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Twice a year in the spring before Sapphire  and in the fall before SAP TechEd season we ask you to nominate the next SAP Mentors

Now you may ask: "What makes an SAP Mentor?" We have spelled it out in our SAP Mentor FAQ:

Who is an SAP Mentor?

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~100 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.

  • Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Good communicator
  • Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP
  • Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects
  • Proactive engagement

If you don't hit all 6 points, you can compensate by being exceptional in the other 5.

Even though the above is hitting all the right attributes, for many it still doesn't really convey what an SAP Mentor is. We have a long running joke: "I don't know what an SAP Mentor is, but I know one when I see one.

There are voices, I got a reminder email yesterday, that call for a greater spelling out of what SAP Mentors' tasks and responsibilities are. We resist the urge to do so, as we believe it would kill some of the mentor magic. 

One of the happiest mentor magic moments happened in Madrid last year. When in large part carried by SAP Mentors we surprised Marilyn Pratt with a little flash mob decked out in blue T-Shirts saying: "What would Marilyn Pratt do?" It was in a beautiful way celebrating the tireless community work and positive influence that Marilyn has on SAP Community Network for all these years.

Check out the picture and you realize that the majority were SAP Mentors, but it included many other SCN community members. A proof that mentors strive for inclusion. Even if you are not an SAP Mentor, we welcome you to run with the Wolfpack and you can be part of most of what we are doing.

Another example was the #suithugging meme that also sprung up in Madrid.

Take a step back, it was pretty ballsy move to walk up to a suit and hug him, at least the first couple. But it really lightened up the whole event and brought geeks and suits closer together. It did its small part to convince that co-locating SAP TechEd and Sapphire Europe is a positive thing and we are doing it again this year in Madrid.

These are two examples where SAP Mentors make a huge difference, even though it is hard to measure or quantify and these activities can not be codified in tasks and responsibilities to be checked off and this is why we don't do it. We don't want to inhibit this spirit of passion that brings out the best in us and that inspires others to join and do their best too.

If you know someone that is living that spirit, has the passion for all things SAP, wants you to thrive in that world too, then nominate that someone to become an SAP Mentor. We can't wait to give them a bigger megaphone to the community as well as into SAP. We need to hear their voices loud and clear.

You are an SAP Mentor for a year, no automatic renewal. Through the prodding of 2 of the most influential SAP Mentors Craig Cmehil and Dennis Howlett, we have created a graceful way to move on. We created the honorable SAP Mentor Alumnus/Alumna postition.

As they say: Live is what happens while you are making other plans. It catches up and sometimes sweeps you away and when you can't continue to let your light of passion shine in the larger SAP community anymore, then it is time for you to hang up your shirt and give other worthy candidates the stage. If life takes another tag and you are ready for another engaging SAP chapter, we will welcome you back with open arms.

It is inspiring to work with some of the smartest, most passionate, engaged and fun people in the industry. As with all good things in life there is effort involved for you to make the best out of it, but man is it worth the effort.

P.S. You can nominate SAP Mentors until the end of February and the new SAP Mentors will be anounced a month before Sapphire Orlando.

We are moving to a new platform and one of the things that will not move over are the statistics on how often a blog post has been viewed. Time to take a last snapshot from the last 8 years of blogging. These are the most viewed.--- Before you click on the link, close your eyes and thing about what was the blog post that made the biggest difference to you and do you think it is listed in the top 25? Can you guess one that is?  --- Drumroll ---

A couple of random observations

Wow there are some well known names and some surprises in the list, not the least the number one blog post by Steffen Weber. With 178K almost twice as many hits as the famous often updated originaly named XI FAQ post by Michal Krawczyk. Looks like the Excel Macro File referenced in Steffen's blog post does come really handy. Congratulations Steffen for having written the most viewed post of the last 8 years.

I have to smile seeing that Michal's XI/PI FAQ post is #2. I had long discussion with him why this kind of content should be moved to a wiki page so that everyone can improve it. His argument is that you need a curator, otherwise the quality isn't there. Number of views he got is proofing his point, comments of certain links not working anymore can be counted for the wiki camp, but this is not the blog post to bring up that argument again, but to celebrate the top blog posts of SCN.

Thomas Jung can ad the title Master of SCN blogging to the long list of his career achievements, as 6 of his posts are in the top 25. I am always at awe seeing the beauty and quality of his posts. I remember the early beginnings when Brain McKellar nudged him after seeing his excellent BSP forum answers to post blogs. I am so glad he did oh and we miss Brian on SCN.

Love it that a Crystal Report post by Blair Wheadon is #5. It is a beautiful proof, that the BOBJ community has found a home on SCN. Being posted only 2 years ago in December 2009 it is also the youngest blog post on the list. Really amazing that it is on rank #5 already. Well done Blair.

Just wow that there are still 3 Roberto Negro posts in this top 25 list. He used to dominate the BW space, as it was called back in the mid 2000s. He moved on and is unfortunately not working in the SAP space anymore. Really bummed that he nver made it to a TechEd, or at least I don't remember. I hope the hammock he once offered me is still standing somewhere in Italy waiting for me to relax in. Roberto we really miss you here, please come back.

Manfred Lutz and Ingo Hilgefort are the other two bloggers that have more than one post in the list. We have over 3000 SCNers who have written at least one post, To be in the top 25 is quite the achievement. Thank you all for putting the effort in.

The new SCN will bring a new start and I can't wait to see who will be most viewed around this time next year.

Top 25 Weblogs All Time

  1. SAP NetWeaver Portal Reporting for Collaboration Rooms
    This Blog describes how to create consolidated and ordered reports out of standard SAP NetWeaver Portal collaboration room raw data files.
    Steffen Weber in Knowledge Management (KM), Standards, SAP NetWeaver Platform [Apr. 19, 2007 01:07 AM | 11 Comments | SAP NetWeaver Portal Reporting for Collaboration Rooms]
  2. Rank: 1   Page Views: 177840  (Stats updated nightly)

  3. The specified item was not found.
    Exchange Infrastructure - Frequently Asked Questions
    Michal_Krawczyk_PIXI in SAP Process Integration (PI) [Jun. 28, 2005 03:36 AM | 34 Comments | The specified item was not found.]
  4. Rank: 2   Page Views: 93240  (Stats updated nightly)

  5. Sending E-Mail from ABAP - Version 610 and Higher - BCS Interface
    Yesterday I posted a weblog on how to send E-Mails from ABAP in releases <= 46D using the API functions. Today we are going to look at releases >= 610 and the BCS Interface.
    Thomas Jung in ABAP, Application Server [Sep. 08, 2004 03:13 AM | 236 Comments | Sending E-Mail from ABAP - Version 610 and Higher - BCS Interface]
  6. Rank: 3   Page Views: 88435  (Stats updated nightly)

  7. Web Dynpro ABAP Demonstration Videos
    Web Dynpro, with its strong graphical modeling environment, provides an interesting challenge for authors of all types of written materials on the subject. Often videos can fill that gap. This weblog describes several hours of newly released Web Dynpro ABAP videos.
    Thomas Jung in ABAP, Beginner, Enterprise Portal (EP), Web Dynpro [Jun. 20, 2006 11:17 AM | 111 Comments | Web Dynpro ABAP Demonstration Videos]
  8. Rank: 4   Page Views: 70265  (Stats updated nightly)

  9. Crystal Reports in Visual Studio 2010
    An overview of how Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 customers will receive Crystal Reports.
    Blair Wheadon in SAP Crystal Reports, Interoperability .NET [Dec. 10, 2009 11:58 AM | 50 Comments | Crystal Reports in Visual Studio 2010]
  10. Rank: 5   Page Views: 65923  (Stats updated nightly)

  11. New Blog Series: ABAP Trial Version for Newbies
    New Blog Series: ABAP Trial Version for Newbies With the new build of the SAP NetWeaver 2004s ABAP Trial Version (SP11), we in SAP NetWeaver Product Management are eager to introduce, through a series of blogs, SAP ABAP technology to those with limited ABAP experience.
    Manfred Lutz in ABAP, Application Server, Beginner, Web Dynpro [Mar. 16, 2007 03:46 AM | 46 Comments | New Blog Series: ABAP Trial Version for Newbies]
  12. Rank: 6   Page Views: 62256  (Stats updated nightly)

  13. BusinessObjects and SAP Part I
    This is Part I of a series on BusinessObjects and SAP products
    Ingo Hilgefort in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse, Business Intelligence (BusinessObjects), Business Process Expert [Feb. 07, 2008 12:15 AM | 54 Comments | BusinessObjects and SAP Part I]
  14. Rank: 7   Page Views: 62107  (Stats updated nightly)

  15. How do you activate ABAP Proxies?
    Have you got the error message "Unable to connect to the Integration Builder, when you are trying to create a ABAP PROXY from a R/3 system? This blog show the steps to be executed to make sure you are able to build ABAP Proxies.
    vijaya kumari in SAP Process Integration (PI) [Jan. 26, 2006 03:49 AM | 6 Comments | How do you activate ABAP Proxies?]
  16. Rank: 8   Page Views: 59635  (Stats updated nightly)

  17. SAP NetWeaver 7.0 - Java and ABAP Trial Version on Linux - VMware Edition - Tips & Tricks
    Here you find the required steps missed out in the official Documentation. How to get the Application Server running, install the License and connect from Windows.
    Gregor Wolf in ABAP, SAP NetWeaver Platform [Mar. 31, 2008 01:04 AM | 158 Comments | SAP NetWeaver 7.0 - Java and ABAP Trial Version on Linux - VMware Edition - Tips & Tricks]
  18. Rank: 9   Page Views: 55940  (Stats updated nightly)

  19. BSP a Developer's Journal Part XIV - Consuming WebServices with ABAP
    In this BSP Developer's Journal we once again look at a technology that just does ride on the edge of the BSP environment. We look at how we can call WebServices with ABAP.
    Thomas Jung in Business Server Pages, ABAP, Application Server [Nov. 17, 2004 10:44 AM | 120 Comments | BSP a Developer's Journal Part XIV - Consuming WebServices with ABAP]
  20. Rank: 10   Page Views: 53930  (Stats updated nightly)

  21. LOGISTIC COCKPIT DELTA MECHANISM - Episode one: V3 Update, the ‘serializer’
    This is the first episode of a series (of three) concernig delta mechanism in the Logistic Cockpit for BW. Here you can find a short overview examining the conception and technical background of delta extraction related to logistic flows towards BW system by using the Serialized V3 Update.
    Roberto Negro in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse [Dec. 16, 2004 05:06 AM | 15 Comments | Permalink]
  22. Rank: 11   Page Views: 53662  (Stats updated nightly)

  23. Basic ABAP OO eLearnings
    I frequently receive requests for learning materials on basic ABAP Object Oriented concepts. In response I have created a 5 part eLearning series that is intended to be accessible to anyone just starting out with ABAP OO.
    Thomas Jung in ABAP, Beginner, Business Server Pages, Web Dynpro [Aug. 11, 2009 06:29 AM | 27 Comments | Basic ABAP OO eLearnings]
  24. Rank: 12   Page Views: 52093  (Stats updated nightly)

  25. Troubleshoot the SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI Frontend Installation
    This aim of this blog is to discuss how to configure your browser parameters as well as discuss how to install the latest SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI Frontend Components. Keep in mind that it is always best to keep your frontend patches up to do date. This article covers most of the issues I've seen when working with different browsers and frontend components specifically related to installation of frontend components.
    Prakash Darji in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse, Enterprise Portal (EP) [Jul. 26, 2006 05:24 AM | 117 Comments | Troubleshoot the SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI Frontend Installation]
  26. Rank: 13   Page Views: 50939  (Stats updated nightly)

  27. LOGISTIC COCKPIT - WHEN YOU NEED MORE - First option: enhance it !
    Through this weblog we will go on in our tour around the logistic data extraction world: after having familiarized with the data flows that the system can run for every available update methods in LBWE and before approaching all the other extraction mechanisms managed by SAP Business Warehouse, now it’s necessary facing this question: what’s happen if a standard logistic datasource (and its related information set) is not enough for our needs ?
    Roberto Negro in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse [Feb. 14, 2005 07:59 AM | 40 Comments | LOGISTIC COCKPIT - WHEN YOU NEED MORE - First option: enhance it !]
  28. Rank: 14   Page Views: 50372  (Stats updated nightly)

  29. Web Dynpro ABAP exercises from TechEd 2007
    For those who are looking to improve their Web Dynpro ABAP skills, here is the content of the hands-on session for Web Dynpro ABAP at TechEd 2007. Based on the ESM (Enterprise Sales Model), the exercises are structured so that the result of one task forms the foundation for the next exercise. The download contains all required objects, the ESM data generator, the example solutions, the templates, and the document 'CD255 Developing User Interfaces with Web Dynpro ABAP'. All you need is a local installation of the latest ABAP Trial Version.
    Manfred Lutz in ABAP, Application Server, Web Dynpro [Feb. 21, 2008 01:32 AM | 38 Comments | Web Dynpro ABAP exercises from TechEd 2007]
  30. Rank: 16   Page Views: 46479  (Stats updated nightly)

  31. Gravity – Collaborative Business Process Modelling within Google Wave
    Gravity is a prototype developed by SAP Research in Brisbane, Australia and SAP NetWeaver Development providing real-time, cloud-based collaborative business process modelling within Google Wave. Google Wave is Google's new real-time collaboration platform that combines features of e-mail, social networking, wikis and instant messaging in one integrated browser-based client.
    Alexander Dreiling in Service-Oriented Architecture, Business Process Expert, Business Process Management, Business Process Modeling, Business Rules Management, Composition Environment (CE), Consumer Products, Insurance, Interoperability, SAP NetWeaver Platform, SAP Research, Enterprise Social Systems [Sep. 02, 2009 11:56 PM | 52 Comments | Gravity – Collaborative Business Process Modelling within Google Wave]
  32. Rank: 15   Page Views: 46472  (Stats updated nightly)

  33. Update Your ABAP Development Skills to SAP NetWeaver 7.0
    If the title of this blog sounds familiar, then chances are good that you have attended session CD251 at one of the TechEds this year. Now find out how some of the core content of this TechEd Session has been made available as an Online SDN E-Learning.
    Thomas Jung in ABAP, Service-Oriented Architecture, SAP Process Integration (PI), SAP TechEd, Web Dynpro [Dec. 19, 2007 06:49 AM | 37 Comments | Update Your ABAP Development Skills to SAP NetWeaver 7.0]
  34. Rank: 17   Page Views: 46118  (Stats updated nightly)

  35. BusinessObjects and SAP - Installation and Configuration Part 1 of 4
    In this blog series I am describing the steps that are required to install and configure the BusinessObjects solution on top of a SAP BI system (Part #1).
    Ingo Hilgefort in Analytics, Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse, Business Intelligence (BusinessObjects), Community Day, ERP, SAP NetWeaver Platform, SAP TechEd [Sep. 17, 2008 11:26 PM | 39 Comments | BusinessObjects and SAP - Installation and Configuration Part 1 of 4]
  36. Rank: 18   Page Views: 45985  (Stats updated nightly)

  37. ABAP Proxies in XI(Client Proxy)
    The other way of interfacing XI is through proxies. From WAS 6.20, proxy generation feature enables application systems to communicate with XI using proxies. Proxy generation enables you to create proxies in application systems. Proxies encapsulate the creation or parsing of XML messages and the communication with the relevant runtime components required to send or receive the messages.
    Ravikumar Allampallam in SAP Process Integration (PI) [Mar. 14, 2005 03:56 AM | 33 Comments | ABAP Proxies in XI(Client Proxy)]
  38. Rank: 19   Page Views: 45142  (Stats updated nightly)

  39. Generic Extraction via Function Module
    Short overview about the extraction api, using custom defined function modules.
    Siegfried Szameitat in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse [Sep. 29, 2005 09:14 AM | 42 Comments | Generic Extraction via Function Module]
  40. Rank: 20   Page Views: 44191  (Stats updated nightly)

  41. Aspirant to learn SAP XI...You won the Jackpot if you read this!-Part I
    My inbox is flooding with many mails soliciting the direction to start their career into SAP XI. Iam too lethargic to reply for everyone as it is a bit lengthy process to explicate it in a mail. You can ask me, Why am blogging so late? I told you already am lazy to pen lengthy stuff:)…But…One day I got a mail from an graduate student asking me to guide him…!!....Alas! Iam amazed and impressed with that mail….I guess SDN Community has accomplished its goal in global marketing and inspiring all sorts of people across the globe…...Kuddos to SDN!...
    Sravya Talanki in SAP Process Integration (PI) [Dec. 25, 2006 05:43 AM | 31 Comments | Aspirant to learn SAP XI...You won the Jackpot if you read this!-Part I]
  42. Rank: 21   Page Views: 43731  (Stats updated nightly)

