Co-authored by Leonardo Kaltenhauser

LRS Ice sculptor at SAP TechEd

The ice sculptor looked critically at his replica of the Fabulous Las Vegas sign as he fired up his torch. Using the flame and an aluminum bar, he fused the ice balls to the top of the sign at the LRS booth to begin SAP TechEd 2015. 

SAP holds three TechEd shows each year – one in the US, usually in Las Vegas; one in Europe (Barcelona this year); and one in Bangalore. TechEd is really the responsibility of the SAP user’s group, so it tends to attract more nerds than managers. As such, ASUG usually provides many deep technical sessions, and SAP talks more about technical futures than about value. 

LRS and SAP have been working together since 1997, and we are a regular TechEd exhibitor. This year, I was at the Vegas show, so I’ll let my colleague Leo tell you about the Barcelona event. At the shows, SAP focused on three main topics: Analytics, HANA, and SAP/HANA in the Cloud. 

HANA has been a consistent theme over the last several years. Technically, HANA is a plug-in to the SAP landscape that allows databases to be moved from disk storage to memory for increased performance. SAP has expanded the HANA concept to many areas, though, so it is more of an umbrella name for updated SAP usage than in years past.

SAP/HANA in the cloud is a good example of this. SAP’s largest growth area and newest cash cow is indeed providing SAP products in the cloud. This allows small and medium sized businesses to gain the advantages of SAP applications without major infrastructure and personnel additions to maintain the SAP landscape on site. 

Analytics may be the most interesting new area. SAP has long been involved in analytics, but has expanded this area in two important ways. First, they are using new, highly advanced algorithms and underlying products (like Hadoop) to expand analytics in to the Big Data space. This allows for analyzing business problems across vast amounts of data both onsite and in the cloud. Secondly, they introduced executive level programming tools that allow drag-and-drop access to programming objects so that non-technical people can build custom analytics without IT involvement.

Even with these new advanced technologies, the SAP users and technical support folks all seem to be using SAP as they have always done – basic transaction processing and reporting. As with most TechEd shows, there were some people that understood Output Management, but far more attendees that had never heard of it. Those in industries where output is part of the business process (such as manufacturing, distribution, logistics and healthcare) recognized the real need for Output Management in their areas. 

So that’s what I saw and learned in Las Vegas. Now over to Leo Kaltenhauser for a recap of TechEd Barcelona…

HOLA BARCELONA! HOLA SAP TECHED 2015!

As Guy mentioned, LRS once more manned a booth at the annual SAP TechEd event to show the SAP technical world how easy printing can be. 

Our topic was Output Control and Management within “on-premise” SAP solutions in support of business critical processes. It was interesting to learn how European SAP customers are increasingly thinking about this output architecture when considering their cloud future with S/4HANA. They’re asking themselves:

  • How can I assure that my mission-critical documents can be reliably delivered from the cloud provider’s data center into my warehouses or offices?

  • How can we meet our SLAs on such a service and how can I measure them?

According to the keynote of Steve Lucas (global president of the SAP Platform Solutions Group), the future will be a solid SAP core as the technological platform where satellite solutions/services can be adopted. This move, especially when systems will be run in the cloud-providers’ data centers, will require a change in the “old fashioned way” customers are printing today. Without a doubt, our customers will need a modern solution that offers absolute control over each print job without compromising performance, scalability and security. 

So I was very glad that we at LRS already started years ago to see these requirements and positioned our solution suite for this, regardless of whether it’s needed in an “on-premise” or an “on-demand” world.
The platform modernization journey goes on and companies will run through a massive change over the next 5 years. As Steve Lucas summed it up: “you need to transform or you will die!” How’s that for a take-away message?

As always, LRS talked to lots of customers over the course of the show. If we didn’t get a chance to hear your story, please stop by our booth next year or contact us today!

It is a hard job – but somebody has to do it!