1 2 3 11 Previous Next

Marilyn's Muses and Musings

160 Posts

Education for All

A few years back our SCN community actively participated in a powerful philanthropic partnership with SAP to provide the World Food Programme with additional funding for their “Feeding Knowledge” program.  We in the community, called our participation: “Points for Food” and were delighted that the community harnessed it’s sharing prowess to not only share knowledge with each other here on SCN but by extension, provide education for some of the world’s poorest children. On track for a great end to the year.

Renewing the Commitment

Many of you have asked about the renewal of such a focus and a more altruistic use of the SCN Reputation System and I’ll share that we are in the process of working with Help non-profits make the most of their limited marketing dollars at TechEd Innovation Weekend, Director of SAP Corporate Social Responsibility to do just that: revive it. (More about that in upcoming weeks)

But I’d like to share with you why I think now, more than ever, the participation of a Tech Community and SAP, a Technology Vendor, is so important in helping reach Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

I’ll reiterate but a few of the MDGs here to make the correlation clearer.

Millennium Development Goals (subset)

Goal 1: To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger which means, among other things, achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people (Technology is a crucial enabler in this realm of productive employment)

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education for boys and girls alike. (In most developed nations technology is highly integrated into primary education and to create parity must be available for developing nations as well)

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women – eliminating gender disparity in education at all levels (again technology can provide creative tools to empower women and promote gender equality (see the links to Shea Butter Women)

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development – making available the benefits of new technologies – especially information and communication technologies.

SCN goes to UN

This past Monday,  February 28thTechnology Innovation – let’s talk about it, SAP VP of Technology Strategy, provided an invitation to me to attend a special event held in the United Nations, New York, entitled “Education for All”.  I met Anne, last March, through an introduction by SAP’s Moya Watson –our own technology and video evangelist, herself both an activist for educational parity for children and a strong voice in the realm of ending gender discrimination.  The context of that meeting last year was Ada Lovelace Day (coming upon us soon March ) and I learned from Anne about her activism in encouraging local girls and young women in her own community in California to have greater awareness about pursuing careers in Technology, Science, and Mathematics . Anne spearheaded a program in Silicon Valley called: “Dare 2 be Digital”.  Anne was invited to give a TEDxTalk this past December 8th about participatory collaboration where many of the esteemed participants recognized Anne for her work in the arena of promoting education for girls and young women in technology in the technology savvy environment of Silicon Valley.

Imagine if you will then, how very important and perhaps seemingly unattainable  access to technology skills and awareness of its importance is for adolescents in developing nations and in the world’s poorest countries.

In a day of meetings at the UN, I was privileged to visit both the UNICEF Headquarters and the UN General Assembly.  The meetings included a visit to the Emergency Operations Center with Mr. Louis-Georges Arsenault, Director of Emergency Programmes.  We saw this crisis center in real-time operation as reports flooded in from the middle east and with it concerns were  that region’s most vulnerable citizens, its children.

I also learned from UNICEF’s senior Education Adviser, Ms. Barbara Reynolds  how the “School Feeding Program” and other programs like it are instrumental in helping reach Millennium Development Goals.

At the General Assembly of the UN there were some unique speakers:

Some of our partners and customers represented a powerful voice of the technology community.

 Carlos Dominquez, Senior VP, Cisco “ is an advocate of establishing a culture that is adaptable to change and embraces experimentation with technology”, Wendy Hawkins, Executive Director of Intel also spoke and has awarded grants totaling approximately $40 million each year on STEM education (Science Technology Engineering and mathematics education.)

And very articulate and eloquent  was Infosys Technologies CEO and Managing Director, Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan  who participated with Carlos Dominquez in a dialogue around promoting education and training for tomorrow’s economy.

“there is a rising concern that education systems are not adequately preparing students to meet the demands and challenges of tomorrow’s world .  Close to 800 million adults lack basic literacy skills, two thirds of these are women.  Some 70 million children are still out of primary school and the same number of adolescent youth are not benefiting from a secondary education” …..

