SAP TechEd December 2020: A Virtual Experience Full of Learnings

The author is Sanchita Bhat, Marketing executive at Extentia.

Extentia was at SAP TechEd 2020, one of the most awaited events in the SAP ecosystem. Of course, it went virtual this year, but that didn’t keep us from learning or having fun learning. We rolled up our sleeves on the morning of Dec 8, ready to learn and upgrade, and relaxed only after the tracks were over on Dec 10. Every day was full of workshops, expert Q&As, lectures, and roadmap sessions that focused on SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise strategy and their Business Technology Platform (BTP). The free virtual event opened newer dimensions of learnings for developers from entry to advanced level, worldwide. The eight sessions or tracks as SAP TechEd called it, gave an understanding of SAP’s future vision for enterprises and were designed to provide a valuable experience for developers. 40 members from Extentia’s SAP Practice actively participated in this 48-hour nonstop learning marathon that comprised of executive keynotes, strategy talks, news spotlights, and much more. On the first day, the opening keynote by Juergen Mueller, SAP’s CTO was particularly gripping, given the overall candid tone that he maintained and the insights he shared. The focus of the keynote was expectedly the mighty SAP BTP as it touched on SAP’s Flagship Products including SAP Cloud Platform, SAP HANA, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation — insights and the road ahead for everything under the SAP BTP umbrella.

“The all-virtual event was attended by close to 40 members from Extentia with varied skill sets encompassing the areas of SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Analytics, mobility, ABAP, SAP UI5 and Fiori, and more — making it all the more exciting for our SAP Practice. While there were 8 tracks in total, I particularly enjoyed four of them: Integrated Intelligent Suite, Analytics, Database and Data Management, and Intelligent Technologies. I, along with my team at Extentia look forward to leveraging the learnings from these sessions in the work that we do for our customers.”

Devashish Nayak, Delivery Manager — Engineering, Extentia

Each track topic was beautifully designed to allow a more in-depth understanding of specific innovations through hands-on workshops with expert instructors, lectures, breakout sessions, and product road maps.

A Deep Dive in Tracks at SAP TechEd 2020

Track 1: Integrated Intelligent Suite

This track focused on SAP’s strategy of enabling businesses to become intelligent enterprises through an intelligent suite of SAP’s products and features. The sessions covered the following sub tracks on SAP’s holistic approach to integrating applications seamlessly to provide a consistent user experience:

  • Creating a seamless user experience — Discovering how to quickly implement and run the SAP Fiori user experience (UX)
  • Establishing consistent security and identity management — Preventing cyber-attacks and establishing efficient access and identity governance solutions
  • Learning core integration and master the data strategy
  • Supporting coordinated lifecycle management — Benefiting from harmonized provisioning, setup, operations, and monitoring for end-to-end processes
  • Including embedded and cross-product analytics — Making faster and confident decisions with SAP Analytics solutions

“Having attended sessions around SAP Fiori Launchpad, S/4 HANA, and SAP Cloud Platform, I learned a great deal in these areas and look forwarded to applying the learnings in the work we do for our customers. It has been a great experience to attend the sessions virtually. What worked the best for me was the fact that we could see the recorded sessions later on!”

Naresh Babu, Associate Designer, Extentia

Track 2: Digital Transformation with Intelligent ERP

As we all know, SAP S/4HANA products efficiently support customers and partners in their digital transformation journey from on-premise to the cloud. This track and its sub tracks explored just that. The three key areas it covered were Enterprises’ transformative journeys from on-premise to the cloud, building and operating intelligent cloud solutions and services, and integration and extension requirements of modern enterprises. The sub tracks included were:

  • How to move to SAP S/4HANA — Exploring how to leverage SAP S/4HANA for enterprises’ digital transformation
  • How to get to SAP S/4HANA Cloud — Exploring how to leverage SAP S/4HANA Cloud to take complete advantage of digital transformation in enterprises
  • How to extend, integrate, and embed intelligence into SAP S/4HANA — Learning how to enable customers and partners to extend SAP S/4HANA to third-party solutions or future SAP offerings by using SDKs and APIs
  • How to manage a hybrid SAP solution landscape — Getting guidance on how to increase automation, lower costs, and improve efficiency in hybrid landscapes
  • How to manage a cloud-centric SAP solution landscape — Getting acquainted with the pre-configuration benefits and the ease-of-use features available for cloud-centric environments

Track 3: Customer Experience

SAP soon plans to introduce its new product line that will have an extensive focus on products with customer experience capabilities, revolutionizing the customer and profile management. For developers to get an understanding of the upcoming products, the sub-tracks encompassed the following topics:

  • The era of customer freedom — Learning how to leverage SAPs products to tackle the ever-changing customer dynamics and how to make organizations customer-centric and more focused
  • Understanding commerce for a competitive edge — Exploring SAP’s new cloud-native commerce portfolio and learning how to leverage SAP’s state-of-the-art commerce offering to help organizations sell to customers more directly

