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SAP Mentors

25 Posts authored by: Mark Finnern

Super happy that 5K Fun Run/Walk at SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas is happening again this year. Here is the little story how it came to be.

One day about 2 years ago around this time of year I realized, that Bjoern Goerke an avid runner would be at SAP TechEd as well, and thought it would be fun to get together one morning for a run with him, the SAP Mentors and whoever else would like to join us. He was game and the Run with the Pack at TechEd Las Vegas was born, as well as the jokes about my face color matching my running shorts ;-)


I called up Greg Myers today to find out how our crazy little run would become an official part of SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas? After all in this town of vices and distractions, it is tough to get folks out of bed early Wednesday morning to enjoy the cold Las Vegas air. The stragglers from the previous night will gaze with astonishment at us, asking is it real or is their drunkenness playing a trick on them. Let me tell you, it is real and fun.



Greg Myers took the run to the next level by nudging the SAP TechEd organizational team to create an official fun run out of it. I am really happy that he saw the potential for the larger SAP community in Las Vegas and made it happen. Kudos as well to the SAP TechEd && d-code team for taking a risk and trying it out and creating a new tradition.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 3.11.00 PM.png

Here the recording of the quick interview with Greg Myers regarding Culture Jamming SAP.


We added playfulness as another trait that make SAP Mentors what they are to the SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document recently. This 5k Fun Run is another example of where the SAP Mentor's playfulness made a difference to SAP and its community.

The lesson is: you can do it too. If you have an idea for an improvement, don't hesitate to try it. It may start small, but it also may just work.

Almost hidden in the announcement of the New SAP Mentors Spring 2014 blog post there was already a link to nominate a new SAP Mentor. 35 suggestions on who should be a one have been posted.


What does it take to be an SAP Mentor?


We have created a nifty document to help you recognize potential new SAP Mentors. It is the SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document. We SAP Mentors recently went through the exercise to revise it. In addition to Lead by Example, Passion, Constructive in Our Criticisms, Be Humble and Inclusion we added three more principles that the mentor magic is built upon: Deep Curiosity, Full of Gratitude and Playfulness.


In this post I would like to focus on Playfulness. Why does being playful make a difference? It took me a while to realize the importance of playfulness, and there is no full consensus among the SAP Mentors about it.

Here are a couple examples that illustrate the difference playfulness is making:

Bjoern Goerke.jpg


I remember Bjoern Goerke after finishing a fast paced back and forth webinar with the SAP Mentors, leaning back and saying: "You guys always seem to have fun." That mixture of intense high signal conversation, but at the same time friendly banter that is putting him and everyone in the webinar at ease.


It's a chicken and egg thing,you need to be relaxed and have a certain amount of trust for playfulness to develop. By being playful, you create a relaxed atmosphere.


From twitter we knew that Bjoern is an avid runner. On a lark I pinged him and asked whether he would be open for a run with the SAP Mentor Wolfpack. He totally was game. Which lead to the now infamous picture of me with the red head. Some of the SAP Mentors nudged the SAP TechEd team which lead to last year's amazing 5K Fun Run.


5k Fun Run/Walk at SAP TechEd 2013 Las Vegas


That event only happened because of some playfully creating connections where there weren't any before.


Or SAP Mentor Jim Spath developing the SCNotties: The award show for the best of the worst media from the SAP community. And when we say best, we mean the cheesiest. B Movies are our role model.


One of my fondest memories of years past is playing the lead role in a stop animation short film. Well actually it was a Lego figure med in my liking.



Thank you so much John Astill. He even gave me the piece!


Another example was the Hug a Suit campaign mostly driven by Chris Kernaghan and Oliver Kohl that I wrote about in Culture Jamming SAP.


For Joyfulness to work you need a certain level of trust, that if you stumble and fall, there are folks that will pick you up. You need a deeper level of intimacy than your regular business relationships, especially when these relationships go beyond company borders. And, those qualities are self-reinforcing. More fun makes for more sense of connection and ease.


Now not all SAP Mentors are joyful, for some it is harder to tab into that side of their personality. That is totally OK. What you have to bring to being an SAP Mentor is a tolerance for others being joyful, sometimes even silly. Let's roll with it, as something great may come from this playfulness attitude.


You know someone who fills most of the attributes from SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document, please nominate her to become a new SAP Mentor!

Wow, it is almost June already, Sapphire and ASUG Annual Conference only two weeks away, high time to welcome the new SAP Mentors!

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~130 mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions of community-driven projects. More details on SCN: http://sapmentors.sap.com

SAP Mentor Introduction Slide Deck on SlideShare.



In the  SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document, we put principles together to guide our interactions: Lead by Example,

Passion, Constructive in our Criticism, No Culture of Entitlement, Inclusion… We are discussing amending these principles with Curiosity and Playfulness!

Interesting stuff happens at the intersection of different modules, industries or technologies. One element that brings you into SAP Mentor territory is going beyond simply being amazing in your area of expertise to look further to establish connections to other focus areas.


Playfulness may not be a prerequisite to become an SAP Mentor, yet when we are able to work/jam playfully, then Mentor Magic happens. Like the #suithugger campaign the SAP Mentors created 3 years ago in Madrid. It was the first time that Sapphire and SAP TechEd were held at the same p

lace. Ian Kimbell during the first night's Demo Jam joked from stage: "Geeks! Be kind to the suits in the audience." Chris Kernaghan and Oliver Kohl picked up Ian's suggestion and started a #suithugger meme: meet a suit, hug him, capture it and share the picture on the internet. It was magical that after the first awkwardness the geeks were asking themselves, “whom have we not hugged yet” and the suits openly wondering where the SAP Mentor love is, if they had not been hugged yet. Whom do you know that brings playfulness, curiosity, and passion to the SAP Ecosystem? If that person isn't an SAP Mentor already or listed below, please nominate that future SAP Mentor for the fall SAP Mentor round.

