I’d like to thank them for that.
And to get off the SAP TechEd show floor – Datavard, like in the previous years, sponsored a 5K Fun Run. How did that go?
The run is always good and fun – people love it. They all go out, some sprint, some walk, but everyone enjoys it. Although it started early in the morning, we had a full house – 700 people registered. In the previous years, we were known for our Datavard t-shirts that we would give to all participants, but this time we went with funky blue and yellow socks. And they were truly a hit! Those socks quickly turned into the most desired give-away at TechEd, everyone wanted them.
Will you go to SAP TechEd next year (with some more socks)?