“Technology plays a pivotal role ( in particular information and communication technologies- ICTs) in reaching even the remotest corners of the world and lack of education is a powerful factor of exclusion and a threat o sustainable development.  ITCs open new learning opportunities that can reach learners beyond traditional class rooms”.

“Education is a collective responsibility of governments, civil society and the private sector.”

I think we here on SCN are highly aware of that and uniquely posed to help and participate in creating equity in education.

As a tiny aside this UN General Assembly meeting was marked in history as the UN’s first event where Twitter and a hashtag were used.

So it would seem, I had the rather odd distinction of being an active participant in the very first UN tweet up.

 Tweet up at UN

Community Day + Innovation -Yep there is one in Bangalore!

Through the dedicaiton of folks like Durairaj Athavan Raja  Mrinal Wadhwa Somnath Manna Abesh Bhattacharjee (and the noise raised by other non local folks like Dick Hirsch in The specified item was not found.)  we are happy to announce that November 30th there will be an innovative take on Community Day.  And yes, it will be hosted in the SAP Labs on November 30th 2010. (one day before  SAP TechEd Bangalore 2010)

Want to get all the inside scoop?  Want to find yourself on the invited list?

Want to get a sneak preview of some of the things you can learn, see, know, experience there?

Code Exchange? Gateway? ByD SDK?

First Save the Date November 30th

Next sign up on the wiki signup sheet: http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/Innovation+Weekend+Bangalore+TechEd2010 

And Join Us Virtually, Thursday, November 11th 2010 to discuss

Details of live call follows: (other country codes are embedded in the session when you log on)

When? : 10 AM EST , Thursday November 11th 2010

How? Use Conference URL: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/I800105

Participant Passcode: 4422981478

Dial-In Numbers : International toll free - India: 000 800 1007 198x4422981478   US and Canada Toll free: 1-888-233-4684x4422981478                                     Toll: 1-719-234-x4422981478
International toll free - Germany: 0 800 181 5437
Local - Germany, Frankfurt: +49 (0) 69 12009 823x4422981478

SAP Research technologist Christian Janiesch provides participants with some views of two new Technologies: Slipstream and Gravity during the SAP TechEd Innovation Weekend in Berlin.

Christian is also taking an active part in one of the business case groups working on National/Regional operational managment issues for a non-profit.

Innovation Weekend:  Day One – 10-10-10

One hundred registered participants (two of whom are women) have joined or will be joining us for Innovation Weekend today, Sunday, in Berlin. (something to do with the auspecious date as a 10 factor?)

While I tried to grab some video snippets to give a feel  for the education sessions and some of the biz cases that were presented, it will take me some time to get them published so rather than do this chronologically, I’ll share with you a bit of what I learned from Lior Schejter, SAP Development Architect, who joined us from SAP Labs in Israel.

Lior gave a brief overview of River, a cloud-based platform as a service offering, which has never been publically shared and is not yet released.

Lior shared a bit about River in a formal presentation and informally did a demo for any of the participants who approached him with interest in a real look.  In addition Lior provided access to any of the interested participants of Innovation Weekend to test drive and will continue to do so tomorrow onsite for those lucky enough to be here.

I asked Lior for some of the bullet points of his brief 8 minute “tech-fire” which he generously supplied.

They include:

·         Intuitive browser-based application modeling environment

·         Flexible user permissions model and robust authentication schemes

·         Easy account, application and user management

·         Highly extensible  via Custom Widget interface, Code Box scripting, and REST APIs

·         Available as a multi-tenant cloud service

·         Connectivity to SAP On-Premise Systems

Main Concepts
Uniquely identified per landscape – assigned to account
May be granted access to one or more Applications, Collections
Assigned to “Groups” to facilitate user administration

Contains one or more Applications
May provide supports for multiple types (e.g., trial)
Logically isolated dataset per tenant

Contains one or more Collections
Unit of Deployment
May be “Linked” to other SAP On-Demand or 3rd party apps

Contains of one or more widgets, views and/or actions
May or may not be exposed to users
Controls visibility and access to data

Provides Account, User, App and Integration management
Manages user authentication, authorization and access control
Supports multi-tenancy leveraging shared infrastructure

In the tradition of some real-time reporting trying to upload a bit of the atmosphere of Innovation Weekend moments before we begin.

