Next week is SuccessConnect. I have been to a goodly number of these now. My first one was as an analyst. The event was in Amsterdam. I remember an excellent, if somewhat extended keynote from Lars.
I’m looking forward to being on stage with Dave Ragones. Over the last year or so I have learned more about the management part of product management and getting things done from Dave than I have from anyone in my career. James Harvey, our Engineering, Operations and Service Delivery head will join us in the keynote too.
We have an awesome line up of customers, and SAP colleagues. And we will be making a special award. The demos will rock, thanks to Abhijit, Martin and Gerald, and the cast supporting them. A special thanks also to Helen Arnold, who now leads the SAP Data Network. We are working on some funky stuff with Helen’s team that we will chat about and show. There is a buzz at SAP about Leonardo, so we will look at how that will benefit SuccessFactors customers. But I don’t want to give it all away here.
I will also get to spend time with our new leader of product management and product marketing, Amy Wilson. I have known Amy for years. She helped build the Workday products into a formidable competitor, and having her lead our team will only make us stronger. I’m biased, but I don’t think there is a better product team in the HR Tech industry than the one SAP SuccessFactors has assembled. Welcome Amy.
The day one keynote will be led by our own CHRO, Stefan Ries. He is of the staunchest supporters of our product, and he can be our fiercest but fairest critic too. Our partnership with our own HR department has helped make better product. Thanks Stefan and team. His keynote is packed to the brim with customers.
With a bit of luck I might even get to say hello to Richard Branson, but that would be a bonus.
The rest of the week will be filled with customer meetings. I think I have at least 14 meetings. The names that were prospects last time are live customers now. I get to hear from them what’s working well and what could be better. I’ll get to bump into many other customers and partners too. I’m especially curious to catch up with extension partners like James from Enterprise Jungle. Extensions are going mainstream. sweet.
My one disappointment is that I don’t get to see the breakout customer sessions. When customers get up and present what they do with our stuff, and we get to see how the software makes their organisations better, it is the best vindication. My special thanks to those customers like Lionel Safar from Essilor that tell their stories.
The real reason I’m going to London though, is to watch the cricket. India v South Africa at the Oval. Now that will be magnificent. Watching De Villiers dispatch Ashwin nonchalantly over the Vauxhall end, or Kohli’s off stump spiral in the air from a quicker Radaba ball will make my day. Seeing my colleague and friend Murali’s face when that happens will make my year.