2015 Ft. Lauderdale Conference Observations

Back home with a couple of days reflections under my belt.. As usual, it's time for me to express myself about the conference I just attended..

Remember that old saying "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it?"

Well, that happened to me. And I didn't like it. You see, I've been one of those people asking for a North America venue change for a couple of years. Don't get me wrong, I like Marco Island, but I wanted to "see more of the world"...

I don't like Fort Lauderdale. Lots of reasons that I won't bother getting into here..

Neither did a lot of other people I talked to. Most wanted to be back at Marco..

 I'll say this, I won't go to another conference in Ft Lauderdale..

On to the conference itself.. Attendance was down (I heard 112). Many reasons I'm sure, not the least was local elections. Don't try this week next year or NO Americans will be there (those silly Presidential elections)!

Meet & Greet was fairly typical. It's always nice to see familiar faces as well as meet some new ones.

Day 1... Yawn.... Same story, different verse. Still roughly 60% first timers. Same pitch for SAP's "new" products. No word on VC on HANA yet...The highlites of Day 1 for me were;

  • We are thinking about upgrading the website!!
  • Look for some kind of S/4 Hana announcement around November 15 
  • Lawrence Matusek blew through 82 slides in 45 minutes yet STILL managed to make his points on the Delta list!
  • The ConfigAir folks had a REALLY cool example of doing configuration with Oculus Rift. If you didn't get to experience it, you really missed out. I'll be the first to say, I don't like the Oculus solution, but what it points out is the potential for true graphical configuration possibilities.
  • Many thanks to the ConfigAir folks for a FANTASTIC BBQ dinner!

Day 2

No microphones in the individual conference rooms?? REALLY?? Well, at least the Wifi worked. But if you sat anywhere other than the front row and the speaker didn't yell you were going to struggle.. Especially when the hotel staff got happy in the back rooms... Pretty irritating.. But the content....

  • The Elogic presentation on BOM's should be REQUIRED READING for anyone modeling. We had a good interactive conversation that (I hope) people found productive. I counted 59 (out of 112) people in the room..
  • Brian Koslowski from Greenheck did his usual outstanding job with tips and tricks. More REQUIRED READING in my opinion.
  • Kevin Meyer from Haworth gave a real good overview of the use of ECM and Gold Clients
  • Then I stood up for 90 minutes and talked about class assignments. I was told we had 59 people in the room and people seemed interested, but I'll let others tell you about it..
  • By that time I was kind of burnt out, so even though I attended the AICOMP presentation by Sascha Rauhe, I kind of tuned it out.. I did really like his use of the Hitchhikers references... And the AICOMP folks sure put on a good OktoberFest!

Day 3

  • A great story from the folks at Rockwell on how they have moved from legacy to SAP
  • And the sickness started... I shook somebody's hand that I should not have and got a pretty nasty cold... Attention started to wander...
  • But the good news is that I didn't have to sit through any more SSC stuff!! The Deloitte, Kimball, and Haworth presentations were on kind of "generic" topics that applied to multiple business scenarios.. OK, the Deloitte one focused on Order BOM's which don't really apply to the SSC...
  • Not a lot of questions for some reason.. And the ones we got didn't really apply to my business scenarios, especially when we went down the APO to Material Variant track... So I kind of tuned out..

Overall, a good conference. Lots of GREAT content that was not specific to the IPC or SSC.. More generic that could be applied to ANY of the configuration solutions SAP offers. That's what I like to see.

Now, if only we can get more people coming back year over year....

Thanks to everyone who worked behind the scenes to put the conference on. I know it isn't easy, but it is greatly appreciated!