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Hello to our community members:   I and the other members of the SDN and BPX team would like your feedback on the benefits you gain and the role you see for these communities…   I believe there are three big categories where SDN and BPX provide benefits to our members, both as individuals and as companies.    I’d like to hear examples supporting this hypothesis, other benefits not noted here, and also contrary opinions about what are the real benefits of our communities and what should be the roles we (the SAP Community Network team — the group that manages SDN and BPX behind the scenes) play.    The three big categories of benefits and roles as I see them:   1) Accelerate and broaden your success.       A. Help you optimize your core IT by comparing with and using others’ best practices, beyond basic implementation.    B. Help you achieve faster time to productivity on Netweaver and other SAP technologies (overcome challenges and issues in implementation or optimization) by applying SAP and others’ solutions and approaches.  In part, by connecting experts who have been there before with beginners or people who are implementing something new to them, to spread knowledge and learnings thru experience.         C. Help you extend your SAP implementation both broader and deeper by seeing the value of other modules you may not have implemented yet (MDM, BI, NW04, xApps…), and by connecting with other heterogeneous (non-SAP) systems and components.    D. Help you better prepare for future IT roles both at the company level and at the individual professional skills level.     2) Foster (co-)innovation.       A. Provide insight into emerging trends, either thru articles and blogs where trends are discussed explicitly, or by you noting hot spots in technology or practices on your own.    B. Give customers access to our partner solutions (Systems Integrators and ISVs with technology add-ons, etc.) to help both the customers/users and the partners.      C. Connect our expert users with each other so SDN and BPX members can collaborate and co-innovate together.     D. Connect our community members with SAP experts in Product Management and Development groups, so you can provide inputs to product direction, and so SAP gets the benefit of real-world experience in setting priorities for development.   3) Drive value to customers, SIs, and other software solution provider ISVs.      A. Raise visibility of individuals and partner companies in the marketplace thru articles, blogs, forums, wiki.     B. Provide a way (thru our point system and other mechanisms) to establish credibility as SAP and NetWeaver experts.     C. Give wide access and visibility to our members (again, as individuals, as customer companies, and as partner companies) to larger market opportunities thru our global reach to nearly 600,000 individual members in 200 countries and territories globally.      D. Provide an opportunity for financial benefit to flow to and among members of the community.    What I’ve listed above is just a starting point in the discussion.  

  • Can you offer examples where SDN or BPX has helped you or your company in one or more of these ways? 
  • Can you add to the list where you think I’ve forgotten a positive impact of the SDN or BPX community to its members?
  • Can you offer a contrary opinion and example where you think one of the above is mistaken? 
  • What have you been able to achieve — that you wouldn’t have otherwise — as a result of participation in the communities of SDN and BPX? 
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    1. Nigel James
      I really can’t believe that Mark has had no feedback!

      Well Mark… lets start the conversation.

      The SAP Network S(D)N is a great place to find solutions on all manner of problems. I have found it more than useful for some quite thorny problems over the past year. So thats a big tick on point 1.a, b and c.
      I will also give you 2.a, c and d. SDN World and SAPLink are evidence of this. I am not convinced of 2b though. ( 2b or not 2b – sorry couldn’t resist ) I don’t see much evidence of ISV’s on SDN . Am I looking in the wrong spot? Ok I have thought about this a bit more now and Adobe involvement is certainly evidence of this. So yes, I’ll give you this one too.

      I will also give you 3. a, b and c. I have certainly had increased visability because of my involvement here, but if that turns into more work for me or my company remains to be seen. So for me the jury is also out on 3.d. I would like to think it would in the longer term. It probably is working for Adobe though. I would not have investigated flex if it were not for the SAP Network.

      One of the best things for me about the SAP Network is that it allows me to get a grip on the new technologies and give them a spin before getting access to the new systems on a customer site. It used to be that all of a sudden you were on a customer site with a new release of SAP and there were new ways of doing things. Now you can install a new version of the stacks locally and get familiar with them. That for me (especially as a freelancer) is the biggest benefit.

      Now there are some technical improvements that could be happening around the SAP Network
      but I am not going to repeat what 1. you already know and 2. are working on anyway.

      I was interested to read on the SAP press releases website ( http://www.sap.com/company/press/press.epx?pressid=6882 ) that there is a premium verion of the network due sometime soon. I am a tad surprised that this has not been discussed here more. I would welcome some more detail.

      Finally, I think SAP are to be congratulated for taking networking thing to the fore. You certainly are leading the way (according to those who are watching – monkchips.com for example) The power is in the network. Indeed the network is the computer and this SAP NETWORK is working.

      So thanks for the opportunity to comment and thanks for managing a great network.

      regards,

      Nigel

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