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Hello global community:

Several members of the SAP Ecosystem All Star Team at the SAP Forum in Brazil and I spent the past several days in Sao Paolo, Brazil to take part in the SAP Forum, and of course the SAP Developer Day

As a result, we met with some of the ~5000 customer and partner attendees, the president and many leading members of the Americas SAP Users Group in Brazil (ASUG-Brazil), some of the top contributors to our communities in Latin America, some SAP executives and leaders who can help us to help members of our communities and our broad and vibrant ecosystem, reporters from media in the region, and many others.  (We also ate a lot of really excellent Brazilian beef accompanied by more than a few caipirinhas …) 

We came away impressed by the people here, their skills, the economic growth rate in this country and others nearby, the opportunities (in Brazil especially but also) across Latin America for increased community engagement, and much else.

Goals, Objectives, and Activities

We came to meet customers, partners, and fellow SAP employee colleagues, and to spread the word about SDN (SAP Developer Network), BPX (the Business Process Expert community), the SAP ecosystem of customers and partners, business network transformation, our business process platform, best practices among our customer base, enterprise SOA, NetWeaver, TechEd and Tech Tour, our work with Standards bodies in the industry, the success and contributions to the recent “enhancement packs” by the Enterprise Services Community (52% of the latest enhancement pack was defined and driven by groups of customers and partners working with SAP in this format), Industry Value Networks, the importance of adaptability and resiliency to success in a fast-changing market, planned / continuous and radical / disruptive innovation, and much else. 

We also did alot of listening… to customers, ASUG-Brazil members, partners, and some of our own SDN top contributors. 

Our leader, Zia Yusuf, delivered a keynote about SAP strategy and the SAP ecosystem to the large and engaged crowd on the main stage at the SAP Forum.  My colleague Singh Mecker, who leads our efforts with software and technology partners, gave a keynote on Thursday regarding innovation, enterprise SOA, the BPP, and much more.  I gave a keynote about business networks, social networks, and SDN/BPX communities as examples of these (and benefits) on Tuesday.  And this was only a little slice of the content and activity of the week. 

If you get the impression that it was a busy week, you’re right.

A few facts

Brazil is the world’s #11 largest economy, is very developed (at least in parts, with some areas sleepier), and is growing fast.  SAP saw great growth with new customers and with the expansion of existing customer implementations in Brazil last year, and partners in our ecosystem are expanding here as well.

The SDN and BPX membership in Latin America is about 45,000 people (out of 1,000,000+) and grew 62% in 2007.  Brazil makes up about 35% of that total. 

We have about 30 people in Latin America who we consider “top contributors” … those with 250 points or more.  Alvaro Tejada (“Blag”) Galindo is an SAP Mentor from Peru, and Ignacio Hernandez is an SAP Mentor from Argentina.  Need your help: We should identify an SAP Mentor from Brazil, so your nominations are welcome. 

Top Contributor Roundtable

Four of Brazil’s top contributors to SDN (there wasn’t a top BPX person: this is an opportunity for someone to take a leadership role in Latin America and shine in the BPX community) met with us on Thursday afternoon.  SAP Attendees included: Zia Yusuf (Executive VP of SAP’s Global Ecosystem), Chip Rodgers (VP and COO for our SAP Community Network), Philippe Rosset (Director of TechEd), and Fernando de Allende (manages Strategic Alliances in Latin America). 

 

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More importantly, we met the following superstars of SDN in Brazil:

Marcelo Ramos – strong in ABAP and Composition Environment – with more than 2000 SDN points, from a company called GoLive, with many ideas about spreading the word about SDN and BPX to other people in Latin America, and who has a strong interest in helping the under-privileged in the world and in Brazil especially (we talked about the U.N. Food for Education program, and we about “teaching people to fish” so they can eat for a lifetime).

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Henrique Pinto – an XI expert among other topics – SAP Brazil employee in the localization team with more than 2000 SDN points – who also demonstrated in the solution fair an xApp developed by the SAP GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) team that deals with a specific challenge for Brazilian invoicing called Nota Fiscal eletronica (NFe).

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Andre Luis Arantes Monteiro – dabbles in everything NetWeaver on SDN – from CScorp with more than 300 points on SDN, and who is evangelizing SDN within his company thru a special awards program that encourages getting answers and solutions from our community.

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Rodrigo Paisante – ABAP guru – from IBM with ~400 SDN points, and would like to see more SAP events for developers and technologists in Brazil (actually, this was everyone’s wish).

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Of course we took a group photo, too. 

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Follow-Up on Our Top Contributor Discussions

Maybe these great participants in our community will share with you more about our discussions, their ideas, their projects, and interests.  We should all watch for them — and help them — to lead the growth of our SDN and BPX communities in Brazil and Latin America by generating awareness and inviting new members to join and contribute.  And I hope to see all of them at SAP TechEd ’08 in either Las Vegas, Berlin, Shanghai, or Bangalore.  One day, maybe we’ll have a full SAP TechEd in
Brazil or another Latin American country. 

The SAP team members all took a number of actions away, based on the insights and recommendations and requests of the superstars of SDN in Brazil.  We were impressed with their passion for collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and with their ideas.  Also, other groups from SAP in Latin America and our ASUG-Brazil colleagues have a number of things we’re working on together.  If you’re in Latin America and want to engage with these leaders, please make your interest known to them and us. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line is simple:

  • Brazil is a huge and fast-growing economy so we need to do more there
  • SAP already has a strong presence in Brazil and much of Latin America, and our customers and partners are growing fast
  • Our communities are active in Latin America — Brazil especially (and individual bright spots in Peru and Argentina) — with passionate members and contributors
  • But: We need to do more. And we will step-up our activity across Latin America with Brazil as a stronghold
  • The SAP headquarters team, the LatAm executive leadership and management team members, the local SAP team members in Brazil, and our community members themselves are committed to much more in the region in the year(s) ahead
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6 Comments

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  1. Former Member
    Great blog Mark!  You captured a lot of what took place in Sao Paulo this week.  It was very exciting to get to meet so many of our colleagues in Latin America.

    And of course it was fantastic to meet Marcelo Ramos, Henrique Pinto, Andre Monteiro, and Rodrigo Paisante yesterday as well.  We’ll look forward to doing more local meetings with top contributors in the future.

    Great photos!  I’ve posted a short video from the top contributor’s meeting here as well:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ria8LXaZXas

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  2. Hi, Mark!

    First of all, great blog!

    It was a real pleasure to meet you guys last Thursday. I don’t know Marcelo, Rodrigo and Henrique, but for the first time ever, I felt that I really was an important part of the community, and I left that room thinking how and what I can do to “spread the word” among other SAP users – technical, functional or general users.

    Again, thank you for the opportunity, and be certain that we’ll do our best!

    All the best,

    Andre Monteiro

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  3. Rodrigo Paisante
    Hi Mark!

    Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you and the others seniors. The Netweaver Developer Day was very important to us. We expect more events like this in Brazil, it will help to invite people to SDN.

    Thanks a lot,

    Rodrigo Paisante

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  4. Henrique Pinto
    Hi Mark,

    thank you for your warm welcome and also thank you for hearing our feedbacks. I think I speak for everyone when I say that it meant a lot to us, as members of the community, independent on which company we work at.

    Best regards,
    Henrique.

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