The 3 Biggest Surprises at SAP Financials 2012
Image Integration Systems participated in the SAP Financials 2012 conference in Las Vegas – a collaboration between SAP and SAPinsider. While this wasn’t the first such conference we’ve participated in, it had been a few years since we had done so. This was a great event from our perspective and we’ve already committed to participate at SAP Financials 2013.
While at the conference, we met and talked with 300+ participants, including a small sampling of some of the other exhibitors. Almost to a person, the feedback was that this was a very good event and people were glad to have been there. While the responses to the breakout sessions were generally positive, there were some mixed responses to some sessions. Some of the most experienced attendees at the event including some of the breakout speakers themselves said they were being challenged by their own management teams to come back with value to their own businesses beyond just being a good corporate citizen via providing value to others through their presentations.
Even those of us that participate in a number of these events will find some interesting surprises through attending conferences like this. Rather than focusing on the standard things that everyone might commonly report about SAP Financials 2012, I thought it would be more interesting to focus on the biggest surprises I experienced at the conference. So, here is a summary of the 3 biggest surprises I experienced at SAP Financials 2012.
- People were genuinely there to interact, including during the receptions. At many shows there are dedicated exhibit floor hours and the exhibit floor is open during lunch and in the evening during receptions. I found the attendees at SAP Financials 2012 substantially more interested in walking around and interacting with exhibitors during the reception times than at most other events where I’ve participated. I’d love to be able to tell you why this is the case – it was just so. Maybe it’s something about the SAP ecosystem culture as a whole.
- Most attendees were willing to be courteous and interact, even if they weren’t directly interested in what you were offering. There were numerous conversations with participants attending SAP Financials along with those attending the other co-located SAP conferences – SAP GRC 2012 and SAP HR 2012 – even though they hadn’t come to the conference to talk about accounts payable automation and workflow technology; however, most people were interested in discussing what they were there for and to look for common ground in discussions without simply shutting down conversations because you were there for some other primary purpose. Again, maybe this is just an SAP thing.
- There were some interesting and surprising gaps in other SAP-oriented accounts payable automation solutions. We had some very fascinating conversations with people about shortcomings they raised and were working to overcome in their incumbent AP automation solutions and how we handled those things in DocuSphere – things that we would have thought before the show that all good AP automation solutions handled equally well.Some people were looking for point solutions to detect duplicate payments after they had occurred, while others wondered how to clean up bad data and invalid transactions in SAP after they had been posted. Since DocuSphere automatically detects duplicate invoices and duplicate payments at multiple steps along the workflow path before payments are setup to occur in SAP and simulates all transactions in SAP before posting them and pulls back the exact SAP error messages should an error occur, we had anticipated this being the industry norm. Apparently, that’s not the case.Participants also asked if we could capture and automatically match multiple line item invoices with SAP PO and receipt data, since their incumbent solutions couldn’t. DocuSphere does scan and capture multiple line items on an invoice and automatically matches these as well.
As a team, we were very pleased with the discussions at this year’s SAP Financials 2012 conference and look forward to participating at next year’s SAP Financials 2013. For those of you running SAP, please feel free to review more information about our DocuSphere All-in-One for SAP Accounts Payable solution or feel free to reach out to us via our Contact Us page.