Write, Teach, Laugh

No Sidewalks, Just Porsches

Originally published on the SAP Community Network – 

This is slight departure from my planned monthly blog (which will show up later), but I think it’s appropriate for SAP beginners like me.  I’ve just attended training at the SAP Americas headquarters outside of Philadelphia, so I thought I’d share a few suggestions.

On the cab ride from the airport I saw many names with which I was familiar — King’s College, Villanova, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr — mostly from basketball scores. I had no idea they were all so close together. Although the schools were close together, not much else is.  If you’re educational stay lasts more than a few days — especially if it spans a weekend — you might want to rent a car.

Classic Pennsylvania barn

Classic Pennsylvania barn

The hotel at which I stayed provided complementary limo service (no, not a van, a real limo) to and from SAP.  The recent Valentine’s Day storm had just subsided so everything was covered with white.  SAP Americas is located in the midst of a plush, semi-rural community.  No sidewalks, just Porsche and Cadillac dealerships. Think Beverly Hills, but with houses on lots the size of several football fields, with barns and stables. I felt I had been driven into a box of Hallmark Christmas cards — barns with American flags hanging on the side, endless fields of pristine white snow, deer pawing thought the white searching for green, English country houses, Southern columned homes, and a lot of good solid eastern Pennsylvania brick.

An ABAPer from Purdue who rode with me in the limo summed it up: “Darn, even the horses here live better than I do.”

CS_SAP_1_zoom

Not-of-this-Earth SAP HQ

Then you turn left, and in the midst of this sylvan paradise, sits SAP Americas.  Rising from the white, the glass and steel building, completely free of frost and snow, protrudes like a totally alien presence, strikingly beautiful and powerful.  I immediately thought of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude or a building on Coruscant (What, you thought I’d reference the Crystal Palace of the Great Exhibition of 1851 or The Annenberg School of Communication at USC? Hey, I am a nerd, after all.)

Inside, however, there were neither holograms of Jor-El nor Wookies.  There was an extremely helpful, professional and friendly staff.  The classrooms were comfortable with plenty of white boards and excellent projectors. (They won’t let you bring cameras in to take photos of the white boards, however.) The network performance was fast and flawless and the supply of snacks and beverages was always sufficient to keep the neurons firing.  If you get a chance to attend training at SAP Americas, go for it.  It’s definitely a worthwhile experience.

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