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ITP Student attends SAP SAPPHIRE

December 17th, 2012

By Sophie Fei Xu It was like a dream. I had taken ITP 320 with Professor Kale and was taking Professor Vawter’s ITP 454 class. Professor Vawter introduced an opportunity to apply to attend the SAP SAPPHIRE conference. I was accepted and that is where my dream began. SAP paid for the whole trip including flights, hotels, food, and even a private concert. On my flight to Orlando, I was placed in the First Class Cabin, surrounded by Deloitte senior managers. One partner revealed that 70% of their SAP related projects started at the annual SAPPHIRE Conference. Later on, I found out that the whole plane consists of Sapphire attendees. It was such a huge event that there were 3 SAP SAPPHIRE check-in windows right at the airport.

SAP SAPPHIRE is an annual conference meant for SAP customers to meet with SAP-related service providers, including Microsoft, IBM, PwC, Accenture, Dell, Hewlett Packard, and hundreds more. There were keynote speaker events, live demos, and new product launches. The three-day event attracted over 16,000 attendees to Orlando, another 10,000 followers online, and major press presence such as CNN lobbying in 6 studios right on the show floor. SAP University Alliance team selected 40 college students from North America to display SAP’s influence as well as to evaluate the next generation of SAP professionals. In addition to exploring the show floor, the University Alliance Team presented to the executive board, learned about SAP HANA from its developers. We were also provided an overview of career opportunities. During one show floor tour, I conversed with an Accenture representative manager. He was so impressed by my knowledge of SAP that he presented me with a job offer right on the spot.
The evening schedules were as full as our day schedules. We had dinner in Downtown Disney with the executive board. On our last night, SAP threw a private Van Halen Concert at the Orlando Amway Center for SAPPHIRE attendees only. All the venders provided unlimited food and drinks that were paid for by Deloitte the concert sponsor. It was such an exciting and inspiring event I was sad see come to an end. I would have never had the privilege to be part of such a remarkable event had I not taken courses with the Information Technology Program. I want to extend a special thank you to Professor Kale and Professor Vawter who encouraged me to apply and helped make my dream a reality.