October 17, 2012 // By: Paul Baur
SAP TechEd in Las Vegas is the first and largest of four events targeted at SAP’s ecosystem in 2012, others being held in the coming weeks in Madrid, Bangalore, and Shanghai. The event kicked off with a guest keynote by author Clay Shirky, who talked about the social and economic impact of the Internet.
Shirky drew an intriguing parallel between the introduction of the spreadsheet and SAP HANA, the company’s platform for real-time business, which plays a key role in this year’s event. Once accountants discovered that they could get spreadsheet results more than once per day by using PCs, the spreadsheet became a speculative tool for modeling potential futures. It allowed companies to move from accounting to monitoring to planning. “SAP is doing this with HANA,” said Shirky, “taking the idea of an increase in speed and doing simple process improvement, providing an organization with ways not just to keep better track as it goes along but also to think what various possible futures there are.”
“This scenario can be extended to all business innovation,” he emphasized.
“It’s an exciting time for SAP,” said Chip Rodgers, responsible for the TechEd programs globally as well as for operations of the SAP Community Network (SCN). According to Rodgers, TechEd can be viewed as the “physical representation of the SCN community.” “It is like a family reunion […] TechEd enables the members of SAP’s ecosystem, who are engaging regularly online, to meet and connect in a much more meaningful way in person – it is therefore an important part of keeping a community going and vibrant.”