Las Vegas?  Again?

Well, yes and no. Yes, my favorite conference of the year is in Las Vegas again this year from March 21-24. Admittedly, I’ve been to Las Vegas so often that the airport has a plaque with my name on it, and the MGM Grand holds a room in my honor. Well, not really.

However, if you compare staying at the MGM with staying at the Mirage, you will find they are two very different experiences.  The Mirage, for example, is on the other side of the street.  And it has lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!  (Well, actually, white tigers, white lions, and dolphins, but close enough.)  Of course, there is a great new variety of restaurants for you to try, and you might even see the Beatles, or a reasonable facsimile.

Besides, think about these alternate conference locations:  Phoenix in the summer?  Orlando during hurricane season?  Portland during rainy season?  Chicago anytime?  No offense to residents of these great cities….

In any case, I’m glad to be visiting the Mirage this time, and I hope you will be too.  Now, to get to the point, I’ve listed below a few conference sessions that looked interesting to me.  Keep in mind, though, that I’m a compliance wonk and an SAP Process Control (PC) solution manager, so my interests may not coincide with yours.  You can check out these and more—and even build your conference agenda—on the GRC2017 website.

My GRC Session Picks

So here’s what currently tickles my fancy:

  • ANY customer panel: I personally love hearing what customers are doing, the mistakes they have made, and how they’ve learned from them.  Some of our customers are quite creative, and I personally vouch for those participating in the panel on Tuesday afternoon moderated by Bruce McCuaig.  Or, if you’re beginning an SAP Process Control implementation, you might instead want to check out Marc Jackson’s session about PC design decisions that could “make or break” your implementation.  (Yes, these sessions compete.)
  • “A Blueprint for Effective GRC Strategies in a Dynamic Environment”: This should be a real treat—Michael Rasmussen of GRC 20/20 Research and an OCEG fellow will be speaking in person.  Michael always has a lot to say, makes me think, and goes so far back with governance, risk and compliance that he claims to have coined the GRC name.
  • “Cybersecurity is NOT Just an IT Issue”: So says Thomas Frénéhard, a colleague and friend of mine.  At times like these when “cybersecurity” has become a cocktail party word and with vendors often telling you one application can do it all, Thomas will no doubt share some of the “inconvenient truths.”  He’s always a good speaker, so enjoy.
  • ANY session by Marie-Luise Wagener: In case you missed it, Marie is now with SAP SE doing GRC “stuff” for SAP itself.  Essentially she’s gone from being a long-time consultant to being a customer (albeit internal) for our SAP GRC solutions.  She consistently gets high ratings because of her in-depth knowledge and willingness to share tips you won’t find anywhere else.  This year, I particularly like the case study about how SAP SE researched and created their business rules for continuous control monitoring.
  • Customer sessions by two of my favorite Process Control customers, Honeywell and Eli Lilly and Company: Both have been creative in how they use PC and are talking about what they did and how they did it.

These are my picks, but there are a bunch of sessions that look promising (including mine, I must humbly admit).  So there should be no shortage of sessions for you.

What Else?

  • Solution Center (aka “the lab”): Have specific things you’d like to discuss? Problems to solve?  Answers you need?  Just want to talk?  If so, the Solution Center is for you.  Book your appointments with selected SAP GRC specialists, and we’ll be glad to help.  Our customers tell us this is an important highlight of the conference, and we at SAP really enjoy it also.
  • SAP Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) Customer Advisory Council Meeting: Monday afternoon SAP GRC hosts a Customer Advisory Council meeting where the customers are the stars of the show (although the cocktails seem to also be appreciated). Kick off the conference by meeting a variety of customers and making new “conference friends.” By the way, if you are an SAP GRC customer and somehow we missed sending you an invitation, please contact me directly at
  • Networking sessions: There will be scheduled yet informal networking sessions where participants can chat with a speaker about a specific topic. Sounds good to me—in fact, I think I’m helping moderate one about three lines of defense with Simon Persin from Turnkey Consulting.  Do come join us.

…. As always, I’m looking forward to hanging out with so many knowledgeable GRC and other business professionals all in the same place.  But you—what do YOU want to do?