A taste of Mastering SAP Technologies Sydney 2012: part 5

 In this series of blog posts, Simon Kemp gives his
perspective on the recent Mastering SAP Technologies event, held in
Sydney. This last post, ‘That’s a wrap!, provides some final comments.

That’s a wrap!

Ultimately, if you’re client focused, you want to ensure you get the best outcome for your customer with the right people and the right technologies at the right time. 

At the Mastering SAP Technologies event in Sydney, Gareth Ellem from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service delivered a great session on user-centric design ‘Functionally Rich, Best Technology – Why Do They Hate It?’ He openly explained why one of his projects had failed to deliver a solution that the users could actually use, how it was redesigned using a much more user-centric design approach, and achieved far better user acceptance and adoption. Here are some of the key points I noted down:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of pencil and paper when it comes to design tools accessible to the whole group
  • The group needs to work as a team regularly
  • Respect the users – in the end it is their system, as they will use it the most
  • The process is more lengthy and therefore costly, but you will get a far better result

Duet Enterprise – What’s New with Feature Package 1?

I’ve worked with customers who are very interested in integrating SharePoint and SAP.  So I was keen to learn more and attended Paul Fewster’s presentation on ‘Duet Enterprise – What’s new with Feature Package 1?’
One of the things that struck me as a little odd was the lack of a clearly articulated roadmap for this product beyond this FP1. I hope that DUET Enterprise doesn’t go the same way as DUET 1.0 and 1.5 did (there was a slide dedicated to telling us that the two products were not the same thing!)… but the jury is still out on that I think. Paul did show some good examples and you can find out more about FP1 here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/tothesharepoint/archive/2011/12/07/feature-pack-1-for-duet-enterprise-is-available.aspx

My advice is to carefully think about what you want to do before venturing down this path, it may be the right choice if you have lots of SharePoint development skills and the right use case but there may also be simpler more lightweight approaches to achieving what you want.

I think if we take the time to listen to our customers, nut out the problems fully, we can ultimately get the right outcome.  Sometimes, as Gareth explained, this is not always the cheapest option, but I have to say, I think it’s the right one.    

Wrap-up: Panel session with the Aussie SAP Mentors

The conference ended with a panel session from the Australian SAP Mentors:
 Here are some of the points that were discussed:

  • The event was not too sales focused
  • The agenda was very relevant, based on roundtable discussions held last year
  • Australia and New Zealand SAP market is a small market of early adopters
  • Australian SAP consultants tend to be multi-taskers
  • Look for quick wins with NWBC
  • Testing is the biggest barrier to moving to latest and greatest
  • Look at the business process change analyzer
  • Consider StreamWork for collaboration
  • REST underpins new architectures
  • SAP Mentors are top community influencers
  • SCN is geared toward technical community, it needs more functional people engaged
  • Women are underrepresented in the Mentor group
  • Contributing can be a great reward and take an abundance mentality, it’s not a zero sum game
  • Expect to see more about Enterprise Content Management
  • Expect to see lots of roadmaps coming up… Otherwise it is just a lot of technologies e.g. UI and DB roadmaps
  • More and more innovation in ABAP development
  • Hoping to see people making more use of the platform that they already have
  • Value quickly via the cloud with core remaining on-premise
  • SAP needs to innovate to compete and to grow
  • Acquisitions been driven by stockmarket pressure… and choice is build or buy
  • Where are all the skills going to come from?

 So that’s it – my series of posts about the event has concluded.  My thanks go out to everyone who managed, contributed and participated. I hope you found these short summaries useful!

Simon Kemp is the service line lead, User Productivity, for Plaut. He can be contacted by email: simon.kemp@plaut.com.au

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