Have you ever been to SAPPHIRE?


You should!

Despite my young age, I guess here is where you find how the spirit of the IT industry might have been in "those days", where multi-million dollar Mainframe deals were made. At least, that is the impression you get when you stroll around. I have been to quite some trade fairs, special meetings and vendor events - all with a rather impressive set of "supporting events" and executive receptions. But recent years have shown a decrease in the investments vendors were willing to spend on these little extras. Looks like SAP still has got some budget to spend...

But let us get back to business - executive business, this is! When it comes to providing strategic business perspective, coming here as manager or executive you get what you expect: visionary statements, large audience keynotes and a nice overall setup. From a technology perspective though, it is quite surprising that one can only get their hands on a small number of technically versed representatives who are able to show a little more than flashing slides and animated demo screen-shots. Well, one could argue that this is not TechEd, which will take place in autumn here in Berlin and were I will definitly attend also, and one must consider the "business oriented" approach of SAPPHIRE. Point taken, rest assured! But I was NOT talking about a nuts&bolts session on how to configure x and get y out of that interface. I was merely looking for people to tell me just a little bit more about what became of MaxWare, were GRC overall will be going and what the combined strategy for managing identities within (and beyond) SAP will be. I will take those questions home with me, unfortunately...

Given that, I made best out of a session with one of the solution marketing guys, who assured to me that the IP as well as the human resources of the MaxWare acquisition were secured and the now joint teams from Netweaver IdM and MaxWare are working hard to push the integration depth. Nice - and from my point of view obvious - information: SAP will not push their newly acquired IAM technology as an independent offering but will concentrate on delivering added value to existing SAP-centric customers. I will definitly catch up him to extend our late-evening discussions at the Hamburger Bahnhof. Thanks again for the insights!

On a completely different note, the RIM partnership seems to kick-in pretty nicely with a "mobilized" SAP CRM and Blackberry integration, which the RIM representative dared to demonstrate live during the keynote (something which I would not have dared, given my recent experience with reliability of the 3G network connectivity - especially with a few thousand people around you all carrying a mobile phone!)

I will get back to you all with more gossip tomorrow, with news on the Zucchero live perfomance (see budget joking above!) and a special feedback from the Business Objects keynote of CEO, Mr. Schwartz!