Track 4: Analytics

This track was carefully designed for developers to understand how business users can benefit from intuitive and cloud-based solutions by utilizing SAP’s augmented business intelligence features. It also allowed them to explore how SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud solutions enable easy data integration to generate powerful insights. The sub-tracks in Analytics covered the following topics:

  • Essentials for SAP Analytics Cloud — Learning about the innovative and cloud-based SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Business planning with SAP solutions — Learning about how SAP solutions can help to establish a fully functional and cloud-based planning workflow
  • Development and integration — Leveraging the integration of the SAP Data Warehouse Cloud with SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Data warehouse cloud essentials — Getting an end-to-end product experience, from data access through data modeling, business modeling, and consumption
  • Hybrid data warehousing — Getting an overview of how to combine the on-premises and cloud world in hybrid scenarios

Track 5: Intelligent Technologies

Learning about data management across various SAP, custom, and third-party applications is essential for today’s developers working in the domain. This track gave developers a conclusive understanding of managing data storage, integration, and applications in a single SAP cloud solution. Its sub-tracks covered several SAP products spanning a variety of applications:

  • Integrating data — Learning how to integrate and combine data from multiple source systems to create unified sets of information for operational and analytical uses
  • Governing data — Understanding how SAP solutions can help to establish fully functional and cloud-based planning workflows
  • Taming data challenges — Taming various data challenges such as dealing with data growth, generating insights on time, and overcoming organizational silos by using SAP Data Intelligence and SAP HANA products
  • Developing next-generation cloud-native applications for SAP HANA Cloud and hybrid environments — Learning how to model and process data in SAP HANA for both transactional and analytic applications
  • Processing multi-model data in SAP HANA Cloud and SAP HANA On-premise — Getting an overview of how to combine the on-premises and cloud world in hybrid scenarios
  • Administering and operating SAP HANA in the Cloud — Learning how to help databases deployed in the cloud or on-premise and Exploring the different tasks included in managing SAP HANA database landscapes

Track 6: Database and Data Management

This was a very popular track for developers that covered tools and technologies such as data intelligence, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and machine learning. This track allowed the developers to understand how these new-age technologies efficiently optimize business processes and enable informed data-driven decision-making. The sub-tracks covered the following areas:

  • Creating intelligent applications — Building smart applications using the SAP Data Intelligence solution that deliver data-driven innovation and intelligence across an enterprise
  • Deriving business-relevant data with the IoT — Connecting multiple devices to derive business-relevant data leveraging the Internet of Things
  • Automate and optimize business processes with SAP AI Business Services — Designing and orchestrating software robots SAP Intelligent Robotic Process to eliminate manual labor work
  • Establishing powerful conversational agents — Learning to build powerful conversational agents with SAP Conversational AI services to enable human-to-machine interactions
  • Simplify multi-party processes using blockchain — Simplifying multi-party processes to increase trust among participants with SAP Blockchain Business Services
  • Future-proof businesses through transformative innovations

“I got to learn a lot from my first ever TechEd. It was amazing to learn how SAP products and solutions are changing business for many customers and partners. SAP is augmenting its solutions with enterprise-ready chatbots built with SAP Conversational AI. It is excellent to witness that all chatbots built with SAP software are customizable and extendable to fit all types of businesses’ unique needs. By 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions globally will be handled completely by AI!”

Lokesh Reddy, Senior Software Professional, Extentia

Track 7: Application Development and Integration

This track covered a wide range of tools, technologies, and services of SAP Cloud Platform that enable the development of applications for integration and extension of business processes. The sub-tracks involved were:

  • Connecting enterprise with the intelligent SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite — Leveraging wide-ranging synergic integration approaches, intuitive tools, and prepackaged content
  • Digitalizing processes with SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Management
  • Establishing an engaging user experience across different channels
  • Building and managing cloud extensions using our programming models, APIs, and tools
  • Developing scalable multi-cloud applications on a secure platform foundation

“This time around, SAP TechEd was virtual and quite unique. It gave me a chance to attend several sessions and manage work side by side. Particularly keen on learning how mobile, especially iOS, is shaping the SAP ecosystem, I attended sessions pertaining to that domain and was pleased with the learnings I got from each.“

Mahesh Mane, Associate Tech Lead, Extentia

Track 8: Partner Community

The final track at SAP TechEd 2020. It was a real showstopper that offered learnings about how SAP’s partners can leverage SAP technology to innovate and transform businesses across industries.

Learning and growing are an integral part of Extentia’s values and cultures. We continually strive to attend events and workshops that upgrade our teams and their knowledge. Getting an extremely enriching experience at SAP TechED, team Extentia ended 2020 on a positive and learning note and enjoyed the real-life applications of SAP’s technologies. Like every year, 2020’s SAP TechEd helped us sharpen our skill sets, enabling us to better deliver digital transformation to our clients.

Read other Extentia Blog posts here!

Originally published at https://www.extentia.com on January 22, 2021.