SAP InnoJam – this place has it all!
The issue of “smart cities”, as well as four categories included: “smart building”, “smart campus”, “smart home”, “smart traffic” are main themes of long-awaited and yet finished InnoJam, an event organized at the CeBIT conference. This inspiring event is fully focused on new technologies, and what ‘s most important – on knowledge sharing and networking. This year in order to get new professional experiences Marta and Mikołaj, whose everyday work consists of generating reports and data analysis attended the event. Our employees were in the group of 73 students from 12 countries, who arrived to Hannover to take part in this a bit exhausting but still very developing contest 🙂
Beginning of InnoJam – how did it start, what was your task?
Marta: Everything started around 9 a.m. on Tuesday. We started with getting to know our teams, which, as it appeared were selected in advance. The main idea of InnoJam was implementing solutions with the use of SAP technology. Main focus was directed into most promoted product during fair – SAP HANA in-memory database. Dedicated time for programming was 32 hours and the deadline was set on Wednesday, at 3 p.m. By that time applications with description were supposed to be shared with jury for evaluation. Working on solution was divided into two parts. First one was not connected with technology. Its focus was on elaborating solution which is most useful and friendly for user, best possibly fulfilling its needs. We were introduced into our task, and as well into the process of creation called Design Thinking, according to which we were supposed to create our applications.
Could you bring us closer to what Design Thinking process really is and how it was used in your work?
Mikołaj: Full process consists of 3 stages – Discover, Design and Deliver. Discover – here we were conducting interviews with people visiting fair, to get to know what are their needs and visions about each topic. Then we came back to office to conclude what we got – useful was Design Thinking – coaches showed us helpful solutions thanks to which our discussions were more productive and our idea quickly transformed into detailed solution.
Marta: Then it was Design – designing the application interface, and defining its functionality. It was especially difficult to find balance between our visions on how ideal solution should look like, and what was possible to implement in such a short time
Mikołaj: The last part – Deliver, started around 8 p.m. when we started technical implementation after having project completed. Our team divided into two groups. First one was responsible for adjusting database to the needs of application, second one for creation of friendly user interface. In the morning we connected our solutions.
Sounds like sleepless night? 🙂
Mikołaj: There were not many occasions for sleeping, everybody fought for large pillows, and I had my nap from 5:00 to 6:00 on the floor, when I was woken up by sunrise and breakfast 🙂 Then, we started our preparation for presentation set at 3 p.m.
So, how was the preparation?
Mikołaj: It was interesting, because a lot of people from different industries appeared like e.g. bank managers. We were given tips from SAP specialists on how to deliver presentation, there was few inspiring hints, that I did not think of before.
So, there was only the announcement of results left!
Marta: Exactly, on Thursday we met with other InnoJamians, it was on SAP Booth fair, and there were presented 4 winning ideas and there was also announced the winner of whole InnoJam contest. What’s interesting, inside the four was also an application which works similarly to our company application – Aporganizer (booking rooms, resources, adding participants, preview of cooperants calendar). Later on we had free time, until 6 p.m., and exactly at 6 p.m. there was a big SAP party, on which, of course, we were invited as a part of InnoJam 🙂
Which of the speeches were most interesting? Why?
Marta: Unfortunately I didn’t take part in lectures, most interesting ones took place when I was working with my team on InnoJam project.
Mikołaj: I had a chance to listen to only one speech. SAP expert presented an application which solves the problem of calculating delegations in companies. There was a question about how many travelling workers is needed to make this system efficient and it turned out that only 50 is the number!
After 32 hours you had some break, how did you spend your free time?
Marta: Break in InnoJam activities we used to have a quick look at the fair. We concentrated on “BI/Big data” hall, where were presented most interesting solutions from our perspective. We had a chance to come and talk to BI exhibitors, we saw tools presented by them and talked a bit about it. It was also a good occasion to make research on BI tools market, in order to avoid staying only with well-known methods in our company. Besides BI hall we went also to hall dedicated to Internet of Things.
What kind of trends or changes were noticed and were presented during the event?
Mikołaj: Main theme of CeBIT was d!economy. It is linked with digitalization, phenomenon seen in every field of economy or everyday life. A lot of attention was sacrificed to hot topics like Internet of Things or Big Data. Everywhere one could hear statistics that say that in near future there will be noticed significant increase in quantity of appliances, which with use of Internet will be able to communicate with each other and generate enormous amount of data. From BI team point of view, it is very promising and creates potential on the market to implement solutions concerning processing, analyzing and presenting data. For example, one SAP company presented sensors on its exhibition, which may be set on farmland and measure insolation, level of hydration and probable amount of minerals in soil. Everything of course was presented in really friendly user interface, thus a farmer could make decisions about his cultivation easily. Nonetheless, fair did not only focus on industrial solutions. There was plenty of solutions easing everyday life. Intelligent energy measurer, electronic locks, remote control heating are only a few of presented gadgets.
Which ones are most promising for companies dealing with IT consulting?
Marta: Internet of Things and Big Data, these two trends are developed by Apollogic anyway.
What kind of knowledge that you acquired is most valuable for you and for Apollogic?
Mikołaj: Upcoming changes and trends that one could see verify that Apollogic is moving in excellent direction. We are up to date with most promising technologies like beacons and Big Data. Keep going! 🙂 Moreover, we collected a dose of valuable information concerning tools that we are planning to develop inside Apollogic. From private point of view I believe, that I found few inspirations, that may be crucial for direction in which the concept of my master thesis may go.
Marta: It was the first fair in my professional career that I took part on behalf of the company (I have participated only as a student before). I find important new experiences gained in business talks. Additionally, InnoJam itself was a fantastic experience. We were divided into international teams, and though I work remotely every day in international projects for one of the leading pharmaceutical companies, it was fantastic to communicate personally with other InnoJam participants 🙂
Which of your assumptions were fulfilled and which were not?
Mikołaj: I hoped to develop a view in which direction IT is heading and I did it, even better than expected. We met plenty of interesting people, there was an occasion for exchange of views and comparison of Polish and German market on which we have a lot of clients. Things that surprised me negatively were thematic lectures organized during fair – they were only in German. I guess, that with such big international event it was possible to prepare them in English. Possibly I could get a bit more from CeBIT in that case but it was great event anyway.
What were the other attractions provided for participants? (shows, concerts, interesting exhibitions etc.)
Mikołaj: On Thursday, after InnoJam results announcement we were invited by SAP for a party at their exhibition stand. It started at 6 p.m. – delicious food, wide range of drinks, pretty talented DJ and excellent occasion to share impressions with other people and give yourself a bit of relaxation after a whole hard week!
Was fair worth visiting?
Marta: Undoubtedly! All in all it is CeBIT 🙂 But to be honest, we were not able to visit fair all this time we had to use, so we focused on priorities.
Mikołaj: 3 x yes! In the end CeBIT advertises itself as biggest IT fair worldwide, I think it is well enough to say. I consider CeBIT and events like this as places where future direction is being given – if one want to be innovative and competitive enterprise, it is a must to be there.
- On 30/03/2015