 Listen to some introductory words from Craig Cmehil and get a peek at Gali Kling-Schneieder and SAP Mentor Gregor Wolf.


More content oriented details to follow.  Running off to the key note with Kai van de Loo.

Innovation Weekend Berlin

Those who have been following our weekly Innovation Weekend Business Case Virtual Meetups (link to recordings) know what a great participation there is already, virtually, pre-SAP TechEd Berlin.  As in the past, our participants include a wide spectrum of professionals.

Take a look at Who Is Attending Innovation Weekend to get a view of just some of the participants (in fact many of them haven't yet added their names to the wiki although registered)

I'd like to especially invite the members of the BPX community to take a look at the Innovation Weekend Business Cases in the wiki and apply your process expertise to improving the analysis of the existing cases and challenges. 

Remember this isn't only about the Technology!  It's about the business problems technology help solve.  Without the BPX community this will simply remain a hack-a-thon (okay as an ex-geek not entirely a bad idea of course)

There will be one final virtual meet-up for you BPXer types before we launch on October 10th, in Berlin.

BPXers Give The Geeks The Business!

Innovation Weekend Virtual Meetup

Registration for the live event in Berlin on Oct 10-11 is still possible.

For a number of weeks now, a group of attendees to the SAP TechEd Berlin and Las Vegas events have been collaborating online to flesh out the business cases that serve as models for our SAP TechEd Innovation Weekend.

You can take a look at some of the definition that is already evolving if you click into the underlying six Innovation Weekend  business cases that are on this page.

Dick Hirsch who is an experienced hand at designing processes in the context of a collaborative environment has given a nice head start to a Social Media Integration Scenario

Anyone interested in participating in calls that discuss the business cases and provide details of the technologies to be used and introduced during this Marathon 30 hour event is invited to join our SAP Connect Sessions.

These calls are/were held weekly on Thursdays at 10AM EST

Recordings of these calls are available on our wiki through: Recordings of Online Meetups for Innovation Weekend

Details of live call follows: (other country codes are embedded in the session)

Conference URL: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/I800105

Participant Passcode: 4422981478

Dial-In Numbers:

US and Canada Toll free: 1-888-233-4684x4422981478    

Toll: 1-719-234-x4422981478

International toll free - Germany:

0 800 181 5437

Local - Germany, Frankfurt:

+49 (0) 69 12009 823x4422981478

Interview with We're A Software Company? Phew! - Executive Editor SAP Corporate Publishing filmed in Newtown Square

Innovation Weekend (Sneak Preview) 

For many weeks now, folks have been eagerly questioning Craig Cmehil, Jason Cao, and myself about what the RIA Hacker Nite, What to expect at Insight Night - SAP TechEd Phoenix and Vienna and the Coming up a Level in Our Process Thinking will look like this year at SAP TechEd '10 .

I must admit that my colleagues have delighted me by helping me realize a dream I had last year of inviting developers, business intelligence specialists and process design experts to pool their talents and harmonize their skills.  This year, rather than have separate evening events for SDN, BPX and BOC we've decided to help pool talents and community in an event that will move (during the course of a 30+ hour event) a business case from idea to prototype and will expose our communities to a plethora of new technologies from inside SAP as well as from partners.

Beginning in Berlin and Las Vegas this year we will host and invite a select group of community members and TechEd attendees to a two (2) day event of innovation, collaboration, designing, hacking, and implementation.

This event will take place on the Sunday and Monday prior to the Tuesday openings of SAP TechEd '10 in Berlin and Las Vegas and will engage developers and process experts as well as BI business users in social innovation through an open platform.

Where:   Berlin and Las Vegas

When:   SAP TechEd 2010 Berlin, Oct. 10 -11 | Las Vegas,Oct. 16 -17 Sunday and Monday both locations  (30+ hour Marathon)

Who:    SAP TechEd attendees/invited community members/developers/process experts/BI business users

What to expect?

