This is my first blog in a series that will highlight and give deserved credit to a select few members of SAP Community Network (SCN) who distinguish themselves through exceptional knowledge, contribution and skill. These are mentors, top contributors and other people who have made significant contributions to the community.
Today, I would like to introduce the SAP Mentor concept - a concept already very popular on SDN and BPX but less common in the SAP BusinessObjects community (BOC). Find out how to how to reach SAP Mentor status, and how contribution benefits everyone in the community!
SCN Profile: Ingo Hilgefort
Some of you may have come across Ingo Hilgefort already: be it in one of his live webinars, through the forums or one of his blogs. Ingo works as BI Solution Architect at SAP, and is one of the SAP Mentors for the SAP BusinessObjects community.
Ingo, thanks for making the time for this interview to share your mentor experience with the community.
How long have you been an SAP Mentor?
Ingo - Shortly after BusinessObjects merged with SAP, mid 2008, I started being a mentor. I was already active in the SCN forums, so I was asked to extend my role to SAP mentor for not only having the knowledge, but also sharing it in the community. I was already aware of the idea, and after becoming a mentor I quickly started writing blogs in order to capture the information I was answering on a regular basis to share it with everyone.
What are the main SCN features you use, do you also create webinars for the community?
Forum and blogs. I've created blogs around integrating BusinessObjects products with the SAP landscape:
I also created webinars to share Business Objects knowledge with other mentors, getting those mentors with SAP-centred knowledge up to speed with Business Objects technologies. These contained very valuable information about using BusinessObjects products such as Crystal Reports, WebIntelligence and Xcelsius with SAP, so we decided to share these with the rest of the community (Mentor Mondays). These are available here:
What's your day job at SAP?
Market Insight and Field Enablement. This entails establishing how software is adopted by customers and looking at customer usage of our BI portfolio. It also encompasses partner, customer and internal education; end-to-end Business Intelligence architecture, and making sure the decision makers know how to leverage SAP BusinessObjects products within the SAP landscape. We also feed information back to the development team about customer ideas and experiences from the field.
How do you manage to make the time to fit a full time job and active community participation into your schedule? How does the community benefit you in your job?
The community fits in with my job quite well; it's a huge benefit and as it lets me reach out to the community. I don't spend my whole day in the community, but specifically in the forums, you can see where customers are having problems like getting things implemented, whether they have ideas for enhancements we haven't thought about, whether multiple customers are getting the same issues. Due to the scale of the forums, we can identify trends about customer issues and pains.
Have you turned to the community for help yourself?
I do but rather than posting questions it's more reading other peoples blogs, seeing what others do, read other people's questions and learn from how others have answered them. I also take part in other people's webinars.
Have you been to any of the recent SAP events? If yes, what kind of interactions with community members did you have?
I frequently attend SAPPHIRE and TechEd; this year I went to the TechEd events in Phoenix and Vienna. I do sessions at most events; hands on sessions, lecture sessions, but as mentors we also have mentor meetings. As a team we get to meet with SAP executives such as Marge Breya, Zia Yussuf, etc. This is very valuable for SAP mentors, especially those that don't work for SAP, to sit at a table with these execs to discuss SAP plans and provide feedback. I also try to share a lot of my time in the community clubhouse with the community and share my knowledge. SAP mentors also have a scheduled time when people can come specifically when they have specific product/technology questions.
What is some of the feedback you have received from the community? Do you find out about the business impact of your support?
We receive some great feedback from the community, and we have blogged about our success stories here:
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What are the pros and cons of being a mentor?
There are no cons I can think of; some perks are going to TechEd events for free, meeting SAP executives and discussing SAP plans, having a channel into a group of people who are subject matter experts, building a large network of subject matter experts, of course you shouldn't abuse the network as they all have their day jobs.
You do need to know what you are getting yourself into, you are commiting to grow the SAP community, this doesn't mean you are working on it 8 hours a day, but there's an expectation to grow the community, and to share knowledge on a regular basis in the form of blogs and articles, and other mediums.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do outside of work?
There's not much time left after work, but living in Vancouver, Canada I enjoy going out with my dogs after work, switching off and enjoying the countryside, scenery and quality of life around Vancouver.
Thank you very much for your time, Ingo!
Check out Ingo's Community Profile:
SAP Mentors Home: