Greetings from SAP Community hub Yerevan! We are thrilled to become member of SAP’s extended family and look forward to connect to the larger community and all amazing influencers worldwide!
The first edition of SAP Inside Track Yerevan marked the official launch of our community. Catch a few glimpses of the great fun we had through this recap video or photos.
Before I tell how it all started and went, let us celebrate a new record in the history of SAP Inside Tracks…MORE FEMALE PARTICIPANTS THAN MEN!!!
Yes, we have many women in tech in Armenia, and in 1980ies the percentage of women majoring in Computer Science even reached 75%.
Putting it all in context
Whether its just no lack of women in tech 😉 or several other reasons as well, one thing is sure: Armenia has highly innovative tech ecosystem and might even become the World’s Next Tech Hub (not my prediction, but Forbes article).
Natural question for me as an Armenian working at SAP was “does my company harness innovation potential of my country?”. The answer was “Yes” as many SAP organizations have initiated interesting collaborations in Armenia.
I had the pleasure to observe and support new partnership of SAP CIS and Business Angels Network of Armenia launching startup incubation and acceleration program with support of EU4Business and German Development Cooperation GIZ.
Very promising collaboration was announced between SAP Innovation Center Network in Potsdam and EU TUMO Convergence Center. This story started from a dialogue initiated by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, after she was impressed by innovative tech education model of TUMO Center in Yerevan.
SAP reached also Armenia’s rural areas thanks to SAP Next-Gen Lab in COAF Smart Center. It is aimed to support children in villages throughout their tech education journeys.
Taking into account also local customers and partners, we can surely say there are many SAP related folks of all age groups and expertise levels in Armenia. So my first thought was:
Let’s unite everyone into one vibrant SAP community to untap full potential of all these programs through new collaborations and expertise exchange!
And that’s how it all begun! Together with many enthusiastic SAP colleagues with strong connections to Armenia we joined forces and volunteered to build SAP community hub in Armenia.
What a ‘month of SAP’ in Armenia!
As a result of active alignment with SAP CIS colleagues we ended up jointly crafting several weeks full of SAP highlights with both official and community driven activities going on.
We kicked off with a virtual webinar series by SAP BTP GTM team with expert sessions on a range of SAP technologies for around 100 participants joining live from Armenia. Kudos to Toros Aledjian for amazing organization and all experts for great sessions!
Meanwhile we had for the first time SAP’s strong presence at the largest tech gathering in Armenia. Thanks to the efforts of DigiTech and DigiWeek Summits organizers Raffi Kassarjian, Berge Ayvazyan and also SAP CIS colleagues we had SAP speakers – Andrey Yakimov, CTO, SAP (CIS) and Andrej Bievetski, Managing Director, SAP Labs CIS and Klaus Schimmer, Chief Innovation Architect for Sustainability
Another highlight was the Innovation Day Yerevan 2021 organized by SAP partners, SAP CIS and SAP Armenia AE Valeri Sargsyan. It was great to see all major SAP ecosystem players of CIS region gather in Yerevan and share their experiences.
The great finish of SAP month in Armenia was the first edition of SAP Inside Track Yerevan. In spite the fact that registration opened only a week before the event, we got over 110 registrations and had 60+ onsite and around 30 virtual attendees! What a huge success for a first SIT edition!
#sitYerevan – Wrap up
I opened the event introducing our initiative and also the team that acted behind the stage. In short my message was: ‘Let’s unite and become new active hub of the global SAP Community and realize a successful SAP Armenia win-win story!
SAP rockstar Svea Becker joined us virtually from Germany with a session that I would call “Warm welcome to SAP Community Armenia!”. Looking at Svea’s ‘I love my job’ selfie from #sitYerevan, I just want to say ‘I love how you do your job! Keep rocking!
We were honored to have as keynote speaker Andrej Bievetski, Managing Director of SAP Labs CIS who provided great overview of SAP covering it’s history, vision, strategy and how it may all relate to Armenia’s tech ecosystem.
SAP facts and figures in the context of overall CIS region were presented by Valeri Sargsyan, SAP Armenia AE who knows everything about the local market.
Next was the debut of a newly established SAP partner OneVision. Thanks to Kristina Avalyan we learned about the plans of realizing long awaited localization of SAP Business One for Armenian market.
Then we had customer success story session by Tigran Simonyan, the most techie Detputy bank CEO I have met so far 🙂 As an award winning customer in the CIS region ACBA Bank has collected such deep SAP expertise that it even launched a separate company specializing in SAP as a new regional partner.
Bahareh Fatemi, Senior Project Manager at TUMO labs provided good overview of 22 innovation exploration challenges developed by SAP ICN on emerging topics such as the future of self-service, augmented access control. I found interesting the idea of creating special chain in collaboration with Startup Factory project, where students who got SAP education have the chance to directly enter the startup programs in case they have interesting product ideas.
Finally the famous SAP Startup Factory was presented by Grigor Hovhannisyan, Director of BANA. This project managed to gain interest of many innovative startups and first batch got 80+ applications where due to limited space only10 were selected for the acceleration and 5 for incubation.
It is a great privilege to be part of a passionate team of SAP colleagues who contribute regularly to Armenia’s SAP ecosystem. Thank you for all your efforts Toros Aledjian, Valeri Sargsyan, Klaus Schimmer, Philippe Poux, Harutyun Ter-Minasyan, Ara Aguzumtsyan, Narek Danoyan, Gohar Georgyan, Yana Andriyasova, Eric Chekemian and all others who join our team.
And of course, #sitYerevan would not have been possible without financial and non-financial support of our sponsors SAP Community, TUMO Labs, OneVision, StartDoon, SAP Startup Factory by BANA, Startup Foundation Armenia and Nooor Blockchain Armenia.
SAP Community became one of my favorite aspects of life@SAP and I feel grateful to all influencers who create great grassroots spirit and inspire others like me to follow their great example. I thank particularly Svea Becker, Christian Braukmüller, Katarina Nonhebel, Fred Verheul, Jan Penninkhof and Craig Cmehil for all the advice and support I got throughout my SAP community adventures.
As Toros Aledjian put it well, this was just the end of the beginning! We plan to continue the momentum and expand our network offering regular grassroot events. So stay tuned as we will have SAP Meetups, Virtual Webinars, CodeJams coming soon. Please let us know in case you have topic preferences, own session proposals…We would also love to hear any suggestions or comments while we make our first baby steps as a community.
See you soon at our next grassroots event in Armenia!