Day 3 SAP TechEd2019: Deep Class

It is a lot to ask for me to endure two hours of hands-on and lecture. It is almost impossible to do it twice. Today I did one two-hour and one four-hour hands-on and lecture. I survived. I enjoyed the hands-on. The talk was just too long at over two hours in the afternoon after lunch! I managed to stay awake. But that is after the keynote…

The keynote address was this morning at nine. There was coffee and pastries and fruit available. I was surprised to see donuts–this is usually banned by low-carb folks. I did meet Sandeep, who is here like me for some presentations.

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(Sandeep is in the dark suit sitting, and Nike’s Sumit is stand in the blue shirt)

Michael joined me. I saved him a seat. The keynote included some excellent information about SAP’s direction. They, SAP, see three pillars of Data, Intelligence, and Operations in today’s digital enterprise (companies for you who are not hip on the newest lingo). SAP can bring value in these areas as it already covers more than 80% of these areas with their existing software–according to the keynote. SAP’s Chief Technology Officer, Jurgen Mueller, also said that a recent study found that 80% of CEOs believe their company has a right web presence while consumer claim only 8% of these websites are any good. This is quite a gap.

Jurgen believes the answer is to build solutions that use the three pillars. That you must have operational data that for example, tells you the sales numbers are down. You need intelligence to understand if this is an unusual event or a trend or related to some other issue. You need data to make these answers.

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This was a pretty good start, but the presentation collapsed into a sales pitch, and there was no follow up on the 80 and 8 numbers at the beginning.  Jurgen should have tied this together and showed how SAP could ensure that a CEO would know if the company he or she heads website are good. Closing the gap if you like. No, he left that flapping in the wind.

My first class followed, and I was not disappointed that Jurgen’s speech ran long, and I had to leave it early. I had a course on Python and AI and how to do Machine Learning in an SAP environment. In the class, I shared a computer with a former Nike coder. We are both now Python coder, and we went to town as did much of the class. We finished all the work and learned a few new things in Python and how SAP HANA uses Python and supplies its own libraries. The presenter had trouble keeping up with the class–an unusual and very positive event.

After that, I went to the speaker ready room for lunch. This is a secret lunch for speakers. There I met an old friend from SmartShift, Abby, and we chatted about how time has treated each of us. We have not seen each other for a few years, so it was nice to revisit old times.

The next class was long–four hours. It was two hours of lecture after lunch and then hours of hands-on. The talk was dreadfully boring but informative as often happens in SAP TechEd. I do not know how these folks learned to present new material by reading every slide in a near monotone. We finally survived the presentations and started into the SAP Data Hub exercises and used it to translate text on-the-fly and then to classify text by getting the AI to make suggestions about what product was being described in the text. This was new as I always thought of SAP Data Hub as well something the shares data, a data hub.

We also built a chatbot. This was easy and took no time at all. Again, all SAP tools.

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I then talked to Matthias Kretschmer, one of the presenters, about change control and a CI/CD process to install Data Hub. They, SAP, are just working on this now. I told them we would be interested in working on this with them. He will talk to his associates in SAP and get back to us.

Next was drinks and reception in the vendor area. I bumped into Paul Lui from Oracle, an old friend, and talked about AI and Machine Learning. Yes, I had spent a whole day coding AI and ML, so I was interested in sharing. He might make my session on Python and will grab a copy of my powerpoint if he can’t make it.

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Finally, Michael G and I just had a quiet dinner at a place in the hotel. We were both ready to be a bit quieter.

A surprise today. The publishers of the new board game War of the Worlds: The New Wave included my picture of the game in their update on Kickstarter today and thanked me in the update for the photo.

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