We live in an amazing world – wonder what is coming next to marvel me

John Schitka

Posted by John Schitka on September 16, 2014

Senior Director Big Data Analytics Solution Marketing

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As is my regular habit, I caught up on some reading this weekend. Of note were a Wall Street Journal article and an Internet of Things (IoT) guide. The content of DZone’s 2014 Guide to Internet of Things, as good and informative as it was – and it was useful, thought provoking and well worth the read – was not what struck me. It was the descriptive of the opening paragraph and mention of a telepresence robot that resonated and stuck with me. Perhaps, because I was in a setting similar to the one described; sitting in a patio chair, listening to a playlist from an internet music source on my Jambox. And that I too can, and do, control some aspects of my home via my mobile devices, and have had experience with a telepresence robot. It put me a the mood and started me thinking of the amazing world in which I am very privileged to live, how far things have come, and to wondering what would come along next to marvel me.

So, to my experience with a telepresence robot. Ivan Anywhere, our telepresence robot wanders the halls of the once Sybase, now SAP, Waterloo office, and has been doing so since 2007. The name is a compound of the developer who uses it to work remotely and the SQL Anywhere product that powers it. The feat of creating a mobile telepresence to allow a developer, who moved over a 1000 miles away to interact more meaningfully with his co-workers was impressive and cutting edge 7 years ago. But time and technology move on. One intern I recently took on a tour of our office stated ‘oh skype on wheels’ when they first saw Ivan. And now it seems that there are other offices with telepresence robots. Soon they will be everywhere and chatting with the fridges at that. The ingenuity, creativity and drive that created Ivan Anywhere, is still alive and flourishing at the Waterloo office, now merged with others at SAP, and from the acquisitions it has made. A large, synergistic pool of amazing talent driving cutting edge innovation.

And that leads to the Wall Street Journal article of August 21, Chinese Gadgets Signal New Era of Innovation. It discusses the startup environment in China where there is a strong drive and growing network for innovation. A large portion of this innovation is coming in the form of apps and smart gadgets; form sensor devices for sports equipment to IoT devices, to wearables. The description of “tinkers with big dreams” with an emphasis on cutting edge technology made me think again of the innovators at SAP. And of the SAP Startup Focus Program and ecosystem; over 1,500 innovators and visionaries around the world that SAP is enabling and encouraging. And I realized not only do I live in an amazing world, but I work for a pretty cutting edge forward thinking company, which some may find surprising given its size and scale.

And I wonder what is coming next to marvel me. Though they are about 8 weeks away I am really looking forward to Strata Hadoop World NYC, October 15 -17 and to SAP TechEd && dcode, in Las Vegas the following week October 20 – 24. I am going to be at both, and am now really excited to see what I will come across at the shows that will knock my sox off. If you want to experience some innovating from some amazing talent come to the shows. Maybe our paths will cross and you can share with me what makes you see what a wonderful world we are privileged to live in, and what marvels you.

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