To my knowledge at this week’s SAP TechEd in Shanghai there will be only one SAP Mentor participating: https://weblogs.sdn.sap.com/pub/u/251904915 [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] [original link is broken] from China.
You may not have seen a lot of Lantao on SCN yet. To become an SAP Mentor you have to be an expert in one SAP product or service, be a good communicator and active within the larger SAP community. That community activity doesn’t have to be on SCN. He was highly recommended by folks on the ground in China and we are really happy to have him on board. Time to check in with him.
Here is his bio: Lantao Yang is HCM Principal Consultant with Dimension, representing SAP China to support its largest and strategic account PetroChina & CNPC and other high profile accounts. He also conducts SAP presale activities such as presentations and solution architect design. He is very proficient in architecture and processes design, system customization, authorization control for various HCM solutions and modules. He has demonstrated strong analytical and problem solving skills in various project activities, such as strategic and detail planning for integration testing, data migration and system cut-over in regional and/or complex projects. He started his journey with SAP HCM in1994. He had been a SAP Senior Consultant with SAP Asia (Singapore) Pte Ltd. since 1995 for over 10 years, gaining a lot of experiences in SAP HCM product development, training, consulting, implementation, and solution reviews in Asia Pacific region. Prior to that, Mr. Yang had been a Software Engineer and Application Specialist for 6 years in software development and ERP systems consulting in China and Singapore. He was certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) by APICS in 1995.
To get to know him a bit more I sent him a couple of questions and here are his answers:
1) Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small village, Hebei Province, China.
— Of course I checked Hebei Province in Google Maps, not getting very far I send him a follow up question:
1a) Can you tell us the village too? Is it on Google maps? Just send me the link.
My village is called Yang Wa Village (杨洼村, all man’s last name is YANG), in Nan Gong County (南宫县），Duan Lu Tou Town (段芦头镇). There are about 400 people in the village and is deemed very small in China. Therefore, it is not shown on the Google map.
— Can’t wait for the Google street vans to drive through that village 😉 It would really make a big difference to see it.
1b) Also is the area famous for something? Terrain? History?
Nothing famous I can think of, frankly speaking, except plant high quality cotton.
2) How did you come in contact with SAP for the first time?
In 1994, I was working for Origin Pte Ltd Singapore. One day, my boss came to me and asked “Do you know SAP?”. “No.” I replied. He then introduced, “SAP is a German Company. Its product named R/3. It’s a big system, has everything in it, everything!”. “SAP and Origin is organizing a 3 months training in Germany, you are selected for it. What do you think?”. I said Okay. “Not Okay, should be excellent!” he corrected. “Yes, Sir. Excellent” I agreed.
— Reminds me of when I was asked whether I want to go to Foster City in the US for an SAP mid-market initiative. Once I heard it is close to San Francisco I was sold.
Few days later, I flew to Walldorf. I thought a 3-months training ought to be for everything. In fact, it was only for HR module with 5 weeks classroom training, and followed by some practice such as country version testing and demo system setup. There were about 20 people in the training, who are all from Origin European countries, USA and Singapore(myself). It is said that it was the first HR global partner academy.
3) Have you ever been to Walldorf?
Yes. The first time was in 1994 for training. And the second time in this year, I went there to participate Oil & Gas field kick-off meeting. An interesting point is that I never went to Walldorf during my over 10 years directly working for SAP Asia (Singapore).
4) What is you favorite thing to do beyond SAP?
My favorite thing since a year ago has been practice Tai Chi Quan. Tai Chi Quan is a kind Chinese traditional martial art, with slow movements focusing on exchanging between moving & still, open & close with both body and mind.
5) Did you go to any of the Olympic events?
I went to one ParaIympic filed & track session, which is held in Bird Nest Stadium. By the way, the Bird Nest Stadium is just about 2 kilometers away from my current home in Beijing.
— I love the architecture of the Bird Nest Stadium.
6) How is the financial turmoil felt in China?
Coupled with downturn cycle of both stock and housing market in China, many people felt the cold of the winter.
7) Tell us about an SAP insight that you found out, that people may not know
There has been number of Webex training sessions going recently in SAP and for partners regarding SAP ERP Enhancement Pack 4. The main focus areas on HCM are new user interfaces, redesign succession management and cross talent management.
8) What is your focus at the moment at Petro China?
I am focusing on PetroChina HCM implementation project, which is the largest SAP HCM project covering about 1.5 million active employees. Basically I have two roles to play there: provide expert guidance in solution architect at higher level and technical support to the implementation partners at the configuration level.
9) Is there something that we SAP folks from Germany or the US should better understand about China and/or Singapore?
Traditionally and in general, Chinese people tend to be modest and not so active in sharing ideas etc. There would be more efforts required in building up the community network. However, young generation is much better in that aspect.
— I think we from the collaboration team have our work cut out for us 😉
Thank you Lantao for letting us know a bit more about you. Hopefully you find the time to share some impressions from the SAP TechEd in Shanghai.