Rather than my telling you, listen to this podcast which describes what's in store for SAP TechEd 10's Hacker Night, Insight Night and Process Design Slams.

Brief Synopsis of Podcast

PODCAST  - What's in store for SAP TechEd 10 for our communities

Craig, Marilyn and Jason Cao met up (virtually) to chat about harmonizing their respective community events for  SAP TechEd ‘10

Craig Cmehil - describes the original creation of  Hacker Nite         0:30 - 00:58

Jason Cao  - talks about Insight Nite                                               1:00 - 2:50

Marilyn Pratt - explains how the Process Design Slam evolved      3:00- 5:10

Craig Cmehil - announces harmonization of the 3 events this year and introduces the "what" and "where of the newly launched combined event and announces: Innovation Weekend    5:15- 7:45

Marilyn Pratt describes the who and why of the weekend                            7:50 - 9:50

Jason Cao speaks about the technologies and tools to be used                   10:00 - 11;20

Craig Cmehil explains what we are going to be doing with the prototypes 11:30- 12:58

Marilyn Pratt

Tag - You're IT X 5

Posted by Marilyn Pratt Jul 1, 2010

There is a slang expression in English "everything but the kitchen sink" which means one used everything in one's arsenal, which usually means, one used a bit too much of everything.

When we created the tag categories for blogs, the original idea was to help people subscribe using RSS feeds  and also to help people to navigate to specific: Blogs by Category 

Over the growth of this website and its respective communities, the number of blog categories has grown.....and grown.

What we now see are people using tags indiscriminately (over-using) which defeats the idea of making it easy for people to subscribe and see a more personalized view of content.

To remedy that complaint (of overuse) we have limited the tags to 5.

So please, when creating your post do consider the reader, the reader's time, the reader's interest, the reader's ease of access.

While uploading pictures from the recent SAP Inside Track Event in Newtown Square PA and while putting some personal photos on my facebook account that documented a lovely visit I just had from my newest colleague Laure Cetin. I began thinking that I might not be the only community member combining business-oriented meet-ups with after hour visits.

My guests have included folks in the community from a variety of countries: Norway, India, France, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Brazil.

They have triggered activities ranging from the SAP TechEd Process Design Slam contents, to conversations around the SAP Sustainability Map and the SAP Sustainabilty Champions.  They include folks with business roles like Business Architects, Developers, UI experts, Business Intelligence Gurus.

The common thread is professional engagement with SAP products and services and the binding element: the SAP Community Network.  All the social stuff is a great by-product.

Guests to my house have included Great tool for creating UI mockups (newly the Adobe Evangelist) a Norwegian, Abesh Bhattacharjee who is a system analyst with IBM in India, Marcelo Ramos a developer in Brazil, Arun Varadarjan BI guru from Bangalore as well as numerous meetups with others in NYC. (you can see a few of the representative pictures in my Flickr Set: SAP Mentor in My Basement)

On one of the SAP mentor calls (might have even been an open one for Mentor Monday) some of my mentor buddies teased me about keeping Mentors in my basement.

I can sure think of worse items to store there.  Having knowledge experts and some of technologies brightest as visitors has been a real perk of being in this community!

Hope you'll share some of your stories and pictures in the Contributor Corner Wiki.

Oh, yeah, if you are coming to NYC, let me know.  My basement might just be unoccupied.

Thought to give those of you interested in a live peek at the SAP Inside Track NSQ a sample of some pictures representing the openning of the event.

Met with SCN's latest expert blogger: Greg Myers who delivered a session later in the afternoon described as a

"Business Objects 101 for SAP Experts. A light-hearted overview of what BOBJ is, what it does, and it's major components for those not familiar with the product suite. Customer perspective. "


SAP Inside Track Newtown Square is the Master of Ceremonies and its a pleasure seeing him in action here with Greg.

Introduction to Knowledge Exploitation

Yep.  It's a pretty incendiary title and I can't take the credit as my colleague Trevor Carlow invented the term.  But I love it because exploitation is a word I usually detest.  I generally have extreme distaste for exploitation of people, resources,  and of other's ideas.  I love exploration and proper utilization of resources so Knowledge Exploitation does trigger me to think how to explore knowledge and utilize it more efficiently.