  43. LOGISTIC COCKPIT DELTA MECHANISM - Episode three: the new update methods
    This third episode describes in detail all the elements required to help make an aware selection of the right new update method (after the serialized V3 update mechanism replacement) for the applications related to the Logistic Cockpit.
    Roberto Negro in Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse [Jan. 19, 2005 08:31 AM | 22 Comments | LOGISTIC COCKPIT DELTA MECHANISM - Episode three: the new update methods]
  44. Rank: 22   Page Views: 42147  (Stats updated nightly)

  45. Http* Errors in XI
    There are many forum discussions about Http Errors. This blog is collective information about most common HTTP errors occurring during XI implementations and possible tips to solve the problems.
    Krishna Moorthy P in SAP Process Integration (PI) [Jul. 23, 2006 05:26 PM | 11 Comments | Http* Errors in XI]
  46. Rank: 23   Page Views: 42027  (Stats updated nightly)

  47. SAP's definitive strategy for planning technologies moving forward: What's the word on BPC, BI-IP and SRC?
    This blog discuss SAP's direction for planning products. It describes SAP's official stance, and provides a bit more insight into Business Planning and Consolidation 7.0, version for SAP NetWeaver.
    Ryan Leask in Analytics, Enterprise Data Warehousing/Business Warehouse, Business Intelligence (BusinessObjects), Business Process Expert, Business Process Management, Business Process Modeling, Business Solutions, Enterprise Performance Management, SAP NetWeaver Platform [Jun. 24, 2008 11:09 AM | 92 Comments | SAP's definitive strategy for planning technologies moving forward: What's the word on BPC, BI-IP and SRC?]
  48. Rank: 24   Page Views: 41906  (Stats updated nightly)

  49. First steps to work with Change Request Management scenario
    This blog describes how to create a test landscape to practice with the Charm scenario in Solution Manager 7.0 without creating interferences with real TMS landscapes. Also you will find tips and tricks for the common mistakes in the configuration of this scenario.
    Dolores Correa in SAP Solution Manager [Jul. 26, 2008 06:20 AM | 34 Comments | First steps to work with Change Request Management scenario]
  50. Rank: 25   Page Views: 40890  (Stats updated nightly)

Mark Finnern

Culture Jamming SAP

Posted by Mark Finnern Nov 16, 2011

A couple of weeks ago Mark Yolton was invited to an offsite by Jonathan Becher, SAP's newly minted Chief Marketing Officer.

Mark told me how inspired he was by the event. Jonathan quoted Peter Drucker: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast!".

If your strategy doesn't align with the underlying culture of the organization you will fail. First change the culture if it doesn't align with your new strategy. But cultural change is hard.

I thought about it and realized that jamming SAP culture is one of the greatest things SAP Mentors do, and they do it all the time.

Wikipedia defines culture jamming as a tactic used by many anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert mainstream cultural institutions, including corporate advertising.

In the context of the SAP Mentors I see culture jamming differently. It is a positive force that uses events, iconography, posters, webinars and social media to nudge SAP to embrace a more open, sharing, collaborative culture.

In 2007 when I created the SAP Mentor initiative, I wanted us to be easily recognizable. An icon. I zeroed in on the "O" in SAP Mentors and thought it would symbolize a shining sun, the light that the mentors bring to everything they do. I added the "!" exclamation point to add weight: SAP Mentors are willing to state their opinion.

I was proud, especially when the miracle of all miracles ocured: it got the O.K. from SAP branding. I introduced the shining sun to the mentors; but without missing a beat, and if memory serves me well, it was Jim Spath, who brought me back to earth by simply calling it the mentor lemon.

Once in a while I would remind people of the original meaning but knew that was a lost cause. It will forever be the mentor lemon and I actually enjoy that.

If you want your influencer community group to thrive, take a page from Improv Comedy. "Yes, and ..." are the two words that link improve scenes together and enable the flow of ideas and the improv magic to happen.

With these words, you ensure to build upon the ideas of the people that came before you. A "NO" stops everyone in their tracks and is hard to overcome without feeling forced. It may also be the key to success in life: embrace and improve the ideas of everyone around you and life's riches will flow in your direction. A new The Secret book coming up next fall ;-).

I am almost half-way there, being known for saying "Yes, but ...". I am working on the "and" part.

In chronological order here are more examples of SAP Mentors jamming SAP culture including the differences they made.

Culture jamming: Open Thinking

Once the SAP Mentor logo was out Oliver Kohl took it and created a screen saver adding a new tag line that we SAP Mentors embraced: Open Thinking.


Culture jamming: Frickin' Amazing!

Many of the SAP Mentors are fans of Hugh McLeod. But then there is Dennis Howlett, who has many of McLeod's prints hanging in his home in Spain. Dennis especially loved this one.

Dennis approached Mark Yolton, Mike Prosceno and me about getting prints for all the mentors.

We accepted the challenge, shared the cost and expanded on the idea. We gave every mentor two prints. We gave them one to keep and one to give away to someone who did a frickin' amazing job in the larger SAP community.

Mike Prosceno was even able to get them to share it with SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott.

Bill McDormott getting print

Picture by Martin Gillet

These interactions lead to the forming of the SAP certification council with SAP user groups, partners and SAP Mentors working on improving SAP certification.

Last week in Madrid we brought the print back, and Dennis during the blooger dinner organized by Stacey Fish from Global Communications, he gave one to SAP's other Co-CEO Jim Snabe.


Picture by Harald Reiter (?)


Culturejamming: SAP Mentor Stickers

The king of SAP Mentor stickers is Martin Gillet. He found a place to print them, came up with some cool culture jamming slogans and is sharing them freely with everyone.

Pictures by Martin Gillet. Compostition Mark Finnern


When the SAP Mentors were at DKOM they swarmed SAP founder Hasso Plattner, put a sticker in his hand and took the following picture:

Picture by Martin Gillet

I would never have dreamed that SAP Mentors would meet Hasso Plattner, but I used the above picture to ask whether he would meet with us. I am convinced that the picture piqued his interest, and it was the reason he made room in his busy schedule at Sapphire in Orlando.


Picture by Martin Gillet (?)

I am still pinching myself from the former, and then who walks in? Jim Snabe, pointing to the SAP Mentor button he got from John Appleby at the Global Communications reception the night before and says: "I am an honorary SAP Mentor. I can join this meeting." and sits down.

Culture jamming: Blue SAP Mentor shirts

I believe one of the ways I brought innovation into our culture is through our distinctive blue shirts. People want them. The shirts bind the SAP Mentor "Wolfpack" and create a succinct identity.

Here is the original design from 2007, the legendary rugby shirt. All SAP Mentors got their own number and twitter handle or whatever they wanted on the back.

It has made a difference in so many ways. I love to walk on the big SAP TechEd showfloor, and with one glance I am able to find my fellow SAP Mentors.

We also give the shirts out to honor people who made a difference for the SAP community cause. Here is Vishal Sikka getting his shirt last year.

Picture by SAP TechEd Team


Culture jamming: What would @marilynpratt do?

The original source for the "What would @marilynpratt do" [WWMPD] Twitter meme is at the time of this writing still under investigation ;-).

Marilyn Pratt is SCN's most amazing community evangelist. Her latest achievement was a series she called Embracing Inclusion – Driving Innovation : An Introduction which was paired with design thinking workshops during TechEd in Las Vegas, Bangalore and Madrid.

Her integrity, warmth and caring is part of everything she does. The realization between mentors and non-mentors of the SCN community was, that her behaviour is exceptional and a shining example for others to mimik: WWMPD. A flash mob was organized to honor her and was flawlessly executed last week in Madrid. [Video by Dennis Howlett]

Picture by Martin Gillet

To be part of that flash mob to honor Marilyn's tireless community effort was a highlight of my career.

Culture jamming: #suithugger 

The other meme that the mentors triggered in Madrid was hugging a suit. For the first time SapphireNow and SAP TechEd were co-located in Madrid. During the Demo Jam Ian Kimball told the geeks in the audience "if you see 'a suit', be kind to them."

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.

   Picture by Oliver Kohl
At first 'the suits' were a bit cautious, but then they literally embraced the idea. I heard over and over "Have you been hugged already?"

The list of SAP Mentors culture jamming SAP is impressive. It made us more open, collaborative and most of all we all have more fun. I assure you these examples are only the tip of the iceberg.

These amazing mentors are able to weave serious business with light-hearted fun. I recall Björn Goerke, Senior Vice President for SAP NetWeaver and the Technology Foundation, our guest for an intense interactive webinar. His last remarks, shaking his head, were "you guys [SAP Mentors] always seem to have fun."

I feel privileged to be part of this group. We are able to toe that thin line between serious business and having a lot of fun while creating results.

