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Key Takeaways from SAPPHIRE 2014

Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

In 2012 at a time when business and technology was growing increasingly complex, SPR Consulting evolved its thinking toward a more simplified approach to solve customers’ problems. We make the implementation of SAP solutions simpler using the Microsoft platform. We think about client engagements differently and challenge the status quo to deliver simplified yet sophisticated solutions that deliver greater value.

It was interesting, and a testament to our thinking and direction, to hear SAP’s new mantra is also around simplicity. I hope this materializes for them because simplifying all solutions on the SAP platform is an arduous undertaking as compared to SPR Consulting simplifying a specific business solution.

Fiori is the new user experience paradigm that came out of SAP Labs a couple of years ago. It was a big announcement during this year’s SAPPHIRE that Fiori is now included free with SAP Software. Fiori is the next generation user experience built on top of SAP applications. This change was based on the feedback from both customers and partners.

With the consumerization of IT, SAP users have been asking for better user experience, so solutions such as SAP Business Suite are using SAP Fiori UX principles to deliver it. Fiori helps provide a consistent UX across multiple devices – desktop, tablet, and smartphone.

SAP HANA is at the center of everything that SAP is doing these days. I heard about HANA at every announcement/session I was in. It was a great discussion during the Day 2 keynote between Professor Clayton from Harvard and Dr. Hasso Plattner. The takeaway there is that we need to look across organizational boundaries in finance, supply chain, etc. and enable customer engagement. The HANA platform enables a non-aggregate based solution focused on the customer to get their job done. This supports both the transactional model and getting insights from the data collected.

SAP on Microsoft Azure
SAP now officially supports Azure as a platform for production systems with a combination of SAP products, Operating Systems and DBMS systems. This is a big step in the relationship between Microsoft and SAP as Microsoft Azure is becoming a key cloud platform provider. I have always discussed with my customers how Microsoft Azure can be used for SAP sandbox environments such as DEV, QA and Training. Support for productive SAP environment is a big step though there are several limitations and kinks which I am sure will be fixed in time.

It was clear that it is the age of the omni-present user. We all carry multiple devices, we might start our day at home with our smartphones, switch to our tablet on the way to work, to desktop at work and back in reverse order as we end our day. Added to this are the Internet of Things world consuming/collecting data. Enterprise applications need to address this. It is about devices, from your smartphone to your refrigerator.

The future is about providing highly-available solutions that provide consistent user-experience across devices anywhere, anytime.

In future articles I will be elaborating on each of these topics.