Way to go Trevor on a term that makes us think.

Lots of conversation over in the Coffee Corner and Suggestion Forums around the topic of Search, enhanced knowledge exploration,  enhanced return sets on parameters, so what better way to expand the conversation than to pull in the experts.

SAP Inside Track Session on Metadata and Taxonomies

We have our own in our team, although she is usually very modest and quiet.  Her name is Christine Merten and she together with Trevor Carlow have agreed to offer a session for SAP Inside Track NSQ on the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Knowledge Exploitation
  2. Basics of taxonomies, and SCN
  3. Demo of the Future of Search
  4. Open discussion


(Christine Merten pictured above receiving an MVP award from our organization with SCN Editor-in-Chief, Keith Elliot on her left and to her right, SCN VP  COO Chip Rodgers)

In Christine's words that open discussion will be :

"about findability and search on the SCN site. We'll talk about the basics of metadata and taxonomies and how they relate to search, as well as give a sneak peek at the new search application we've been working on"

So for those lucky enough to be attending the NSQ SAP Inside Track tomorrow, welcome. Virtual attendance is also encouraged.

See  details On Rich's SAP Inside Track Newtown Square - Final Update. Virtual Signup here.

When Rich Heilman tweeted an invitation to join other community members for a Philly Inside track it was in the form of a poll:  http://twitter.com/RichHeilman/status/10386813711

Rock stars from all over the globe immediately signed up to participate. (you won't believe the list :-) )http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/SAP+Inside+Track+Newtown+Square+2010

And some, while mourning the fact that they could not come to Philly, went and created their own events:  http://twitter.com/tbroek/status/15329663061


The folks in Bangalore have described it like this:

"SAP Inside Track 2010 in Bangalore, India

This is the first ever SAP Inside Track Event in India.

The Community Day Event is back in its new avatar as SAP Inside Track. This is the first ever SAP Inside Track Event being planned in India and Bangalore is the natural choice. Community Members this is your chance to present, share and brainstorm ideas, network with other like-minded people in an informal atmosphere. If you have been to Community Day Events then surely you would not like to miss the SAP Inside Track Event."

(actually it isn't the first time an SAP community event has been created independently in India as back in 2008 the SDN community in Mumbai and a barcamp group in Bangalore declared events : http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/events/Archive+of+Events

But looking quickly at these community events internationally, I am struck by the commitment to create "community days" around the globe that are truly community days: for the people, by the people.

Here are the upcoming ones:

Community Organized Events

I'm very vested in seeing Rich's event in NSQ (Philly) reach as many folks as possible and "hit it out of the park" in terms of success, active attendance, and engagement.

Why?  Because HE is.

If you can't join him(us) in NSQ, create your own like @tbroek @mgillet @njames @som_nath @oswaldxxl  are doing in the Netherlands, Belgium, London and Bangalore and St. Louis, Missouri.

Before leaving Orlando Florida, wanted to quickly post a summary of the first of today's SapphireNow keynotes (and give props to our SCN bloggers for all the excellent content flowing from SAP community members who so beautifully covered the event and whose contents are filling the SCN blog queue- my deep appreciation! YOU ROCK!!!)

So here is my quick synopsis of the first hour of this incredibly interesting final day of SapphireNow. 

Innovation Without Borders: Vishal Sikka, SAP CTO

Vishal Sikka's keynote revolved around the announcing of three examples of innovation in mobility, extending applications in the cloud and in-memory.


1.  High Performance Analytical Appliance
  • High Performance Analytical Appliance: high speed in-memory computing brought to life and is based on work by SAP and their partners HP and IBM and attached to a realtime R3 system.  Realtime transactional data and supercharger for existing analytics. Request is that 20 of our customers will work with SAP to bring this appliance to life


2.  Project Gateway
  • Project Gateway: Duet Enterprise(Microsoft), Alloy(IBM), and RIM(Blackberry) Gateway helping existing systems to speak to the world outside
3.  SAP Carbon Impact on Demand
  • SAP Carbon Impact on Demand - Clear Standards and SAP running in the cloud on Amazon
Some of Dr. Sikka's key themes which I found memorable:

Two fundamental areas of innovation: Reach (expanding reach of enterprises) and Realtime (fundamental shift where new technologies bring dramatic change)

Sikka described how enterprises look to become unencumbered and unbound and release the power of their landscapes without breaking continuity.