SAP Mentors make a difference by being early adopters of new technology. Case in point Gateway. Please join us today Tuesday 11th of October  at 1pm PST for our public SAP Mentor webinar: Gateway Applications. Where 4 of these apps are demoed.

Update: Ning-Jin Gao will introduce SAP NetWeaver Gateway pre-packaged Trial version for Linux and Windows too during the webinar. [Oh the SAP Naming conventions. I thought the two line names were a thing of the past. ;-)]


  • Introduction
  • Ning-Jin Gao Gateway Solution Manager will introduce SAP NetWeaver Gateway pre-packaged Trial version for Linux and Windows
  • SAP Mentor - Raja Durairaj: Exposing Workflow inbox and consuming it in an Android app  
  • SAP Mentor - Dagfinn Parnes: OData/SAPData explorer for Android 3.1+ 
  • SAP Gateway Solution Manager - Hardik Patel: Facebook HR recruiting scenario 
  • Adobe - Keith Sutton: Flash Builder Plug-in for SAP NetWeaver Gateway 
  • Product Feedback, Q&A (20 Min) 

SAP Connect Session: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm Dial in: Numbers Participant Passcode: 3032344038 

As you can see, mentors don’t have a monopoly on early adaption of new technology, besides the SAP Gateway solution manager Hardik Patel, I want to specially welcome Keith Sutton from Adobe who is running today with the SAP Mentor Wolfpack ;-)

Check out Hardik slide regarding Facebook HR recruiting scenario: 

I would join the call alone to see this app in action.

Don’t miss it today Tuesday 11thof October:  1pm PST

SAP Connect Session: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/sapmm Dial in: Numbers Participant Passcode: 3032344038 

See you there!

Update: Latest addition is Henirque Pinto from SAP Brazil. We needed some extra time to finalize this and I am super happy that it worked out at the end. 

We are adding more new SAP Mentors than we ever did to the SAP Mentor Wolfpack. We have teeth, but we don’t bite. Or should it say: We have Byte, but we don’t teeth? (Everyone under 40 will not get this. You may want to check out Byte magazine. My older brother had them laying around and it definitely influence my career ;-)

It is really exciting to add new SAP Mentors, as they bring in new wind, new perspectives and a great deal of contagious enthusiasm. Please keep an eye on our public SAP Mentor Monday webinar schedule, as we will soon announce the exact time and date when the introduction webinars will happen. We give every new SAP Mentor Cub 10 minutes to share their expertise, some nugget of SAP wisdom that you may not know of that will help you.   

As always, even though we are adding a record number of new SAP Mentors, there were a lot more excellent candidates that we were not able to add this time around. Please don’t be disappointed. Continue your great work in the larger SAP community. The biggest reward is to be able to help others anyhow. To all the “others” if you have been helped, make sure to thank them, let them know that they made a difference, SAP Mentor or not. Jon Reed writes about SAP Mentorship and recognition much more eloquently in the latest SAP Mentor Quarterly (page 14).

Please quiet down now for the twice-yearly drum roll as the new SAP Mentors are coming in. Keep your applause until the last one is announced, otherwise it will take forever.

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/u/251856298 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] Techedge SpA Italy


Ivan is the main driver behind the Code Exchange program abap2xlms and he came all the way from Italy and spend 30 hours on route to the SAP Inside Track Chicago, to be able to present the project in person.. That is pretty amazing and thanks so much for your dedication. Together with Sergio Ferrari he is organizing the SAP Inside Track Milan happening on October 8, 2011. They both were also super active during the SAP World Tour stop in Milan. 

Paul KurchinaKurMeta Group Canada

There are only very few people as connected into SAP as Paul is. Many years of working with SAP especially in organizing the SAP Enterprise Architecture community established him as the true Connector, Analyst, and Community Catalyst in the SAP Ecosystem. His Utility Industry background is also a nice asset that he brings to the SAP Mentor table. He has an idea of worldwide SAP TechEd decompression Inside Tracks a couple of weeks after the main events, can’t wait for him to share this idea with the community.

Jarret Pazahanick EIC Experts USA

Jarret Pazahanick is an SAP HCM Certified Consultant who has specialized in SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) since 1998. He is a subject matter expert in US Payroll, the Employee Interaction Center (EIC) and Enterprise Compensation Management (ECM). He will join Martin Gillet’s as another SAP Mentor with HR background. Can’t wait for that collaboration to blossom. 

Andreas Eissmann
Data One GmbH Germany

Andreas Eißmann works as multiple certified SAP Business ByDesign solution and service advisor for Data One GmbH in Saarbrücken/Germany. As consultant, he's responsible for CRM, PRO and cross topics like data migration, integration scenarios etc. He is one of the few that has worked intensively with the ByDesign SDK and we are happy to give him the SAP Mentor megaphone to spread his knowledge and experiences all over the world.

Chris Kernaghan Capgemini UK

Chris has over 11 years extensive SAP experience, specializing in SAP upgrades and infrastructure migrations. He has been the senior technical consultant or team lead for 14 SAP upgrades. His new focus is virtualization and Cloud infrastructure technologies. – What? You need to know about infrastructure technologies in the cloud? I thought you just put it up there. Can’t wait for him to shine some light into my cloudy ignorance around Cloud computing.

Dilek Ersoz Adak MilSoft ICT Turkey

Dilek works as an SAP HCM and BI consultant (on both technical and business perspectives) for the last seven years. Her areas of expertise include but not limited to Payroll, Personnel/Organization Management, ESS/MSS, Objective Setting and Appraisals, Business Warehouse ETL and Business Intelligence Query Development. She was the co-organizer of the first two SAP Inside Tracks in Turkey. 

[Sad side note: Even though we are adding a lot of SAP Mentors, she is the only Mentorrette. Please encourage more female SAP experts to step up to the plate and nominate them in the next round. There are amazing competent women out there, that have a lot to share with the community and SAP. Sometimes they just need a little nudge. ]

Uwe FetzerSE|38 IT-Engineering Germany

Bio: : 20 years of SAP/ABAP experience and since 14 years self employed. Please get to know Uwe, he is a super solid guy and contributed from the early days of SCN. Someone who has the ABAP transaction code as twitter handle is passionate about SAP. He is the owner of 4 SAP code exchange projects. Enough said!

Martin EnglishIndependent Consultant Australia

He started with SAP sometime last century, working on R/2. Since my introduction to R/2, I've worked with most releases of R/3 and most of the NetWeaver releases and products, on most of the supported Operating System / DBMS combinations. When I saw his nomination, I thought, wait he isn’t an SAP Mentor yet? Well, now he is ;-) He is also hosting the SAP Mentor daily on Twitter, which makes more sense now, that he actually is one. 

Jan Penninkhof Phoqus Netherlands

He is an experienced software architect and team leader with a wide variety of experience in various companies. Throughout his career he managed and cooperated in many IT-related projects and businesses for more than 15 years. He speaks ABAP, Java and ActionScript fluently. Jan has been active at SAP Inside Tracks, presenting as well as winning the demo jam. More details during the SAP Mentor Monday webinar.

Eric Vallo
EV Technologies USA

Eric Vallo has been working in business intelligence for almost 12 years, with other emphasis on web technologies and enterprise architecture. He has had a career which has spanned Fortune 50 and 500 companies, as well as small businesses, working in telecommunications, finance, health care, and government. Eric also founded and hosts the Diversified Semantic Layer network podcast together with fellow SAP Mentors Jamie Oswald and Greg Myers. He also has some Sybase IQ experience.

Alisdair Templeton Acclimation Pty Ltd Australia

Integration using SAP PI, including Message Modelling, Service Design, SOA Adoption, Pub/Sub with Autonomous components, and using REST as an Architectural Style. Development using ABAP, Java, Composition, BPM, Workflow, Object Oriented Design. Domain Driven Design, Test Driven Development and the application of Design Patterns. Mobile Development using both native and web based approaches – In line with this I am co-presenting an ASUG session at TechEd US which will demonstrate the development of an application based on jQuery Mobile which we will share with the class so they can “run mobility” at their company.  Sounds like an SAP Mentor worthy session to participate in.


Chris PainePresence of IT Australia

Chris’ area of expertise are technical SAP (esp. Web Dynpro ABAP and Java too), SAP HR, HR Business Process. Chris has 13 years of experience with SAP HR. Together with Neil Gardiner he beat out 4 SAP Mentors at the Demo Jam in Sydney earlier this year. Well, if you can’t beat them, let them join you ;-)


Mark Chalfen Bluefin Solutions UK

Mark has been working with SAP for over 12 years. His main focus has always been around the Finance modules within ERP. Over the last few years he has been focusing on SAP FSCM which is a new product in the Finance space. Cool, someone with deep business solution knowledge. Very much appreciated in the SAP Mentor world.

Harshit Kumar Accenture India

Harshit Kumar is an SAP CRM enthusiast. He has worked with SAP Labs in Product development of 5.1, 5.2, 2007, 7.0 releases as well as on the CRM On Demand release. He has also done multiple end to end implementations for globally acclaimed clients. I am convinced that Gregor Wolf and Stephen Johannes will be happy to get an addition CRM expertise voice to influence SAP and the community with.

Tridip Chakraborthy Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp USA

Tridip has worked on multiple SAP SRM projects spanning across implementation and upgrades. He worked on various products in the SAP-SRM suite offering, configured the Supplier Self Services component (SUS), SRM-MDM catalog and SAP Sourcing and CLM applications to handle the procurement process..


Henrique Pinto Henirque Pinto SAP Brazil 

Henrique works at SAP Brasil as a presales Solution Advisor, focusing on the solution architecture of platform (NetWeaver), mobility (Sybase) and the SAP NFE (electronic invoicing) solutions.

He is working for SAP since February 2007. For South American SAP community members he is well known as one of the driving forces behind Portuguese content as well as the SAP Inside Tracks Brazil, which they are planning to have 3 this year, which is quite the ambitious goal. Good luck with that.  


Now is the time for your applause. Please welcome the new SAP Mentor Wolfpack cubs. If there is someone missing, don’t sweat it. We will ask for new nominations soon. 

Jerry Michalskihas held his retreats where he invites eclectic people that want to make the world a better place to come together for an extended weekend with no fixed agenda for 14 years. That makes it one of the oldest and longest running, I venture the mother of all unconferences.

Doc Searlsand John Locke met at one of the first ones before they wrote the Cluetrain Manifesto.

Jerry engaging during his RetreatAs you may have experienced yourself, the most interesting conversations happen in the hallways. At Jerry’s Retreat the hallway conversations are brought to the center of the event.

Things I learned over the last 3 days that you can use for your SAP Inside Track that you should be organizing with your local SAP community.

I already postedabout the amazing ice breaker: Share a book that changed your life.

In case a participant forgets to bring a book, they just introduce it verbally and don’t get one from the pool. Ideally that game is played the evening before the Inside Track starts in the backroom of a pub.

I also totally loved 60 Minute University. Give a presenter 5 minutes to introduce a topic that she feels passionate about, followed by a 5 minute Q&A before the next presenter takes the stage. Within an hour you get 6 amazing introductions to themes that you may have not known anything about. Mind blown. Important that the moderator of the Q&A is not the time keeper.

Moderation tip: If time is running out and there are still a lot of questions in the queue, let them all quickly ask their question. That gives the presenter a chance to quickly summarize an answer to all of them. Have a longer break right after this exercise, to give the audience and presenters the chance to connect individually. Small groups will form around the themes.

It reminded me of what we do when we introduce new SAP Mentors, although a bigger focus is put on the introduction part and not enough Q&A, we may want to split up the introduction into more sessions and make room for Q&A.

Do something local. Even though the SAP Inside Track is bringing the local SAP passionate folks together, they still may come from a different city. Select the food and the evening get together accordingly. We ate next to a gallery that was showcasing local artists and a chair maker who was there in person and talked what went into making a chair for guitar players and that he so far could not get any consensus from cello players, as most of them are taught to sit on the edge of a chair. How can you build a chair that is just edge? My guess is, that the edge rule is given because there were no adequate chairs available. 

He dreams that Symphony concert organizers will spend some attention on having beautiful chairs on stage, after all that is what concert goers see first. It would set a different tone, especially for chamber music.

Last tip, engage with your local participants early and share the tasks of organizing your SAP Inside Track with them, makes it more enjoyable for everyone: Don’t forget to have fun. 

Yes, it is this time of the year again. Just after Sapphire and a couple of months before SAP TechEd. We would like to add new perspectives and fresh thinking to the SAP Mentors. The famous SAP Mentor Wolfpack Cubs. When they come in, they add amazing energy and new tracks to the beaten paths of our mentor group.


If there is someone in the larger SAP Ecosystem please nominate that person to become an SAP Mentor. SCN activity is a plus, but not a prerequisite, after all it is not SCN or SDN Mentor, we are the SAP Mentors.


Check the SAP Mentor FAQ section for what makes an SAP Mentor:

  • Hands-on expert in an SAP product or service
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Good communicator
  • Preferably working at a partner or customer of SAP
  • Interested in improving products and services of SAP as well as  the relationship of SAP with its customers, partners and prospects
  • Engaging proactively 

If your candidate doesn't hit all 6 attributes that is OK, it can be compensated by being exceptional in the other areas. It isn't hard science, we are looking for the spark in their eyes and actions, stealing freely from Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking we are looking for folks with spunk ;-)


What are the benefits besides free entry to SAP TechEd?


The biggest one for me is the chance to work together with highly motivated exceptional SAP experts from all over the world. It is amazing and energizing to be part of these people and to do my little part to make it a success.


Oh and sometimes the starts align and you get to meet the only SAP founder that is still actively improving SAP, the legendary Hasso Plattner. He took not 30, not 60 but 75 minutes out of his busy schedule during Sapphire to engage with us.


In this picture you can see him happily wearing his honorable SAP Mentor shirt. His number is of course 007.

The funniest thing was that ¾ through the meeting Jim Hagemann Snabe walks in and sits down with a smile and says: “I gut an SAP Mentor button yesterday, I am an honorable mentor, I can be in this meeting.” One of these famous SAP Mentor moments.

Once someone has been nominated we send them a form to be filled. One question we have added this time around is: What will you do with the additional access and visibility that you get with being an SAP Mentor?


I am convinced that we are at the beginning of the next evolutionary step of the SAP Mentor initiative. We are putting the structure in place to really make a difference within SAP as well as beyond. Join us as it is going to be exciting to be part of it. 

If you are at the ASUG Annual Conference aka SapphireNow today, you may want to join SAP Mentors for the daily wrap up. ASUG is kind enough to host us at their pavilion today. Tomorrow who knows where we will be. 


Goal is an informal get together Flash Mob style to talk about what happened today at the conference, what was the take away for the different SAP Mentors and you, what are the interesting things that you should not miss on the show floor.

It is during the ASUG reception, so grab a beer or wine and join us at the ASUG pavilion 18:15pm. See you there. 

The  days are getting longer, the air is warmer and smells differently, with  Sapphire not even a month away, it must be the season: Please join me  in welcoming the new SAP Mentors Spring 2011.

I  am on a tour across the United States, with many stops at SAP Mentor  locations, this is why I termed it the SAP Mentor Lemon Tour. I even  gave it the hash tag: #sapmlt, but promptly forgot to use it ;-)

The  second evening I had a great dinner with the two Phoenix mentors: Vijay  Vijayasankar and Harald Reiter. It got a late start, as I ran out of  gas in the middle of the desert, but that is another story.

On  Tuesday the ever helpful Aslan organized a nice motel room in the town  that is so hard to pronounce and even harder to spell: Albuquerque.  Loved it there, and I stayed away from the beer. Well, I didn’t have a  lot of choice, as the coffee shop that I ordered my food at was closing  in less than an hour and therefore not allowed to sell any alcohol to me  or anyone, that’s probably a New Mexico rule.

On Wednesday Dave Rathbun introduced his fellow Dallas SAP Mentors Simon To and Ginger Gatling and me to a sweet delight: Strawberry Sopapilla.

Yesterday Christopher Solomon Introduced me to southern cooking: Yummy fried chicken livers.

Sorry for everyone who was eagerly awaiting who the new SAP Mentors going to be, this little adventure delayed this posting. Now that I have arrived safe and sound in Savannah: Drumroll, here are the new SAP Mentors spring 2011:


Ethan Jewett works at Business & Decision in Germany

Consultant  at Business & Decision, specializing in BI, data warehousing, and  planning. Committer on the Apache ESME project. In addition to the areas  of expertise listed below, I'm interesting in a wide range of topics  from programming languages to open technologies and standards to  politics to athletics. I love discussing it all.

Rule for success: Hire people that are smarter than you.  We make SAP Mentors out of folks that are smarter than us, so that they tell us when we are off the track. Ethan fits the  bill. He keeps us on our toes with his posts, like his latest: The specified item was not found..  He not only criticizes, but in good SAP Mentor fashion rolls up his sleeve  and creates an Idea Place suggestion to gather momentum for his  suggestion. [We are in the process to upgrade our platform, with that  the RSS feed limitations will hopefully be resolved too.]

