Last year I published a post to express my opinion on “What to Expect from SAPPHIRE NOW 2016”, then I decided to do it again for this year.

I couldn’t attend 2016 edition and I might not be able to go this year again, but I did a deep dive on the follow up documentation and talked to friends who attended it and tried to be as much up-to-date as I could on all that happened during the 2016 edition.

If you don’t know what am I talking about, the SAPPHIRE NOW is the largest event hosted by SAP, with more than 20,000 people attending in-person. It is a very good way to open your mind for new technologies, to see what is out there, how other customers are taking benefits of their moves. It is a great way to learn more about new SAP solutions and services, to do networking with peers and exchange knowledge, meet with SAP product experts and partners, to find about business and technology trends and to hear directly from thought leaders.

To me, as an IT professional, it is a great chance to discover new ideas that will help me become more efficient and effective in my role and discover new industry-specific products that would enable my company to adopt a digital business strategy and how to optimize our business in a end-to-end way, connecting processes, people, systems, devices, information and networks.

This year’s event will be hosted in Orlando Orange Convention Center from May 17th to 19th, I believe SAP S/4HANA will continue taking the center stage but I think SAP will also make sure that customers understand that they are there to support them on their innovations and the digital transformation journey.

Year after year, more customers are adopting the S/4HANA and some of them are already there while others are planning their move. As SAP is adopting a better strategy this time, with a clear path to where they are going, the Digital Transformation will become more clear to their customers. I believe that SAP will continue the aggressive strategy to show to the customer what the Digital Transformation is about, how companies can benefit from that and what SAP is doing to lead customers on this journey.

SAP will make sure that customers understand the business value and the advantages of the underlying architecture of SAP S/4HANA if they want to continue growing the number of customers adopting the HANA and the S/4HANA.

I guess there will be a lot of opportunities to see and hear more about Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Data Mining, Augmentation Reality, Predictive Analytics etc.

Yeah! Time has changed! Who tought 10 years ago we would be talking about AI and Machine Learning in an ERP event in 2017?

Without mentioning SAP’s Cloud strategy. We will probably see a lot on that too! SAP will explore the benefits of running in SaaS mode and will re-enforce Cloud products like Concur, SuccessFactors, Hybris, Ariba, and more. I think we will see more about the new Google Cloud Partnership, which was announced some weeks ago.

In the 3 days of event there will be more than 1400 sessions (!!!), divided in:

  • Presentation sessions that feature case studies, success stories on SAP solutions, and strategic topics, followed by Q&A discussions and duration of 20, 40, or 60 minutes.
  • Interactive discussions with focus on a particular subject and allow conversation between speakers and audience with duration of 20 to 60 minutes.
  • Panel discussion to bring together a group of people with unique knowledge of an important topic to discuss related issues and ideas and duration of 40 or 60 minutes.
  • Demo station to provide direct one-on-one interaction with SAP software engineers on a particular subject.
  • Demo theater, scheduled at specific times so you can plan ahead to attend and see some of SAP product’s demo.

In addition to the regular sessions from Tuesday to Thursday, on Monday, by an extra fee you can attend one of the ASUG Pre-Conference Seminars, which are half-day or full-day sessions to cover the hottest topics in the SAP world

There is also the ASUG Industry Day, which are also half-day or full-day sessions to offer education and networking opportunities for Utilities, Rail, Chemicals, and Apparel, Footwear and Fashion industries, it is free but requires a pre-registration at ASUG.

And last, but not least, the Keynotes! They are always interesting, very inspiring, motivational, exciting and educational.

This year’s speakers are: Tuesday morning: Bill McDermott (SAP CEO), Bernd Leukert (SAP SE, Products & Innovation). Tuesday afternoon: Keith Sturgill (Eastman’s CIO and ASUG Vice Chairperson), Geoff Scott (ASUG CEO). On Wednesday Morning, Professor Hasso Plattner (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of SAP SE, also known as the SAP founder).


Check below some of the 2016 keynotes if you want to have a taste of what is coming this year. Or if it is your first time attending and you want to keep the surprise element… DON’T WATCH IT!

SAP Keynotes
Bill McDermott Live, SAP CEO : Run Live, Run Simple Link
Prof. Hasso Plattner Live, Chairman of the SAP Supervisory Board: Your Road to SAP S/4HANA and Beyond Link
Rob Enslin, Bernd Leukert, Steve Singh Live Link

So, if you didn’t got the message: GO TO SAPPHIRE NOW this year and come back here to tell me your experience!