From November 8th to November 10th several members of the IBIS staff traveled to Barcelona for the SAP TechEd 2016. What was important to us in making this trip was not the mild weather but the latest trends and topics which are currently making waves in the SAP world.
Was it worth it? Well, we’ll get to that soon.
After a pleasant journey in the Lufthansa flight which even welcomed the SAP staff on board, we landed in Barcelona’s agreeable climate. The organization was great and in this Spanish metropolis it soon became evident that you could easily get by without any real language skills in Spanish.
Tuesday started off right away with the keynote speech given by Bernd Leukert. This clearly revolved around the opportunities offered by Big Data, Cloud Computing and Predictive Analytics. Whether the scenario which was presented of ESA weather data and its benefits for insurers was the best illustrative example is a matter for debate. The connection of a coffee machine to the SAP system to demonstrate the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT) wasn’t exciting either. At least for a major plant operator or SCM user. But nevertheless, the principles were clearly shown and that’s what it was all about.
Trends as seen by IBIS
Anyone who has never attended a SAP TechEd would be surprised how widely spread the lectures and sessions are during these three days. Honestly, without the helpful smartphone app anyone attending SAP TechEd 2016 would probably have been hopelessly lost. So at this point we will give a brief summary of the most important trends as we see them. This may well not correspond with everyone’s viewpoint but this list certainly also represents our thinking and perception, so we believe our summary provides a good insight into the event.
> Modern Analytics and Release of SAP HANA 2 and SAP HANA Express
The topic of modern and real time-related analysis came to the fore in the keynote speech. Thanks to the ability to analyze gigantic amounts of data without prejudging the result, analysis scenarios are now conceivable which previously appeared to be impossible. This is definitely good news for companies working in the Big Data environment. Its further evolution will be all the more exciting. The reason is that no-one has yet fully imagined the new opportunities for tomorrow’s business. The announcement of SAP HANA Express is certainly not brand new (at least for those that attended TechEd in Las Vegas). The SAP HANA 2 announcement came with what we hope is a hard and fast date – November 30th, 2016. However, we are all allowed to be excited about what new features this release will actually contain.
The subject of S/4HANA was not specifically on the table but from our point of view it was sending out pretty clear signals. S/4HANA is the “go forward solution” for the future and SAP is dedicating major development resources to S/4HANA. In S/4HANA we will also encounter a version of the well-known adaption and enhancement concept from SAP Business ByDesign again. In addition, the HANA cloud platform will also take on a decisive role, particularly in the networking and integration of systems.
> Internet of Things Offerings
You can certainly think what you want about the IoT. But for a further buzzword base the IoT is already too real just to disappear. SAP products from the IoT arena offer innumerable possibilities ranging from predictive analysis to workshop connection. Not all of them may be new, but when combined with the processing speeds of a SAP HANA they certainly produce a lot of added value. But it seems to us that there is a long way to go before these potentials can be fully exploited. Some solid indications of the usability of the portfolio offered here are to be found in the RBE Plus Analysis for eSCM which will be part of the IBIS standard deliveries like the cross checks.
> SAP Solution Manager 7.2
It‘s far from being a secret that the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is already here. But users are still rather hesitant about the transition to “something new”. This was confirmed in quite a number of conversations in Barcelona. The functionalities which we were able to test in TechEd’s Hand-On-sessions make this topic more than exciting. All the more because several new potentials open up with the ability to construct even sophisticated solution documentations based on the executable libraries. Of course only in conjunction with the right knowledge surrounding the usage and versions of an SAP system. In conjunction with the information from the keynote speech that CIO budgets will significantly increase with the potentials arising from the new technological opportunities is indeed interesting.
> SAP Netweaver 7.50/51 and new ABAP coding
New possibilities of ABAP coding make an appearance in the SAP world with SAP Netweaver 7.50/51. In the relevant lectures/sessions, the new possibilities offered by Core Data Services (CDS) were demonstrated both from the viewpoint of ABAP as well as HANA. This will support the new coding paradigm of the “Code Push-down” at least for ABAP in order to move data base-intensive calculations and business logic into the data base layer.
> User Interface and Ergonomics
The large number of lectures and sessions on the subject of the user interface (Fiori 2.0) clearly demonstrated that the SAP world is currently also focusing on ergonomics and user experience. Certainly important topics – not only from the end user’s perspective.
So much for our brief summary of trends and topics at SAP TechEd 2016 in Barcelona. We would like to thank all the visitors at our booth, the many people we had discussions with and the speakers and organizers as well. We will certainly meet again in the coming year…