He also noted that historically there were 100 original customers with a 30 year relationship to SAP and during 30 years the relationship prevails.

The living landscape comes from an ecosystem which is continuously under construction.

He's now invited 20 customers to bring the HANA appliance to life and create that historical continuum.

Technology is in her DNA

We are sitting here together or virtually together 3 women in Telepresence Rooms a few thousand miles apart.  Here, for those of you that haven't experienced a Telepresence room, is the next best thing to being in a meeting room with others through the "magic" of a giant screen which makes you feel like you are in the same physical space.  It's also the way our SAP board members save carbon footprint and can meet with one another and even sit at the same virtual round table.

The we is Marge Breya, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Solutions, SAP and Moya Watson, an SAP Technology Evangelist and Online Community Strategist in the SAP BST Innovation Center (The Business Solutions & Technology Innovation Center), which takes a more grass-roots approach to innovation and where ideas with community support are considered for prototyping.

I begin our chat by pointing out how fitting that we are sitting in a telepresence room from the perspective of the technology we are using and also because we are improvising "grass roots style" capturing some of this conversation on video.  I personally am excited to be doing this because, way back in 1964, as a young child in the New York's World fair I experimented with using what I believe was something like a picture phone and I am sure it was there that my love affair with technology and especially with communication technology began. (there is an audible gasp from Marge)

I think this might be a very good segue to something fascinating I had heard about Marge and her Grandfather who invented the very same Picture Phone I had seen in my childhood as I glimpsed the future of telecommunication.

Video One: Introduction

Video One: Introduction  Intro to Ada Lovelace Day - Marge and Moya talking about how they got into technology

Video 2: Marge Breya's High School Math Experiences 

Breya spoke very candidly about her own academic background and delighted us with how she was one of a very small handful of young women studying in an "all boys school".

Video 2: Marge Breya's High School Math Experiences

Video 3: Women in Tech Events

Last fall I heard murmurs of admiration when Marge Breya stepped on to the SAP TechEd 2009 Vienna Keynote stage and invited another woman executive Nayaki Nayyar, enterprise architect of Valero Energy Corporation, a $120bn+ refining company to join her. Nayaki explained that their IT costs were 10 times less than the industry standard, thanks to their approach to reusable information services and self-service access to information..  I think we cannot under-estimate the material impact of seeing such female role models on the stage.

Video 3: Marge and Moya discuss the presence of women in Tech events

Video 4: Role Models

Video 4: Role Models Marge Breya describes Role Models - one heroine and one hero

When asked of her own role models Marge speaks of Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi , chairperson and CEO of Pepsico who, in Marge's words, is "Making it completely normal that we have really passionate human beings who are very smart of any gender leading a company".  Also in this clip: A quick reference to Marge's new Ipad and hints of things to come

Video 5: My Grandfather, My Inspiration

When Penny Lockwood, an assistant professor of psychology at the
University of Toronto ran two studies on how students respond to role models she found that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male role models.

"Outstanding women can function as inspirational examples of success, illustrating the kinds of achievements that are possible for women around them. They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome traditional gender barriers, indicating to other women that high levels of success are indeed attainable", Lockwood concluded. 

Marge describes the people who she was exposed to in her academic career: father, grandfather, advisors, professors and described how she never felt she was a "corner case".  I loved how she quoted her grandfather, the inventor of the first picture phone: "He didn't call me Marge, he called me Genius".  With such positive nurturing and self-image anything is possible.

Video 5: My Grandfather, My Inspiration

To be continued.... 

In the next blog in this series I'll share an interview with Anne Hardy, who external to her day job at SAP makes it her business to empower young teenage women so that they also feel: any is possible as they "Dare 2B Digital".


Filter Blog

By date: