Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The gamification of Demo Jam

Some Demo Jam thoughts
The Demo Jam is a very powerful event at SAP TechEd to show latest innovations by customers, partners and SAP. No sales pitch allowed. No powerpoints or prezis. Just your demo and a timer set at 6 minutes. I even remember some teams doing live coding on stage.
The last few years a lot is said on the Demo Jam event. It has become a marketing event for SAP, the rules of the game have been changed, it's only SAP on stage, ... Maybe you can recall the lively twitter stream during and after last year's Demo Jam. Thorsten Franz already wrote a great blog on theGenuine Demo Jam Awesomeness and he refers to another great blog by Michael Koch, What Is Wrong With SAP TechEd Demo Jam 2009.
Please allow me to share some thoughts on the Demo Jam as well.

What makes Demo Jam so great?
  • Live shows on stage by fellow SAP NetWeaver enthusiasts, some very serious and others hilarious 
  • Customers, Partners and SAP employees willing to offer spare (own) time to work on their proposal. No strings attached, just to show their peers what they came up with. 
  • An enthusiastic host who energizes the crowd 
  • Timing of the event: at the end of the first day a plenary session to allow everyone to join 
  • Location of the event: keynote hall to host a huge crowd 
  • Live broadcast on the internet 
  • It's the ultimate goal for an SAP NetWeaver professional to participate in Demo Jam just once in your life ;-) 

What makes SAP losing its Demo Jam power
  • Last year (2011) 5 out of 6 teams were SAP teams. I'm not saying SAP employees are not allowed to participate. But the balance just doesn't feel right. Were customers and partners not able to enter a good suggestion? I just can't believe that. 
  • And then, when you have entered a proposal but unfortunately got rejected - you only get an email stating the fact that you are not in. Thank you very much :( Why not adding a jury report to get the feeling that a team of professionals judged your idea. 
  • Evaluate the rules of the game. Is it about showing the latest releases of SAP products, innovations that are almost productized or is to show what you can achieve with SAP NetWeaver technology. One golden rule is that powerpoints are not allowed, please also exclude commercial presentations, either from SAP (like the Business Objects hype from a few years ago) or partners. 

The Gamification of Demo Jam
We're all talking a lot about the gamification of SAP, why not do the same with the Demo Jam. The Gamification of Demo Jam. Open up the event! Bring it back to the community!
  • A public jury - here on SDN - judges all the proposals. All community members are allowed to vote for one entry. The 6 proposals with the highest amount of votes make it to Demo Jam stage. 
  • At SAP TechEd the stage is set and the contestants have their 6 minutes of fame to do their thing.
  • After demoing, a professional jury shares a short feedback on what they saw. This jury is formed by hot shots out of the SAP world, let's say Vishal Sikka, Björn Goerke, ... ;-) Rock stars on stage, just like with The Voice talent show. 
  • When all demo's have been shown, the public jury comes in again. The crowd (onsite or online) cheers for their favorite team and the top 3 gets selected. 
  • With a short recap the 3 finalists are presented again, what did they bring to the stage and what was the opinion of the professional jury. 
  • Then the final battle: again the onsite and online crowd cheer for their favorite and the winner gets selected. 

It is fun!
Don't get me wrong, I really look forward to the Demo Jam in the SAP TechEd agenda. But I hope to see more SDN community participants on stage. Let's not forget that participating is fun!
At least that's what we (André Stuij, Bas Bach and I) experienced while preparing ourselves for the 2010 entry. We didn't get selected for SAP TechEd, but fortunately we were able to do 'our show' at the VNSG (Dutch User Group Conference) in April 2011. We ended up second, right after a team that showed Momentum (now called Work Order Mobile) on the iPad. And yes we felt bad about that, losing from a commercial available product.
But let's stop whining about these results, please laugh along with me when I replay the BPM trains Demo Jam entry:


(Blog posted on SDN at Feb 13, 2012)

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