Life Cycle

SAP Mentors have a life cycle. After a couple of years, Mentors level up. They get carried in another direction. Then they join the SAP Mentor Alumni group. This makes room for new mentors to bring in their fresh energy and new ideas to get us to the next level.

SAP Mentor Alumni still make their strong voices heard from time to time. John Moy told me "I actually feel less pressure to contribute now that I am an SAP Mentor Alum." That was just before SAP TechEd last year and then he wrote: Why I want my Fiori to run like a Ferrari, arguably one of the best SCN blog posts from 2013 as you can see from the very detailed comments even from the SAP internal UI5 team.


An extra big Thank You! goes out to all of the new SAP Mentor Alumni, we would not be where the SAP Mentor Initiative is without your help and dedication, mostly done on top of your daily work.


These are the new SAP Mentor Alumni: Alvaro Tejada GalindoAnton Wenzelhuemer, Arun Varadarajan, Dave Rathbun, Dipankar Saha, Harald Reiter, John Harrickey; John Moy, Lantao Yang, Martin English Nigel James, Rich Heilman, Somnath Manna Thomas Jung



Please welcome the new SAP Mentors that have been nominated by you the SCN community.




Bruno Lucattelli Brazil
His SCN bio is in Portuguese areads: Paulistano de nascimento. Programador desde os 16 anos. Consultor SAP desde 2004. Palestrante no SAP Inside Track desde 2009. Fotógrafo desde 2010. Tenho grande interesse nos aspectos técnicos e humanos do desenvolvimento e manutenção de soluções de software. -- Google translate gives us: Paulistano at birth. Programmer for 16 years. SAP Consultant since 2004. Lecturer at SAP Inside Track since 2009. Photographer since 2010. I have great interest in technical and human development and respect the maintenance of software solutions. Bruno is very active at SCN events in Brazil. His SAP Inside Track presentations are very impressive.



Christian Braukmüller Germany
Starting with SAP Basis in 1994 ...Decision to be an independent Basis-Consultant in 2004, to be more flexible for upcoming technology and user-group-engagement.* 10 times SAPTechEd-Attendee* 4 times InnoJam (2014 we (CloudSitters) made it at InnoJam and DemoJam in Amsterdam. Still smiling! )* 10 times joining DSAG-annual conference (DSAG German-speaking SAP Usergroup) Participating at SAP-Inside Tracks and CodeJams and love to meet people from different areas of expertise.


Eli Klovski Belgium/Russia

18 years of experience in systems analysis. Performing ERP solutions (SAP) in financial modules: accounting, controlling, funds, project management. SAP full-cycle implementations, roll-outs, business flow coordination, support and data migration projects. Appointed SAP(SCN) moderator.Strong background in finance and economics. Performing financial analysis, costing, budget management, business modeling, etc. BI implementations in various enterprises: telecommunication, government, heavy industry, pharmaceuticals, etc. He is a long time contributor and moderator of the Financial space on SCN.




James Wood USA

Founder and principal consultant of Bowdark Consulting, Inc. Author of 'Object-Oriented Programming in ABAP Objects', 'ABAP Cookbook', 'SAP NetWeaver PI: A Developer's Guide', and 'Web Dynpro ABAP: The Comprehensive Guide' -- James is the perfect embodiment of what an SAP Mentor should be - empathic, approachable, respectful, and willing to go out of his way to explain SAP.


Jitendra Kansal India

Working as an SAP SMP mobility consultant. He has been SCN member of the Month in February 2014. He is recognized as SAP Mobile Platform Developer forum topic leader. Has been featured for SAP TechEd Live interview – A Year of Blog It forward and its impact on SAP Community Network. He helped the SCN team out at the SAP TechEd Clubhouse in Bangalore. He is an active SCN moderator for “SAP NetWeaver Gateway” --He is one of the top active contributors in the SCN mobility space.



Julia Dorbic Germany

Consultant, Trainer - Coming across the Design Thinking approach as an iterative, user-oriented process to solve complex problems and to develop innovative ideas based on the work of interdisciplinary teams allows her to work in a manner that she believes in. Julia is a design thinking expert and very passionate about it, has trained a LOT of the SAP engineers at SAP Labs China (train the trainers).



Martin Steinberg Germany

SAP Netweaver developer, ABAP, Java, SAP for Utilities, IDEX, IDXGC, PI/PO, HANA and fan of SAP Stammtisch München. Martin is very engaged with the ABAP in Eclipse team and spreading the word about AiE at his employer, training and public events like the Munich SAP CodeJam and SAP Inside Track. He has helped Gregor Wolf to grow the Munich SAP Stammtisch which is a monthly meetup of people interested in SAP technologies and applications from the south Bavaria area. He also co-organized the SITMuc 2013 and does it again in 2014.




Ravi Shankar Venna UK

Ravi Venna is SAP Certified in FI/CO (4.6C), SEM (3.5), BW (3.0), Solution Manager (4.0) and SAP NetWeaver – Security (WEB AS 6.40), FI (ECC 6.0) and Business Foundation & Integration. Ravi has considerable experience in the following modules of SAP: New GL, AP, AR, AA, CE, CCA, IO and PCA. Ravi is very active in forums and blogs. -- He is one of the most celebrated members in SCN regarding his area of expertise.


Raymond Giuseppi France
Raymond has tons and tons of knowledge and has been contributing/helping/mentoring people on SCN for a long time. So much so, that over the years he has collected almost 24k points on SCN He works for the airplane manufacturer Dassault Falcon. From his name you wouldn't guess that he is working in France. 



