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There is no doubt in my mind that the title of my blog is controversial. But I chose it deliberately. I was reading all the blogs and comments by Craig, Marilyn and Why should you come to Community Day Bangalore from IBM and other contributors and mentors. I was not surprised by the enormous passion our community members expressed ( why I am not surprised is a different story) on Craig’s blog on the fact if we should to have a community day at all in Bangalore.  We definitely always should… by the way

I think it partially has to do with the uncertain economy. It is probably now tougher than ever to sell to a manager who relies on you to produce, be billable, or otherwise to say I really think it is important to go for one day extra to TechEd to join community day and this is why… perhaps we need to help each one of you ?

So that takes me to the title of this blog: Is the BPX Community Day name too FLUFFY ? [ and trust me the day itself is definitely not… it is jam packed with tons of value, accredited by almost everyone who has been] … In order to understand I want to explain what the BPX community day in essence means

– Member themselves deliver very valuable and knowledgeable education about burning topics for the BPXer or aspiring BPXers; I have heard many members walk away from the day and said; I am glad I came, now I can go back to my company and do my work better.

– we have open dialogue about the topics ( it is not just a one way street )

– a day ful of discusisons and exchange, an avenue to connect with people that you can rely on during the whole of TechEd/Sapphire and beyond.

– a day to meet those people that you interact with online all year face to face ; This means you create deeper connections with people who can help you accelerate implementations, find solutions, and support you on other topics beyond the four walls of your company

– a day to meet the creme de la creme those top contributors that mean well for you and the community; knowing them can only help you get answers sometimes faster, and perhaps from different angles.

– not just delivered by SAP, but the community decides what is important

I think it comes down to this: What is the clear business value when you try to sell it to your manager to spend both a day and a small amount of money of your company. I think the above describes and sums it up pretty well. However I have heard many people say: now I much better understand why this BPX role is so important now and in the years to come and how it fits into this whole SOA revolution and SAP’s Business Platform approach.

Sometimes it might just be in the wording as well.. so here is my take on it: Should we rename community day to show/share/explain the value better/more. Here are some attempts.. but I want to open up the idea box and get your feedback as well. ( both positive, negative, and otherwise )

BPX bootcamp delivered by the BPX community ?

BPX wisdom day instructed by the BPX community

Business Process Convention

Business Process School instructed by the BPX community

Business Process in action

Business Process Cook off

Or my personal favorite right now: BPX Academy instructed by the BPX community

I would love to hear your take on it..

Marco

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17 Comments

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  1. Jon Reed
    Marco,

    I agree that “BPX Community Day” should be renamed.

    I say that with some reluctance because I do think that the sense of community that I take away from this day may be the biggest value for me personally.

    But at the same time, “Community Day” does not get across the exceptional business value of this day.

    When you are talking about hearing about actual case studies of “BPX in Action,” seeing presentation for SAP customers on how they are moving ahead with process innovation, seeing previews of upcoming products like NetWeaver BPM directly from the folks who helped to design them, well, and getting the chance to interact with all of the above, well – that’s a serious business value.

    Of some of your suggestions so far, “BPX Boot Camp” has some appeal to me but it may miss the mark in terms of the fact that even those who have some experience in BPX already can get quite a lot from this day. Variations on “BPX Academy” could be good also, implies lots of awesome content but may not get across the more valuable interactive parts.

    There have been some Twitter threads on this topic, some of which may be searchable. I recall one suggestion people liked being “SAP Expert Connect,” cannot recall the suggester, best guess is Darren Hague but I may be wrong on that. Mark Finnern was involved in these discussions so he probably has a couple of notes on this as well.

    I do like the idea of getting across the opportunity to collaborate with BPX experts that day as part of the business case for attending.

    A couple more brainstorm names I have not put much thought into:

    Process Expert Summit
    BPX Collaboration Day
    SAP Process Symposium
    SAP Process Roundtable
    Smart People Goofing Off

    Kidding about that last one!

    – Jon Reed –

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    1. Marco ten Vaanholt Post author
      Jon, thanks for your take on it.. I hoped the blog would create a healthy debate about the value of the community day.. You saying it means a lot to you as a mentor and saying that community has the most value is an important aspect we should not disregard. Thanks for your feedback.
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      1. Mark Yolton
        As I recall, it was Nigel James (if my memory serves me) who suggested a pretty good name a while back.  Maybe it was on twitter…  Let’s have a “name that event” contest.  🙂

        M.

