At the recent 2016 Sapphire conference in Orlando, Florida, SAP really did not have anything groundbreaking to report during any of the keynotes. Nonetheless, attendance and the buzz everywhere at the event were up. Bill McDermott (SAP’s CEO) reported a record year of 30,000 participants, which in itself is remarkable since so many customers still hesitate to embark on all-out SAP HANA adoption.
In addition to a new overview of the HANA Platform, Hasso Plattner presented a few interesting statistics during the third day keynote.
He provided an overview indicating that 86% of SAP customers running SAP ERP and migrating to S/4 HANA will fit into a 1TB RAM SAP HANA system.
Considering also VMWare’s announcement during the conference to support vSphere 6.0 for single VM with up to 4TB RAM productively (see OSS note 2315348) is significant, because this development justifies my ongoing conclusion of SAP HANA TDI as the dominant deployment strategy for customers on-premise. In support of this “natural” SAP HANA deployment methodology, EMC recently certified VMAX AFA and Unity for SAP HANA TDI. This makes EMC a major contributor to SAP HANA TDI options with the largest certified and validated solution portfolio. I wrote on this topic right before Sapphire on my blog and I also had a chance to discuss this with Silicon Angle’s John Furrier during an interview for #theCUBE.
Overall, I noticed significant attendance and participation in all the of the tech vendors individual booth theaters, including the EMC, VMware, Cisco and Dell booths, which indicates a presence of more technical resources in addition to the traditional business focused attendees.
Sapphire has traditionally focused on C-level leadership and LOB (line of business) owners. The significant higher attendance appears to be a result of more technical resources visiting Sapphire to better understand new applications, features, and technologies. IT folks still don’t have an optimal relationship with the business and are trying to get their arms around areas of interest to the business by attending Sapphire and learning first hand, what is new, what draws attention, and what exciting ideas their business representatives may come back from this conference with. IT resources are sick and tired of getting the “Just do it” job description and want to participate more actively in the business level conversation to better understand business priorities. I am curious to see how this significant increase in technical attendees impacts to the number of participants at SAP TechEd later this year. On the other hand, this also means, Sapphire will be of confirmed interest to technology vendor’s future presence and conference sponsorships.