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It is Monday morning and the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is slowly being converted into the SAPPHIRE. The event is due to begin tomorrow morning with a keynote presentation from Leo Apotheker, and the finishing touches are being made to the trade fair stands. Despite the temperature outside reaching 34 degrees celsius, the room is well air-conditioned; indeed it is freezing by European standards.

Prior to the actual opening, there were events for SAP partners, along with the first meetings with colleagues from SAP and members of the SAP EcoSystem. In the evening, there were further presentations from Steve Levitt, author of the best-selling "Freakonomics" and Abbe Mulders, the Vice Chairperson of the ASUG — but these were not for us. Tradition dictates that on the evening before SAPPHIRE, a ceremony is held, in which partners are granted the Pinnacle Award for various different categories. This year, the Hardrock Cafe on Universal Boulevard provided a fitting venue for the event. We were really happy when the award for the greatest customer satisfaction was conferred, as for the second time running, IDS Scheer received this honor. This is especially pleasing as feedback from SAP customers is considered in this category. This year, the award is a shiny, metallic obelisk, which will take pride of place next to last year's award in Saarbruecken. After one final drink in the bar, it was straight back to the hotel on the shuttle and then to the computer to write these first few lines about the SAPPHIRE. It is now long past midnight and tomorrow things will really get busy. There are interesting presentations to see, my diary is full of appointments and in the evening there is the IDS Scheer customer event. So now it really is time to go to bed.

Tags: SAP