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        1. Nigel James
          As I recall the name I suggested was ‘Inside Track’.  It seemed to get some traction here and there.

          As Craig The “value” in Community as explained to the Capgemini Community however it is an education of sorts that needs to take place with managers. A name change may or may not help. Is PI a better product not it is not called XI? What we really need is to sell the value to managers and by now there is a lot of blogs and comments about how great the pre-TechEd event is.

          The other thought is size. If it gets too big then is may risk loosing its value as it becomes less intimate. I suspect there is a sweet spot for this type of event.

          Rosa cathayensis platyphylla has a nice ring to it dont you think?

          regards,
          Nigel

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        2. Marco ten Vaanholt Post author
          Interesting.. an open vote.. now that is certainly community minded approach… Note to self: Ask my manager if he will support this; oh yeah forgot you are my manager 🙂
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  2. Graham Robinson
    Hi Marco,

    I am more an SDN’er rather than a BPX’er but the issue is the same.

    There does seem to be a problem “selling” the value of Community Day to managers, so for that reason alone I think a new name probably is due.

    The difficulty is that the name needs to reflect what actually happens on the day so it can’t be too specific, because the agenda is somewhat ad-hoc, and it can’t be too “fluffy”.

    I too think that “Expert Connect” is the closest we have come to a good brand name. For me it captures the essence of the day nicely.

    Cheers
    Graham Robbo

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  3. Vijay Vijayasankar
    When something is relatively new, you have to spend an effort in marketing it. A name change is definitely a great start.

    But I don’t think that will do it by itself – you have to systematically chase the manager community and spread the message. By writing in SDN weblogs, we don’t attain this objective. We generally end up trying to inspire the already inspired bunch of BPXers, and might just add to their frustration.

    Most BPXers work for SAP partners, which means SAP can do direct marketing easily. Organize events for some of these managers and educate them on the benefits. If they see the value, they will send their employees.

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    1. Marco ten Vaanholt Post author
      Vijay,  you are making an excellent point. We definitely have been increasingly incorporating messaging and value into our engagement with our SI and other partners at the top level. It is an attention point that we should not loose sight of and is important. Thanks for your thoughts.
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      1. Vijay Vijayasankar
        That was a superfast response, Marco.

        one thing I should add – most of the SAP partners are headquartered outside India, and consequently the relationships that SAP have are typically outside India. This might be the reason why the message hasn’t reached managers who work out of India.

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  4. Morten Wittrock
    Fake Steve Jobs has a suggestion: BPX “Achieving Synergies, Unlocking Value and Leveraging Assets Across Multiple Brands and Platforms With an Emphasis on Growth, Cost Containment and Unleashing a Plan of Action That Can Identify and Solve Real Business Pain Points” Day 🙂

    All kidding aside, I think the current name is fine. Community Day is different from TechEd and similiar conferences, and the name reflects that quite well. Also, justifying the cost of going is something you will probably have to do regardless of the event’s name.

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    1. Jim Spath
      Marco et al: I am with Morten on this one, as in “if it’s not broken don’t fix it.” The Community Day pre-conference events have been successful networking and social media bonanzas for those who figured out the value of peer interaction and convinced management that the hallway conversations of large conferences are as much or more valuable than the lecture time or booth visits.  For ASUG, we’re constantly refining the message our members can use to justify attending our face-to-face events.  In seriously dark economic times, let’s stay focused on delivering the message about why communities are important, not on the name game.
      Leave the branding to the media professionals, resist change for changes’ sake, and go out there and fix the world.  There’s a lot that needs to be done.
      Jim
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  5. Ram Manohar Tiwari
    A rose by any other name….ok it may sound a lot sweeter to some. And I guess the name ‘ROIse’ will appeal more to an orthodox manager’s senses.

    Similarly, I think the tag line ‘connect, collaborate and coinnovate’ is not very exciting to them either. [ compared to ‘ROI improvement, TCO reduction’ ]

    But the important point is, should we change/disguise the names/taglines to make them understand the value of CO[terms].

    And why not, if it serves the purpose, from a short term perspective at least 🙂

    Cheers,
    Ram

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