Twitter: @esjewett


Pete Lagana works at Excellis Interactive in the US

VP  of Digital Experience at Excellis Interactive working across several  accounts.  Passionate designer, reformer and implementer of SAP User  Interfaces across multiple SAP platforms and products. Over a decade of  interactive design and development experience across multiple channels  (desktop, web, wireless, broadband) and platforms (SAP, Microsoft  SharePoint, IBM WebSphere).

If you have been around SCN, you know that Pete  is an SAP UI specialist who likes to share his knowledge. His passion about achieving a great user experience for SAP products and software. From portal and web dynpro to BobJ and Mobile UIs such as Sybase and Syclo, he wants to help the community get the most out of their SAP investment.

Twitter: @petelagana


Pratik Talwar with Colgate Palmolive in India

If  I am profiled for my skills, I would be identified with a balanced  combination of Business Process Knowledge ( SCM - APICS Certified;  Certified Six Sigma Consultant,KPMG) and Industry exposure related to  FMCG and Automobile Sector thus involved in process designing &  optimization.

So  happy that we can add an additional SAP Mentor from India. Pratik fits perfect,

He is a young and growing strategist for enterprises, keen to share and seek knowledge related to integrated and automated enterprise processes. He brings new perspectives to traditional methods of application development and influence strategic decisions by sparking new thoughts. He has one foot frimly planted in the business and the other in the IT world, which makes his knowledge so valuable. As Rashmi Manda writes in his Innovative Community Day at Bangalore - my notes (part 2): Pratik  was at the community day in the capacity of a “Business process Expert”  to help outline the business processes for the teams to work on. You can also check Partik out on SAP TechEd TV being interviewed regarding the value of the SAP Community Network.

Twitter: @PratikTalwar



John Moy with Australia Post

Worked  with SAP technologies since 1995.  Commencing as a SAP HR/Payroll  consultant with Accenture, I moved to join SAP Australia in 1997 and  transferred to the enabling technologies consulting team in Melbourne,  focusing on ABAP development and internet enablement in particular  (primarily ESS using ITS).  Later joined Australia Post in 2008 as the  SAP NetWeaver Development Lead, and most recently moved to a new  position as SAP User Interaction and Mobility Architect.

One of his many contributions is an iPhone App for searching HELP.SAP.COM. He has taken a lead in exploring the use of open source Mobile web frameworks such as jQuery Mobile, and PhoneGap integrated with SAP (see his blogs). John also furthered the dialog on SCN with his Can we reinvent the grey haired ABAPer? post. He wants SAP developers to keep up with the evolution of technologies and not consign themselves to the 'commodity pile'. Can’t wait to see where he is taking us next.

Twitter: @jhmoy


Sina Moatamed
Bio: Sina  Moatamed became BendPak’s Chief Information Officer and IT strategist  in mid-2007. Sina has been overseeing every facet of IT infrastructure,  projects, contracts and security to ensure that BendPak’s business  services are supported by the right systems, processes and people.  Sina’s professional history centers largely on multi-million dollar  global implementations at large enterprises.

Sina has spent most of his IT profession delivering infrastructure solutions for the large enterprise.  At BendPak he implemented a new strategy of building a "Service Focused Infrastructure".  This type of infrastructure strategy more directly secures technological services to the needs of the business. He used SAP ByDesign to implement this new strategy and I can't wait to hear more about it.


Tobias Hofmann with Accenture in Brazil

Graduated  from University of Mannheim (Msc) in Business Information Technology.  After working for SAP I work for other companies where I had to  opportunity to gain knowledge in Microsoft and open source products and  in IT processes like semantics, ITIL and collaboration. Later I moved to  Brazil, where my current client is Petrobras.

I  am excited to be able to add one more mentor in South America and he  deserves it for all that he is doing in the Brazilian community.  Marcello Ramos when organizing the SAP Inside Tracks in Brazil can always count on Tobias to help out wherever he can. He also keeps us up to date what is going on for example at the SAP Forum in Brazil earlier this year.

Twitter: @tobiashofmann


David Hull with Disney in the US.

David  is currently an SAP Solution Architect, focusing on database and  application infrastructure projects, and has been working on SAP  applications since 1996.

David is one of the few that can have Goofy as an avatar picture in his wiki profile and get away with it, as he is working for Disney ;-)  He has a rich  long expertise in SAP infrastructure and is a great community member  sharing his expertise freely with the community. Can’t wait for him to  influence SAP with our infrastructure direction.

Twitter: @sapdba


Derek Loranca with Aetna USA

Derek  P. Loranca is a Lead Business Intelligence Specialist with Aetna, a  Fortune 100 insurance and managed care corporation. Specializing in  Informatics, Derek has spent the last 8 years in Aetna’s Enterprise Data  Warehouse (EDW) reporting and BI team. He served as a technical lead  for the EDW Standard Reporting Team, guiding and developing reports for  an application inventory of over 300 Crystal Reports, all coded against  Very Large Databases (VLDB’s).

He  truly loves sharing his knowledge with the community and enjoys watching  people absorb and learn from it. He is working for an SAP customer which  gives his voice extra weight and I can’t wait to hear it now amplified by being an SAP Mentor. He will be helping Ingo Hilgefort during his pre Sapphire/ASUG Annual Conference session: BusinessObjects  BI 4.0 Tools – In a Single Day too.

Having SAP employees as mentors is helping to make connections and opening doors within SAP.

Twitter: @golasalle


Martin Lang with SAP USA

Bio: Martin  Lang enjoys is current role in SAP Global IT's Enterprise Architecture  team, focused on building & deploying mobile apps within SAP  internally. Before re-joining IT in Nov. 2010 Martin worked as a  community advocate in the SAP Community Network team.
Martin  was part of the SAP Community Network team and we were super sad when  he decided to go back to his roots at SAP IT. He is down to earth and  always helpful and has a wealth of knowledge that he is freely sharing.  It really helps to have someone connected in IT to get certain problems solved like system access for external mentors during InnoJam.

Twitter: @martinlang


Natascha Thomson with SAP USA

Part  of the SAP Social Media Audience Marketing (SMAM) team, responsible for  identifying best practices to create solution awareness and demand  through social media. Previously, part of the SAP Community Network  marketing team.

Natascha  is a connector in the true sense. Making sure that the right people  talk to and engage with each other to bring a topic forward. She was successful in  bringing more SAP Mentors to the Influencer Summit at the end of last year.  Her energy is contagious. I am really happy that she is joining the SAP Mentor Wolfpack. 

Twitter: @Nathomson


Rukhshaan Omar with SAP in Germany

Product  Marketing SAP NetWeaver BPM, co-author of "Applying Real-World BPM in  an SAP Environment" and moderator for BPM use case wiki.

If  you have not checked out the BPM use case wiki, you are missing out on a  wealth of information. Rucks is the driving force behind that wiki space. Check out her latest post regarding The specified item was not found. as an example where an SAP employee is sharing some SAP internal insights. She is very  busy with HANA at the moment and I can't wait for her to engage in that area too.

Twitter: @rukso

P.S.  My apology to all the ones that were equally qualified and  didn’t make the cut. It is one of the toughest deissions to make. There will be a new round of nominations and selections before SAP TechEd in the fall.

Not every month, but once in a while, we celebrate exceptional SAP Mentors. Thanks so much for all the things that you are doing Tammy Powlas the mentor of the month April 2011.

Bio from her blog profile: Tammy Pawlas is a Certified Public Accountant, Project Management Professional, SAP certified in SAP BW NetWeaver, FI, CO, SEM and ASAP tool. She is an ASUG Volunteer with the BI and BITI Communities. She is an SAP Mentor.


Tammy is just amazing in bringing the community together: really active in ASUG, but always having an eye out beyond user groups.


She even keeps me on my toes with requesting a blog post or webinar around video interview I did with 2011 Majdi Najm Outstanding Service Award winner Dr. Simha Magal. Yes, I am working on the blog post. Webinar with Professor Magal? Possible if there is interest.


Last month Tammy not only went to the SAP Curriculum Congress 2011, but also to the InnoJam as well as DKOM in Santa Clara, which were happening one after the other.


She is a real connector, not out to promote herself, but to create opportunities for everyone. Here she is at the SAP Curriculum Congress poster session with me introducing the professors to the opportunities that SAP Mentors are offering.

Tammy didn't stop there, but she also followed through and connected the professors with the local SAP Mentors and she created a couple of slides covering the topic for the public SAP Mentor Monday Monthly webinar today too. Join us at 1:30pm PST.


She is also the driving force behind the Student BI club together with Ingo Hilgefort and others.