Robert Eijpe Netherlands

Robert is one of the leading UI5 experts, as well as an expert on NetWeaver Gateway and NetWeaver Business Client. In all his areas of expertise he's actively influencing SAP and giving feedback. He has a very good relation with the different product managers and travels to WDF regularly to discuss the products mentioned above. He has also been a semi-regular speaker at events like SAPTechEd and Adobe Max. He was the driving force behind the first Dutch Innojam event (which will be held for the fourth time this year).



Robin van het Hof Netherlands

Robin is an SAP NetWeaver Portal Architect / SAPUI5 developer with firm experience in the largest, technically challenging portal initiatives to date.He is a solution driven consultant, trying his best to provide more than extra value to my customers and their employees. I put particular emphasis on confidentiality, quality and client satisfaction while maintaining the highest technical standards.He's recognized as one of the top notch software engineers in the Netherlands on SAP-Web-Products and plays an active role in the community.He printed SAPUI5 T-Shirts:-) They were very popular and important to get UI5 open sourced.




Tom Van Doorslaer Belgium

Besides extensive knowledge and experience in all things ABAP (OO, Webdynpro, CRM Webui), Tom also has a lot of knowledge in other fields: HANA, CLOUD, Mobile solutions, and integration techniques (and probably even more). Tom combines this technical knowledge with overall functional knowledge. He focuses on improving the user experience.Tom is always up-to-date with new techniques, both from the SAP and NON-SAP world.



Zal Parchem USA

SAP Related Only: Have done a large number of SAP Business One implementations and also helping out when the original implementation did not go as well as planned (I call those 'fix er uppers'). Along with those activities, I continue to do spot support when requested by SAP Partner or directly from a Customer (User) of SAP B1. -- Zal is going to have "WHERE am I???" on the back of his mentor shirt, as he is traveling the world implementing B1 and his clients have a tough time to keep up with him, so they always ask him, where are you?



<New Mystery SAP Mentor> Australia

This is a placeholder for a new customer SAP Mentor that was nominated, accepted, but requested to stay anonymous for just a little bit longer. He will be announced some time after Sapphire.  Stay tuned.




Jocelyn Dart Australia

Jocelyn has worked for SAP for a frighteningly long time. In her defense she did work both on several customer sites, and as a contractor in several countries, before becoming entrenched as part of the SAP furniture. Jocelyn stays at SAP because SAP is a proactive, collaborative, and a seriously great employer. She got a lot of nominations this time around: Jocelyn is now making inroads into Decision Service Management, and has also conquered BRF+. In addition, she is one of the top acknowledged resources for BPM, and her skill set extends all the way back to plain old SAP Workflow and ABAP. She has also extended her role to Process Orchestration



Luis Felipe Lanz Spain

Luis is a former Development Project Manager and SAP NetWeaver Platinum Consultant, that now work as Regional Partner Manager for the Mediterranean Europe, with the exclusive Run SAP Partner Program. -- Support is getting greater importance within the community as well as within SAP. Luis was the first one within the support organization to see the potential of SDN/SCN years back and is best positioned to connect ideas from the community to the right people within SAP. Really an important role going forward.


Manju Bansal USA

At the SAP Startup Focus Manju helps run strategy, marketing and operations for SAP Startup Focus, which is an incubator program where we work with promising startups worldwide and enable them to build their solutions on SAP HANA. My job entails doing traditional product marketing, coupled with platform evangelization and building an ISV program to bring in outside startups / developers who can build their solutions on our platform. Manju led the HANA for Humanity effort with SAP.

As I wrote above, whom do you know that brings playfulness, curiosity, and passion to the SAP Ecosystem? If that person isn't an SAP Mentor already, please nominate that future SAP Mentor for the round in the fall.

If you want to get to know them better, please join our 2 new SAP Mentors Introduction webinar happening next Monday 26th of May 9pm PST as well as Tuesday 27th 9am PST. [More Details including dial in numbers.]

Please nominate that extra special SAP expert who works tirelessly and selflessly for the SAP community's betterment to become an SAP Mentor.

Being an SAP Mentor will give that SAP expert more opportunities to make a bigger dent into the SAP universe.


Before you choose your nominee, check out the SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document to ensure you understand the traits that lead to magic: Lead by example, Passion, Constructive in Your Criticisms, No Culture of Entitlement and Inclusion.


OpenUI5 is one example where SAP Mentor's magic shined in 2013. For years different SAP Mentors have hammered away to make the life of an SAP developer easier. Whether fighting for better developer licenses or for easy downloads and access to SAP systems. We have been successful, just listen to Jim Snabe thanking SAP Mentors for their part in making HANA for developers freely available in the cloud.


Throughout 2013 the SAP Mentors were nudging SAP on a different developer related topic: "SAP has this great UI technology with SAPUI5. Make it available to a larger audience. Open source it". Turns out, that a similar push came from within the ranks of SAP employees and without this background commitment from the internal development it would not have happened.


There were many meetings with executives up and down the SAP organization via webinars and especially during the SAP TechEds in Las Vegas and Amsterdam, where UI5 was frequently discussed. It was one of the strongest signals from these meetings.


Once back, the SAP Mentors made the case:

        Check out the comments with great input from many SAP Mentors as well as SCN community members.


There was so much activity, that I am sure I am missing important people and events. Please post and link to them in the comments section.

I was privy to some of the discussions within SAP and even on the evening of SAP TechEd in Bangalore, it was still not a done deal.


Update: Improved picture of the announcement.

Below the picture I took with my phone.

OpenUI5 Announcement Michael Reh SAP TechEd Bangalore 2013.JPG

Much better picture of Michael Reh on the keynote stage shot by Jansi Rani Murugesan Thanks!



But then during the SAP TechEd Bangalore keynote the next morning Michael Reh announced OpenUI5. Rightfully wearing his honorary SAP Mentor shirt.

I was shaking with joy as you can see from the picture I took, or I am just a lousy photographer. ;-)


SAP Mentors are working with SAP to ensure that OpenUI5 is a success. Just check the activity regarding OpenUI5 in StackOverflow. OpenUI5 this year is the cornerstone of the outreach to developers beyond SAP.


This OpenUI5 example showcases the SAP Mentors at their best. They see an opportunity and work on all levels to improve SAP for the betterment of the entire SAP community.


Folks with fire to engage with the SAP community, the passion to collaborate and co-innovate with SAP and being a advocate for the SAP community even beyond SAP those are the ones that you should nominate to become the next SAP Mentor. Do it now!

Dear Hasso Plattner,


Your vision and leadership successfully developed and helped us navigate through three computing (r)evolutions: Real time computing with R/2, client server computing with R/3 and now in memory computing with HANA.


Come to think of it, you made the world and with that our lives run better.


You are in inspiration to all of us, especially the SAP Mentors.

As a token of our appreciation we collected some well wished on your big day from all over the world.


Happy Birthday and thank you for all that you have done over the years.



If people want to find out more about the different well wishers, all SAP Mentors are listed on this page.


Here some pictures collected over the years of engaging with the SAP Mentors.


First SAP Mentor contact DKOM 2011

Hasso Plattner with SAP Mentors at DKOM.jpg


First longer meeting with SAP Mentors at Sapphire 2011. It was set for 30 minutes and 70 minutes later we took this picture.

hasso with SAP Mentors sapphire 2012.jpg


Hanging out with SAP Mentors in Orlando 2012.

Hasso with SAP Mentors sapphire  2012.jpg


Happy to receive the SAP Mentor shirt 2013

Hasso Happy To Receive 2013 SAP Mentor Shirt.JPG            


Dr Prof Hasso Plattner - aka honorary SAP Mentor 007

HP 007 Medium.jpg

It was, is and always will be a balancing act to select new SAP Mentors. I feel it’s getting harder, with every year the initiative gets more prominence in the SAP ecosystem, and with that it really makes a huge difference for people who’ve been selected. And also for all the amazing SAP experts who didn’t make it…this time.


Sometimes I might get an email that says, "Look how many points I have on SCN, you have to make me an SAP Mentor now." I think that’s because some people believe mentorship is the pinnacle of what gets measured via the point system on SCN.


It is not.


We SAP Mentors created an SAP Mentor Magic Foundation document as a way for people to better understand the driving force behind being an SAP Mentor.


doug_engelbart_ac2004_2.jpgLet me try to describe it another way. When the inventor of modern computing Doug Engelbart was a young man, he created the following life principle:


     Let me design a professional goal which will maximize the contribution my career can have to mankind!


Doug Engelbart’s life principle translates quite nicely to being an SAP Mentor: As an SAP Mentor I focus on how I can maximize my contributions to the larger SAP community.


Yesterday, for example, Tom Cenens shared his journey of Influencing SAP Certification & Education. There, the spirit of mentorship really comes across. Tom is truly fulfilling the promise of us SAP Mentors. If you read his account, you realize that much of his work is in the background and invisible for most people. That’s true for many SAP Mentors.

Another criteria for selecting someone relate to our mission of being inclusive. We also look to fill gaps in areas of expertise, as well as to find people in locations where SAP Mentors could really add a lot to their local or regional scene. And we’ve tried to balance all these criteria with our new selections.


Without further ado it’s my pleasure to introduce everyone to this year’s new SAP Mentors:


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=17674&size=72Eduardo Chagas, John Deere Brazil

Eduardo has been part of the top three contributors in the Portuguese SCN space for three years in a row. He works for John Deere, which is a very innovative customer of SAP: The company was the first in the world to go live with Business Suite on HANA. He is also an expert in SAP NFE. He has even been invited by SAP to teach the SAP NFE academy classes. He’s not just an expert; he's also a sharer of his knowledge. His desire to share knowledge goes beyond SCN at ASUG meetings and in SAP Education classes, where he's an official instructor.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=30833&size=72Sharon Newton, hyperCision USA

Sharon is the CEO of hyperCision, an SAP and SuccessFactors partner. She has deep expertise in SAP HCM, SuccessFactors Learning and the integration of cloud with on-premise applications. She co-authored the book SAP Enterprise Learning and created popular compliance solutions for customers. She is a well respected thought leader and consistently educates customers via her talks at SAP events including TechEd, FKOM, Sapphire, SAP Insider US, SAP Insider Europe and HR Technology Conference. She has identified gaps in SAP solutions and built key technologies and applications to solve customers problems in the US, Europe and Africa. She has more points on SCN, we are consolidating other users with this new one.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=23897&size=72Alex Papagiannidis Rivet, Molson Canada

Alex is a Canadian SAP customer working for Molson North America’s oldest Brewery. He speaks French and works from Montreal, representing the SAP Beverage industry and acting as a BI Partner/Liaison with the business side of Molson Coors. They use the full suite of BI products, including Analytics, Mobile BI and HANA. Alex presented at the first BI4 Elite training in Vancouver last year and he spoke at the ASUG annual conference about how BI helps Molson Coors sell beer. He is planning to discuss his HANA story at the upcoming SAP TechEd in Las Vegas. Title: "Looking at one source of the truth with Design Studio Mobile on HANA " He also took time to present two sessions on Molson’s use of BPC and BI during SAPPHIRE this year.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=3130&size=72John Patterson, Australia

John works a lot on UI5 and Gateway. He’s among the few who jumped early into these technologies, have a play with them and share their experiences. Some things that John brings: Ease of approach, enthusiasm, being a pioneer and knowledge sharing. He brings passion into discussions and tries to explain whatever he knows. His blogs and tweets reflect that.

John has spent the last 15 years working as an SAP user and system integrator. He started his SAP career in the mid-late 90's as a web developer cutting his teeth rolling DCOM, CORBA and RMI SAP connectors. Technology and techniques have come and gone but the customers—and their requirements and problems—have stayed the same. John doesn't just touch new technology: he pushes it beyond the usual boundaries and is happy to share his learning.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=5376&size=72Nicolas Busson, NB-Conseil France/Switzerland

Nicolas is at heart an application consultant in the CRM space, but is at home on the technical side as well, as attested by his involvement in a couple of code-exchange projects. He has long-standing expertise in CRM and is now learning how HANA will open up new possibilities in the customer relationship area. He is a very engaged member of the community. He did some wonderful work in spreading awareness about the latest SAP CRM technologies in France. He recently left France and took a job in Switzerland.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=10969&size=72Stephen Lofthouse, Sheffield Hallam University UK

Stephen has taught ERP using the standard SAP University Alliances (UA) curricula for several years. He has helped design SAP UA Business ByDesign and Cloud curriculum. He acted as the UA spokesman on cloud issues and is one of two speakers on our Business ByDesign training video and course. Stephen is not only technically proficient, but he is also an excellent ambassador and spokesperson stimulating young minds to become aware of SAP as a career path. He is skilled as a speaker and presenter as well as an educator.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=5509&size=72Steve Bogner, Insight Consulting Partners US

Steve is one of the most knowledgeable SAP payroll consultants. Starting in 1994 (and even before that) he spent many years in the payroll field. He has a wide breath of knowledge across a wide range of industries. Steve founded the SAP HR Insights podcast, which in and of itself is a huge contribution to the community.

He is the go-to expert in the area of SAP Payroll, in no small part because of his numerous conference presentations. Moreover, he's just a good guy. His calm wisdom makes him someone who the community can be proud to consider as a Mentor. He has a newsletter for SAP HR customers and also has a blog following. He works well with customers and is always looking to improve SAP customers’ experience.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=30914&size=72Wences Lacaze, Argentina

Wences is a functional application lifecycle management consultant and a specialist with SAP Solution Manager and CRM, Enterprise Portal products. He shared several very detailed functional documents on SCN and SlideShare. He’s a very experienced and engaging consultant who many customers know well.

As Blag has left Peru many years ago, our only other South American SAP Mentors were from Brazil. It makes us happy to add Argentina to the list of countries that now have SAP Mentor representation. Interestingly, I found out after speaking with him that he’s working for a Chilean consulting company that has sent him to Mexico on a project focused on transportation. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico. Wow, looks like we have the South American continent covered. ;-)


http://www.hs-lu.de/uploads/pics/Freyburger_Klaus_01.jpgKlaus Freyburger, Hochschule Ludwigshafen am Rhein Germany                                            

Dr. Klaus Freyburger, who teaches at Hochschule Ludwigshafen am Rhein, is one of the SAP University Alliance’s most visionary members. His focus is SAP HANA, Analytics and Sentiment Analysis with SAP HANA. Together with his students and SAP he created several amazing applications, such as the SAP Data Base of Dream which was presented at SAPPHIRENOW 2013, and the Sentiment Analysis of the American Election (based on HANA), which was presented at SAP TechEd 2012. He works with a blended learning approach: Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) plus co-innovation projects.


http://scn.sap.com/people/mahesh.kumar8/avatar/46.png?a=17240Mahesh Kumar, Rolta India Limited  India

Mahesh is a BW, BOBJ, HANA expert with more than 10 years’ experience in SAP consulting and very strong subject matter expertise in the business intelligence and analytics domains. Manesh is highly effective in customer interaction roles, and has a solid knowledge of SAP technical and presentation skills. Today he likes taking on challenging roles and projects: one immediate example of this is his current work on SAP HANA proof of concepts. He writes these elaborated blog posts, where you think he has a team of researchers behind him. Like this one Big Data Technologies & Applications where he compares the data structure of SAP, IBM, Oracle, SAS, Open Source. When I asked him about it he said, that the best way to understand is to share, you research deeper. Really cool.


http://scn.sap.com/profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=5192&size=72Aviad Rivlin, SAP Israel

Aviad is a product manager for the SAP Portal. He’s also a driving force behind the new mobile portal product known by the name Portal On. As SAP regained its love of portals, everything with a web-based (HTML5!) UI/UX is touched by portals. This includes Neo, HANA, Cloud, HEC, HCP. Aviad is an expert on UI technologies and mobility. He’s an extremely talented and creative individual who has customers’ interests at heart. Aviad knows tech, but also the functional side very well.


http://scn.sap.com/people/agasthuri.doss/avatar/46.png?a=26747Agasthuri Doss, SAP Australia

Agasthuri is a Senior Integration Architect with SAP Australia. He has more than 15 years of SAP experience in system architecture, planning, development and production support of ERP-based implementation. Agasthuri is very active on the SCN PI forum both as a moderator and as a contributor. He has also completed the mammoth task of cleaning up the PI Wiki space, deleting old/obsolete content, etc. He has been a frequent speaker at SAP TechEd and other SAP events.



I am really excited about them joining the SAP Mentor wolf pack. If you’d like to meet them online, we are having two public SAP Mentor Webinars next week October 8th 10am + 9pm PST, where the new Mentors will introduce themselves and share one piece of advice during that session. Hope you can join. Personally I can’t wait!


SAP Connect Session: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm +1-866-312-7353

Participant Passcode: 170 133 7730

SAP Mentor Monday additional dial-in information


SAP Mentors are amazing. They really help to move the needle in the SAP community, influencing or even co-innovating with SAP, all while having a successful career on their own and, as far as I can tell, balancing their busy work schedule with friends and family, too. On top of that, they often find time to give back by volunteering for a cause of their choice.


How do they do it?


Personally I’m struggling a bit with my schedule. I have too many emails in my inbox. This announcement blog post should have been out weeks ago so that it could have been in the SCN announcement cycle, such as on the SCN home page or in newsletters. For years, I’ve wanted to fully implement David Allen's GTD methodology, but didn’t find the time or, more accurately, didn’t really make time for it.


To procrastinate further, I put together a public SAP Mentor Monday webinar in order to find out:


  • What are SAP Mentors doing to be so productive?
  • How is work/life balancing really working out for them?

Recording availabe here: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/p30ttu00ntu/

Please join us on Monday 30th of September at 1:00 p.m. PST

Participant Passcode: 170 133 7730

SAP Mentor Monday additional dial-in information



We have three main panelists, each of whom will briefly share how they get so much stuff done. As a little teaser, I asked each of them to share one tip before the webinar.



Thomas Jung Jung was recently the presenter at the super-successful HANA development MOOC. For many years, he was the top contributor to SCN in the ABAP space and seemed to make presentations all over the world on an almost weekly basis. He once admitted to get up at 4:00 in the morning, because that’s when there was the most action on SCN’s ABAP and BSP forums.


His tip: Take screenshots of what you do for later reuse. I take screen shots all day long and use Camtasia SnagIt to automatically catalog them by date. It’s not just useful for blogging, but I often find myself going back for all kinds of reasons. It’s almost like a journal of what I was working on.



Tammy Powlas seem to be everywhere on SCN as well as SAP and ASUG conference presentations. During this week’s SAP Mentor Monday, she ran another session where she shared her BI expertise.



Her tip, which she learned years ago from a book called How To Stop Worrying and Start Living: “Create a list of things to do today,” ideally the night before. She herself does it the first thing in the morning and then crosses off completed items.



Jon Reed shifted his career path on the fly a number of times. At one point he ran an SAP recruiting firm. Now he's a successful blogger and ERP analyst with video taking on a key role. He credits a creative approach to time management with making these shifts.. Jon has the amazing ability to stay levelheaded when the emotions run high within the SAP Mentors and brings us forward.


He went beyond the call of duty and gave 3 tips, 2 I am sharing here: Using Dropbox (or similar tools) to sync content across devices (you want to have an "I can work from anywhere mentality.


Protect your ability to unplug to get key deliverables done--use filtering tactics to have "degrees of unpluggability," from "fully available," to "available to key clients/employer only," to "family/emergencies only." Use additional email addresses, alerts, or apps to improve such filtering rather than defaulting all your emails to one device you can't turn off when you are awake.


Really looking forward to the upcoming SAP Mentor Monday webinar. I am convinced that one of the keys to a happy life is the satisfaction of making a difference, even if it is a small one. These tips help us all to go from thinking about solutions to actually implementing them.


Even before the webinar, it would be awesome if you would use the comments section to share one tip that really helps you to get stuff done.May be I get to inbox zero one day too.

The pace of technology change is accelerating. Every quarter, companies like SAP are coming out with new technologies, such as SAP HANA or mobile solutions, increasingly these represent major shifts. For customers these solutions create enormous opportunity but the pace of change is overwhelming.

In technology and business, classroom-style training--and other traditional knowledge transfer methodologies--can no longer keep up. When we talk to our customers, they tell us the biggest inhibitor to adopting new technology is a lack of trained people.


To solve that problem, SAP is the first major corporation to offer free Massively Open Online Courseware (MOOC) to anyone who wants to join. The first group of course participants completed a MOOC, called  Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA, a couple of weeks ago.


MOOCs are notorious for low retention rates of 6.5% on average. This isn’t surprising, since the courses are free, it’s super easy to sign up and in a world of distraction and hyper-fast business cycles, a 6-week course can fall off the priority list. .


But the SAP MOOC numbers from two weeks back are super impressive. And I mean super.


Here some course statistics:

  • 18,033 learners were enrolled for day one of the SAP course;
  • When the final exam ended, this number had increased to 40,386;
  • 10,795 learners “wrote” the final exam.

Think about that: As the course went along, learner participation doubled to more than 40K learners and more than 10K learners took the final exam. Which means that the retention rate was 26% or a rate that’s four times better than the average MOOC.


Praise all around to Clemens Link Thomas Jung, Geoffrey Nolan, Rich Heilman  There are many more, but these are the people I know about.



Here is part of the team in Walldorf when taping the course with Thomas Jung in the middle. Taken from Thom's blog post introducing the course.

From where I see the world, with SAP Mentors and SAP TechEd, companies that innovate new technologies must disseminate that knowledge to as many people as possible within the shortest amount of time.


Well-developed MOOCs are developing to be the key to success. New technologies create enormous opportunities. People want to take full advantage of these opportunities and this is why the flock to these courses.


That’s why I really believe this course is a watershed moment for corporate education. As far as I know, SAP is the first FORTUNE 500® company to do a MOOC. Ten years from now, people will look back and say that was the time when business and technological education experienced a phase shift.


It will be quite a challenge for universities to keep up and compete with company provided free courses. Clay Shirky blogged more about that massive change that is coming to higher education: Napster, Udacity, and the Academy


So, who’s behind this education revolution? Both global trends and tech luminaries, such as SAP’s Hasso Plattner. I’m in awe of the technology revolutions to which Hasso Plattner has contributed: real-time computing with R/2; client-server with R/3; and currently in-memory database with HANA. And now, via theHasso Plattner Institute and OpenSAP, he’s bringing the education revolution to the enterprise via MOOCs.