Beyond these public activities, she is also making sure that any misunderstandings within the SAP Mentor group are clarified. She pings me sometimes: Please talk to this mentor, I think there is a little problem, and she is always right.


Please join me in recognizing Tammy for being an amazing force in the SAP community.

Thanks Tammy for all the things that you are doing.

It is late and I should be in bed already, but I am super excited that 34 SAP Mentors will be part of the otherwise internal only SAP Developer Kick-Off Meeting (DKOM) 

It all started with me posting on our internal portal my feedback about last year's DKOM. 

We had a panel where customers were talking about their experience using SAP software. I felt they were way to kind to us and on a too general level to really make a difference with the SAP developers. My recommendation was: 

Let's open up more. The SAP Mentors tell me over and over, that  they are interested in the success of SAP. Why not bring them as the  experts from the field that not only give us a couple of sound bites  from a panel, but be in the sessions and tell us what is really going on in their area of expertise.

When Sinead Kaiya took on the organization of DKOM 2011 she stumbled over my rant and I am really grateful that she picked up my suggestion, got the executives to agree and was in general really supportive of us. 

In addition to DKOM some of the mentors were also part of the InnoJam happening the last two days too. I bumped into an SAP colleague of mine this morning and I ask him how he liked InoJam so far and he said: "It is really cool that they brought in customers and partners. That connection is endlessly valuable." That made my day. 

This is why I am so excited that 34 SAP Mentors worldwide will be part of DKOM starting right now in Mannheim. 

If you are at DKOM the SAP Mentors are easy to spot wearing blue shirts with numbers and often their twitter handle on the back. 

Don't be shy. Get to know them, collaborate, they are here to keep us on track and really happy to engage. 

They don't know all the answers, but they often know whom to ask. The icing on the cake is, we mentors are great to hang out with, as Bjoern Goerke famously said after the 3rd SAP Mentor meeting/webinar: You mentors always seem to have fun. Join us. 

When I get asked what do SAP Mentor do? My favorite answer is: Create magic ;-) Here are 16 examples of last year's mentor magic moments. [Putting this post together I realize how many there were and I am convinced that I missed many.]

1) Mastering SAP at the beginning of the year is a TechEd not run by SAP down under in Australia. They listed 9 Keynote presenters to convince their audience to come to their event. The first 6 of these listed where SAP Mentors. It worked, otherwise they wouldn't have invited so many SAP Mentors again. Go to their 2011 home page and see a picture of the amazing knowledgeable humble Thomas Jung. Don't miss the Inside Track the day before.

SAP Mentors at Mastering SAP Technology 2010

I added the SAP Mentor icon or lemon as some call it lovingly ;-) for an easier distinction.

2) Reportapalooza
I love the concept and execution of a reporting competition with audience participation. SAP Mentors Mico Yuk and Jamie Oswald were two of the 4 contestants that rocked the house.



3) Certification 5 are for me the poster child of passionate SAP Mentors getting together rolling up their sleeves and changing SAP. They wrote a 55 page white paper called: SAP Certification: A Fresh Perspective.

Certification 5 SAP Mentors

During Sapphire they got Bill McDermott's attention and he kicked off an internal change project. 

One of the outcomes is the forming of an SAP Certification Influence Council involving SAP, customers, and partners. 2 seats are reserved for C5 representing the independent consulting view/SAP community.

4) SAP Mentors asked the most questions at SAP Press conferences
Of course it helps to have Dennis Howlett on your team, but also without him at Sapphire and especially at TechEd the questions from the SAP Mentors were genuine, thoughtful and interesting.

5) Catch the Snabe
On a lighter note, Tobias Trapp and Thorsten Franz invented a little game on the monster touch screens that were available at Sapphire and made a little video about it. 


5) SAP Inside Tracks 
Oh my, do they have grown. Was it really only in 2008 that Darren and Nigel organized the first one in London?

SAP Inside Track 2010 Map

In 2010 there were 13 mostly driven by SAP Mentors. I especially loved Rich Heilman MCing the Philadelphia one. Who would have thought that this silent developer would rock house like that?

Also special kudos to Aslan Noghre-kar for enabling all of the inside tracks to be broadcasted and recorded. Really gave the whole thing a new dimension and enabled the next magic mentor moment.  

7) Certification 5 sessions during SAP Inside Track Bangalore. 

This screen shot I made my desktop background. On a Saturday in Bangalore about 50 SAP enthusiasts came together organized by Mrinal Wadhwa; Somnath Manna and Abesh Bhattacharjee. The screen shot shows Leonardo, Jon, Dennis, Michael presenting and sharing their insights for over 3 hours. For some of them it was 4:30am in the morning. Did I mention that it was a Saturday? The killer was when the folks wrapped up in Bangalore the C5 agreed to hang on for another 15 minutes to go over the lesions learned from the day. 

8) Martin Gillet stickers
My favorite is this one: 

Because it creates a cognitive dissonance in my brain: I thought the bad boys go to hell? Now they go to heaven? So the SAP Mentors are the good ones, but if the bad ones go to heaven, are the mentors going to hell? Ah wait, is SDN therefore Hell? Why would they go there? And shouldn’t it be SCN? Something is wrong. Let’s read it again. And the loop starts anew ;-) 

9) Code Exchange 
What Code Exchange is only magic moment number 9? Well this list is a bit chronologically and Code Exchange got formerly released during TechEd in the fall. 

This is the future of how products will be developed. The idea was first presented to the mentors and received genuine approval. The SAP Mentors helped collecting and prioritizing the Code Exchange features. They were so integrated into the development that they were called the extended Code Exchange product team. That wasn’t even enough magic. SAP Mentor Gregor Wolf put the icing on the Code Exchange cake by developing versioning for it. Just marvelous!

It continues. If you check out the Code Exchange projects, many of them are created of have SAP Mentors as active members. 


10)SAP Mentor Booth at UK-I User Conference 
Idea and throwing the UK-I User Group confernce door wide open by Dennis Howlett. John Appleby grabbing the opportunity and running through that door with booth skins under his arm and DJ Adams, Phil Kisloff and Own Pettiford in tow. Let the magic mentor show begin. Check out Dennis’ We're Not Selling Anything post. To be continued.

Booth panel


11) You guys always seem to have fun
Herve Couturier brought Bjoern Goerke with him to his traditional SAP TechEd pre-conference mentor session.

Herve and Bjoern TechEd 2010 with SAP Mentors

With Bjoern having the overall NetWeaver development responsibility the SAP Mentors had a lot of questions for him. After the sessions in Berlin and Las Vegas, Bjoern offered to continue via a webinar. It was a serious conversation with deep probing questions, but also with our usual banter on the side. At the end of the webinar he stopped shook his head and said: “You guys always seem to have fun.” Serious fun, another trademark of the SAP Mentor initiative ;-)


12) SAP Mentors winners at Innovation Weekend as well as Demo Jam Las Vegas.

Matt Harding winning Demo Jam Las Vegas

Gregor Wolf winning team Innovation Weekend Berlin

Matt Harding together with Alister Tempelton won the Demo Jam at TechEd Las Vegas. John Astill part of the winning team Innovation Weekend Las Vegas as well as Gregor Wolf whose team won in Berlin.


13) Jon Reed getting to interview Vishal at the SAP Influencer Summit 
Makes me super happy to see that Jon Reed gets the trust and recognition for his great work as he was the only one that got a video interview with Vishal Sikka during the SAP Influencer Summit in Santa Clara last December. 

14) SAP Mentor Quarterly
New SAP Mentor Otto Gold saw an opportunity for a magazine kind of publication around SAP Mentors. Even though some SAP Mentor old timers including me coutioned that it is a lot of work, he still went ahead, got a handful of mentors to write an articles and edition 0 is out, I am scrambling to make sure that I write something in time for the first real release. 

SAP Mentor Quarterly


15) Student BI Club University Dallas Texas 
I updated the SAP Mentor Introduction slides and asked the mentors to add what I missed and Tammy Powlas created a page for the Student BI Club of the University in Dallas. Apparently she is providing lectures and mentoring to college students.

Student feedback: I am very grateful to have an opportunity to work under such experienced people and create dashboards. We are going into a world for structuring data at the end of the day to discover hidden relationships and learn to differentiate the wheat from the chaff, hence, the program, the idea, excellent!This session really worked for me. I have learned about the reporting tool. The online session and demo lecture were really organized well.

 Professor Lou Thompson
, University of Texas-Dallas: I want to thank you for allowing UTD (University of Texas-Dallas) in the first offering of the SAP Student Dashboard Club. I have ran into several of the selected students and they all are very excited and say that they are learning a lot!


16) Vishal Sikka happy to be an honorary SAP Mentor 

Vishal Sikka happy to be an honorary SAP Mentor

As you can see from his smile on this picture Vishal was really genuinely happy to receive his shirt.

I am convinced I am still missing many of the magic moments that the SAP Mentors created last year, with 100 of them around, it is hard to keep track. Please post yours in the comments.

If you think you can run with the friendly SAP Mentor Wolfpack (we have teeth, but we don’t bite), get Nominate New SAP Mentorsto become the next one. 

Mark Finnern

Nominate New SAP Mentors

Posted by Mark Finnern Jan 15, 2011

You may have seen the blue shirt brigade at TechEd or Sapphire: Engaged, passionately driving community project forward.

Or you may have gone to a local SAP Inside Tracks organized by one or two of the friendly SAP Mentor Wolfpack.

And then, just the other day you saw someone really passionately challenging SAP constructively pointing out how we can improve. You walk up to her and ask: "Where is your SAP Mentor shirt?".  “Well, I am not a Mentor.” is her answer. You think: “Can’t be true! What an oversight.”

Now is the time to correct that oversight: Please nominate the next SAP Mentor!  

Made a little video that is essentially saying the same thing. 

SAP Mentors are the top community influencers of the SAP Ecosystem. Most of the ~100 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. 

Check out the just updated SAP Mentor Initiative introdcution slides.

P.S. Some video improvement ideas: External mike, get a haircut and more sleep ;-)

We don’t have a formalized criteria or program around SAP Mentor of the Month. That does not stop us from calling one out once in a while. The December 2010 SAP Mentor of the month is John Applebythe head of technology for Bluefin Solutions He has created a lot of mentor magic lately.

SAP Mentor of the month John Appleby

1) SAP TechEd: It started out with him going to TechEd Berlin as well as Las Vegas. Beside of him being really engaged in the meetings with the executives as well as on the show floor, he also spearheaded the campaign for Natascha to come to TechEd via smart use of Idea Space and social media like Twitter. His recount of that event: #nataschatoteched - A tale of two cities.


2) UK/Ireland SAP User Group Conference: Dennis Howlett opened the door to the event by convincing the leadership of UK and Ireland SAP User Groups to give SAP Mentors a booth at their annual conference. Thanks so much Dennis.

It was John Appleby who swung the door wide open. He rallied the troops, convincing in addition to Dennis: DJ Adams, Owen Pettiford, and Phil Kisloff (I hope I didn’t forget anyone) to join the event and man the booth. He also realized that a naked booth wouldn’t work.

With the help of Doris Pfiffner the resident TechEd photographer he got all the high resolution pictures of the SAP Mentors from TechEd together and created and produced the following 7mX2.5m collage:

That was the backdrop to all the cool activity happening in our SAP Mentor both.  

The event was a great success with many deep conversations in the booth. Many participants where scratching their heads when they realized, that the SAP Mentors were not there to sell them something. The mentors also dominated the Twitter stream. On the third day of the conference the User Group leadership sat down with the mentors to discuss how to work better together, as it is to the benefit of everyone involved.

3) SAP Influencer Summit: Just a week later he paid his own way to be part of the SAP Influencer Summit in Santa Clara making sure to get clarity regarding SAP’s mobile roadmap. Check out his post:  SAP Influencer Summit 2010: What’s really happening in Enterprise Mobility?  He was one of 7 SAP Mentors at the event and they really brought the discussion forward.

John thanks so much for all the things that you do. You are an example SAP Mentor roleing up your sleeves and do the needful for the greater good of the SAP community. I am so happy that you are part of the SAP Mentor initiative. You are living the Hugh MacLeod’s print.

Mark Finnern

Monday Mentor Monday ...

Posted by Mark Finnern Nov 29, 2010
... Monday Mentor Monday. How long, how long must I sing this song? How long, how looooong? One of the best kept secrets of SAP Community Network are the public SAP Mentor Monday webinars.

I am convinced that some SAP Mentor Monday regulars were cringing when they read the headline of this post. They know one day I will play that tune or should we say butcher that excellent song as a musical intro to the SAP Mentor Monday. Most SAP Mentor webinars are started with a little muiscal intro, ideally done live by one of the presenters, or another SAP Mentor. Unfortunately too many times folks are too shy. So I have to do it, although for the ones familiar with Asterix*, I feel a lot like Cacophonix (Troubadix for the Germans), just not really appreciated for it ;-)


Once you have survived the first minute (some just tune in a minute late), there is quite the interesting and dense content and the latest around a theme. Much of it you can also get somewhere else on SCN, but what you can't get anywhere else is the amazing high signal conversation developing around the SAP Mentor Monday webinar topic.

We encourage the presenters to have prepared content for about half an hour and leave the second half for question or better the conversation, as all too often someone from the audience is jumping in with a story or an example from the field.   

It is pure magic to have the insights from many years of deep SAP expertise from all corners of the world as well as all corners of SAP products and solutions unfold in conversation style. One of the beauties is, even if you are not an SAP Mentor, you can join the dialog ask and answer questions bring in your perspective.

Even if the time of the webinar doesn't work for you, you can check out the recording at your convenience, like the one with Tobias Trap and Markus Peter around: Development of Enterprise Services.

The next couple of weeks we have an amazing lineup of SAP Mentor Mondays. See the SAP Mentor Monday Wiki Page.

We are happy to have Hugh MacLeod artist and blogger behind Gapingvoid. Dennis Howlett and many other mentors are long time fans. Dennis nudged us to give all SAP Mentors the following print:

Frickin' Amazing Hugh MacLeod

We gave them two. (For all mentors that have not been to TechEd, the check aka print is in the mail ;-) The first one is given as a little appreciation for all the great work the mentors are doing. The second one is for them to give away to someone who is frickin' amazing. Here On being totally frickin’ amazing. He even filmed a little video about it. We started to collect these stories on the SAP Mentor Wiki.

Now Hugh also gave us a bigger version of this print and this Monday the 29th of November we are unveiling it at SAP Labs in Palo Alto. Please join in person if you are around Palo Alto or via the webcast. Huge will be there via Satalite as they say on TV and we will talk about his creative process and how he is able to carve out his own nitch using social media.
SAP Connect Session: https://sap.na.pgiconnect.com/mentormonday Dial in:   1-888-894-0577 or 1-719-955-1561 additional Numbers Participant Passcode: 5795926235

Next up on the 6th of December our SAP Mentor Monday Monthly #sapmmm. The idea behind the monthly public mentor webinar is to have a regular event where we can talk about what happened during the last month in mentor land and take a look into what is coming up that you should not miss. And boy will there be a lot to talk about next Monday: Reports from SAP Mentors at the UK and Ireland User conference, recaps from the SAP TechEd (Including Innovation Community Day) in Bangalore and hopefully Shanghai.  We may move the meeting to a time slot that works better for the SAP Mentors in India.

SAP Mentor booth panel

Two days later the SAP Mentor Monday on a Wednesday. This one got kicked off by SAP Mentor Matthias Steiner via a forum post in the mentor forum wondering about the great interest in REST and Enterprise Services. First it was a shootout, which has been done before and was deemed boring. Both solutions have their place as so eloquently described in Richard Hirsch's blog post: The specified item was not found.

I am especially looking forward to this webinar, as it is at the sweet spot of expertise knowledge and passion of many SAP Mentors, therefore the dialog will be rich, enlightening and fun. I am convinced that everyone on the call will come away with greater insights of what solution to use when and what to look out for in the different areas. Can't wait.

The week after also a very interesting theme Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) 10.0 with Michaela Zwinakis and Gretchen Lindquist:

  • Overview of customer observations about SAP BusinessObjects AC from perspective of security administrators
  • Overview of what's new in AC 10.0
  • Q&A re AC what’s new

    Bio: Michaela Zwinakis Vice President, Solution Management at SAP  Currently leading Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Access Control and Continuous Control Monitoring solution management teams.

    Bio: Gretchen Lindquist has been working in SAP Security since 1997, when she was part of the initial SAP implementation team at Halliburton. Her recent experience was focused on controls compliance and process improvements, and she was also the lead configurator and technical support analyst for an SAP partner system in their ERP landscape. Gretchen has held a variety of roles as an ASUG volunteer, and she is also proud to be an SAP Mentor.

Check back on the SAP Mentor Monday webinar site often, to find out what we are cooking up. Spread the word, as these are public and we don't want to keep it the best kept secret around SCN.

* I think it is really unfortunate how few US folks know Asterix in the US. Especially the early commix like Asterix the Legionary is so funny and layered.


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