Join the MOOC revolution and sign up for the Introduction to Mobile Solution Development that started this week and has already 23K participants. This excellent guide tells you how to get your system ready to get the most out of the course. Enjoy!


Update: Forgot one of the fathers of this session: Jon Reed who when talking with Tim Guest suggested to share this great story via the SAP Mentor Monday. He will moderate the session.

SAP Mentors are not only experts on advanced SAP technologies. The truth is they also do cool stuff by giving back to the community.


Tim the Guest Studen Innojam Ireland 2013.jpgYoungRewiredState DJ Adams.jpg


I am with Douglas Rushkoff who wrote a book called: Program or Be Programmed. [Video of Doug's SXSW presentation from 2010.]


Rushkoff believes that for our kids growing up, development literacy should be as important as reading, math and creativity.


That’s why I’m super excited that in the upcoming SAP Mentor Monday webinar DJ Adams and Tim The Guest will share stories about how they introduce youngsters to coding, as well as help them to understand how to solve problems using “design thinking.”


You can subscribe to the SAP Mentor Monday Webinar series via our public calendar. The webinar series makes it possible for audiences around the world to benefit from SAP Mentors’ expertise and stories.


Please join us on September 3rd, which is a Tuesday, as the Monday is Labor Day in the US for Young Rewired State (YRS) & Student SAP InnoJam Ireland with DJ Adams and Tim the Guest.



P.S. On the topic of children, teaching and creativity, one of the hardest things to do is to make sure young people’s creativity is nurtured, not crushed by our upbringing.


As some of you know, I presented 5 Ideas to bring our schools into the 21st century at TEDx.

There’s no better place to spread these ideas and develop them further than the South By South West Education #SXSWedu conference next spring. I put my hat in the ring to present and hopefully further develop these ideas there. It would be great if you could vote for my session. Many thanks in advance.


Recording of the session available here: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/p2e54c4uxt2/

Update: Summer of '69 was taken down. See further down.


One of the most enjoyable events we ever created was the SAP Jam Band at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas last year.


One evening, once the main program on the show floor was over, we brought out instruments and played some great tunes that everyone can sing and dance to. We had the lyrics on a big screen to make it easy for everyone to join in.


Picture by Ali Samieivafa


What a joy it was.


[Unfortunately Brian Enoch's rendition of Summer of '69 got taken down :-( Copyright infringement. But it was a parody and a hat tip to Brian Adams at the same time ;-)]


As you can see in this video, it is a forgiving crowd, singing off tune [which was mostly me in the background during this song] is no problem.

Everyone has a good time, is singing dancing, clapping, moving to the music :-)


The goal of the event is exactly that: after a full day of concentrated learning to relax enjoy some good music, sing and dance.


If you want to be part of this event, please join us at our next SAP Mentor Monday August 5th 1pm PST when we will coordinate our activities and see whether we will be able to get enough momentum to rock in Amsterdam and maybe even in Bangalore too. It all depends on you doing your little part, stepping up to the microphone, sing and make some music. Rock-On!


SAP Connect: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm +1-720-897-6637,, 378 224 4518# [more dail-in details]

Replay:  https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/p87244999/

Quick link: You know the drill already? Here is the link to the form:

Nominate amazing SAP Experts to become SAP Mentors


Not so sure yet? Who are they again?

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~130 mentors work for customers or partners of SAP. All of them are hands-on experts of an SAP product or service, as well as excellent champions of community-driven projects. More details on SCN: http://sapmentors.sap.com or via the SAP Mentor Introdcution Slide Deck on SlideShare.


The best way to get to know SAP Mentors and what it is all about is via stories and we collected some of them over the years:


Beyond SAP many of us do charity work and some even combine SAP, charity and mentoring, like John Astill tutored middle schoolers to 2nd place at SAP TechEd Demo Jam in Las Vegas last year. [Video]

John Astill Tutoring Middle Schoolers to Second Place Demo Jam.jpg

You may still wonder: So what exactly is it that makes the SAP Mentor magic happen?

We have a document for you that all SAP Mentors put together describing exactly that.


More open questions? May be you find your answer on the SAP Mentor FAQ page.

Or post it as a comment to this blog post and we are happy to answer.


One of our biggest goals is for the SAP Mentors to represent the whole spectrum of the large SAP ecosystem. If you know an amazing SAP expert who works in France, Russia or Japan, please nominate, as these are countries where SAP has a big footprint, but so far zero SAP Mentors. It should be a matter of national pride to have at least one ;-) The SAP Mentors have influence into the highest level within SAP and it is unfortunate if some countries' voices are not represented. Please also nudge customers to step up and fill the SAP Mentor role, We would like to get back to our original 30% customer, 30%partner, 30% individual consultant and 10% SAP employee ratio. Women as well should lean in, their voices and ideas are so important in our conversation. Another vector is expertise and as the imitative grew out of the original SAP Developer Network, we are strong on the technology side of the house, but our ranks could really benefit from more functional brain power and especially industry expertise is missing. We are living in interesting ever accelerating times, we need to know where things are going and Startups are making it happen, lets also make sure that some of them have a seat at the table. 


I know you have someone in mind that would enrich the ranks of SAP Mentors. Please nominate that amazing SAP Expert to become an SAP Mentor


We will take into consideration all nominations and will announce the new SAP Mentors before the SAP TechEd season in the fall.

Come and join us for the now traditional Daily Wrap-Up with SAP Mentors.


P1020619 resized 600Wednesday and Thursday the last half hour before closing of the show floor from 5:30pm to 6pm the SAP Mentors will gather with everyone else who is interested at the ASUG theater.


We will reflect on the announcement of the day and what they mean for our customers and partners. What can you take home and start doing come Monday morning when you are back in the office.


We will also share which demos or sessions where outstanding and shouldn't be missed.


We will have an open mike and you don’t have to be an SAP Mentor to share your insights.


Shilling your own session or product is frowned upon and will result in you having to do 5 push ups on the spot.

The number of push ups may be adjusted to the perceived fitness of the offender ;-)


See you all there. Will update this post with map and picture of the ASUG theater once I have one.

Or you can post it in the comment.


Picture to the right bu Bruce Armstrong

Fellow SAP Mentor Paul Kurchina made may day when he send me an email with the subject line: You will like this.

How right he was, pointing me to an ASUG press release announcing that Seth Godin is going to keynote the ASUG Annual Conference happening next week. An event which is co-located with SAPPHIRE NOW. Never have I been looking forward to an ASUG keynote as much as this one.


If you have ever been introduced to the SAP Mentor initiative, you know why.


Years ago Craig Cmehil and I realized what a difference it would make to create an initiative around your most passionate community influencers and how that would be beneficial for everyone involved. It is fulfilling the promise of Enterprise 2.0 of creating tighter bonds, greater engagement and shorter feedback loops within a company's ecosystem of customers, partners and individual consultants.


We created the SAP Mentor initiative. At the beginning it was hard to make people understand its potential. There was a lot of uncertainty and fear of the new that we needed to overcome. Then Seth Godin came out with his book Tribes with the Money Quote on page 30: Most organizations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organizations assemble the tribe.


Seth is just an amazing communicator. With that quote, he hit the essence of what we were working on, what we are achieving with the SAP Mentors. It clicked, with SAP Mentors we are assembling SAP's tribe.


People understand it or at least it piqued their interest and they pay close attention.
This is why for years I start off my SAP Mentor introduction slide deck with Seth's quote:


          Sap Mentor Initiative Introduction by Mark Finnern

Seith Godin SAP Mentors are SAPs Tribe.png
Link to SAP Mentor Introduction Slide Deck.


With the help of the SAP Mentors we have updated that slide deck just today. With 20K+ it is the most viewed official SAP deck on Slideshare.


I always wanted to ping Seth and tell him what amazing things happen when a company fully embraces his Tribe concept. Well, we started before his book came out, but it just confirmed that we are on the right track and that gave us the extra boost of confidence,


Have I piqued your interest too? More details you can find at SAP Mentors' main page http://sapmentors.sap.com

Over the years we have also collected a couple of stories where SAP Mentors are making a difference in the SAP Ecosystem: Kick-Starting a Virtuous Circle in Field Sales;Tales of Two Inside Tracks, SAP Mentor-Style; All for One and HANA for All; Advocating for Excellence; Tree of Talent; The Inside Track on Community Engagement; Trust + Results = Success


I am convinced that at a moment other enterprises realize the power of such an engagement and will start to develop tribes for their organizations too.


Seth is amazing at crystallizing trends and making them accessible to us, that is why I can't wait to hear him talk on Tuesday later afternoon as part of the ASUG Annual Conference keynote. Find me at the front of the stage proudly wearing my SAP Mentor shirt with the number 88 :-)

SAP Mentors are living and working all over the world. To keep everyone informed and up to date we are using webinars extensively, as it allows us  to let people participate wherever they are. With recording it also enables us to time shift these sessions. Even though with the recording you can only join the conversation afterwards.


So we are hosting 2-3 of these webinars every week and over time have come up with quite the elaborate flow, that I am introducing in this little video.



In short we are following a flow that is supported by different layouts that the web host can quickly shift in between.


  • Introduction with the webcameras taking center stage.
  • Sharing layout: The presentation slides or sharing of a computer screen are the focus.
  • Q&A: The two chat pots are brought to the foreground.
  • Final check how the webinar was and good bye


Where the sessions come alive is during the Q&A, as the SAP Mentors have an enormous wealth of expertise, their questions are usually bringing the dialog forward. Or highlighting an aspect that people where not aware off before, may be by highlighting an aspect from a different part of the world.


This is why we limit the presentation part to maximum 30 minutes, to give the Q&A portion ample time to develop.


Check it out! You may want to join us during our traditional SAP Mentor Mondays.

May 6th it is going to be the second part of the New SAP Mentor introduction happening at 4pm PST.

Are these new SAP mentors really inspriing? Check out for yourself.


Join one or both of these public SAP Mentor webinars where they will introduce themselves and share something from their expertise with us.

First one is this Thursday 2nd of May 9am PST and the second one is 4pm PST on Monday 6th of May.


Link to SAP Connect Session:https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm +1-866-312-7353,,3782244518 Participant Passcode:  378 224 4518

SAP Mentor Welcom Webinar 2013 Spring.jpg


Ronald Konijnenburg took the above screen shot from his iPhone during our first internal welcome calls. He was participating at 1am from his Florida vacation and at the end commented, that it worked surprisingly well.


I am still amazed, that we are able to connect with people in this case: Florida, California, Netherlands, Australia and Singapore and have a great conversation.


A couple of years back, it was like pulling teeth to get anyone on camera. These days everyone has it built into their laptop and are sometimes astonished that it works.


You can check it out too this Thursday at 9am PST  and or on Monday at 4pm PST.


Really looking forward to what expertise the new SAP Mentors will share.


If you can't, we will record it and share it with you here. 


Link to SAP Connect Session: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm +1-866-312-7353,,3782244518 Participant Passcode:  378 224 4518

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